Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pentooling: Design

As you know in my last post, I did a fairly detailed tutorial on how to render using the pentool. Today, I'm going to be tutorializing another use for the pentool, which is design. Many artists use the pentool to obtain a certain grace and flow in their work that simply cannot be obtained with a tablet or mouse, and it is very useful in this matter.

This tutorial is going to cover how to create this:

From this:

The initial signature itself is very basic and limited pentooling wise; however it can open doors to a lot more advanced work. So, let's begin.

First off, whip out your pentool. Then, using the technique I spoke of in my last post on how to render, (click to make anchor, ctrl+click to move anchor) make a curvey line, like so:

(For this process, I originally zoomed in to 300% I believe.)

Next off, after you make the curvey line then connect it back around, finish off the connection, and you should see a gray line outlining the area we're going to fill. So, right click and select the option 'fill path...'. Then, on the contents are select color from the drop down menu and pick a color to fill the selection with. For this pentooling, I picked a fairly light peach color.

You should end up with something like this:

Now to emulate this same effect, you can simple duplicate the pentooling and place the duplicate layer under the original then reposition the angle of it correctly (ctrl+t) to get a nice effect. That's what I did for the tutorial. However, you can make a new layer under the original pentooling and do another shape instead, in case you're looking for a better feel of uniqueness.

Heres an example of what it looked like after I duplicated the pentooling, used a color overlay on the dups, and put a nice reddish outer glow on the pentooling:

Due to the fact I was in a hurry, I only put one other set of pentooling into the tag, (take note it only took me about 10 minutes to make this) using the same exact technique I used to make the upper portion of pentooling.

Here is the after effect:

Now the only thing I really did afterwards was add a few gradients to blend the colors together, add an extra portion to the right side of the tag, since I felt it was lacking. I won't give details on the gradient maps, since that will be the subject of my next post.

Here's the result I got, and the result you saw at the beginning of the tutorial:

Now before I end this tutorial, I think it would be fair to show an example of what dedicated pentooling can produce.

This piece 'free bird', was made by a friend of mine who goes by Idiom, or Jimmy. He has some truly amazing works he's made with pentooling, and he was nice enough to allow me to use this one in this post.

Idiom's deviantART page:


One more thing before I end the post, I wanted to make sure I left a link to SigResource, a site that has thousands of resources and tutorials. This site has helped me from when I very first started graphics, and it's full of nothing but helpful and friendly members. I strongly suggest dropping by and signing up if you need help, criticism, or just a friendly place to be a part of.



  1. Another excellent step by step guide. Detailed and with pictures, perfect for new guys like me!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial man! I will use this for my wallpaper!

  3. awesome result, great guide. keep them coming ^^

  4. thanks for "free bird" its my new wall

  5. That is great man..nice graphic..