Using the Width tool
Not only can you adjust the weight of a stroke, as you did in Lesson 3, but you can alter regular stroke widths either by using the Width tool () or by applying width profiles to the stroke. This allows you to create a variable width along the stroke of a path. Next, you will use the Width tool to adjust the path you just reshaped.
Select the Width tool () in the toolbar. Move the pointer over the middle of the path you just reshaped, and notice that the pointer has a plus symbol next to it () when it’s positioned over the path. If you were to drag, you would edit the width of the stroke. Drag away from the line, to the right. Notice that, as you drag, you are stretching the stroke to the left and right equally. Release the mouse button when the measurement label shows Width at approximately 0.4 in.
You just created a variable stroke on a path, not a shape with a fill. The new point on the original path is called the width point. The lines extending from the width point are the handles.
Click in an empty area of the artboard to deselect the point.
Move the pointer anywhere over the path, and the width point you just created will appear (an arrow is pointing to it).
Move the pointer over the original width point, and when you see lines extending from it and the pointer changes (), drag it up and down to see the effect on the path.
In addition to dragging to reposition a width point, you can double-click and enter values in a dialog box. That’s what you’ll do next.
Move the pointer over the top anchor point of the path, and notice that the pointer has a wavy line next to it () and the word “anchor” appears (see the first part of the following figure). Double-click the point to create a new width point and to open the Width Point Edit dialog box.
In the Width Point Edit dialog box, change Total Width to 0 in, and click OK.
The Width Point Edit dialog box allows you to adjust the length of the width point handles, together or separately, with more precision. Also, if you select the Adjust Adjoining Width Points option, any changes you make to the selected width point affect neighboring width points as well.
Move the pointer over the bottom anchor point of the path, and double-click. In the Width Point Edit dialog box, change Total Width to 0 in, and click OK.
Move the pointer over the original width point. When the width point handles appear, drag one of them away from the center of the path to make it a little wider. Leave the path selected for the next section.
Change the Stroke color in the Properties panel to black.
Assemble the last dinosaur
To complete the dinosaur you see, you’ll drag and position the artwork you have worked on to this point.
Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.
With the Selection tool () selected, drag the aqua dinosaur head shape and the path you reshaped onto the dinosaur to the right. Leave the black reshaped path selected.
Choose View > Zoom In a few times to zoom in to the dinosaur.
Shift-drag the corner of the black path to make it smaller. Notice that the stroke weight is still the same even though the line is smaller. This happens by default. Change the stroke weight in the Properties panel to 19.
Drag it into the position you see in the figure for the next step.
To make a copy of the reshaped path, Option-drag (macOS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the eye to the other side. Release the mouse button and then the key.
In the Properties panel, click Flip Along Horizontal Axis to flip the shape.
Choose View > Fit All In Window.
Choose File > Save and then choose File > Close.