How to Make Seashells in Illustrator

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Making seashells in Illustrator will require the careful use of a few different tools. Make seashells in Illustrator with help from a well versed web, graphic and illustrative designer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Adobe Illustrator Tutorials
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Alex Cecilio. I'm a Graphic Artist; I'm going to show you how to make a seashell in Illustrator. So, what we're going to do ideally is, I'm going to start off with a circle in ellipse and you can just go up to the left side of your screen and press the ellipse tool or you can just push L. And then, you're going to select the direct selection tool. Now, what this does is it will allow you to select a specific anchor point. So, I'm just going to draw little square on the bottom and just push delete and that's going to get rid of this little down right here. And then, you can use the pen tool and just make sure that's selected and make, just click on an anchor and then, get, go to the midpoint and just kind of like make a curve line like that. And this just to create the basic outline of the shape 'cause what we're actually going to do is add some, some little bumps to it to make it look a little bit more realistic. And then, you can transform, reflect, and then the, and make an identical; and so, already you can see this shape. So, this is kind of the shape we're going for. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to make little ellipses like this. And actually, you really only need to make and just do the same thing that we did before with these little square. Delete, and then, you can mess around with this and make it a little more stretched out if you want, more shapely; I'm going to do that. And then, you can, and then make sure you remember when you're moving those points to have the direct selection tool. But, the selection tool is the one I'm going to pick right now 'cause I've already finished doing that in the hold down option and just drag it and what we're going to do is actually put it on top of this and I'm actually going to copy this by pushing command C, select both command C, delete it and then put on a new layer, a new layer button, just right there. And then, we have, and I'm going to lock this and the reason I'm locking this is just to make it so it's easier to, to draw on top of it. On, and then select, and unlock it, and then select, just drag over the whole thing, go to object group, that way you can move it and it won't come apart. And then, you wan to lock it and then you just need to start putting, putting these little guys on there. And you can rotate anyway you want and have it look however you wish. And sometimes, these little grid lines or these boxes can get in the way; so, if you go to view, we can go to hide bump, the bounding box. It just gets rid of it so you have a little bit more room to, to work and, you know, see what you're doing 'cause that can get a little frustrating. And then, some of these, because the shell is not shaped directly across, it's got a, a curved pattern, we're going to want to make sure that we mess around with these little bumps so that they kind of fit the form of a shell. And you just want to keep doing that and then you can rotate that and just keep moving and you can hold and move the anchor points so that they're a little more stretched out and others. Alright. And then, I'm going to make one more and then, we're going to copy and paste it. And in this case, I'm actually going to put the bounding boxes back just because it can get a little confusing if you're trying to rotate it. Show bounding box and then rotate that a little bit; maybe make it a little smaller. Put that there and click, drag this anchor point. Alright. So, there we have the beginning of this shape. Go ahead and unlock this; I'm going to lock this side or this layer and then, I'm going to drag and just make sure that you get the top. So, that way you still have this bottom shape. And you can just copy and paste, literally copy and paste like, just drag over, hold down option, drag it and then you can trick, do that again. We're going to right click or control, transform, reflect. So, reflect it; we'll get rid of this little guy and then, you can just move that anyway you want to. And then, this is going to look a little strange and since we locked it, I'm going to unlock that and you're just going to move your anchor point like that. And already you have your basic shell shape. So, what I'm going to do is add, you can just add some lines with your pen tool. And you can see it's already getting that shell shape. Just make sure every once in awhile to just stop and click off of the pen tool because that can get a little frustrating for sure. It'll start to cross pads and you don't want that. And voila! There you have a very simple shell. And my name is Alex and this is creating a shell in Illustrator. Thank you.


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