How to Clean Up Drawings in Photoshop


Before printing your drawings or posting them online it’s beneficial to clean them up in Photoshop. Even rough sketches can be polished with Photoshop and be prepared for presentation. Photoshop Levels adjustment will let you adjust the drawings tone so it matches the original. Using the retouching tools you can remove erroneous marks and discolorations. Touch up drawings with the Clone Stamp because it copies the texture and color of the paper.

  • Scan your drawing and save the file onto your computer using your scanner's software.

  • Launch Photoshop and choose “File,” “Open” and select the scanned drawing file on your computer.

  • Select the Crop tool from the Tools panel and use it to remove rough edges and straighten the drawing.

  • Click and drag with the tool in the document window to create a bounding box. Resize the bounding box by clicking on the handle and position it so that any uneven edges are outside the bounding box perimeter.

  • Double-click within the bounding box to crop the image.

  • Choose “Image,” “Adjustments” and “Levels.”

  • Adjust the “Shadows” and “Highlights” sliders to balance the tone of the image. This step is important for black and white drawings. The drawing may lack contrast and the paper often acquires a gray hue that “Levels” will correct.

  • Go to the Tools panel and choose the Clone Stamp.

  • Choose a soft round brush for the Clone Stamp in the Options bar.

  • Click on the Zoom tool and magnify the drawing so you can see the areas you need to clean up.

  • Locate a source point for the Clone Stamp tool, press “CTRL” and click. The source point should match the area you are correcting as close as possible. Click and drag over the flaw to cover it using the source point. Continue with this process to remove any unnecessary marks.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your black and white drawing has a yellow tint, go to “Image,” “Adjustments,” choose “Hue /Saturation,” then desaturate the layer. You can prepare the drawing for color by copying the layer, then covering the white areas with a mask. Your drawings lines will still be visible and you can paint with color on a lower layer and it will show through the mask.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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