Adobe Photoshop: Squeaky Clean Edges in Your Drawings | Jörn Meyer | Skillshare

Adobe Photoshop: Squeaky Clean Edges in Your Drawings

Jörn Meyer, Illustrator & Digital Artist

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Why Keeping Your Edges Clean is Important

    • 3. Blocking in Colors with the Lasso Tool

    • 4. Blocking in Colors with the Path Tool

    • 5. Lock Transparent Pixels

    • 6. Clipping Masks

    • 7. Creating Selections from Layer Transparencies

    • 8. Saving & Loading Selections

    • 9. Working with Layer Masks

    • 10. Conclusion & Class Project


About This Class


When creating simple and fun illustrations in Photoshop, it is important to keep a clean and concise look to your forms so you can work loosely and freely without worrying about whether it will impact your drawing’s neat look!

In this class, you will learn different tools to block in colors with sharp, clean edges and a variety of methods you can use in order to make your pixels stay where they belong.

In this class, we will cover:

  • Blocking in colors with the lasso (yes, the lasso) tool
  • Using vector masks to block in more challenging forms
  • Working with layer masks
  • Manipulating and combining selections in order to make all kinds of new selections
  • Saving and loading selections for later use
  • Using clipping masks all of the time
  • What to do when you made a mistake

After you completed this class, your project will be to make your own little monster using the techniques you’ve learned to make it squeaky clean!

Attention: Previous knowledge with Adobe Photoshop is required, especially when it comes to working with layers, but don’t worry, we’ll keep it beginner-friendly at all times!


1. Intro: Hello, My name is your night hot, and I'm a digital artist and illustrator from Cologne, Germany. So that's why I speak with the funny accent. Welcome to my class on squeaky clean edges in your drawings when creating simple and fun illustrations in Photoshopped like the monster and used to my title slide, it is very important to remember to keep your brush strips lose and broad flowing so your final illustration can end up looking nice and complicated. On the other hand, it is also important to care about your form and your silhouette. Why else you will achieve a look that looks muddy and messy and not very articulated. Looking back at my own art from way back, I can really say that getting rid of that money look was a super important step in my evolution as an artist and I can honestly make or break an illustration in this class. We will take a look at different functions you can use in photo shop in your initial drawing before you start your final rendering. In order to ensure that every single picks with stays exactly where you want it to, we will learn the proper way to block in your initial colors. We will take a look at keeping and preserving your sharp edges, and we will talk about making selections and altering them in the way you like. In the class project, you will use the tools and techniques we talked about in order to make your own cute monster sketch into a nice and clean illustration. So if you're interested in running one of the most fundamental skills in digital art that I personally can think of and are eager to take your illustrations to the next level with nice and clean edges than this is the class for you hope to see you there. 2. Why Keeping Your Edges Clean is Important: Okay, So now, before we go into the specific techniques, I want to show you how not to do it. If you have a sketch like this, most people select a heart brush and put the flow and capacity to 100%. Zoom in on the image and then just laid on some brush strokes. Try to follow the form off the sketch as closely as I can get it. If I do some more brush strokes, you will notice, too. Strange things. First of all, the opacity of the cutter is not 100%. You see the little light green shining through there and this is a for press really hard on the tablet. And two, if I do some more brush strokes following the former's closely as I can get it, which might not be that accurate all of the time. Let's be honest and then hide the sketch layer. You immediately notice like these little edges. And that just doesn't look very nice or professional. Signable. If I have this nice form ready to go, and I want to draw some colors on top of it, um, I look at this, the form off this monster, right you earlier, and it's very round and very ball like so. We want a nice, smooth, soft shadow going on over there, and I take a brush, a nice big soft brush and a nice dark color and just start painting, and you immediately notice that I loose the edge I cared so much about earlier in the video . So what can I do? I can take the eraser tool and start carving into the color again. But then I run into the same problem with the breast strokes. So that's no good, even versus if you didn't notice, you made those mistakes and have to spend time later in your process, fixing it. So let's continue to the next few videos and look at some tricks and techniques you can use in order to not have those headaches. 3. Blocking in Colors with the Lasso Tool: one off the tubes. I use all the time in order to make some nice and clean selections is the lesser too. It's very easy to use. Just set down the cursor on the canvas, and Photoshopped makes a selection for you. The important thing about using the lesser is to have this option right here enabled. It's called at two selection, and what it lets you do is to find your shape step by step by adding further forms. When you hold on your art key, you can substrate from this election. That way you can build your form in no time. Let's try this horn right here. Put down the cursor and try to make some nice and long strokes. When you feel like you losing momentum, just a board. Rotate the canvas and pick it up again. Try to draw from your shoulder. Well, this is not perfect, but you get the gist of it. Maybe fixed this one right here, Onda, Uh, and this one right here and there we go not just go to add it and fill to fill it with your foreground color. And there we have it. Ah, I should work on this one year a little bit more, but yeah, you get the idea 4. Blocking in Colors with the Path Tool: Now we have our horn shape all ready to go. We want to take a look at how to take a more complex shapes, like the body off this monster here. As you can see, the monster's body has many long and nice and smooth curves that are kind of hard to replicate with the lesser tool in just one motion. So let's take a look at the path tool before you get started. Make sure you have the PAF option specified. Then just put your cursor down on the campus, make a little dot and connected to the next and the next and the next. Now there's let me see if this is gonna Yeah, um, there's tons of tutorials on the Internet on how to drop is year curves. I'm not really an expert at it, and you don't need to be, either. They're fairly easy to get into, and I'm sure you can figure it out. Just a little bit of practice. Now, when you're Pakistan selected powerful options, select the current work path and click this button right here. It's called Load Path a selection, and it does what you think it will do. Um, and then just go to edit and feel and for with foreground color and you got your blocking all ready to go. Another option you have is to make a new layer, select the current path and go to layer vector mask current tough. This creates a vector mask on the current layer. So now if I paint it would stay inside the boundaries off the curve, redrew. The cool thing about Victor Mosque is that I can go in afterwards and still manipulate the curve in the Vector Mosque, and that's just awesome. 5. Lock Transparent Pixels: ReNu of your lay all set up to go and have some nice and clean and just going, and you want to draw on some shadows, you encounter the problem I mentioned earlier. You take a nice and big brush and draw over your layer, and you immediately lose all your edges. What you want to do is press this button on your current layer that you want to draw on. It's called luck transparent pixels. With this option enabled, you can't at new pictures to the layer. You can just draw over existing ones. Every transparent pixel states transparent, and I don't draw over the edge anymore. Another interesting thing to note is that you can't really. You raise on the lock transparency layer. It just gets filled with the background color. So keep that in mind. If you really want to change your form that you do with the razor tool, you have to unlock that, inspire INSEE and go in and again, and then you can lock it again and paint over it again. 6. Clipping Masks: the next function I want to show you is the most important one for digital artists that are teaching this class. It's called clipping masks, and I use it all of the time. Go to the layer you're currently editing. Make a new layer on top of it. Hold on the R key and click the dividing line between the two layers. This layer is now clipped to this layer, which means that if I draw on the top layer, the only pixels that get painted at those already present in the bottom layer a contour over the edge anymore. The cool thing about this is I'm not destroying information on the bottom layer. I can just take out my eraser tool and fix my mistakes, and everything is still nice and clean underneath. And that's amazing. You can make as many clipping masks on top of each other's you like, just be careful. They get kinda messy, and also they increased five size if you use them a lot. So every so often I like to go to layer and much down to reduce them to a single layer. Creating new clipping masts and merging them down again doesn't cost you anything, and it's really fast, so I would like to encourage you to do this all of the time. Get in the habit off, not drawing on the bottom layer, but make a new clipping mask on top of it in your final drawing. Pretty much every block in layer that you have should have at least one clipping mask on top of it containing the shadows and or highlights. You can even set the blend mode off the clipping masks to a different one than the bottom layer, which is another tool available to you. 7. Creating Selections from Layer Transparencies: for my next lesson. I have opened up the final orchestration that I prepared for this class. As you can see in my layer pallet, I have many different layers containing base layers and clipping masks on top of them. Let's assume that I want to draw something on each body part off the creature. Let's assume, for example, we wanted to have cute little spots. Now I can't just make another clipping mask on top of the body layer and drawn it because the layer body doesn't encompass the whole body of the creature because other layers underneath that like this one. Now what I can do instead is go ahead and hold on the control key and click on the Vector Mosque off this layer, and it's elects the pixels off the body. But I also want some spots on the tail. So I hoped on the control key and the shift key, and you see the Kurds are changing to a plus sign. It now adds, this layers pixels to the selection. I can also hold on control and ought to substrate from the selection, which, in this case, because the Taylors, hidden behind the body, carves out of my farm. Okay, lets at that again. Also, if I make a free hand selection with the lesser too, I can say Okay, this is nice, but I want this election to only cover the body off the creature. So I hold down control and shift and all. So all three modifier keys and click the vector mask in order to intersect this election with the layers visible pixels. 8. Saving & Loading Selections: Let's get back to our previous example and dimension. I want to draw some thoughts all over this creature using the technique I discussing the previous video. I can go ahead and make a selection that covers the entire creature on. There we go. I can just go ahead and pay whatever I want. If I want to use this selection at a later stage of my illustration, I can go to select and saves electoral. Give it a nice name like monster body on click. OK, if a d select this election now, this election is still Safed in photo shop. I can still go into select and lots electoral selected from the channel Drop down and there it is again. It will also get saved as a new channel in the general menu. I can hold on the control key and click on it to load the selection 9. Working with Layer Masks: for this. Listen, let's assume I want to draw somewhat cracks like this one or that one on the horn, on the thorns, on the tail and on the nails. For this purpose. I have prepared a selection ahead of time that I can load. Now. I have a new layer all set up to go, and now I go down to the layer options and click this button to add a new layer mosque, as you can see in the preview picture, all the things that selected earlier on now white when the rest is black. If I click back on the layer and start painting, you will notice that I can only draw in the places that I selected earlier. I can not so go into the layer mask by clicking on it, and you will notice that the colors are selected earlier, switched to black and white. No everything. I paint him black, gets subtracted from the layer mask and becomes invisible if a paint in white, on the other hand, it gets visible again. I can also paint in grayscale to just reduce the capacity. Another great thing is I can also apply layer mosques to layer groups like this Now every layer that is inside this layer group has the same lay a mosque apply to it. 10. Conclusion & Class Project: And that concludes my class and clean edges. Thank you very much for your attention. I hope that you learned a lot today and I want to encourage you to incorporate the tools and techniques we talked about into your workflow. You will get the best results if you used him Every time you put your style is to go tablet . As I stated in the intro, if you want to participate in the class project which would make me very, very happy just taken are sketchy of lying around and use what we learned today to make a nice and defined painting out of it. If you want to get in touch with me, my contact information is on my homepage. Yuan had heart dot com and you can also say Hi, Jimmy on Twitter. My name is at your heart. That's all for today. Thank you very much for enrolling in my class and I would be seeing you soon