Line Drawing Tools in Photoshop

Written by breann kanobi
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Line Drawing Tools in Photoshop
Create a drawing using the line tools found in Photoshop. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

All drawings and paintings consist of a series of lines of various shapes, sizes and colours. Photoshop offers several tools for drawing these lines, from the standard line drawing tool of the pencil to a tool that draws only perfectly spaced lines -- the line tool.

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Pen

The pen tool, which looks like a fountain pen's tip, draws perfectly straight lines from one point to another. These lines, often called paths, are created by clicking points. Click the left mouse button or press down on your tablet with the tablet pen. This creates the first point. Move the mouse or pen and click again to create the second point. The tool will automatically create a line between these two points. Add another point to create a line between the second and third point. Turn one of the straight lines into a curve by clicking on the line. Hold the mouse button and drag the line up or down to create a curve.

Line

Using the line tool allows you to create perfectly straight lines of varying colours, fills and thicknesses. To create a line with this tool, click on the line tool's icon, a slanted line. This opens up the line pop-up menu, in which you can input a pixel width from one to infinity, alter opacity from zero to 100 per cent and add arrowheads by checking or unchecking boxes next to "Start" and "End." Create a line by clicking on a point and dragging the mouse in a different direction. Release the mouse when you have finished the line. Create perpendicular lines by placing your mouse over a line, pressing the "Shift" key and pressing the left mouse button. Continue the line by moving the mouse in the direction of the line. For example, to make a vertical line, move the mouse upwards. Release the left-button of the mouse when you've finished drawing the line.

Pencil

Unlike the pen and line tools, the pencil tool allows you to create curved lines without extra steps. You can use the pencil tool to create lines of any shape. Lines can be completely straight or completely curvy, depending on how you move the cursor. To create a line with the pencil tool, click on the icon of a pencil and move your cursor over the place where you wish to start the line. Click or press down on the tablet with the tablet pen. Move the pen or mouse as if drawing on a piece of paper to create the line. Lines drawn with the pencil tool are always the currently selected colour and are one pixel thick.

Brush

The brush tool provides the most freedom when creating lines. You can change the brush size, colour or shape by clicking on the "Brush" menu. The most common brush shape is a circle, but brush tips can be any shape, from a square to a heart. Some brush tips are soft and create an airbrushed look. You can change the colour of the brush using the colour palette. You draw brush lines in the same manner as you draw pencil lines. Typically, brush lines are darker when you press harder on the tablet pen but remain the same darkness when using a mouse.

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