example

Summary:

Spiral Swirl in Illustrator

    ●  Create fancy spiral swirls in Illustrator using the Spiral Tool.


Learn About:

Spiral Tool in IllustratorScissors Tool Reshape Tool Rotate Tool Pathfinder Brushes

  •   This tutorial is part of the Free Trade Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR CURRENT PROJECT in Illustrator

 

 

… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …


Step #2: Spiral Tool ~

Grab the Spiral Tool which is behind the Line Segment Tool …

… and drag out a spiral on the artboard.

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Step #3: Adjust your Spiral ~

It's difficult to predict what the Spiral Tool is going to do. For instance, what if the Spiral is going the wrong direction? Click once on the artboard with the Spiral Tool to bring up the dialogue box and you can make your adjustments there …

… also, while you drag out a spiral, hold to make the spiral wider.

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Step #4: Rotate Tool ~

Now get the Rotate Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (r) …

rotate-tool.png

… and click the tip of the swirl.

click tip of swirl

Now, holding alt option key click and pull the end of the swirl.

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Step #5: Zoom and Join ~

Get the Zoom Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (z) …

zoom-tool-ai.png

… and draw a square around the connecting point to zoom in on that specific part.

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Now get the Direct Selection Tool direct selection tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut (a) and draw a square around the end points to select them …

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… then Right-Click and select Join.

join end points


Step #6: Weird Joint ~

Notice the weird pointy joint that now shows up. To get rid of that, get the Selection Tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut (v), selecting the shape with it

weird point

… and then click on Stroke in the menu bar …

stroke settings

… and change it to Round Join.

round join


Step #7: Scissors Tool ~

Zoom out and get the Scissors Tool scissors tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut (c) …

… and click the lines where you want them to end.

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Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

selection tool

… click the segments you want deleted and hit Delete.

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Step #8: Unite the Shapes ~

With the line segments still selected, go to: Object > Path > Join or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+j.

even swril

Then Fill your twirl with color.

fill twirl

Then go to: Object > Path > Outline Stroke

outline stoke

… and then go to: Window > Pathfinder or hit the keyboard shortcut: Shift+Cmd(⌘)+F9, and hit Unite.

pathfinder unite

This combines everything into one single shape.


Step #9: Ellipse Tool ~

Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… draw a small circle …

draw circle

… place the circle at the end of the spiral, select everything, open Pathfinder and click Unite or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+4 which is repeats the last Pathfinder function.

swirl circle


Step #10: Ellipse Tool ~

Now get the Spiral Tool spiral tool and drag another spiral again, and if you hold the shift key you can change the position of the spiral without letting up on the mouse …

… add or subtract segments by hitting up arrow or down arrow key arrow.


Step #11: Reshape Tool ~

Now get the Reshape Tool spiral tool which is behind the Scale Tool …

… and use it to adjust your shape.

Duplicate the shape with the Rotate Tool, and use a combination of all these tools and everything you've learned, finish your swirls …

Keep going! Make as many different swirls as you can. Change colors, opacity, shape, everything.

two swirls


Step #12: Install Custom Symbols ~

Now that you know how tough it is to make these swirls, download and install some that others have made by clicking here and open the Illustrator document …

illustrator document

… and open the Symbols panel to view your new symbols.

curly brushes

Click on the Symbols Libraries Menu

brush-libraries-menu-ai.png

… and save the Symbols as your name or whatever.

save brushes


Step #13: User Defined Symbols ~

Now you can use your symbols on other documents. Click on the Symbol Libraries Menu again, go down to User Defined - and open the custom symbols you created.

user defined symbols

Drag out a new symbol onto the artboard, and combine it with the one you made.


Step #14: Blending Mode ~

Click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and change the Blending Mode until you get something you like.

Also, experiment with lowering the Transparency (if necessary …)


Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as - FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME.ai]

Attach it!


  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:
FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME

 

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

 

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.


Other Resources: http://blog.lynda.com/2012/08/14/dekes-techniques-drawing-a-perfect-spiral-in-illustrator/