The Pen tool is the most basic essential tool used to create vector graphics. With it we can draw smooth, precise lines, Bézier curves, and complex shapes. We can transform rough, tentative sketches into flowing vector contours. The great thing about vector images is that they won’t lose resolution or quality no matter at what size they are printed. The Pen tool is a tool used in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator and various other bitmap and vector graphics programs.
Most digital artists begin by using ‘Brush tool’ or ‘Pencil tool’ in their graphics programs. These tools are fairly intuitive, their function is very similar to using brushes and pencils in the real world. However, the ‘Pen tool’ is different in that is uses anchor points to create an exact path. The path is reshaped, not by erasing, but by manipulating these anchor points.
It can be difficult at the start, learning how to draw a series of lines and curves, when to click the mouse button once, or twice, or where to drag to create a curve segment. But with a bit of practice, you will learn to love the Pen tool, and never look back. I have compiled a list of tutorials that are great for honing in your skills using the ‘Pen tool’.
The following tutorials go from the basics to beginner to advanced. Some of the final images may not be what you are aiming at. But you will find that the principles, commands, and actions are indispensable for you in you journey to master the valuable ‘Pen Tool’.
Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide, tutorial by Ian Yates
Illustrator’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide, tutorial by Ian Yates
Essentials of the Pen and Pencil Tools, from AdobeTV
Adobe Illustrator Pen Tool Tutorial by Harry Hamernik