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Getting Started Drawing in Photoshop for Beginners – Artfixed

Getting Started Drawing in Photoshop for Beginners

Photoshop is no doubt one of the most versatile graphics programs going in our industry. For a good, but general, graphics program, it can be used for a wide variety of different uses, from manipulating photos to preparing images for print.

When it comes to drawing in Photoshop it's a good idea to review a few articles and videos, especially "Photoshop tuturial for beginner". We have included a good video for you in this guidelines. #photoshop #adobe #edit #software #photography #art #graphicdesign #digitalart #design #adobe #photo #artist #lightroom #photoshoot #illustrator #illustration #creative #artwork #drawing

One of the most common uses for artists is drawing. This gives them a valuable tool that can help with visual effects, which would be unatainable under normal circumstances. This also adds some power to Photoshop. Especially for a person that is either starting out, or a professional looking for some extra tools to play with and help advance their art. Regardless of what your skill level is, drawing in Photoshop can have a strong impact on your art. 

Photoshop Basics 

The most used tools in Photoshop are the brush, eraser, fill, gradient, and selection tools. The fill and gradient tools are used to deal with large areas, as well as color the drawing. The selection tools can be used for more than selecting areas; mastery of the various tools can help you pull off some really impressive feats. You may also want to work with the transformation tools, as they can help you change minor mistakes and make minor adjustments in your art. It should be noted that the brushes are more than just a single stoke. The Photoshop brushes can be used for things like leaves, grass, and other small details.

For most people, especially beginners, it starts with drawing lines in Photoshop. The simplest way is to just click on the brush tool, choose a thickness, and go for it. To get started, hold down the mouse button, drag, and you will draw a line. Sometimes you may need to draw straight lines in Photoshop. The simplest way to do this is to click where you want to start and then double click where you want it to end. You can chain together a series of straight lines by double-clicking in a series. Another way to draw a straight line is to hold down the shift key while drawing; this enables you to draw a line either vertically or horizontally.

Keep in mind that you will want to have the undo function mastered. Until you have drawing lines in Photoshop mastered, you will find that the undo function is your best friend. Drawing straight lines in Photoshop is a useful skill for those looking to draw panels. You will find that a mix of the brush and erase tools will get you the sharpest lines. These same commands that work for the brush tool work for the erase tool. This means that you can draw the lines and then sharpen them up a bit by erasing the outer pixels.

Drawing Hair

Many new beginners will give up when it comes to drawing hair in Photoshop, don't be one! Drawing hair in Photoshop is just a matter of applying what you learned above about drawing a straight line. Once mastered, you should be capable of drawing hair, but remember to have some fun with it.

Photoshop drawing program offers several brushes that simulate hair. To use these options, you will need to load up the brushes into the "brushes directory". Once loaded, then apply what you know about drawing lines in Photoshop. If you want to draw some of the more interesting hairstyles, all you need is a steady hand and a good picture.

Vector Graphics

In some cases, you are going to know how to turn a drawing into a vector in Photoshop. The first step is to use the magic wand to select the drawing, or the magnetic lasso if you are having problems. Once you have the object selected, go into the Paths palette and convert the selection into paths. You should then go to File>Export>Paths and save it as something that is easy to find. You can then edit the paths using the eraser tools and Path Select tool. Make sure that you save every few minutes!!! I tend to forget sometimes, but this will make life easier on yourself. 

It should be noted that knowing how to turn a drawing into a vector in Photoshop is a invaluable skill to learn. For those that do a lot of logos and pamphlets, it allows you to change the color in no time. This means that you can make a few basic changes, such as change from black and white, or use it to suit a particular color scheme, without any major problems. This can be a lifesaver when you have picky clients. In essence, for those that need to make modifications to colors in their graphics, for any number of reasons, this can be a great tool.

Making a Curved Line in PhotoShop 

If drawing a line in Photoshop sounds too easy, then it may be time to try a few curves. Drawing a curved line in Photoshop is actually not that hard. By using the Pen Tool, click and hold where you want to start the line. Be aware that the reason you hold is so you can grab the handles of the point that you are working with. 

When you are ready for a new point, release and click where you want the line to end. By clicking, adjusting the handles, and then creating a new point you can draw about any kind of curv you need. Remember to close the curve before you go on to another shape.

You can also use the curvature tool when drawing a curved line in Photoshop. Click on the curvature tool and then click on the points you want; the tool will set your curves as you go. Again, remember to close the curve. While this is a simpler step, you may need to go back in to make things smoother.

Both of these tools take some practice to use but it is well worth the time it takes to practice and master. You can even use these tools for drawing a line in Photoshop, but that may be a waste of time as there are simpler ways. The major takeaway is that you can draw a curve and then update it later if you decide the curve needs changes. All you need to do is decide what you want.

Drawing a Circle in Photoshop

Drawing a circle in Photoshop is a matter of applying what you learned about curves in a limited fashion. Instead of drawing a series of curves, you will need to create two points and then connect them.

Creating an oval is the same as the circle, but with four points instead. You will be matching curves of points on opposite sides of the oval. Drawing a circle in Photoshop has a number of great applications. You can also convert the paths you have created into a selection and then delete the selection.

Consider drawing a number 6. You can draw the six using curves and then fill it, after that draw a circle where you want the space and then delete it. The same basic logic applies to semi-circles as well. Drawing curves in Photoshop has several neat applications when you get used to it.

Photoshop Shapes Are Weird 

Drawing in Photoshop can get sort of weird when you get going. You can use a mixture of curves and lines to draw just about any shape.

The first step to drawing shapes in Photoshop is to have a very good idea of what you want to draw in the first place. The second step is to break it down into curves and lines, but we will look at that in a moment.

There are three basic approaches to shapes: Full construction, carving, and freeform. Of the three freeform is the easiest as all you are doing is drawing the necessary shape completely by hand. This is only recommended for those with some drawing experience. The problem is that it requires not only an idea of what you want but also the skill to make it happen.

Full Construction

Full construction requires that you break it down into straight lines and curves. Keep in mind that one of the cooler tricks in Photoshop is to invert curves. So rather than drawing a curve you can put two curves together and create a sharp point. That is something that you may need when it comes to creating some of the more interesting shapes. You can also link straight lines to curves; which is also necessary for a lot of shapes.


Carving is yet another technique that you can use to some effect. Start with a basic shape, and then convert it to paths. You can then use the photoshop slice tool to eliminate any imperfections.

If you wish to avoid dealing with paths, then start with a solid black color and then use the erase tool. You can always convert to paths later on if you wish.

Keep in mind that everything that applies to drawing lines in Photoshop applies to the eraser as well. This means that when it comes to drawing shapes in Photoshop, you can draw by freehand, use paths to create from scratch, or carve out of a larger block. You do not need to limit yourself to only one method.

Editing Photographs

Besides drawing curves in Photoshop, you can also play with pictures. Without ignoring the fun you can have manipulating the images themselves, let's take a look at some of things we can do.

You can have some fun when you know how to make a line drawing from a photo in Photoshop. The first thing you do is make sure that you have a digital version of the picture and then open it in Photoshop. You can then apply various filters until you obtain the result you are looking for, such as stained glass or sumi-e. You can also apply multiple filters to the picture.

For some effects, before doing anything else, it is a good idea to covert the photo to plastic and apply watercolor. Once you know how to make a photo look like a drawing in Photoshop you will find how much fun and creative it can be.

When first learning how to make a picture look like a drawing in Photoshop, you will want to play around with the settings to find what works best for you. For those working on posters and other basic graphics, learning how to make a picture look like a drawing in Photoshop can be all sorts of fun.

When combined with the transformation tools, you will have the ability to make great caricatures (especially if you apply different transformation effects to different areas).

Another recommendation is to learn how to outline a drawing in Photoshop. The simplest version is to cut out the section you want, paste to another layer, and then apply a stroke from the layer effects.

Start Coloring in Photoshop

Once you have learned how to convert a photo to line drawing in Photoshop, you can start coloring it. If you are curious how to color a drawing in Photoshop, the simplest way is to use the brush tool. This allows you to apply color on a different layer that has the opacity taken down a notch. You can also convert it to a vector graphic and color it that way.


 When it comes to drawing in Photoshop it's a good idea to review a few articles and videos, especially "Photoshop tuturial for beginner". We have included a good video for you below. 

Most important, please remember to practice with the drawing tools in Photoshop, and recall that every expert was a novice at some point. You can continue referring back to this tutorial for instructions.

You are a novice for now; but with practice, you can become an expert. Do not become discouraged and you will get it down eventually. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book that it takes up to 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. Good luck!

About the author

John Thatch

John Thatcher is a computer science educated artist. He uses technology to solve artist problems. His friends don't like it when he speaks of himself in the third person. But John does it anyway, because he's a rebel.

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