Save yourself time and frustration by learning what each drawing tool—including the Pen tool, Pencil tool, Curvature tool, Paintbrush tool and more—does best.

What you learned: Understand the different drawing tools in Illustrator

Illustrator has a wide variety of drawing tools found in the Tools panel, each allowing you to create in different ways. In this video, you’ll gain an understanding of the different drawing tools available.

Understand what the drawing tools create

All of the drawing tools create paths. Paths come in the form of a closed path like a square or circle, or an open path like a line. All paths—closed or open—are made up of anchor points, which can control the direction and shape of the path, and line segments (or paths) that connect those anchor points.

The Shaper tool

The Shaper tool is a great way to start by drawing a free-form shape, similar to drawing on paper with pencil, but Illustrator makes it a shape like you’d draw with one of the shape tools.

The Pencil tool

Found under the Shaper tool, the Pencil tool is for creating more free-form paths—similar to drawing on paper with a pencil.

The Paintbrush tool

Similar to the Pencil tool, the Paintbrush tool is used to create more free-form paths. The great thing about the Paintbrush tool is you can apply a brush to a path, like a calligraphy brush or texture, before you draw it.

The Curvature tool

The Curvature tool is a more intuitive drawing tool that gives you the ability to create paths with a good deal of precision without switching tools. With the Curvature tool, you focus on adding, editing, and removing anchor points to control the look of a path.

The Pen tool

The most powerful drawing tool found in Illustrator, as well as other Adobe applications, is the Pen tool. Using the Pen tool, you can create and precisely edit anchor points to make paths.


Presenter: Brian Wood

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