Swish in Illustrator

    ●   This tutorial introduces you to the very important and occasionally confusing Pathfinder Tool.

    ●   You will interact with this tool over and over again and it can be very useful. But that doesn't mean it's easy to understand. So just keep an open mind and know that you're not going to get it all at once.

Learn About:

Pathfinder Tool Duplicate a Shape Transform Perspective

• This tutorials is part of the Shadow Life, LogoLicious, Project Re-Design, CD Cover, and other projects …

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator

    ●   If you are working on the
CD Cover Project open that ...

    ●   OR, if you are working on the
Picture Perfect Project
open that ...




   ●   OR, if you are working on
Shadow Life Project open that ...

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



Step #2: New Layer ~

Make a New Layer, and lock your other layers.

Drag the New Layer behind your object.

Step #3: Ellipse Tool ~

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

… choose a Fill color and turn the stroke color off.

Holding Shift (⇧)shift key click and drag to make a perfect circle.




Holding shift constrains the circle so it stays perfectly round.


Step #4: Duplicate the Circles ~

Using the Selection Tool hold the Alt (⌥)/Option key Click-and-Drag to make copies.

Step #5: Transform the Shape ~

Get the Free Transform Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (e) …

… drag one of the center points on either side and stretch it out. Hold Alt (⌥) while you pull to see what it does.

Step #6: Free Transform Tool ~

Using the Free Transform Tool again and rotate the shape, also.

Step #7: Pathfinder Tool ~

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

… select both shapes with the Selection Tool …

… go to: Window > Pathfinder

… and select Minus Front.

Step #8: Transform Perspective ~

Get the Free Transform Tool again and grab one of the corner handles by clicking and holding - but don't move it yet. Just hold it.

Then hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘) key ctrl key and you should be able to transform the perspective …

This step is a bit tricky and you may need several attempts at it. Take some time to learn this technique, it can be very handy.

Step #9: Duplicate, Colors and Perspectives ~

Now, using your skills to duplicate, transform and rotate objects, create something beautiful.

Step #10: Effects ~

Select everything by hitting Cmd(⌘)+A and go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow

… and try other Effects also!

Experiment! Take a risk!

Last Step: Save your Project and Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save your work as -]

save as an ai

Attach it and keep working …

  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this:


  •   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: