Draw a One-Stroke Heart in Illustrator

February is the month of love and June is for weddings – both times when you might want to draw a heart. Rather than drawing hearts in Illustrator using a circle, converting points and using adjustment handles to get it just right. Here's a fast, easy way to get a perfect heart every time using the pen tool and one three-click stroke.

Getting Started

Choosing the Options screenshot

Sara Froehlich

Go to View > Show Grid, then to View > Snap to GridSet a stroke color, but no fill color. Choose the Pen tool in the toolbox and use the default options shown there.

Drawing the Stroke

Drawing the Stroke screenshot

Sara Froehlich

Draw a shape like this using the pen tool and the grid to guide you. Click once at point ​1, point 2, then point 3.

Changing the Stroke Size

Using the Stroke Panel screenshot

Sara Froehlich

Increase the stroke size in the Stroke panel until you see what looks like a square rotated 45 degrees with a small piece missing from the top corner. You'll need an 80 point stroke to draw a heart half this size. Adjust your stroke size as necessary. 

Setting Caps and Corners

Setting Caps and Corners screenshot

Sara Froehlich

Change the cap style to Round Cap – the middle option – in the Stroke panel. If your heart's lower point doesn't look like this, set the Corner Style to the first option, Miter Join. And there you have it: an almost instant heart! Now we'll change the color. 

Changing the Heart Color

Changing the Heart Color screenshot

Sara Froehlich

You can use any of the stroke options to change the color because the heart is a stroke. Change to a color other than black using the Swatches or Color Picker, or choose a stroke pattern or gradient from the Swatch panel.

Converting the Heart Stroke to a Filled Shape

Converting the Heart Stroke to a Filled Shape screenshot

Sara Froehlich

Converting the heart to a traditional shape with a stroke and fill is easy, too. Just go to Object > Expand. Check Fill and Stroke and click OK. After you click OK, you'll no longer see the stroke when the heart is selected. 

Editing the Heart Shape

Editing the Heart Shape screenshot

Sara Froehlich

Use the Stroke and Brushes panels to set stroke and brush options, and the Swatches panel to set fill options for gradients, patterns or solid colors.