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How to draw using Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator?

Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Pen Tool seems to be scary for beginners but with the help of this tutorial and with some practice you will find it smooth to draw with Pen Tool.

Let’s launch illustrator, create a document and start the tutorial.

·         Drawing a Line

Click on Pen tool in the Tool panel or Press P on your keyboard. ‘P’ is the shortcut key for Pen Tool.

Now move your pointer on the artboard. You will see a pen shape cursor and a star (*) sign at the bottom of the cursor. Click to place an anchor point and move the cursor straight to draw a line.

If you find it difficult to draw a straight line then press Shift key while moving your cursor to draw a line. Shift key will help you to draw a straight line. Now click on your mouse and your straight line is drawn.

This line segment is called Path and the two points; starting and ending; are called Anchor Points.

·         Drawing a Curved Line

Select the Pen Tool and click on the artboard to place the anchor point. After placing the anchor point move the cursor away from the anchor point and with the help of left click, move your cursor up or down to form a curve.

When you will click left, you will see a line on the second anchor point. This line is called Handles. They help in changing the path.

To change the path or to change the shape, click on the anchor point of the path which you want to change and press and hold Alt key along with left click and move the handles in the direction which provides you your desired shape.

See in the below image how the shape of the path has been changed with the help of Handles.

·         Adding an Anchor Point

To add a new anchor point to the existing path, first select the artwork and then move your cursor on the Pen tool and right click. Select Add Anchor Point Tool and place the cursor on the path where you want to add new anchor point. Now click to add the anchor point.

The Alternative way of adding the anchor point is that when you create a path and place the cursor on that path you will see a plus (+) sign at the bottom of the cursor. When this sign appears that means that you can add a new anchor point. Click on your mouse and the anchor point will be added.

·         Removing an Anchor Point

Removing an anchor point is as simple as adding an anchor point. Select the artwork and Right click on Pen Tool in the Tool Panel and select Delete Anchor Point Tool. Place the cursor on the anchor point which you wish to delete. Click on the mouse and the anchor point will be deleted. You can even delete a path with this tool by deleting its anchor points.

This also has an alternative way. Select Pen Tool and place your cursor on the anchor point you will notice at the star (*) sign at the bottom of the cursor has changed to a minus (-) sign. When this minus sign appears click on the anchor point and it will be deleted.

NOTE: To add an Anchor point you will click on Path and to delete an Anchor point you will click on existing Anchor point.

·         Closing a Path

To draw a closed shape you need to close the path. Closing a path means to came back to the starting point.

I personally prefer to draw a close ended path because color is properly filled in the closed paths.

While drawing any shape when you reach at the starting point there will be a small circle sign at the bottom of the cursor. That small circle sign indicates the closing of the path.

Practice Time

In my previous tutorials, we had drawn few shapes with the help of Shape Tool. Now try to draw those shapes with the help of Pen Tool and draw other beautiful shapes too.

Don’t forget to share this tutorial with others.


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