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Master the Pen Tool, Chapter 01 1 Videos (1:10m)
  • 01 - Tutorial Overview
Master the Pen Tool, Chapter 02 8 Videos (1:58h)
  • 01 - How to Make Accurate Selections with the Standard Pen Tool
  • 02 - How to Make Quick Selections with the Curvature Pen Tool
  • 03 - How to Make Jagged Selections with the Freeform Pen Tool
  • 04 - Everything to Know About Vector Masks
  • 05 - How to Create Selections and Paths
  • 06 - The Difference Between Shapes and Paths
  • 07 - How to Create Flourishes with Brush Stroke Paths
  • 08 - How to Edit Type, Shapes and Paths with the Pen Tool
Master the Pen Tool, Chapter 03 3 Videos (41:59m)
  • 01 - How to Change Background Color
  • 02 - How to Change Backgrounds
  • 03 - How to Create a Simple Logo
Home  >  PRO Tutorials  >  PRO Photoshop  >  How to Master the Pen Tool in Photoshop
Learning Path: Photoshop Masters


How to Master the Pen Tool in Photoshop


If you’ve ever wondered how the pros are able to get create perfect selections or create beautiful logos that can scale to any size, look no further. The Pen Tool is powerful and versatile, allowing you to cut objects out of a photo, draw lines and shapes, trace an image, and create logos from scratch!

In this tutorial, we demystify the Pen Tool, teaching you everything you need to know from the most important keyboard shortcuts to making beautiful lines and curves. We walk you through the basics and then demonstrate how to use the Pen Tool to change a background color, change an entire background, and create a simple logo, all in Photoshop!

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12 Video Tutorials   |   13 Sample Images

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Free Section – Create a Logo with Stylized Text

Learn to create stylized text including flourishes and text decorations. In this free excerpt, we show you how to stroke a pen path with a brush to create stylized shapes. Use this technique to transform regular text into a logo.



Master the Pen Tool in Photoshop

We start with the basics. Learn to draw a line, a curve, and get an understanding of how paths and vectors work in Photoshop. The goal is to get you comfortable using the Pen Tool, whether you’re making shapes or tracing an image.

Remove a Background

The key to changing a background in Photoshop is to start with a great selection. The Pen Tool is the most precise way to make sure you you get every bit of your subject selected so that they look whole and natural when placed into a new environment.

Perfect Selections

Certain situations will call for making a perfect and clean selection around an object. If you’re working with product photos, the Pen Tool will help you trace any hard edges and smooth curves ensuring that your final images will look great.



Make Shapes & Logos

Photo editing might often involve adding shapes, graphics, and logos to images. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a logo from scratch, we show you how to do it step-by-step in Photoshop!

Change a Background Color

Into product photography? Being able to change the background color of a product or object is a crucial skill. Follow along as we show you how to trace along the curves and lines of any object and use that selection to change the color behind it.

Vector Masks

Vector Masks are similar to Layer Masks. The only difference is that they take advantage of the power and precision of Paths! Learn to make perfectly accurate selections using the Pen Tool and control the visibility of those areas using Vector Masks.



Create Type & Text Effects

The Pen Tool isn’t only about cutting things out and creating custom shapes. Using Paths, you can use the Pen Tool to edit type and add amazing text effects!

How to Make a Straight Line

Sometimes all you need is something simple, and when you need to make a perfectly straight line, the Pen Tool is your best bet. Make a straight line path and then apply a brush stroke to make it fit seamlessly into your image.

How to Make a Curved Line

Without the Pen Tool, making the exact curve you need would be tricky. Never worry about jagged edges or unrealistic looking cutouts ever again! We show you how to use the pen tool to make beautiful curves to create stunning text effects and create soft, natural selections of people.



Trace an Image

Whether you need to make a perfect cutout or accurately select an area of a photo, the Pen Tool is the best option to trace an image with precision. Copy a logo or shape in minutes to make it your own.

Cut Out any Object

Learn how to cut out an image! There are a ton of selection tools in Photoshop. Some are designed to help you work faster like the Magic Wand Tool. And some, like the Pen Tool, are designed to give you the precision and control you’ll need for professional looking results.

Learn About Paths

Paths are lines, curves, and shapes that you can create in Photoshop using the Pen Tool. Paths can be saved, edited, and used in combination with other tools to create elegant brush strokes or creative effects.



The Curvature Pen Tool

If you’re just starting out, the Curvature Pen Tool is a great way to start learning. Where the standard Pen Tool is completely manual, the Curvature Pen Tool automates the process, intuitively creating curves as you create new anchor points.

The Freeform Pen Tool

Using the Freeform Pen Tool, you can freely draw along an edge or shape and Photoshops will create the anchor points and curves for you! Learn to use this smart tool to make creating paths faster and easier than ever!

Pen Tool Keyboard Shortcuts

Getting to know the Pen Tool means getting to know the keyboard shortcuts like the back of your hand. Create and remove anchor points, adjust curves and direction, and much more!

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    great tutorial, I learned a lot (as always)

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    these videos are amazing. So impressed with the quality!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thanks Aaron great tutorial for improve my knowledge.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Came here from Lynda and Pluralsight and must say, I’m too happy. The beauty of any tutorial lies in simplifying even complicated topics to the basics and Aaron is master of that.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Another great tutorial as usual! This is the first one that I have watched all the way through. I try to do a few sections everyday because I want to become a master at all things photography, Lightroom, and Photoshop. That way It will get me that much closer to making a name for my self in this industry. I’m so happy that I found this tutorial, because its going to help me so much. I was SO lost at how to properly cut out things/change backgrounds etc. But this tutorial made it so easy to understand, and it also gave me so many useful shortcuts! Thanks for doing you, and putting your skills and knowledge into the world! 🙂

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great tutorial. The examples and the speed of the tutorial were just right. Thanks!

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    I have always avoided the Pen Tool because I thought it was too complicated. But after this course I am confident in using this tool. I will need some practice but this course explained everything I always wanted to know about the Pen Tool 🙂 The Pen Tool now belongs to one of my goto tools. As usual a great course with excellent examples.


This tutorial includes 13 sample images & 12 video tutorials.

Yes! PRO Tutorials can be downloaded after individual purchase. All of our PRO tutorials are available for purchase in our Tutorial Shop.

Not only do PRO Subscribers get unlimited access to stream our entire library of tutorials, they also receive exclusive discounts when purchasing individual course downloads. Downloads are not included in PRO Subscriptions.

Yes! Any course downloads purchased individually are yours to keep forever!

Your download will always be available here at PHLEARN.com. We also recommend backing up the tutorial files somewhere safe like an external hard drive or USB drive.

PHLEARN PRO Subscribers can stream every tutorial on staging-phlearn.kinsta.com. Video downloads are available only after purchasing a tutorial individually. Any tutorial may be purchased in the Tutorial Shop.

We suggest using the latest version of Photoshop, but our tutorials are designed to be compatible with CS4, CS5, CS6 & Photoshop CC.

You’ll find answers to some of the most common questions in our Help Center. If what you need isn’t covered, you can submit a question to our all-star customer support team and they’ll get back to you right away!

Yes! In addition to being able to download individually purchased courses, you’ll receive full access to stream them via PHLEARN.com as well.

We start from the very beginning and cover all the tools and techniques you need .If you are new to Photoshop, we recommend watching the Photoshop Basics Collection and Photoshop 101-301 to familiarize yourself with all of the tools and capabilities that the software has to offer.