Drawing an Impossible Trident in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke sets out to create/trace the Impossible Trident illusion in Adobe Illustrator. You know, this thing, also, named by Mad Magazine the “POIUY.” I have no idea pwhy.

While the visual is busy bending your mind, you’ll be learning some key (and dare I say actually useful) Illustrator skills:

How to trace a template. (Which you can download below to practice on your own.

The tracing template for the impossible triangle

How to make, rotate, and copy ellipses.

Three elipses drawn in Adobe Illustrator

How to trace the “top” (is it? I don’t know, my mind is forked) section and troubleshoot overlapping points and snapping errors.

The traced top of the illusion

How to continue tracing without entirely losing your forking mind.

The traced fork with the back edge selected

And finally, if you’re a member of LinkedIn Learning, how to add the gradients that further enhance (if you want to call it that) the illusion.

Deke’s Techniques, showing you how it can’t possibly work.

Related downloads

  • Tracing Template for the Impossible Trident

Next entry:Painting Paths with Opposing Gradients

Previous entry:Creating Rainbow Gradients with Blends in Adobe Illustrator


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