How to Make a Pencil Line in Photoshop

Written by aaron marquis
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How to Make a Pencil Line in Photoshop
The pencil tool in Adobe Photoshop has an adjustable tip width. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The pencil tool is one of many features offered by Adobe Photoshop to create and edit graphics. The pencil tool, unlike the paintbrush, only draws in black ink. Use the pencil tool to create drawing outlines or rough sketches before you use the paint brush to add colour.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Navigate to the "File" menu in Photoshop and select "New" in the drop-down window.

  2. 2

    Name your new document and select its length, width and pixel resolution. The default resolution for new Adobe Photoshop CS5 documents is 72 dots per inch, which is adequate for pencil line drawings. Click "OK" at the top-right of the window.

  3. 3

    Find the "Tools" palette window to the left of your Adobe Photoshop window. The "Tools" window contains a number of different symbols, including a paint-bucket, a lasso and an eraser. Locate the paint brush symbol on the "Tools" window and click the symbol without releasing your mouse button. A pop-out window will appear with sub-symbols. Keep the mouse button depressed and move your cursor over the pencil tool symbol. Release your mouse button.

  4. 4

    Set your pencil size, opacity and hardness using the "Options" tool bar at the top of the Adobe Photoshop window. Pencil sizes are given in pixels.

  5. 5

    Move your cursor to the canvas and press your mouse button while dragging. The pencil will draw a continuous line for as long as you keep the mouse button depressed. Hold the "Shift" key while using the pencil tool to draw straight lines across the canvas.

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