support my work on patreon live workshop and online courses with Xia Taptara FREE VIDEO AND PS BRUSHES

Separate line drawing layer in Photoshop from scanned drawing, tips for artist.

Separating lines from scanned drawing in Photoshop, tips for artist.

This technique you won't need to set the layer with the lines to multiply and you'll be able to change colors to the lines very easy later on. Very useful when you want to do comics book with outlines style and anime with outlines. Especially if you have a solid black ink drawing your art will turn out sharp and clean!

I receive this suggestion from e-mail from a fellow artist so all the credits go to him.
Submitted and written by Otoniel Duran

1.Select the layer with the lines (make sure the whole layer background has a color "whatever color" or just the corners).

2.Ctrl+A to select the whole layer.

3.Ctrl+C to copy the layer.

4.Alt+click on the layer mask to edit it.

5.Ctrl+V to paste the image there.

6.Ctrl+I to inverse the colours of the image on the layer mask.

7.Now Click on the normal Layer to edir the original image with the lines.

8.Select all and Delete the whole layer.

9.Now paint bucket the whole layer with black.

***Also you guys can make an action buttons for any of the technique. Then when you have to do it again you just click the button without having to go through the whole thing over again.

And there you go... Paint anything under the layer with the lines without havint to set it to multiply.
And if you want to paint the lines just paint on the black layer where the lines were originaly.

You can also make a copy layer with all the colours of the drawing, Gausian blur it around 10 or more, make a layer on top with a dark hot color, color burn it for 80% opacity something like that, merge it...
copy it... paste on top of the layer that had the lines once... and merge it down .. hit preserve :)... and there you go lines with similar colors of the drowing but darker... can always get darker~to~black with the burn tool ;p

Submitted and written by Otoniel Duran

If you have any suggestion and tips on Photoshop technique or anything drawing related that we should share. Feel free to submit your article via email (

Thanks for sharing and have fun

Recent Drawing Video tutorials:
-Drawing tutorial zombie ninja character
-Sketch character design Villain
-How to quick color comics panel process
-Limited color patette study 002


DraconianRain said…
That was extremely helpful! This is really going to make things a lot easier when I edit my manga and anime work.
XIA said…
Thanks! im glad you enjoyed it. :)
Tarackian said…
Hey uhh there is a much easier way to do this

Select your lines, go to Load Selection and check invert, then make a new fill layer of black while your lines are highlighted.

Then make a plain white fill layer underneath it.

And you're done.
XIA said…
Tarackian> Cool! Though is there is no different in LINE QUALITY for each of the technique? Did you try both?

Also, for quick result, you guys can make an action buttons for any of the technique. Then when you have to do it again you just click the button.
Jason Steffler said…
Im interested in hearing more about action buttons. I noticed in your tutorials that it looks like you have new multiply layer set to an action button. How do we set these up?
cj said…
thanks for the tip.