Illustration using Figure tools





Hello everyone! I'm back with another tutorial about how to use the Figure tools.


I've had another tip with this theme before, but it was more about vectors and introducing tools. This time it'll be more about the Direct Draw group and using them to draw detailed characters.



1A. Straight line, Curve and Polyline

These three are fairly straight forward.


  • Hold Shift to make the line horizontal/vertical/45 degree.

  • Enter to end the polyline without closing it (on an iPad, tap a blank space on any menu bar)

  • Click at the start of the polyline to close it.


1B. Ellipse, Rectangle and Polygon

Note that you can't choose Line/Fill on a vector layer (it will always be Line).


1C. Bezier curve

Click to draw lines and click-drag to create curves.


  • Hold Shift to restrain the line/handles horizontally/vertically/45 degrees.

  • Hold Alt to move the anchor points separately.


1D. Lasso fill

You can quickly draw base color areas with the Lasso fill tool. Very useful with concept art.

Use higher stabilization if you don't have a steady hand.



Can't be used on a vector layer.

1D. Raster Layer or Vector Layer?

If you draw using Direct tools on a vector layer, the control points are preserved and you can correct them later using the Correct line sub tools [Y] and/or the Operation > Object [O] sub tool.


For more informations, see my older tip or the official tips:


Note that you can only draw lines, no fill on a vector layer, and as such the Lasso fill tool won't work either.



2A. Flat drawing: A simple cat

I start with a sketch layer, put it on top of other layers and lower its opacity. I also picked the colors beforehand, but you can pick color on the go too.


Then I use the Direct Draw tools to draw the basic shapes to form the image. You can see the whole process in the video below.


You should draw each shape on a separate layer so you can move/transform/change its color later. You can merge the layers afterward.


On a raster layer, you can transform your shape to an extent with Ctrl + T.


Utilize Clip to layer below to add details.

Note that you can use the direct draw tools as erasers by choosing Transparent as the "color". ONLY WORK ON RASTER LAYERS.



I use vector layer to draw the tail.

I also use the vector layer to draw the ring of stars.

Add texture using Lock transparent pixels or a new layer clipped to the base color layer and a texture brush.


2B. Line art

Recommend using the vector layer(s) so you can use the Vector eraser [E]


You can use it for coloring books, or color it digitally later.


I prepare a sketch and plan the color as usual.

You can see the whole timelapse below. Afterward, I have noted some technique I used in the video.

I draw mostly with the Lasso Fill tool. Either

  • Draw a big block of color then erase away unwanted part, still using Lasso Fill with "transparent color", or

  • Draw small blobs of color to form the desired shape.



For complex shapes (having both straight and curved edge for example), draw with the Bezier curve tool.


Remember to draw in as many layers as you need, like with the cat exercise above.

The window is drawn with the Ellipse and Rectangle tools.

I draw the cloud using rounded rectangles, then erase some parts using the same tool.

Add a pattern to the background.

Merge all the girl parts, add a white border to make her pop out of the background using a Border effect on Layer Property tab.


You can add colored texture like with the cat above. For this drawing, I simply add an overlay layer on top of the girl and use an airbrush to dab some light and shadow.

Optional: add a paper texture.


I hope you can find something useful in this tutorial. Thanks for watching!


If you like this, visit me at my pages! Let's have a chat:D



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