How to Create a Pen in Illustrator

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator

Would you like to create a typical pen? If yes then let’s get started and you will undoubtedly learn the excellent Illustrator tools to create your own impressive and stunning artwork! You will work with Meshes, Gradients, Brushes. Open the Illustrator program, create a new document and let’s begin.



Final Image

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator


Tutorial Details:

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS3 – CS6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours

Step 1

To begin you need to create the main geometry sketch of the pen which is shown in the diagram below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 1

This sketch is flat because it has no light distribution, but you should create it so you can plan the final image. Creating a pen in the horizontal position first is the most effective way of creating the sketch. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a path which will represent the left end of the pen. It has a usual rectangular shape. Change the Stroke to None, and the fill color to green.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 2

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and illustrate an elliptical path as shown in the image below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 3


Step 2

Copy the blue ellipse and Paste it in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Change the color of the copy to orange. Move it to the right end of the rectangle. See the helpful image below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 4

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and increase the ellipse. Be aware that you need to use the Uniform scaling in order to avoid problems with the perspective and the geometry of the image.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 5


Step 3

Create the next ellipse the same way. Change the fill color and move it somewhat to the right. See the image below for reference.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 6

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a vertical path as shown below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 7


Step 4

Draw the main violet part of the pen using the same tool,…

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 8

…and draw an ellipse on the left side of it as you did before.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 9


Step 5

The right side of the main violet path should be continued with the next rectangles shown in the images below. Make them yourself, following the helpful diagrams shown.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 10
How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 11
How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 12

After these manipulations you should have the following result.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 13


Step 6

Select both leftmost parts of the pen,…

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 14

…take the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M), and drag the horizontal line through them as shown below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 15

Or go to the Pathfinder palette and click the Unite button.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 16

Using either method you should have the following result.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 17


Step 7

Do the same with the following two selected and shown paths.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 18
How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 19


Step 8

In order to form the main violet part of the pen, first, select the ellipse at the left side of it, Copy it and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 20

Then move the copy to the right side of the main violet path as you can see in the image below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 21


Step 9

Select both: the right ellipse and the main violet path,…

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 22

Then grab the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M), drag the horizontal line over the right ellipse (indicated by a red arrow in the diagram below) while holding the Alt key down on your keyboard.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 23

Or use the Pathfinder palette for this. Click the Minus Front button.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 24

You need to achieve the following result.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 25


Step 10

Unite the left-side ellipse with the violet path.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 26
How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 27


Step 11

Select the orange ellipse at the left side of the pen, Copy it and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 28

Go to Effect > Convert to Shape > Rectangle, and set both Relative options to 0. Remember that are working with the copy of the ellipse!

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 29

Go to Object > Expand Appearance. Do not deselect the resulting rectangle!

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 30


Step 12

Open the Transform panel, select the W value with your mouse (17.81 pixels in my artwork; your value may be different), copy it by pressing Command + C keys on your keyboard.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 31

Go to Object > Transform > Move, paste the copied value into the Horizontal Position of the dialog window by pressing the Command + V keys on your keyboard. Do not click the OK button!

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 32


Step 13

When the Horizontal Position in the dialog window is active, press the End button on your keyboard and divide the value by 2 by pressing the corresponding buttons on your keyboard. See the image below for reference.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 33

Click the OK button now and see the necessary result. Do you understand the mathematics? It is simple.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 34


Step 14

Now unite both orange paths.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 35
How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 36


Step 15

Select one anchor point of the orange path with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), and move it as shown.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 37

Another anchor point should be moved in the same way.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 38


Step 16

Illustrate the black ellipse at the right side of the main violet part of the pen.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 39

Then change the green path as you did before. Do it without assistance because up to this point in the tutorial you already know how to achieve this.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 40

Create another ellipse as shown below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 41

Change the orange shape the same way as well.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 42


Step 17

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the rightmost anchor points of the orange path.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 43

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and set the value as you can see it in the image below in order to decrease the space between the anchor points.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 44

Illustrate another ellipse.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 45

And change the shape of the right end of the pen.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 46


Step 18

The holder of the pen is created using the Ellipse Tool (L) too,…

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 47

…and the Pen Tool (P).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 48


Step 19

Illustrate the ring over the pen as well. See the image below for reference.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 49


Step 20

We are going to create an Art Brush to help with the shading of the finalized image. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an elongated elliptical path filled with black.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 50

Copy it and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Go to Object > Transform > Scale and decrease the ellipse copy to half its size. In other words, set the percentage to 50%.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 51

Change the Opacity of the biggest ellipse to 0.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 52

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the values in the dialog box to about 75 Specified Steps.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 53

Select both ellipses and go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 54


Step 21

Drag and drop this blend into the Brushes panel, and choose the Art Brush option in the opened dialog box.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 55

Specify the options for the brush in the second dialog box. Name this brush “Black brush.” Change the Colorization Method to Hue Shift in order to manage colors further in the tutorial more effectively.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 56


Step 22

Select the black ellipse, Copy it and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Change the fill color to None.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 57

Take the Scissors Tool (C), and click on the indicated anchor point with it.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 58

Then apply the “Black brush” to the path, change the Stroke color to white, and decrease the Stroke Weight in order to get the following result.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 59

Fill the green path with a vertical gradient.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 60


Step 23

The crimson path should be filled with black.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 61

Copy this path, and Paste it in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Change the fill color to None. Select the indicated anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 62

Press the Delete button on your keyboard. And apply the “Black brush” to the path. Change the Stroke color to white. Decrease the Stroke Weight.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 63


Step 24

Select the orange path and fill it with a vertical gradient as shown.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 64

After that go to Object > Expand and expand the gradient fill to gradient mesh.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 65

Go to Object > Ungroup, grab the Lasso Tool (Q) and select all the right mesh nodes as shown in the diagram below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 66

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and set the appropriate values in the dialog box.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 67

Change the colors of the several mesh nodes using the Mesh Tool (U).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 68


Step 25

Create the following part of the pen using both: black and white ellipses. Follow the helpful image below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 69

Fill the right end of the pen with a vertical gradient.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 70


Step 26

Copy this path and Paste it in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Change the fill color to None. Then apply the “Black brush” to the following path.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 71

Apply the “Black brush” to the path shown below. Change the Stroke color to white.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 72

Select all three paths: the copy of the end path, and both paths to which the “Black brush” is applied. Then go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + 7).

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 73


Step 27

Fill the left end of the pen with the same vertical gradient.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 74

Apply the “Black brush” to the path shown below, change the Stroke color to white, decrease the Opacity of the path. Crop the path with the corresponding clipping mask.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 75


Step 28

The orange path is filled with a mesh. You did this before. Thus, do it without assistance.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 76

The crimson path is filled with a vertical gradient.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 77


Step 29

The pen holder should be filled, first, with gray.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 78

Then the light distribution is made by using the same “Black brush”. Create this by yourself. Follow the helpful image below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 79

The lateral parts of the holder are filled with gray.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 80


Step 30

Fill the main part of the pen with a vertical gradient as shown.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 81

Apply the “Black brush” to the path shown below. Change the Stroke color to white. Decrease the Stroke Weight and the Opacity.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 82


Step 31

Take the Pen Tool (P), change the Stroke color to violet, and the fill color to None. Draw two paths over the blue main part of the pen as shown.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 83

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the Spacing to Specified steps and the number of steps to about 25.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 84

Go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B). Decrease the Opacity of the Blend if necessary on your own artwork.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 85

Crop the Blend with the corresponding clipping mask.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 86


Step 32

Fill the ring over the pen with a vertical gradient.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 87

Draw as many rings as you desire.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 88


Step 33

Select all of the pen and rotate it by going to Object > Transform > Rotate.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 89

Take the Rectangle Tool (M). draw a path and fill it with a radial gradient as shown. The opacities of the gradient stops go from 15% to 0%.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 90


Step 34

Create the shadow of the pen using a linear gradient that goes from black to white and from 15% to 0% in opacity. Follow the helpful image below.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator 91


And We’re Done

The final image is below. Use the techniques you’ve learned here in your own artwork. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial.

How to Create a Pen in Illustrator