I was using the pencil tool a lot in previous versions of Illustrator (2015 particularly). It was very handy when I was drawing highlights and shadows on illustration, because I could draw a shape with it with the graphic tablet pen and it made an instant and precise shape. In the 2019 AI version I came up with an issue that whenever I use the pencil tool no matter which fill color I give it before drawing it makes transparent shapes, the fill and stroke colors are dropping back to no fill and no stroke each time, this slows down the process very much because I have to select and change the color every time I draw with it, is there a way to change that? I mean to be able to choose what color to draw the shapes with the pencil tool?

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  • 1
    I also can't control which fill and stroke to apply to new objects, but in my Illustrator it's transparent fill and black stroke. In InDesign you can choose default fill and stroke when you have no documents open, but in Illustrator everything is grayed out when no documents are open!?
    – Wolff
    May 18, 2019 at 15:22
  • @wolff Thanks, the answer i got from Danielillo helped me, after doing this i could finally fix it :)
    – Adonxx
    May 18, 2019 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


Double click the Pencil Tool and check Fill new pencil strokes

Fill New Pencil Strokes

  • Still doesnt work, especially if you want to fill the selected area with the color inside. Makes the work even more difficult
    – kgee
    Jul 8, 2020 at 22:20

Uncheck New Art Has Basic Appearance
in the Appearance Panel Menu.

Then new objects will take on whatever appearance you last used, i.e. fill/stroke.

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