5 Essential Illustrator Pen Tool Tutorials  E-mail
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Written by Craig Watkins   
Okay, let's face it. Of all of the tools in Illustrator, the Pen Tool is by far the most important to master. Without being able harness the power of the Pen Tool, Illustrator doesn't do a whole lot more than any rudimentary graphics program. The Pen Tool gives you all of the power to create what you want. There is really no way around learning to use the Pen Tool if you plan on creating vector graphics beyond simple boxes or circles.

The upside is, if you are familiar with Photoshop's Pen Tool at all then you have a leg up! The Pen Tools in Illustrator and Photoshop are not identical, but they are very similar and becoming proficient with one will definitely help you with the other.

The downside is, the Pen Tool is also probably the most difficult tool to learn to use in Illustrator. In truth, all it takes is a little understanding and practice.

The Pen Tool is a difficult little bugger to explain too!

While I'm naturally partial to the Pen Tool tutorials here at Illustratortips.com (Drawing Paths & Shapes: Pen Tool-I, Drawing Paths & Shapes: Pen Tool-II), I understand that everyone learns differently and it may take a few explanations for everything to "click". So, I ventured out onto the world wide web to find a few tutorials that I think do a good job of explaining the various aspects of the Pen Tool and it's use.

Now roll up your sleeves and get to work!

1) Illustrator’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide by Ian Yates - Posted at Vectortuts

Not only does this post cover the essentials of using the Pen Tool, but it goes deeper with a great explanation of how to set up your Preferences to suit you. This post also includes a downloadable Pen Tool Exercise file that you can walk through for practice.

2) Adobe Illustrator Tutorial! ::The Pen Tool:: YouTube video by Tutvid.com

Comprehensive and in-depth Pen Tool video tutorial.

3) Illustrator Pen tool exercises by Veerle Pieters at Veerle's Blog

You can download another practice .ai document that explains how to create different shapes using the Pen Tool.

4) ILLUSTRATOR: the pen tool by tatoland

Fantastic tutorial about the different phases of the Pen Tool and different kinds of anchor points the Pen Tool makes in Illustrator with explanations of each type of point and how to manipulate them. Very, very good.

5) Illustrator Tutorial: Pen Tool by pwg at deviantART.com

Nice thorough and concise explanation on the Pen Tool and how it works.

Hopefully these tutorials helped you to get a handle on the Pen Tool. Good luck and whatever you do, don't give up on trying to master the Pen Tool in Illustrator. Once you get comfortable with the Pen Tool, I promise it will make a huge difference in how comfortable you are using Adobe Illustrator.

Please leave a comment and let me know which tutorial helped you out the most!

Here are a few site tips that involve the Pen Tool:

Drawing a Cartoon Face

Make Your Own Clip Art

Beautiful Vector Illustration

From Sketch to Vector Illustration

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