How to Create Line Art in Photoshop | Top Tips

Mar 11, 2022
How to Create Line Art in Photoshop - Coloured Pencil Tips - Bonny Snowdon Academy

Lots of people ask me how I create the line art for my coloured pencil drawings, so I thought I'd give you a quick guide to show you how it's done. I use Adobe Photoshop, my Mac, iPad and Apple Pencil, but you can create line art with alternatives. 
Step One

Once I've opened my image in Photoshop, I create a new layer, then select the Pencil Tool in the Tool Panel. 

Step Two

Next, I change the colour I'm going to be drawing into a bright colour. Usually, I use red or blue. 

Step Three

Now, I connect to my iPad by going into System Preferences, choosing Sidecar, and selecting my device under "Connect to:". I'm then able to click on the Photoshop window and drag it across to my iPad. 

The reason behind doing this is that I find it easier drawing onto the iPad with my Apple Pencil than it would be trying to use the mouse on my Mac. 

Step Four

The first thing I do once I've moved the Photoshop window across to my iPad is double check that I'm working on a separate layer and not the image itself, and then I grab my Apple Pencil and start drawing. 

So, I simply draw around the image and add in a few of the really key details, remembering not to get carried away and add in every strand of fur. The idea is to keep it very basic; all of the fine details will come later once I'm working on the drawing itself. 

Step Five

Once I've finished, I click on Sidecar, disconnect my iPad, and my image appears on my desktop again. 

Step Six 

Next, I hide the background image, so I'm left with just the line art, and I change the colour by hovering over the layer, holding down the Command key on my keyboard to select the line art, and selecting black in the Tool Bar. 

Step Seven

With the background still hidden, I click on File in the top lefthand corner, select Save As, rename the image, and then, under Format, I select JPEG and click Save. 


And it's as simple as that! Now, I know not everyone will have access to Photoshop or multiple screens, however, I find that this is the quickest and easiest way to create line art for my drawings. 
Click on the video shown above to watch me take you through each step of the process. It will give you a better idea of the stages I go through. 


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