How can I improve my drawing?

Digitize your drawings with Photoshop

Your sketches and drawings deserve the maximum attention: turn them into digital graphics and transform them into t-shirt designs! Our tutorial shows you step by step how to digitize hand-drawn drawings with Photoshop and make them fit for your shop or the Spreadshirt marketplace.

Digitize drawings with Photoshop - that's how it works

For this tutorial you need the software "Photoshop". You get the current version "Photoshop CC" free of charge as a test version. You can download the full version of the older predecessor "Photoshop CS2" free of charge.

The tutorial refers to the English language version. If you use Photoshop in German, you will find the German equivalents here: https://www.drweb.de/magazin/photoshop-englisch-deutsch/

1. Draw

  • Use smooth, pure white paper
  • If you no longer want your picture to look like a pencil drawing in digital form and you want clearly defined, thin lines instead, you should trace the final contours with a black fineliner

2. Scanning

  • Scan your drawing instead of photographing it (this makes digitizing easier and faster)
  • It is best to scan pencil drawings in black and white
  • Choose a high resolution: At 300 dpi, the design will be output in its original size. With 600 dpi you can enlarge your design later without affecting the quality and sharpness of your lines.
  • If you only have one camera available, make sure it is well lit and position the camera directly over the picture

3. Adjusting colors and contrast

The goal of this step is to color your final lines jet black and the background completely white. You can also make guidelines disappear.

  • Open your .jpg file in Photoshop: "File" → "Open"
  • In the layers panel you can now see the original layer, which should not be edited
  • Duplicate the original layer with a right click →"Duplicate". You make all of the following changes to the newly created layer
  • Under Image "→" Adjustments "Levels " A histogram of the lightness and darkness distribution opens, in which you can make the tonal value correction:
    • Slide the left slider to the right until the relevant lines are black
    • Slide the right slider to the left until unwanted pencil lines and the background are white

4. Small corrections

  • To erase unwanted lines, use that "Brush Tool" from the toolbar on the edge and paint over it with white paint
  • To fill in or trace black lines, use this "Brush Tool" with the black color

5. Delete background (crop design)

  • Now make the original layer invisible (click on the eye symbol next to the layer name)
  • Check for shadows around the edges as you scan. If so, use that Brush Tool " and paint over these areas with white paint.
  • Use that “Magic WandTool " from the toolbar, use it to mark all background areas that you want to delete and press the delete key
  • The transparent background area is now highlighted with a checkered pattern

Tip: It doesn't always catch you Magic Wand Tool " the complete background. To ensure that your cut-out illustration also looks good on colored products, you should also add a colored layer below your work layer. With the Paint bucketTool you fill the new layer with a contrasting color. Now select the level with your cut-out design again and delete with the Eraser Tool " possibly white spots on the edge. Then make the contrast layer invisible again.

6. Crop and save the image

  • Remove the transparent edges outside of your design so that it doesn't appear too small on the printing surface later: "Image" → "Trim" → "Based on Transparent Pixels"
  • If necessary, adjust the size of your design Image "→" Image Size " (The size of your design should be a maximum of 4000 x 4000 pixels)
  • Save your design as a .png and upload it to Spreadshirt

The way described here is just one of many ways to digitize drawings - every designer develops his own technique over time. If you take your time, you will discover many more functions with which you can further edit your design.

Open your own online shop

What tricks do you use when digitizing drawings? Would you like more tutorials on image editing? We look forward to your suggestions in the comments.