While creating straight line paths just requires clicking the mouse, creating curved paths takes a little bit more practice, because we need to click and drag.
Now, I want to make sure that I click off any of the paths in the Paths panel so that they’re not selected, and then zoom in twice using Ctrl + Plus and use the spacebar in order to view this first curved path. I’m also going to select View, and then Show, and then Guides so that we have some guides that we can use as we draw. Now, to create a curved path, you actually have to click and drag without letting go of your cursor. So I’m going to click on this first black square and drag up. But what I’m dragging is not actually a path. It’s a direction line with a direction point at the end of it. And I’m dragging it in the direction that I want the curve to go. I’ll go ahead and release the cursor. And the direction is going to go up, because I dragged up. So if I want this curve to then go down, I need to click in the second black square and drag the direction line down.
If I want to constrain it to a vertical line, I can hold down the Shift key. And I’ll release you cursor, clicking again. This time I need it to come this way and then go up. So I will click. And then, holding down the Shift key, drag up in order to create that shape. I’m going to tap the A key, and that will select either the Path Selection tool or the Direct Selection tool, whichever tool you had last selected. If I choose the Path Selection tool, and I click on the path, I can move the entire path. I’ll use Ctrl + Z to undo that. If I select the Direct Selection tool, now I can click on an anchor point, and I can move that anchor point. I can also click on a direction line and click to drag the direction line and reposition it. Or I can click on a direction point at the end of the direction line in order to make changes. All right, I’ll use Ctrl + Z once, twice, and three times, just to put that back.
Now, I need to make sure that we end the path. So I’ll just click in order to do so, and then tap the P key to select the Pen tool again. I’ll hold down the spacebar and scoot over to this next shape, which is a wave. Now, in order to create this shape, I’ll need to start the path going up, but then it’s going to go up, and if I need it to go up again, I’m going to have to click and drag up again, and then up again. So I’m going to click and drag. Again, you can hold down your Shift key if you want to keep that line vertical. Click in the second anchor point and drag up. And then click in the third anchor point and drag up again. We can see that both of these paths have been put on the same work path. Let’s go ahead and end the path by holding down the Ctrl key and then clicking. And I’ll just double-click on Work Path in order to save that. Now, to create a closed path, I’ll hold down the spacebar and scoot over to the last illustration here on this line. I’ll click and drag up, holding down that Shift key, and then click and drag down, just like we did in that first shape. And then to close the path, I just position the Pen tool on top of the initial anchor point, the cursor changes to display a zero or a closed-path icon, and I’ll click to close that path.
Then I’ll choose File, Save As. We can append this with 02, saving it as a Photoshop document into the same folder. And there you go. That’s how to create simple curved paths in Photoshop.