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I am going through some vector tutorials using Inkscape. Part of the author's description of himself states: "I spend most of my time working in Adobe Illustrator, avoiding the Pen Tool and struggling to find the perfect colors."

I have found that this artist's/author's tutorials are helpful. I haven't worked with vector graphics in awhile. The tutorials are interesting; and, the artist's/author's projects produce cool artwork.

Does anyone else out there avoid the pen tool?

I did send the author a message to see what he has to say.

Here are links to this artist's/author's tutorials and web pages:

http://vforvectors.com/

http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-a-propeller-pinwheel-illustration-in-adobe-illustrator--cms-21465

(Does anyone know Andrei Marius? I made sure that I told him in my message that I did like his work and enjoyed his tutorials.)

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    We can't possibly answer the question of why someone does what they do. You have to ask them. As for other people's personal answers, they'd be mostly opinion. I don't think this is a good fit for this site. – DA01 Nov 10 '15 at 20:32
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    Purely my opinion: the pen tool is hard to master for a lot of people. Working with bezier curves and handles doesn't come naturally to everyone, and it can takes years of practice to feel comfortable with knowing how to get the quality-looking results you want quickly. I've been using Illustrator every day for nearly 15 years and I don't necessarily look forward to using it when I need to. – Vicki Nov 10 '15 at 20:48
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    If all the artwork you are creating is based upon geometric shapes, then there's often no need for the pen tool. The Pen tool is most helpful when you are creating freeform objects that can't easily be created by altering a polygon. – Scott Nov 10 '15 at 20:58
  • I agree with @Scott. If you can do something in 3 seconds with perfect symmetry instead of spending 2 minutes on that shape, that makes sense to simply not use the pen tool. In that sense, a lot of us do like the author of the tutorials! – go-junta Nov 10 '15 at 21:11
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    Well.. I don't avoid the Pen Tool by any means. But it does have it's place. It's silly to use the Pen Tool to draw a circle, even though you can :) – Scott Nov 10 '15 at 21:14
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This is more of a long comment

There are quite a lot of times I do not use pen tool. If you draw geometric shapes its often unnecessary to work with the pen tool. To give you an arbitrary example of picture with no need to use the pen tool consider the one below:

Isometric

Image 1: Image only has lines (original purpose for image)

There is no need to use the pen tool, the image is intentionally simple to drive home this point. The line tool will work just fine. I can always unite the shapes with Ctrl + J, or shape builder Shift + M. The line tool has several advantages over the pen tool in making straight lines.

Do I avoid the pen tool. Certainly not. There are a lot of shapes that can not be done without it. It is just not the tool for everything.

enter image description here

Image 2: Similar image that can be done without using pen tool, now with color fill and curvature to show what can easily be achieved without using pen tool.

However

The pinwheel tutorial you link seems like a situation where i would consider using pen tool, although i could certainly do it using direct selection tool after I've instructed illustrator to make tangents for my segments.

Seems a bit excessive amount of work for the effect. On the other hand, having it done like this makes it easier to follow in the tutorial for more or less exactly the same look. But YMMV.

  • Thanks, joojaa. I appreciate the explanation of how you accomplish things using different tools. And, I just realized that I avoid the Line Tool when I probably should be using it. I use the Pen because I am just used to selecting it from the menu. – Junco Nov 12 '15 at 14:33
  • @rt.hawk well i never really had any problems although I would be more happy drawing rational b-splines by control points. – joojaa Nov 12 '15 at 15:07

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