This is the fifth tutorial in the Illustrator Beginner’s series. We’ve already covered placing sketches,using the Pen tool,tracing sketches with the Pen tool and making symmetrical vector files. This lesson covers using the Ellipse tool to make eyes.
Here’s my sketch. You can either work on the same layer as the leaf shape or create a new one to work on for the eyes. If you want a refresher on using layers, you can refer to the first tutorial.
Many times, I’ll just use the oval as is, but let’s make it a little more difficult by using the Direct Section tool to adjust the curves. You may want to zoom in on your oval to adjust it. Z on your keyboard will bring up the Zoom tool. If you click on the artboard with the Zoom tool, it will zoom in a set amount. This is kind of tedious, so I usually use it by clicking and dragging a box around the area I want to zoom in on. I think this is a much easier way to use it. To zoom out, hold down the Option/Alt key. You’ll notice the tooltip changes from zoom + to zoom -. Again, this will only zoom you out in increments. I like to use View > Fit in Window or Command/Control 0.
Alright, back to the Direct Select tool… I click on the line of the oval with the Direct Selection tool. The line lights up and I can see all the anchor points and handles. I start by clicking on the left middle anchor point and pulling it down a little. This makes my eyeball a little more bottom heavy and egg shaped. Next I grab the top left handle of the top anchor point and move it in or closer toward the anchor. If I hold down Shift while I’m moving it, it will only move in one direction. Then, I do the same with the right handle.
You’ll probably have to move the eye a little after it flips to get it in position. Hold down the Shift key when you move them like before, so the eye only moves in one direction. Or you can use the arrow keys to nudge it over. Here are the eyes with the leaf shape. Next, it is on to the mouth and the stem.