Make App Pie

Training for Developers and Artists

Draw Paths in UIViews

In a previous tip, I drew rectangles and circles in a UIView. This time, let’s add lines and curves using paths to draw some toast.

Download the playground I set up for you.  I set up my code to do all the drawing in the drawLines method. Go to the closure.

I set up a drawing frame size to be the entire frame size of the view. I also added a few points in the array to draw the toast.

  let drawPoints:[CGPoint] = [CGPoint(x: 300, y:300),CGPoint(x: 300, y: 500),CGPoint(x: 500, y: 500),CGPoint(x: 500, y: 300)]
        let imagerenderer = UIGraphicsImageRenderer(size: frame.size)

Before you draw, you should set a few properties. Start with color. For the fill color of our toast, I’ll add brown using the setFill method of UIColor.


Then I’ll add purple for a contrasting stroke color using the setStroke method of UIColor.


You can also set the shape of the line cap. You do that in the cgContext of the closure’s context.


I’ll do the same with the line join giving a slightly curved look to the joints at lines.


The foundation of the drawing is a path. You make a path and then draw that path. You start a new path with a beginPath


For the first point in our path, you move to a point. I’ll move to the first point in the array

context.cgContext.move(to: drawPoints[0])

To add a line you use the addLine method. This method specifies the point you are going to, using the current point as a start.

context.cgContext.addLine(to: drawPoints[1])

With one line, we can try out our line. Before we do, draw it first using the drawPath method. drawPath has a paramater using, which has several options for how to draw the path. I can fill the path, leave a stroke or both. I’ll start with the stroke.

context.cgContext.drawPath(using: .stroke)

Run this, and You’ll see a line in the live view.


I’ll add another line.

context.cgContext.addLine(to: drawPoints[2])

Once I have two lines I can startusing fills in drawpath. I’ll change to .fill

 context.cgContext.drawPath(using: .fill)

I’ll run again and get a triangle.

The path assumes the endpoint of the path is the beginning point for the fill. This triangle is still open though. To see the stroke better, I’ll make the line a bigger width. You use the setLineWidth method on cgContext, which I’ll get from the context in the closure. So add this, just above the beginPath line.


Change the drawPath to .fillStroke to draw a line and a stroke both.

 context.cgContext.drawPath(using: .fill)

Run again, and you’ll see the fill connects even if the shape is not closed.


I’ll add one more line:

context.cgContext.addLine(to: drawPoints[3])

Run this. We get a three lines around a filled square.

Next, I’ll add a quad curve, one of several curves. This one has a single control point found in the center of the point. I’m going to at first set it to the midpoint of the curve to make this a line.

context.cgContext.addQuadCurve(to: drawPoints[3], control: CGPoint(x: 400, y: 300))

Run this and you get a square.


The control point on a quad curve curves according to the position of the control point.  I’ll move the control point up 100 points.

context.cgContext.addQuadCurve(to: drawPoints[0], control: CGPoint(x: 400, y: 200))

Run again.

And you have a piece of toast. I’ve used Playgrounds here to allow for interactive design, but any UIView can use this technique. Explore lines and quad curves for a variety of applications.

One response to “Draw Paths in UIViews”

  1. Do WordPress support code snippets???

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: