If you’re an artist or a designer, you know the importance of adding color to line art. It can bring your artwork to life, adding depth and vibrancy. With the help of Adobe Photoshop CS6, you can easily and effectively color line art to create stunning visuals. In this article, we will guide you through the process of how to color line art in photoshop cs6, step by step. So, grab your digital paintbrush and let’s dive in!

How to Color Line Art in Photoshop CS6

How to Color Line Art in Photoshop CS6

Getting Started: Setting Up Your Canvas

Before you start coloring your line art in Photoshop CS6, it’s crucial to set up your canvas properly. Follow these steps to ensure you have the ideal workspace:

  • Launch Photoshop CS6 and create a new document by selecting “File” > “New” or using the shortcut Ctrl+N (Cmd+N for Mac).
  • In the “New Document” dialog box, specify the width, height, and resolution for your canvas. It’s recommended to set a resolution of 300 pixels/inch for high-quality prints.
  • Once you’ve set the canvas dimensions, click “OK” to create a new document.

Adjusting Line Art Contrast

To ensure better visibility and ease of coloring, it’s essential to adjust the contrast of your line art. Here’s how you can do it in Photoshop CS6:

  • Open your line art file by selecting “File” > “Open” or using the shortcut Ctrl+O (Cmd+O for Mac).
  • In the Layers panel, right-click on the Background layer and choose “Duplicate Layer.” This creates a duplicate layer to work on, keeping your original line art intact.
  • With the duplicated layer selected, go to “Image” > “Adjustments” > “Brightness/Contrast.”
  • Increase the contrast by dragging the “Contrast” slider to the right. Find the balance that makes your line art distinct without losing any important details.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the contrast adjustment, click “OK” to apply the changes.

Adjusting Line Art Contrast

Selecting and Saving Colors

Choosing the right colors for your artwork is crucial for achieving the desired effect. Photoshop CS6 provides various color selection tools and features. Here’s how you can select and save colors in Photoshop CS6:

  • Select the “Eyedropper Tool” from the toolbar on the left or press the shortcut key “I.”
  • Click on any area of your line art to sample the color.
  • To save the sampled color, open the “Swatches” panel by selecting “Window” > “Swatches.”
  • In the Swatches panel, click the “New Swatch” button (represented by a folder with a plus icon) at the bottom right.
  • A dialog box will appear, allowing you to name the swatch and choose a color group. Name your swatch and select an appropriate color group or create a new one.
  • Click “OK” to save the color swatch.

Repeat these steps to sample and save all the colors you want to use in your line art.

Painting Techniques for Coloring Line Art

Now that you have your canvas set up and colors selected, it’s time to start adding color to your line art. Photoshop CS6 offers various painting tools and techniques to make the coloring process easier and more efficient. Here are some techniques you can try:

Using the Brush Tool

The Brush Tool is one of the most versatile and commonly used tools for painting in Photoshop CS6. Follow these steps to color your line art using the Brush Tool:

  • Select the “Brush Tool” from the toolbar or press the shortcut key “B.”
  • Adjust the brush size and hardness using the options at the top.
  • Choose a color from the Swatches panel or the Color Picker.
  • Start painting over your line art using the selected color.

Using the Brush Tool in Photoshop

Utilizing Layer Blend Modes

Layer blend modes can add unique effects and blend colors seamlessly. Here’s how you can use them to enhance your line art:

  • Create a new layer by selecting “Layer” > “New” > “Layer” or using the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N (Cmd+Shift+N for Mac).
  • Set the blending mode of the new layer to “Multiply” from the dropdown menu in the Layers panel.
  • Choose a color and paint on the new layer. The color will interact with the underlying line art, creating a shading effect.

Experiment with different blend modes to achieve the desired coloring effects.

Adding Gradient Colors

Gradients can add depth and dimension to your line art. Follow these steps to add gradient colors in Photoshop CS6:

  • Create a new layer above your line art layer.
  • Select the “Gradient Tool” from the toolbar or press the shortcut key “G.”
  • Choose a gradient style from the options bar at the top.
  • Click and drag the Gradient Tool across your line art to apply the gradient color.

Select the "Gradient Tool"

Adjust the opacity and blending mode of the gradient layer to achieve the desired effect.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Color Line Art in Photoshop Elements or Other Versions of Photoshop?

Yes, you can color line art in other versions of Photoshop as well. While the specific steps may vary, the general techniques and tools remain similar.

How Can I Make My Coloring Look More Professional?

Practice is key when it comes to achieving a professional look. Experiment with different techniques, study color theory, and observe the work of other artists for inspiration.

Are There Any Shortcuts to Speed Up the Coloring Process?

Yes, Photoshop offers various keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow. For example, using the bracket keys “[” and “]” allows you to increase or decrease the brush size quickly.

Can I Use Textures or Patterns to Enhance My Colored Line Art?

Absolutely! Textures and patterns can add depth and visual interest to your artwork. You can apply them to separate layers and experiment with blending modes to achieve the desired effect.

How Can I Fix Mistakes or Make Changes After Coloring?

Photoshop provides several ways to correct mistakes or make changes. You can use the Eraser Tool, create adjustment layers, or make use of layer masks to modify specific areas without affecting the rest of your artwork.

Is It Necessary to Color Line Art Digitally?

No, coloring line art digitally is not a necessity. Traditional mediums like markers, colored pencils, or paints can also be used to color line art.


Coloring line art in Photoshop CS6 is a creative and rewarding process that allows you to breathe life into your artwork. By following the techniques and tips shared in this article, you can unlock the full potential of your line art and create stunning visuals. Remember to experiment, practice, and have fun with your coloring journey. Now, go forth and unleash your creativity! We have explored how to color line art in photoshop cs6.

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