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Interlocking Hearts in Illustrator CS - Page 1
By Sara Froehlich

Drawing the heart

Step 1. With Valentine's Day just around the corner I thought hearts would be appropriate. First we'll draw the perfect heart in a few steps, then we will see how to interlock two hearts. To begin, start a new document.

  1. Turn on the Rulers (View > Rulers). Right click on the ruler to set the unit of measurement and choose pixels. I chose pixels since we are working for the web.
  2. Now go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and set Gridline Every to 36 px and Subdivisions to 1.
  3. Turn on the Grid (View > Grid) to use as a visual aid.
  4. Go to View > Snap to Grid so the tools will snap to the grid. This will make it easier to be accurate while we draw the heart.
  5. My colors are set to the default white fill and black stroke.

Step 2. Select the ellipse tool from the tool box. Place the cursor on an intersection point of the grid. Hold the option key (Mac) or alt key (Windows) and click once to open the ellipse options. Holding the opt/alt key will make the circle draw from the center; the center of the circle will be exactly where the cursor was when you opened the ellipse tool options.

Enter 288 for both width and height, then click OK. Because we chose pixels for unit of measurement, Illustrator will use pixels automatically. A 288 px by 288 px circle will appear on the page. You now have four anchor points joining curved line segments.

If you want to see the center point you will have to turn it on. To do this, go to Window > Attributes to open the Attributes palette, and click either the Show Center button Show Center button or the Don't Show Center button Don't Show Center button . This is a matter of preference.

circle

Step 3. In the pen tool flyout, choose the convert point tool. Right now you have four curved points. We need a couple corner points instead to make the circle into a heart.

pen tool flyout

Step 4. Click the bottom anchor point of the circle once with the convert point tool to covert it to a corner point. If you have Smart Guides enabled, when you hover the cursor over the point a small label will appear that indicates it is an anchor point. Smart Guides are a lot of help but they can also be annoying so you can turn them off and on at anytime using View > Smart Guides.

corner point

Step 5. Change to the Direct Selection tool (A) and click on the top anchor point and drag it down two squares. It might be easier if you have the fill turned off. To do this, make sure fill is the active square in the color boxes on the toolbox (that is, the fill square is on top), and click the none button under the color boxes. It's a white square with a red line across it.

move center

The anchor point has two handles extending from it. Moving these handles will adjust the curve between the the top and side anchor points. (The two vertical handles extending upward in the screenshot are from the side anchor points.)

handles

Continued on Page 2

©2005 Sara Froehlich

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