Adobe Illustrator CC

Rebuilt Pencil tool

Use the new Pencil Tool and improved Path Segment Reshape feature to complete and refine a simple illustration. (Try it, 8 min)

FromKendall Plant

Rebuilt Pencil tool

8 min

What do I need?

Get files Sample files to practice with (ZIP, 2 MB)

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Introducing the rebuilt Pencil tool.

In this two-part video tutorial, you’ll use the new Pencil tool and improved Path Segment Reshape feature to complete and refine a simple illustration. You’ll start by learning the basics of the new Pencil tool, and exploring the simplified Options Panel. By the end of this first video, you’ll see how easy it is to create fluid, beautiful curves with the Pencil tool.

Note:  Recent changes in the Pencil tool let you draw paths with greater precision. The Fidelity slider in the Pencil tool’s Options panel (1:38) now includes an extra level of accuracy to create even smoother paths.

Prep the demo file (0:53); Explore the options panel (1:38); Draw your first curves (2:14)

Create complex shapes and refine your illustration.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of using the Pencil tool, you’ll start creating more complex shapes. Learn how to continue a path, complete a shape, and create straight and curved segments, all using the Pencil tool. You’ll also take a look at the Path Segment Reshape feature and make some finishing touches to our illustration before moving it into the final composition.

Note:  Holding the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac OS) keys while drawing with Pencil tool lets your draw unconstrained, straight segments (2:02). If you prefer to switch between the Pencil and Smooth tools while drawing, check Option key toggles to Smooth Tool in the Options area of the Pencil Tool Options.

Continue and close paths (0:36); Create straight segments (1:30); Refine and finish (2:29)

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Kendall Plant

Kendall is a User Experience Designer at Adobe.