Skip to main content

How to Draw Anything Using the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 9 from: Adobe Illustrator Fundamentals

Daniel Walter Scott

How to Draw Anything Using the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 9 from: Adobe Illustrator Fundamentals

Daniel Walter Scott

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

9. How to Draw Anything Using the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Class Trailer



Class Introduction to Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners


Class Exercise Files for Adobe Illustrator CC Essentials


Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator CC




How to Draw in Adobe Illustrator CC with Shapes & Lines


How to Draw Using the Shape Builder Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Draw a Fox Using the Shape Builder Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Drawing - Quiz



How to Draw Custom Logo Shapes Easily in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Draw Anything Using the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


How to Draw Using the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC


Drawing with the Pencil Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Use Brushes in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Draw Lines with the Width Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Type & Fonts


How to Use Type & Fonts in Adobe Illustrator to Design a Postcard


How to Curve Type Around a Badge Using Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Break Apart & Destroy Text & Fonts Using Adobe Illustrator CC




What is RGB & CMYK Colors in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Steal Colors from an Image Using Eye Dropper in Illustrator


How to Find Amazing Colors in Illustrator Using Color Theme


How to Make Gradients in Adobe Illustrator CC


Color - Quiz



How to Mask an Image Inside Text in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Cut Holes in Shapes Using Compound Shapes in Illustrator CC


Masking - Quiz

CC Libraries


How to Use CC Libraries in Adobe Illustrator CC


Effects & Patterns


Making Things Liquid & Distorted in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Bend & Warp Shapes & Text in Adobe Illustrator CC


Drawing Amazing Repeating Shapes in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Create Repeating Patterns in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Vectorize an Image in Adobe Illustrator CC


Effects & Patterns - Quiz

Capture App


How to Use Adobe Capture App with Adobe Illustrator CC


Free Templates


Using Free Templates in Adobe Illustrator CC




Exporting for Print


How to Save Your Illustrator Files as Jpegs for Websites


Exporting - Quiz

Real World Exercises


32. How to Redraw the MasterCard Logo in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Redraw the Instagram Logo in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Redraw the Kodak Logo in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Redraw the eHarmony Logo in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Redraw the Tinder Logo in Adobe Illustrator CC


How to Redraw the BP Logo in Adobe Illustrator CC


Next Steps


Cheat Sheet for Adobe Illustrator CC


Course Conclusion for Adobe Illustrator CC


Final Quiz


Final Quiz

Lesson Info

How to Draw Anything Using the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Hi there in this tutorial we're going to learn how to use the curvature tool in adobe, illustrator. We're gonna draw these four guys. Yeah, so let's get into it. All right to get started file, new document, surprise, surprise, it's going to be letter. Let's click create. Let's save this one and we'll save it into our desktop into our illustrated class files and this one is going to be called the curvature tool. So curvy tool will do click save quit cocaine. Alright, we're gonna bring in our image that we're gonna trace. So let's go to file place and it's in your exercise files. Look for one called redraw image and let's make sure it's a template because it's going to put it in the background and gray it out and lock it so it can't be moved. Alright, next thing I want to do is I would like to use a curvature tool now make sure in the layers panel you're on this top layer here. Okay we're going to grab our curvature tool, it looks like quite like the pen tool right now. The pen tool is w...

e're going to do that in the next tutorial. It's like the hardcore version. Okay the curvature tool is newish to illustrator and man when you're learning and you're new there's very little time we actually need to go to the really hardcore tool so coverage tool, we love you making the pen tool that little bit easier to learn so I'm gonna zoom in remember command plus or control plus on my pc. What did I hold down on my keyboard to move up. Okay. Remember how down space bar, get the hand, click and hold drag my mouse and now we're going to draw our alien. So we're gonna start with the I in the middle basically. It's easier if I just show you and you get a sense for it and then we can draw the next ones together. So I'm going to click once at the top or ones on the side and nothing really happens until I move my kind of cursory. I'm not doing anything. It's just connected naturally click once, that's all I'm doing, clicking once more and clicking the last time. Cool. Huh? Okay. It just goes through all I did was click once with my mouse and it kind of knew that I was trying to draw curves because I'm using the curvature tool. What I'm gonna do is a couple of things before I draw. This next one is I'm going to make sure the fill is set to none. Okay, I'm gonna have a black stroke that's fine. Also when what I'm gonna do is under view, let's turn off smart guides. Okay, so if you're ticks on like this, turn it off, it's just uh you know sometimes it's super handy like we'll do for the crown next but sometimes it's a bit of a pain. So in this case it's a pain um So what we're gonna do is draw the outer eye and again like we could try like you definitely need more than two points right if I took on there and there and just you can't make it a circle so I could click once and try and do it three. Okay, getting there, getting there, it just doesn't get to quite of a nice circle, so a circle or an ellipse needs at least four points, you can have more, the more you have the kind of let's smooth, it looks pretty cool, so give that a go do those circles and then we're going to look at these other ones and it's pretty much the same thing. Um Let's start at the top here, click once click here again. Okay and where am I looking like the circle was easy enough? Okay, so it's all four corners and this one here kind of turns in on itself, so what you're looking for is the apex, okay or where the where the curve changes the most? Okay, so along the top here, that's where it changes like this curve here changes the most at this top point because it's kind of symmetrical on this curve, where it kind of changes, it's about here, maybe it could be a bit further up like this, you can click and drag them like I just did there to move them, okay, and then you're looking for this curve this way and where the middle of it is just kind of about there and click once and you're like it doesn't work, but then you move your mouse off and it kind of tries to kind of Yeah, it does a pretty good job, right? So where this curve goes all the way around. So the apex of this one changing here is about on the corner here. Now, in this case, don't worry about the second line just yet. There's a little bit of faith that goes into this. Okay, so it's going to take some practice, but I could add another one here because there's a there's a curve there and there's another curve here and there's a curve here and those are the kind of apex is of it. There's another curve there, another kind of apex corner there. You can kind of start to see what I'm doing now. I can adjust this afterwards. I know that that one is not quite right. Don't worry for your first pass. Let's try another leg now, I found through my practice is that the you know, the least amount of anchor points you can get away with? That's what these little dots are. So I know that if I click on this side and click on this side and then come up here, can you see it kind of fills out that bottom part for me. So I'm looking for that apex, apex of that curve, apex are out here, apex of this curve is about there, there's one kind of there and that's one of the top here. Well yeah, I'm just going to go and click them all now after a while you get kind of confident and you get to kind of know where everything goes, you can see you want to go back to the beginning, that's the little icon. It's actually you just click on it and it works okay, but just so you know, see that little icon, the little zero, it means it's going to kind of complete this complete path. Okay over here it's going to be adding a new path. I want that one, the little icon with a little zero, that kind of means I'm going to finish it all off. Cool, so it's kind of working. So that's the idea with the curvature tool, you block in the kind of hard stuff for the core of it and then you can make adjustments afterwards. Now remember the black arrow to click on it, it moves things in its entirety. Remember the white arrow that we looked at earlier on. Okay, this adjusts the finer points of it. Okay, and what I can do is there's a big kind of mess over here so I can click on this and what you're looking for is I'm going to zoom in a little bit, you can see these little anchor points here, I've got these things called handles that pop out these little handles influence the way the line goes through. So your curvature tools, putting these in automatically, they're always there. But the curvature tool just kind of hide them away because they're a bit nerdy but when we get to a point where we want kind of some fine adjustment, the nerdiness helps. So what we might do is you can see here this curve doesn't actually go through the line properly. Okay, so I might have to move the anchor points. What influences the line quite a bit though, Is these handles Okay? They kind of pull the line. Okay, watch this. If I grab one of the darker dots, you can kind of see if I'm pulling it in and out. Okay, to just the way the line works and I can move it left and right, Okay, so it kind of influences it like gravity. So I'm going to do is kind of like drag it down here. This anchor point probably needs a bit of work down here, this one's gonna move around so you can do some finer adjustment now on this one, drag it down, you can drag it in towards itself as well. Most people forget that you can do that. Okay, so in close to it, you can see it's actually quite a tight curve. Okay, and the further out it comes, the more kind of exaggerated that curve is there's going to be a little bit of finesse that goes in this now. Don't sweat it for your first version. Okay, we're not going to make this absolutely perfect and we're looking for just that kind of a general understanding of the curvature tool even though I'm clearly in front of you trying to tidy this up. Perfect. Okay, so we're going to leave it there and what you might find is that you've put into little, okay, Say you've not got enough curves and what you can do back with a curvature tool here is let's say we've got too many. I know we do down here, there's kind of like four in this road here. You can just hover above them. Okay? And you can click on them and just hit delete key and just get rid of them. I'm going to click on this guy and the delete key can it just gets rid of them? The same thing to add them. You actually not actually just kind of hover above and see the curvature tool changes to have this little plus here. Okay, you say I want to add one there, okay then I can go to my, I can move it by just using this. Okay? And then if I want to make adjustments again back to the white arrow, you I said don't worry about it and I spend the next two minutes worrying about it. All right, so that's gonna be it for this guy. Let's leave him and move on to the next thing because the curvature tool is awesome, but it does curves. So I'm going back to the curvature tool, I'll make this crown here and if I click once click, once again click once again like it's not going to work right? It's trying to do curves over its cool, looks like kind of like a lily pad thing but it's not what I want. So you can use the curvature tool to do kind of straight corners, it's quite easy. All you need to do is double click for a corner. Okay, so double click, double click your mouse, Double click your mouse. Double click your mouse. Double click your mouse, you get the picture if you forget and click once and like oops I forgot to do the double click, you can just go back and double click it okay and it converts it back to a corner. So one click is a curve like we've already done double click it and it goes back to a corner. Double click double click, double click and back to the beginning. Remember that little circle that we're looking for? Okay, nice. Alright, so that's how to do curves. Our very average looking alien and our very simple looking crown which is corners and we use that by double clicking now Ninja time. Okay, Ninja has curves and corners and this is more typical of what you're going to be doing, right? So I'm gonna zoom out a little bit. Okay, so what I'd like to do is a mixture of both. So I'm going to work through it with you okay? And we'll start down the bottom here and work our way up. So you've got to kind of just ask yourself the question until it becomes more of a habit. Just ask yourself, is this a double click or is this a single click? So is this a corner or a curve? This thing here is a corner, like an edgy corner thing. Shop. Okay, so double click now and if I this is a curve here, remember where is the apex? It's kind of it's only a small curve but it's about there. So I click once for a corner or double click for a corner, that's right, ones for a corner. Okay now this guy in here you can kind of see it's doing the curve. Nice. Now this but here is our corner. Okay, it's a nice sharp change of direction and double click up here. Double click click our crown. Double click. Double click. You might be tempted to go all the way across here but no we've got to address this curve here. Okay, and it's clicking once because it's a cool curve here. Sharp corner. Double take now a circle remember needs like at least four points. So 123, let's give that a go. So let's go one there, one there, don't worry about it, you know, it's like it's not quite working but then if you come around oh look at that, it's looking good and then back to here and you're like oh whoops, I click once and I got a curve again, what do we do? We double click it and it goes back to a corner, click once for a curve. Double click for a corner, don't look like for a corner. This is a tricky one because you're like where's the curve? There's the curve out there, say click once there for a call as freaky double click here for straight line Okay, and a double click here, it's kind of a weird one right because there's kind of a curve and then a straight line let's go to here curve. Double click for corner back to beginning looking for that circle and we have some sort of some sort of like squat ninja, he's he's like lego ninja or something. Anyway let's have a look at doing this inside one because that's I guess an interesting one as well the circles, we could just use the lips till I realized but we're not going to because we are learning the curvature tool and just like at the beginning we did the I it's just four clicks because they're all curves and we do in all corners, it's pretty cool hard, they're pretty good circles now this guy here, so I'm going to start this curve because that's clearly a curve okay and then go around to here and this is one of those tricky ones again where there's a curve finishing and a straight line starting and I know that because it's curved there. We've got the curved part that's what's making the line curved. Now here I want to double click. Okay, I'm gonna double click to get a straight line over here, click once for kev and double click for a line. You can see this, you're like, it's not working. It's because we haven't finished the line yet. Okay, so double click here to get a straight line and then back to once you can see here it's going to work click once for a curve. Okay. It's a little bit of I guess experience that comes along with knowing some of these more exaggerated lines. But if you're thinking like why didn't he just grabbed the rectangle tool and then grab the black arrow and do that because that's exactly what I would do. But we're learning the curvature tool. Okay, so we draw ellipses and we'd probably do that for the center. Let's have a look at the next one. Actually we're not gonna have a look at the next one. You're going to do this one by yourself. Okay. I want you to see if you can do this owl. Okay. I want you to do them. I want you to color them and I'd like to see an image of it. So stick it in the comments or in the projects. I want you to see how this all goes and yeah, you can fancy em up if you like or just do it nice and simple. A nice, simple icon given some color. And yeah, I'd love to see this guy to prove that you've done it. And if you're up for it, let's color them all. Okay, you can do some sort of ninja alien montage. Okay, so I'd love to see what you've done with these. And yeah, we're going to move onto the next exercise.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Exercise Files
Completed Files

Ratings and Reviews

Roz Fruchtman

BIG COMPLAINT... I'm just starting this course. I have Illustrator CS6. My BIG/HUGE Complaint and I only watched 2 1/2 brief lessons... Is that the FiVRR LOGO (top right) is RIGHT ON TOP of the Illustrator Panels and YOU CANNOT SEE what is under it. IF one is just learning, they need to see what everything looks like in Illustrator (or any class). I STRONGLY suggest that FIVRR and CreativeLive find a better place to put the FIVRR Logo instead of putting it where it BLOCKS ESSENTIAL course visuals! Not sure I can get through this, but I'm not giving up quite yet. I like the course previews and IF I can learn how to get around Illustrator I will be thrilled... I am a Photoshop person, and Illustrator makes me feel like an incompetent! ;) Perhaps IF I can learn Illustrator I can use it for some of the visuals I create! Thanks in advance. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE find a better place and size for the Fivrr Logo. ~Roz Fruchtman aka @RozSpirations

Christi Peace

This class is AMAZING!! Daniel is a very thorough, entertaining and easy to follow instructor. You DO NOT need to take any college course on Illustrator because this is the whole thing right here!! You will be a pro once you complete it. I only wish that Creative Live could send me a diploma for it once I complete it! BUY THIS CLASS! IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY!!


Such a great course! Daniel made learning easy and fun. Can't wait to go on to the Illustrator Mastery course next!

Student Work