48:37 Duration

Pen Tool

This lesson details how to use the Pen tool to make selections and mask layers. It’s often the best tool for creating selections that involve straight lines and smooth curves.


  1. When I click “Mask” after closing the path, the area masked is the opposite to the one you (Ben) makes. Perhaps there’s something set up wrongly in my Photoshop?

    1. Sorry for having not responded sooner. I do not receive any notifications of comments posted here. I monitor the Masters Forum Facebook group, which is where most people comment on posts. It’s easier to answer there since I can post photographs and screen shots to go along with comments. Anyway… after adding the mask, see what the left-most icon (just to the right of the Shape button) is set to in the Options bar that spans the top of your screen. It sounds like yours might be set to Subtract from Shape, which would cause the path to poke a hole in the layer that mask is attached to.

  2. Great video, Ben. Just a passing remark about your studio setup. IMHO, the background need a little more illumination. Thank you for your great videos, gran

  3. Great video Ben. I had never used the pen tool before except to create guide lines in one of the videos. After only a couple of days I feel comfortable using this tool. Thanks for this lesson.

  4. That pear is so oversaturated that I start seeing a magenta blob in the white right next to the green. If I look away parts of what I see turns magenta. That’s what I see on a plasma screen. Everybody is an art critic 🙂

    1. Rubber Band mode can be useful for straight lines, but it only previews the next line segment with no directional handles and therefore I don’t find it to be very useful overall. It does not harm though, so if you like it, then feel free to leave it turned on all the time. (it’s found under the gear icon in the Options bar)

    2. The only difference I see is that it previews the line you are making. It has handles. What am I missing?