Illustrator ellipse tool

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Ellipse tool in Adobe Illustrator is a very versatile tool, and as can be seen from the screenshot here, can be used to create a variety of shapes. We explore it fully in our Illustrator courses.Illustrator-ellipse
The Ellipse tool was used to make most of the frog card image here. We’ve highlighted the ellipses in red. First of all, the tool was selected from the basic shapes set in the Toolbox on the left of the interface. Click and drag to create the frog’s head. The two eyes were created in a similar fashion, but for the eyeballs, we press Shift to create a perfect circle. Shift tends to constrain width and height in Adobe programs.
If you need to create a circle of particular size, first select the Ellipse tool, then click on the screen to open its dialog box – see screenshot. You then punch in the sixes and hit OK to create a circle of that size.
The mouth was created first by an ellipse, then we select the top anchor point with the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow). Then simply hit Delete on your keyboard to transform the circle into a semi-circle. Easy!
The ladybird was also created using the Ellipse tool, again pressing Shift to create a perfect circle. But we then need to cut it in half. There are various methods for this, but we used the Knife tool. And then changed the front half to a black fill colour. The eyes and spots are also ellipses, of course.
To create the flight path of the bug, we first create or copy one of the black dots. Then drag it into the Brushes panel. Illustrator then asks you what kind of brush you want to create – in this case it’s a Pattern brush (as in a repeat pattern). You then create a path with the Pen or Pencil tool and click on your new brush. If you need to edit the spacing or colour, just double-click on the brush in the panel to open its properties.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes