Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Pen Tool and the Rubber Band!


Make The Pen Tool Show You Where it is Headed

There is a feature for the Pen tool in Photoshop that makes it easier to see where the pen is headed when you are drawing. It is called the Rubber Band. So, if you don’t see a line following you as you draw with the Pen tool then chances are that that setting isn’t enabled. To configure it, with the Pen tool selected, click the Gear icon on the toolbar and check the Rubber Band option. You’ll find it easier to draw paths this way in future.


Thursday, November 12th, 2015

How to Use the Pen Tool in Photoshop – a beginner’s guide

pen tool basics - photoshop

Learn to draw simple shapes using the Pen tool in Photoshop

The Pen tool is far from the easiest tool to use in Photoshop but being able to use it will open up a world of possibilities. In this video I will show you how to use the Pen tool in Photoshop. Starting with how to find the tool, I’ll show you how to draw straight sided figures by clicking with the pen tool. You’ll see how to fill the shape and then how to stroke its edges using a Brush.

Then you will learn how to draw curved shapes such as a heart and how to draw S shape curves and M shape curves. You will also see how to draw a perfectly symmetrical shape by drawing half of it, duplicating it, flipping it and joining it all back together – it’s much easier than it sounds, I promise.

You will also see how to save a path you have drawn with the pen tool as a Custom shape in Photoshop so you can draw that same shape at any time in the future just as you would any of Photoshop’s own shapes.

You will learn all about anchors and how to add and delete them and about handles so you can drag on them to reshape a curve. By the time you have completed this video you will be able to confidently use the Pen tool in Photoshop to make shapes and fill and stroke them. This video is suitable for beginner Photoshop users as well as anyone who uses Photoshop a lot but who is not familiar with the Pen tool.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Illustrator – Create a Wave Repeating Pattern

More complex than it looks, here’s how to make a Wave Pattern in Illustrator


Learn how to create a wave pattern in Illustrator. You will see how to draw the starting shape and how to fill it. You will learn how you can test it to see how it will look and then adjust it if necessary before continuing.

You will use the Shape Builder tool to build the actual pattern starting piece and the new Pattern feature in Illustrator CS6 & Illustrator CC to make the repeating pattern swatch.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Photoshop pen tool – change direction of curve

Learn to change the direction of the Curve that the Pen Tool draws.

Sometimes when drawing with the Pen Tool in Photoshop you will find that the curve goes in completely the wrong direction. You can just leave it and come back later to fix it but you can also fix it as you go.

To change the direction that the curve goes in, take the mouse pointer back over the handles from the last point and hold the Alt (Option key on the Mac) as you drag on the handle that is causing the curve to go the wrong way until it goes the right way. You can then let go the Alt or Option key and continue to draw the curve. You can do this as often as you need to as you draw the shape.

Helen Bradley

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Run out of canvas using Photoshop’s Pen tool?

I’m sure this has happened to you – you’re zooming along drawing a path around an object using the Photoshop pen tool and all of a sudden you’re running out of room – the image is off the screen. The solution is simple, press and hold the Spacebar and the cursor turns into the Hand tool so you can move the canvas around to get the next bit of the image in view. Let go the Spacebar and you’re back to working on your path.

And, while you’re there – wanna rotate the canvas so you can draw your path more easily? Easy! Press and hold R (R for rotate) then drag the canvas to rotate it.

Helen Bradley