Join Sharon Steuer for an in-depth discussion in this video A little bit about the Pencil tool, part of Artistic Painting with Illustrator: Natural Media Brushes.
So if this is a brushes course, I bet you're wondering why am I talking about the Pencil tool. And that's because it works really well with brushes and there are many cases in which you're going to want to just place a solid filled object underneath your drawing or gradient filled object or all sorts of possibilities. But you're going to need to quickly create a shape that you want to be filled not stroked and therefore, the Pencil tool comes in really handy. So Pencil tool, if I move it into my artboard.
If you haven't seen the previous layers lesson before this movie, please go do that because that will help you. I get that slash symbol with most of my tools if my current layer is not a viable one, it's either hidden or locked. So I'm going to click here on the layer that I've made for my Pencil white and I'm going to create a solid white object to define the outline of this white cat, so that Mina's background doesn't interfere with her fur.
So if I go to draw with the Pencil tool with the default color, I want no stroke but just a white fill. I'm going to do a little circle here just as a test. And you'll see, Oh! What happened? I got no fill and no stroke. Well, that's strange, I know I selected a white fill. Well, the problem is, the default Pencil tool settings might be set for not to be filled. So in this case, I double-clicked Pencil tool Options.
If you need some guidance as to what fidelity and smoothness means, then tune into the Paintbrush tool Options movie because there are the same settings there. The relevant thing here is I'm going to make sure that I allow it to Fill New Pencil Strokes. I'm also going to Keep selected paths enabled as well as Edit selected Paths and you'll see why in a minute. And again, we'll go into more details with this with the Paintbrush tool Options movie and I'm going to say OK.
And now, I have Pencil white layer selected. I'm going to go get my white fill and now I'm in a draw an enclosed object which I am going to start outside of my artboard. The artboard is are going to very nicely and crisply trim that object for me at the border. So I don't have to worry about it. And I'm going to just draw Mina, an outline.
And I make sure I go outside of the border and enclose the object. And there you go. Slipped in there between the other layers. Because I left Keep selected enabled, Mina is still selected. So in here I can see there is a little area that I want to adjust a little bit. And because, I also kept enabled Edit selected, I can actually make a couple of adjustments to this as selected. I can deselect her. And if there's anything I want to change again, all I have to do is select it again and I can re-edit it.
So as long as pressure sensitivity isn't the issue, you can apply a Paintbrush to s any paths that you draw with the Pencil tool.
- Drawing and tracing with Wacom and Cintiq tablets
- Maximizing control without a tablet
- Demystifying Paintbrush tool preferences
- Integrating brushes with other tools such as Smooth and Pencil
- Adding brushes to objects and text
- Creating naturalistic strokes with the Art brush tools
- Picking up, storing, and applying brushes
- Duplicating and customizing brushes
- Creating transparent washes and watercolor with Calligraphic brushes
- Drawing and erasing with the Blob Brush tool
- Adding stroke profiles to lines and brushes
- Organizing complex images with layers
- Ideas for how to combine Illustrator brushes with Photoshop, and even with traditional media
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: How do I import one of Sharon's workspaces into Illustrator?
A: Place Sharon's workspace file within the folder structure below, understanding that where it says YourHomeFolder you instead choose the folder that contains your name (your Home folder):
/Users/YourHomeFolder/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS6 Settings/en_US/Workspaces/