FLOATING LINE ART • Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

My adobe CS5 master collection died on me last Friday :c HOWEVER, I’ve successfully reinstalled it! and to celebrate this event, I made a tutorial !

Okay so you drew something on your sketchpad.

You: “oooh so pretty I want to color it!”

*scans and opens in photoshop*

Oh and before anything else, this only works for black and white images.

Anyway, You SHOULD have something like this!

First things first, double click your layer (with the scanned image). A pop out window should appear; click OK. This should unlock your layer image.

Okay so now you have a ONE layer with your image. *Take note; image is flat (white is not separated from black) ERGO, when you try to color your image (yes, even on a new layer) it’ll look like this

eew, right? Some people will go through all the hassle of carefully coloring inside (not touching the black lines) / LOL I was one of them 😉 but like most problems we face – there is a solution! a better, easier, and more efficient way to color your line-art! Now, I’m not saying this is the only process, but this is how I do it.


Select your entire image. ( apple/command + A for mac ). There should be a dotted line box as seen above.

After selecting, COPY. (command/apple + C).


Create a new layer ABOVE your first layer/image layer.


Fill the entire layer with black. (set black as your back round color and fill by pressing apple/command + delete).


Now this is the crucial step.

On the leftmost bottom part, you will see an icon that looks like a circle within a box *just below your foreground and backround color palette*. Click on it to edit in QUICK MASK MODE; or you can always just press the shortcut Q.  Nothing will happen after you click it but DO NOT click on it again. Just click it once. After this proceed to


PS* Remember I asked you to copy the image a while ago? This is the time to PASTE it 😀

It should look like this.

** Please remember to paste on your second layer (Black filled layer) and that you are on the ‘edit in quick mask mode’.


If you have a clean lineart, you don’t have to do this step. But if you do, please read 😮

Cleaning your line-art using the quick mask mode

I’m not very good at explaining but I’ll try! Anyway, basically in quick mask mode your backround and foreground color is automatically set to black and white. Now using your brush tool ( B ) you can ADD or DELETE lines. The image above shows that your black lines are now in RED. This means that when you want to add lines you use BLACK as your foreground color. But let’s say your image is dirty and you can see unwanted red specs and lines everywhere. You can now use WHITE (brush tool) as your foreground color and go over the unwanted lines – yes, like the eraser tool (E).


After adding lines/cleaning. Click on the Edit in Quick Mask Mode icon again.

The red lines should be gone and you should have something that looks like this.


Still on the same layer (2nd layer); click on DELETE. As you can see, only your lineart is left. If you unclick the Visibility icon of your first layer, your second layer will look like this.

No more whites! yay 🙂


Now all we have to do is to get rid of the first layer where your original scanned image is.

All you have to do is to click on the first layer, select all, then fill with white; or whatever color you want as a BG.

STEP 10:

Now you can color your image without the black lines bothering you! 🙂

Simply create a layer in BETWEEN the white and your lineart.

Tada~ black lines are still visible even if you color over the black lines. Why? because you made a floating line art 8D Now give yourself a pat on the back 😉

PS: If you want elements OVER/COVERING the lineart, simply create the layer above your lineart layer. 🙂


Here’s the final artwork 🙂

Hope this helped!

<3 Crissey

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