How to use an SAI paint tool

Written by quinten plummer
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How to use an SAI paint tool
PaintTools SAI offers an advanced selection of image editing tools for enhancing your pictures. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Microsoft's Paint utility works well for making quick edits to your pictures, but it lacks the tools necessary to accomplish more advanced photo fabrications. Paint offers no photo filters or effects and provides no support for multilayered image editing. But if you need a more robust image editor, PaintTools SAI offers a far more developed arsenal of paint and enhancement tools. Before you dive in, however, familiarise yourself with some of PaintTools SAI's main features.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Download and install a free copy of PaintTool SAI (see Resources). Launch the program after you've installed it.

  2. 2

    Select the "Open" option from the program's "File" heading. Load the image you wish to work with, using the file explorer window that appears.

  3. 3

    Use the selection tools in the program's toolbox to select an area of your image to alter. Use the "Selection" to draw rectangular selection boxes on your image. Use the "Lasso" tool to make freehand selections. Drag your cursor across the image to make a selection with the "Selection" and "Lasso" tools. Use the "Magic Wand" tool to select portions of your image based on their colour --- simply click on the desired area.

  4. 4

    Use the "Move" tool to drag your selection to a new location. Use the "Rotate" tool rotate your selection --- drag your cursor up or down to rotate your image to the left or right. Use the "Hand" tool to drag the entire canvas.

  5. 5

    Click on the "Filter" heading. Select the "Hue and Saturation" option to adjust the colours in your selection, or use the "Brightness and Contrast" option to adjust its light level. Drag the sliders in the menus to adjust the light level or colour of your selection.

  6. 6

    Select a colour from PaintTool SAI's colour palette --- click on the desired colour. Select one of the drawing tools, like "Ink Pen" or "Airbrush," in PaintTool SAI's toolbox. Drag the tool across your image to draw with the selected colour and tool.

  7. 7

    Use the "Erase" tool to erase a portion of your image. Simply drag the tool across the area you'd like to erase. To undo an action, select the "Undo" option from the "Edit" heading.

  8. 8

    Select the "Save as" option from the program's "File" heading to save a copy of your work.

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