This fun video tutorial demonstrates how to draw snowflakes in Illustrator using strokes and the rotate tool.
One of the most useful shortcuts you can learn in Illustrator is how to use the Rotate Tool effectively so you can make copies of an object as you rotate it around a center point.
Watch the video to see my Illustrator Rotate Tool technique and shortcuts in action!
Here are some of the keyboard shortcuts I use in the process of making these Illustrator snowflakes:
Smart guides: (a must for precision!) command/control u
Turn off “Scale Strokes and Effects” in Preferences so that you can scale strokes, changing their length, while leaving their stroke weight untouched. To open preferences: command/control k.
The Rotate Tool shortcut is R. Once you have the Rotate Tool active, click anywhere to change the rotation axis.
Hold Shift as you rotate, and the rotation angle will snap to 45 degree increments. Hold option/alt to copy as you rotate.
Or, if you need something other than a 45 or 90 degree angle, get the Rotate Tool from the Tool Panel and hold option/alt as you click to set the rotation axis. Then, enter your settings in the dialog box.
At the end of the video I demonstrate expanding the strokes and using the Pathfinder to merge them into a single snowflake path. A path like this is perfect for using in Pattern Editing Mode to create a snowflake pattern in Illustrator.