Wow, this one’s really been pissing me off for a couple years since they changed things. By default, the trusty Pen Tool has been stupidly trying to fill the path with paint, which is something you’d never want to do in a real life situation. We want clean paths. What follows is a quick Pen Tool configuration issue that every user should address immediately.
Very special thanks to onezumi.com.
The first time you use Photoshop, the Pen Tool will be set to ‘Shape Layers’ which means it will try to fill a shape, not create a path. This is bad. We want the Pen Tool to instead create a path so that we can apply clean pen strokes, not try to fill itself and complete a shape. To set your Pen Tool up simply click the following icon, the ‘Paths’ icon in the upper left corner. The good news is that Photoshop remembers this preference, and you only have to do this once. Now you are set to start using the Pen Tool.