Day 4: Drawing with Pencil Tool

We can quickly draw shapes and lines quickly using the Pencil Tool. This lesson will show you some of the tricks in drawing smooth and fluid lines.

Drawing a Line

Select the pencil tool and click and drag to draw a free hand line drawing.

Closing Paths with Pencil Tool

To close a path, hold Alt/Option as your Pencil Tool reaches the start point. A circle icon will appear next to the Pencil Tool to indicate path closure.

Smoothing Jaggy Lines

Normally when you draw with the Pencil Tool, the path looks jaggy. To smoothen the parts that are jaggy, simply hold Alt/Option to turn the Pencil Tool to Smooth Tool. Then draw over the the area of the lines which you would like to smoothen.

Reshaping Path

To reshape a path, make sure your path is selected and use the Pencil Tool to redraw the parts you would like to reshape. Note that the start and end path must be close to the original path to make it work.

Pencil Tool Preferences

You can turn on the Pencil Tool Preferences by double clicking on the Pencil Tool. You can change the fidelity and smoothness to find a combination that works for you.

Fidelity: Determines how close the path is drawn to your mouse movement. Set it at a higher fidelity if your not good at drawing with your mouse.

Smoothness: The higher you set for smoothness, the less anchor point it produces. Thus, producing a smoother line.

Next Lesson: Drawing With Pen Tool »
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29 thoughts on “Day 4: Drawing with Pencil Tool”

  1. Thank you so much for your tutorials, I been trying to find a good one for a loooooooong time. Im just getting started with Graphic Design, coming into it from another field, so needless to say im clueless!

    You wouldnt believe how many sites out there say they have tutorials, and then when you get to it, they dont TELL you how to find the tools, on a basic level.

    Your tutorials are awesome!

  2. As Fareed mentioned, the reshaping part wasn’t clear but once you go to the Pencil Tool Preferences menu and select the ‘Edit selected paths’ option it works.

    Excellent tutorial, thanks.

  3. Simple but Excellent!!
    I requesting to you for others sorftwares tutorials (Flash, Dreamware, Photoshop) to post here.:)) Because your tutorial is very simple anyone can understand and lean lots.thank you somuch

  4. Really!!!! wow that’s great news. I’m so glad to know that.. let me know when you will be post new stuff. once again thak you so much may god bless you! ^_^

  5. Tony thanks for this tutorial, it is helping me to be more confident using illustrator now, concerning that am basically self tought. And now i can start on my on illustrations.
    THANKS AGAIN….My God richly bless you.
    p.s. is there any tutorials like this for photoshop?

  6. DAY4: Freehand Drawing – wasn’t as bad as I thought – in fact, with a little help from illustrator, freehand drawing can end up being quite good. Love the fidelity and smoothness options – especially for someone like me. I always wondered how people could make their freehand lines so smooth or straight or whatever. Now I know. Bring on Day5…

  7. I love you!!!!1 thank you so so so so so so much…. this is so easy to understand!! God Bless!!!!! :):)

  8. prakash shinde

    Excellent tutorial helpfull to learn illustrator very good i like this tutorial

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