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Photoshop - Pencil Tool - B

The pencil tool is nothing more than a rip off from the brush tool. In fact all it really consists of is a 1 pixel brush tool tip. Nearly all the same options and tools are available to the Pencil tool as are available with the brush tool.

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Access the pencil tool with the keyboard shortcut of B, you may be required to press shift+B as it is the secondary tool of the Brush Tool. Click and drag to paint the canvas, holding shift while dragging with the mouse forces the pencil tool to produce straight edges.

Pencil Tool - B:

Pencil Tool Icon

Another technique for this tool is the shift+click method. First click a point, then shift click another location on the canvas - connecting the dots together as you go.

Shift + Clicking:

Connect the Dots

Use this tool for small, precise applications. Creating a geometric shape such as a star as we have done is impractical since Photoshop can create several polygons with the Polygon Tool, however the animation above does demonstrate shift clicking fairly well.

Photoshop - Pencil Tool Options Bar

If you have been following along most of this area is review. The brush tool contains very similar options for drawing on the canvas.

Access pencil tool presets by clicking the arrow to the right of the pencil tool icon at the top of the stage.

Pencil Tool Presets:

Pencil Tool Presets Palette

Up next lies the button for accessing brush tips and diameter settings.

Brush Tips and Diameter(s):

Brush Tips Menu

The next few options control blending mode and opacity of each pencil stroke.

Blending and Opacity:

Blending and Opacity

The Auto Erase button works like an on/off switch. It automatically transforms the pencil tool into a makeshift eraser by matching colors with the background color. This way it is possible to "erase" away mistakes - especially if you zoom in far.

Auto Erase:

Auto Erase Button

Photoshop - Pencil Tool & Zoom

Press Ctrl + or Ctrl - to zoom in and out of your images (Command + and Command - for Macs). Zoom in highlight or fix abrupt edges one pixel at a time.

Zoom In!:

Zoom In

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