Adobe Photoshop Workshop Resources

Reasons for using Adobe Photoshop

  1. Teach the benefits of working with layers
  2. Editing pictures for print
  3. Creating video graphics
  4. Digital painting
  5. Used by designers, artists, illustrators, animators, publishers, film and video professionals

Resources for help

  1. ---
  2. Photoshop Blog ---
  3. Photoshop Essentials ---
  4. ImagineFX Magazine ---
  5. Adobe Ed Exchange -­‐-


Photoshop Line Art and Coloring

This method of coloring in Photoshop is a simple method to get started and helps learn some basic techniques and tools.

Tools/Techniques Used:

Brush Tool, Lasso Tool, Magic Wand, Gradient Tool

Fill Command, Create & Name Layers, Options Panel, Lock Transparent Pixels, Lock Layer, Stacking Order

Step 1:

Resize your image 200% before tracing, this will help create smoother lines. You will resize the image 50% when you are finished.

Step 2:

Create a new layer, I've named mine Line Art and draw an outline of your image on its own layer. Be sure to not leave any gaps in the outline.

If you are using a drawing tablet you can press the Always Use Pressure for Size icon to control the size of your brush.Note: Additional settings for Pen Pressure can be set in the Brush Panel (Window --> Brush)


Step 3:

When you have completed tracing the image, delete the Reference Image layer.

Step 4:

Using the Magic Wand select the area around the cat, create a new layer and fill with white. (Edit --> Fill --> Use --> White)
Name this layer:
White Background.

Step 5:

Select the Inverse (Select --> Inverse), create a new layer and Fill this will a color of your choice. This will be the base fur coat.
Name this layer:
Base Coat.

Step 6:

Move the Line Art layer to the top of the stacking order.

Step 7:

Color the picture creating a new layer for each section that has the same color. For example, eye color, light fur, nose, etc.

Step 8:

Gradient Shading, lock the transparency color for each layer and select the Gradient tool. Reset the Foreground and Background colors to their default settings.   (X, D)
the Gradient from Black to Transparent and set the Opacity to 60%.

Step 9:

Select the Base Coat layer, drag the gradient across the layer, I'm going to draw from the tail to the front paws, notice the gradient is only applied to the color on the layer. Note: Adjust the location where you start and stop your dragging to adjust the gradient.

Step 10:

Continue to shade the other colors, use the lasso tool to restrict where the gradient is applied on the colors if you do not want it applied to the entire layer.


Step 11:

The last step is to color the outline, lock the transparency for the Line Art layer and using the Eyedropper tool select the darkest shaded area and color your outline that color.


Painting on Grayscale Line Art to Create a Colored Sketch

This method of painting in Photoshop paints on layers above grayscale line art, combining blending modes, brush styles and taking advantage of a drawing tablet can create a really stunning effect.

Tools/Techniques Used:

Brush Tool, Lasso Tool, Quick Selection Tool

Fill Command, Create & Name Layers, Options Panel, Lock Transparent Pixels, Lock Layer, Stacking Order, Brush Panel, Brush Presets Panel, Load Brushes, Blending Modes

For more information on blending modes here is a great resource from Photoshop Essentials.


Secluded Temple by AlvinHew on DeviantArt


We are going to start with Alvin Hew's grayscale line art secluded temple. When painting in Photoshop it is important organize your layers and have a color scheme ready to go. Many Photoshop artists create a layer for their color palette much like an artist's paint palette to work from to keep track their colors, this is extremely important since you will be making adjustments to your layers Color Modes and Transparencies this will affect how your color would later be picked up with the Eyedropper tool.


  1. Open the File titled SecludedTemple.psd.
    We first need to enlarge are canvas on one side to make room for owe reference colors.
  2. Choose Image --> Canvas Size --> Add 100 pixels to the right side of the canvas and click OK.

  3. Create a new layer and name it Color References and begin creating a color palette for your image.
    Note: Keep this layer at the top of your stacking order so the colors remain true.
  4. Let's begin by creating a Color layer and fill it with a color that compliments the overall mood of the scene and apply a Color Mode to the layer.
  5. Now, begin painting the various elements in the image starting with the large images. Remember to add colors to your Color References layer if you add any additional colors while you work.
  6. Scroll through the different Blending Modes to see how the colors interact with the Reference Sketch layer.
    TIP: Use selection tools to isolate the areas you want to paint.
  7. Customize your Brush to work with the Wacom tablet, choose your Brush Preset and open the Brush Panel.
  8. The Shape Dynamics category allows you control Size Jitter, Angle Jitter and Roundness Jitter by the pressure you create using your stylus.
    Choose Pen Pressure from the Control Menus for each of the Jitters, adjustments to the percentage will very based on the user.
    Note: Jitter simply is Photoshop's term form randomness.
  9. The Color Dynamics category allows you to specify two different colors for blending, this would be an excellent option for the leaves.
    For more information on color dynamics here is an article from
    Photoshop Essentials.





Painting with the Mixer Brush

If you are interested in learning some techniques to work with the Mixer Brush tool, Joe Dockery has some great resources on his website.

Here is an example I did of my dog, Potus.


Scratch Art: Photoshop for Kids of All Ages from Nicole Dalesio

Scratch Art: Photoshop for Kids of All Ages from NicoleDalesio on Vimeo.

Software Tutorial from Wacom USA


TIP: Press the Shift key and the Plus sign (+) or the Minus sign (-) to scroll through the color modes.




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