Skip to main content

How to use the all-new Pencil Tool in Illustrator

One of the big pieces of news in the latest release (opens in new tab)of Illustrator CC (opens in new tab) was a radical overhauled of the Pencil Tool, which is used to create vector paths with a natural, hand-drawn look. Now, using quick presets you can now create a smooth, fluid path with fewer points, or a path that more closely matches your drawing intent. You can now draw straight lines too and set them at any angle you so desire.

Now Adobe (opens in new tab)'s released this two-part video tutorial, which shows you how to use the new Pencil Tool and improved Path Segment Reshape feature to complete and refine a simple illustration.

The first video, below, starts by covering the basics of the new Pencil Tool, and exploring the simplified Options Panel. If you want to follow along, you'll need the tutorial files which you can download here (opens in new tab).

The second video, below, explains how to create more complex shapes. You'll learn how to continue a path, complete a shape, and create straight and curved segments. It also shows you how you can use the Path Segment Reshape feature to make some finishing touches to the illustration.

To make working in Illustrator CC quicker and easier, Adobe has also released this PDF cheat sheet (opens in new tab) of keyboard shortcuts.

Liked this? Read these!

Have you upgraded to Creative Cloud (opens in new tab)? Are you tempted to now? Let us know your views in the comments!

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.