Posts Tagged ‘Pen Tool’

Assign brush strokes to paths in Illustrator

Published by | Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Assign brush strokes to paths

Uniform strokes can be uniformly dull. But you can transform your vector artwork and give it more of a hand-drawn appearance with Illustrator’s brushes. This week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques takes the Chinese chop you created in the last video and roughs it up a little by assigning brush strokes to paths in Illustrator. Deke shows how to simulate calligraphic lettering and turn your chop into a more authentic-looking stamp, by first transforming the chop into a Smart Object to preserve the original artwork. Click the free video below to get started.

Members of the lynda.com library can watch the two follow-up videos to learn how to to add a paper texture and create a black-on-red variation of their chops. Come back next week to learn how to hide panels that appear by default in Photoshop.

Embellishing an avatar in Illustrator: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Embellishing an avatar in Illustrator

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Welcome back to Deke’s Techniques and the second step to building your own avatar. Last week you learned how to use Adobe Photoshop’s Pen tool to trace your photograph. This week Deke shows you how to copy your path outlines, paste them into Illustrator, and enhance your drawing there. You’ll learn how to add hand-drawn embellishments (like flowing locks and wide eyes) and align your tracing with your hand-drawn paths. The result: A striking black-and-white avatar that will delight your friends on Facebook and your followers on Twitter.

Tracing a social avatar in Photoshop: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Tracing a social avatar with the Photoshop Pen tool.

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.


Embark on the first part of a three-week journey that will lead to your own unique social avatar—a perfect profile pic to represent yourself in the online world. Simply provide your own photograph and follow along with Deke. This episode of Deke’s Techniques shows how to use the Pen tool in Adobe Photoshop to carefully trace your features and edit the anchor points along the way. In the end you’ll have a series of path outlines, which, handily, can later be imported into Illustrator for further refinement.

Watch the free video below to get started and come back next week to learn how to start fleshing out your social avatar in Illustrator.

Making a custom arrowhead: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Creating a custom arrowhead.

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Adobe InDesign has a few options for stroke endings. But some designers aren’t satisfied with the defaults. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows how to create a custom arrowhead using a symbol or special font character, anchor it to your path, and make sure the arrowhead moves along with the path as you move or reshape it. If that’s too much work for you, David also shows you an easier way to create a custom arrowhead using InDesign’s sister program, Illustrator. Watch the free video below to get started.

Drawing the Pen tool icon in Illustrator: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Draw the pen tool–without the pen tool.

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.


This is week two of technical drawing in Deke’s Techniques, and in this tutorial Deke shows you how to draw the Pen tool icon in Illustrator—without using the Pen tool. In fact, in this technique, he asks you to use the Line Segment tool and some shapes. Then you’ll learn how to fuse the paths together and rotate the illustration. It’s a great exercise in schematic drawing.

Add motion trails to a silhouette in Photoshop: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Add motion trails to a silhouette in Photoshop

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Make the subjects of your photos look like they’re moving “faster than light” in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques. Learn how to add bright motion trails to silhouetted figures in an image in Adobe Photoshop. You can see similar effects used in advertising and Deke shows you how to achieve it in less than 10 minutes. It’s a great technique that makes use of the Ocean Ripple, Graphic Pen, and Motion Blur filters, plus some good old levels and channel adjustment. Click the video below to start learning.

Create a belly for a dragon tattoo: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Create the belly of a dragon in Photoshop

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.


This week’s Pixel Playground technique will teach you how to add a belly to your dragon tattoo in Adobe Photoshop.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been adding more details to our dragon tattoo and this week we’ll complete the dragon by adding the belly. To create the belly, begin by using the Pen tool to draw the various shapes of the belly. Next, duplicate the bottom portion of the path to help form the shape of the creases along the bottom of the belly. After adding fills for the belly shapes, create a layer and paint in the tones of the belly. Finally, make a new brush out of two rectangles and brush in the top of the belly, then finish the design by adding Inner Glow and Drop Shadow effects.

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Photoshop Top 40 Countdown with Deke McClelland: #32 – The Pen tool

Published by | Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Many folks select images in Photoshop with the likes of the Quick Select and Magic Wand tools. Highly automated, but these tools rarely work accurately.

Experts use the Pen tool. Using the Pen tool is an art form worth learning, because it always works. In this week’s episode of the Photoshop Top 40 Countdown, Deke unveils his secrets to expertly using the Pen tool for selections.