Inside Photoshop

Smooth your brushed lines with help from the Pen tool

Inside Photoshop

by Amy Palermo

Painting perfect curves with the Brush tool and a mouse is cumbersome at best. One small hiccup and your curve will look like your three-year-old nephew got a hold of your designs. To paint smooth edges, think beyond the Brush tool-put the Pen tool to work!

Instead of simply brushing a stroke and leaving the results to fate, you’ll make this a two-step process. It might seem like a little extra work to draw a line and then stroke it, but the results are worth the effort as you’ll have much more control over your curve’s smooth edge.

To create a stroked path:

  1. Choose the Brush tool from the Tools panel and set all the brush options on the tool Options bar that you want your stroke to have. Also, set the foreground color to the color you wish your stroke to have.
  2. Select the Pen tool from the Tools panel.
  3. Select the Paths button on the tool Options bar.
  4. Draw a curved line. Make any adjustments necessary until you’re satisfied with the shape, as shown inĀ Figure A.
  5. Create a new layer or select the layer on which you wish to paint the line.
  6. -click in Windows) on the path and select Stroke Path[…]

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