Are we supposed to draw a line in Adobe Illustrator?

Since November, i have been trying to use a xp-pen tablet and pen to draw over my comics.
Figuring the Adobe Illustrator might be a great program to do this, i decided to use this.
I guess have been reading too much info on adobe help an other sites were im confused.
every line i draw, the line defaults to white fill with the the black outline at 1pt and these orange lines to “who knows what” happens.

i guess i need a yes or no answer if we are allowed to draw on one layer, color in the lower layer.

Yes, of course.

As for the default line weight and shape fill, you can change them to anything you’d like. You can set up layers and, if you’d like, keep all your black lines on the top layer and all the colored shapes beneath them. I’ve played around with tablets and pressure sensitive pens, but I’m not an illustrator and I found no particular use for them. You, however, could use a pressure sensitive pen to control the width of, say, the blub brush.

Illustrator isn’t like drawing things by hand. It requires a reset in one’s thinking and a different way of approaching the problem. Duplicating your style of illustration using a vector drawing application will be difficult — not impossible, but not an entirely good fit. Photoshop might be better suited for it.

I’m pretty good friends with a successful editorial cartoonist. He still sketches out the basics by hand, scans it in, then draws over everything in Photoshop with a drawing tablet using various layers to keep all the elements separate (like the black lines from the colors beneath).

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THANKS YOU!!- this answer is what i was looking for!
i used to pencil draw my comics, scan them into an iPad, redraw, color, type text, export as PSD until the iPad broke in December, im so far ahead of schedule im looking for an alternative.
Photoshop is great for what i do, i thought the way of illustrating them in illustrator was more professional. I got that nice chisel pen stroke i need in Ai, but have that default filling thing.
for the life of me i will not know, or will never know what a vector is. i have art that is vector, but don’t know why. my brain does not work that well at times. rasterize is another term that just never embedded into this brain as well.

i figured something out: this is still rough but better.

At its core, Illustrator (or any vector drawing application) draws lines, geometric shapes and fills those shapes with color. That’s basically it — beyond that it’s just permutations of those core abilities. The code underlying a vector drawing is built around geometry and algebra. It’s not at all a painterly or organic approach to drawing.

It’s great for typography, logos, page layouts and similar purposes that are basically, just hard-edged shapes filled with color.

Your work is looser. Illustrator is tight and precise. Your work looks hand-drawn. Illustrator excels at creating geometric objects.

So trying to create something in a hand-drawn style in Illustrator is a bit of a battle against what Illustrator is best at. It’s doable to an extent, but the more one pushes Illustrator in that direction, the more difficult it becomes to cut across the grain or pedal into the wind.

Illustrator can easily draw a perfectly straight line, a perfect circle and fill that circle with a precise color, which are things not easily doable with hand-drawn artwork. Conversely, it’s difficult to use Illustrator to simulate a hand-drawn look.

Just for the sake of an analogy, a cello produces a rich, emotional, complex sound, whereas a computer can easily produce a perfectly clear tone at a single precise frequency. A cello can’t do that, but today’s computers have a great deal of difficulty simulating the complex timbre of a cello.

I’ve seen lots of illustrators struggle with learning vector programs. Their brains are wired to draw things by hand and they get frustrated that a vector-based computer drawing application just won’t do what they want it to do. Assuming they don’t give up and they work at it long enough, one of two things tend to happen: (1) they get pretty good at difficult workarounds and using the programs to do things that don’t look at all like something done in Illustrator or (2) their style begins to morph into something that plays into Illustrator’s strengths rather than its weaknesses.


I will add that if you get a chance … try Manga Studio. I believe it’s called Clip Studio now. It’s fantastic for drawing comics. And when it comes to solid, smooth lines … it’s fantastic. Especially when you want them to trail off. I’ve yet to get Photoshop to make a smooth trailed off point. (but that could just be user error) :wink:


thanks for these replies, i really appreciate the detailed explanations on Ai and info on other alternatives. I thought i was doing something wrong.

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There is always more than one way to skin a cat so to speak :wink: LOL

I drew this in Manga Studio with my mouse and colored it in Photoshop. I did several pieces like this because I never could get the hang of Illustrator. And since I didn’t need it vector … why not :wink:



that illustration came out excellent! did you create the lines and face parts?
the illustrator project is getting better, i need more getting used to using that.

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All line work done in Manga Studio which includes all the hair. Then I tossed it over to Photoshop and colored in the face. :slight_smile:

thanks again for the feedback, I checked out their website last night but did not do anything.
somehow this morning i just subconsciously started drawing and coloring a comic i just sketched in Krita and the process is going very well and needed to thank you for the advice.

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