Home / Articles / Adobe Photoshop / Vector Drawing Techniques in Adobe Photoshop CS6

Vector Drawing Techniques in Adobe Photoshop CS6

Article Description

Learn how to differentiate between bitmap and vector graphics, draw straight and curved paths using the Pen tool, convert a path to a selection, and convert a selection to a path, save paths, draw and edit shape layers, draw custom shapes, and import and edit a Smart Object from Adobe Illustrator.

From the book

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book

$43.99 (Save 20%)

Working with defined custom shapes

Working with defined custom shapes

Another way to use shapes in your artwork is to draw a custom or preset shape. Doing so is as easy as selecting the Custom Shape tool, picking a shape from the Custom Shape Picker, and dragging in the image window. You’ll do just that to add checkerboard patterns and clumps of grass to the background of your poster for the toy store.

  1. Make sure the Retro Shape layer is selected in the Layers panel. Then click the New Layer button (Image) to add a layer above it. Rename the new layer Pattern, and then press Enter or Return.
  2. In the Tools panel, select the Custom Shape tool (Image), which is hidden under the Polygon tool (Image).
  3. In the options bar, choose Pixels from the Tool Mode menu.
  4. In the options bar, click the arrow next to the Shape option to open the Custom Shape Picker.
  5. Double-click the checkerboard preset in the Custom Shape Picker (you may need to scroll or drag the corner of the picker to see it) to select it and close the picker.
  6. Make sure that the foreground color is white. Then press Shift and drag diagonally in the image window to draw and size the shape so that it’s about 2 inches square.
  7. Pressing Shift constrains the shape to its original proportions.

  8. Add five more checkerboards of various sizes until your poster resembles the figure below.
  9. In the Layers panel, reduce the opacity of the Pattern layer to 75%.
  10. In the Layers panel, show the Spaceship layer so you can see the whole composition.
  11. You’ll use the Custom Shape tool to add clumps of grass to the background. You can apply a fill and stroke to shapes when you work in Shape mode.

  12. With the Custom Shape tool still selected, open the Custom Shape Picker, and double-click the clump of grass (called Grass 2).
  13. Choose Shape from the Tool Mode menu. Then, select Dark Yellow Green for the Fill color, select Darker Green Cyan for the Stroke color, and enter .75 for the stroke width.
  14. Press Shift as you draw four clumps of grass in the lower left corner of the background and an additional clump in the lower right corner.
  15. Pressing Shift as you draw ensures that all the shapes are on the same layer.

  16. Select the Path Selection tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and then Shift-select all five clumps of grass.
  17. Choose Distribute Widths from the Path Alignment menu in the options bar.
  18. Photoshop distributes the grass clumps evenly across the bottom of the background.

  19. Rename the layer Grass, change its opacity to 60%, and drag the layer just above the Background layer in the Layers panel.
  20. Deselect the layer, and then choose File > Save to save your work so far.
7. Importing a Smart Object | Next Section Previous Section