Photoshop Pen Tool Drawing Savvy

by Guest Writer

Free Photoshop Tutorial PREFACE: One of the least used tools and processes in Photoshop are the pen tools and vector drawing. People just seem to forget them in Photoshop in favor of Illustrator. Fatma sent in this five-page article which was originally called Draw a cute elephant in photoshop. There are lots of images, and extensive instruction -- but once we ran the tutorial and dug into it's lessons it became clear that the true value of this tutorial is not drawing an elephant -- but rather discovering the true flexibility of the drawing tools in Photoshop. So we renamed the article.

The tutorial is generated in Adobe Photoshop CS, but most of the techniques are valid in most versions of Photoshop after version 6. Some of the menus have changed since CS3, but that's just Adobe's way of 'churning' for upgrade revenue -- the techniques remain valid.

By the end of this tutorial you will be able to :

  • Use the shape tools.
  • Combine shapes.
  • Create and edit paths.
  • Use simple shapes to create complex shapes.

The final image - Photoshop drawing tools

Draw a cute elephant in photoshop

Fatma Alemadi

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to draw a cute elephant using basic shapes and using the pen and path tools in photoshop to create a re-sizable file.

During this tutorial we'll be using pop-up windows for many of the diagrams. If this link doesn't work, turn on pop-ups in your browser. Here is the full version of the final result

Here is a list of the tools and menus we'll use, along with a diagram of basic pen tool vector work.

Step 1: Basic head shape

Create a new document. In this project the final result will be a vector drawing which mean it can be re-sized to any size without using the resolution so I start with a relatively small size around 600 by 600 pixel.

Step 1: Basic head shape

  1. Change the foreground color to #c2d0d0. Draw a circle.
  2. We want to draw a new shape on the same layer you can click shift once and start drawing the new oval shape using the Ellipse tool or make sure the layer is selected, click on Add shape and draw your new shape.
  3. Now choose the direct select tool (or press A).We need to edit the points. Pull the top direction point on both side upward (Look at #3 above)
  4. Push the other 2 low direction points inside.

Now hide this layer to work on the trunk next.

NEXT: Draw the trunk, fit to the head...

... continues on the next page!