How it works
You simply follow the numbers and the instructions to complete the exercise. The point you need to aim at in each step is the center of each numbered colored dot. Depending on the instructions, you either have to click, click and press, or click and press and then drag, while sometimes holding down the shift or alt/option key. The document is created in 2 layers. The bottom layer, called template contains the instructions, and is locked. The top layer is the "working layer". This layer is unlocked, and by default already selected. So this is the layer you'll be working on.
This time I've used big colored dots for you to click in with the number inside. There are 3 different colors: blue, red and green. The blue ones don't require any dragging, but involve clicking, and often clicking and pressing. The red ones, involve dragging, and sometimes a key needs to be pressed as well. The green ones also involve dragging, but this time dragging one of the handles of the anchor point you've just created, while holding down a key first (alt/option). The document is more extended as it now contains 3 pages (the Adobe Illustrator CS3 version has everything on 1 page), starting with the easiest exercises first, and ending with an actual drawing of a simple tree, and a random swoosh shape.
- Download the Illustrator Pen tool exercise document for CS5 or higher
- Download the Illustrator Pen tool exercise document for CS4 or CS3
This document is of course just to get you started, but I hope it helps you to understand how the Pen tool works, and how you can get better and better in mastering this essential tool. Enjoy!