Shapes and things

It’s amazing what you can do with some squares and circles. Also my new favourite Illustrator feature = pathfinder tool. You can make anything with it! It reminds me somewhat of a how-to-draw book I stole extensively borrowed from my elementary school library (I did return it after a year or so). Almost any drawing can be reduced to basic shapes, and then recreated. I find it’s much easier to understand art if you can understand how the individual elements work together to make up the whole.

The Task: Import an image (one of three) into Illustrator and recreate it using only the shape tool – in conjuction with the pathfinder window and optional warping.

The Problem: It’s not as easy as it looks: once you’ve made several shapes into one, you can no longer edit them individually. And different-coloured shapes are made the same colour if combined using the pathfinder tool.

The Strategy: Divide and conquer. Or more like group-and-conquer.
From the options of key, scissors and lightbulb, I selected lightbulb and got to work. The bulb itself is a circle and a hexagon combined, with a little warping at the bottom to smooth the edges. The base of the bulb is several rounded rectangles with another hexagon at the bottom (well, 2 if you count the clipping mask).

The Result(s):

Original

Do black/white/grey count as colours?

Lookin' cheery!

I’m rather attached to my lightbulb; it’s very traditional and incandescent – defying the modern CFL’s in every way. How many lightbulbs does it take to make me a fan of the Pathfinder tool? Just one.

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