How to Draw a Lighthouse in Illustrator

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Drawing a lighthouse in Illustrator might be easier if you use a visual aid of a real lighthouse as a guide. Draw a lighthouse in Illustrator with help from a well-versed web, graphic and illustrative designer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Using Adobe Illustrator
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Alex Cecilio. I'm a graphic artist and I'm going to show you how to draw a lighthouse in Illustrator. So the first thing I'm going to want to do is a lighthouse has this kind of bent shape so I'm just going to create a slightly bent line with the pen tool and you're going to want to make sure that you use the pen tool for this part. You don't have to, you can also make, with the line tool you can also just you know, you can do that as well but I'm going to try to stay a little more true to the lighthouse. So I've created this shape and you're going to want to hold down option and just copy it right over and then you can right click, go to transform and reflect. Make sure you do a vertical reflection and so now you've got this reflection and you can adjust it a little bit which is what I'm going to do, just so it's a little bit more true to the lighthouse shape and just make sure these are lined up and I think they're lined up. Okay, so to close off the shape I'm going to join the path and how you do this is make sure that you select the direct selection tool and click on your path, click the anchor that you want, hold down shift and hold down the anchor of the point that you want it to be connected to and go to object, path, join and this will just join those two anchor points. I'm going to do the same on the bottom so object, path, join and so now you've got this basic shape and so then make sure you select the direct selection, I'm sorry the selection tool, not the direct selection tool, just draw a rectangle over your shape, go to object group. And so now when you move your shape it won't break apart. Alright so here we have the base of the lighthouse and now we're going to draw just the little lip that lives on top of most lighthouses and I'm just going to make it a little bit more to the left and you know, it doesn't have to be exact but you know, if you want it to be true to a lighthouse definitely make it more exact. And so now I'm going to draw a rectangle and the way you draw a rectangle is just go to the left, select the rectangle tool or you can push M and I'm just going to draw a little rectangle on top and so now you've got your, the top part. Okay so here comes a tricky part but I'm going to make it so that it's not so tricky. Just make sure you have the rectangle tool again, draw a little rectangle right on the top like that and then just, if it's not exact just, you can move it over a little bit. Okay so here comes the tricky part. We're going to use the pen tool and we're going to make the top and the top is kind of, usually in a lighthouse the top is kind of a bent shape. So we're going to use the pen tool and just select the anchors of your rectangles, the two and you're just going to draw this kind of shape and what this is going to do is make the top of your lighthouse and you can go back in and use the direct selection tool and just drag your anchor points over if you know it's not you know ideal to the shape you want and then go back to the rectangle tool and you can draw a little nub on the top and if, suppose you don't like how this looks you're going to want to select this top little nub and then you're line again. And you're going to want to go to pathfinder but if your pathfinder window isn't open in my case it is, but I'm going to pretend it's not, go to window, pathfinder and this little window will pop up. And so when you've got this selected, just select the option unite and this will make it so that this is one shape as opposed to two shapes. So we've already got the basic structure of this lighthouse, now I'm going to just take the rectangle tool again and draw another rectangle underneath, just to make it look more realistic. Okay so most lighthouses tend to have a stripe or some kind of colored kind of twirl on its body. So I'm just going to make a little band across it and all I did was use the pen tool and then I'm going to take this out and do what we did before by holding down option. You're just going to pull it down and then use this and just join these two and there you have your band so then we can, we'll make it red and we'll, and so then you're just going to draw a rectangle over it, go to object group like we did before and that way it will stay the shape that you want. Okay so this part you're just going to want to select the direct selection tool and select some anchor points on your shape and so I'm going to select this little anchor point right here and whoops, I'm going to use a different mouse and just drag it so that it fits right onto your lighthouse. And if you want in the end to, and I'm going to zoom out, so there you've got your lighthouse shape and if you want to make it a little thicker you can. In this case I'm going to, and so here's your, and most lighthouses actually have this little fence kind of thing on the top so I'm just going to make sure your stroke is filled in and not your fill, just the stroke. So select whatever color you're deciding to make your lighthouse. In my case I'm just going to make it a black line, hold down shift and just drag the line across and then you can connect that line just like I'm doing here and then if you want to just zoom in you can draw a couple more lines just to make that fence look a little bit more realistic and so I'm just going to, and actually a way simpler way to do this is just to select these guys, hold down option and just drag them and there you have your kind of fence look and I'm going to zoom out. And then, but for the last finishing touches of this lighthouse I'm going to add some like a light, just to make it more realistic. So I'm going to add another layer and then switch these so that now my stroke is empty and my fill is full of color and just select you know, whatever color you want the light and you can draw your light. And then you can copy it and transform, reflect, do a vertical reflection and put it right there. And actually what you can do is copy these when you're done, delete it and then put it on the layer below so that way your shape will still show but you'll still also have the light and then I'll fill this guy with some black and there you have your basic lighthouse shape. My name is Alex and this is how you make a lighthouse in Illustrator. Thank you.

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