Simplify a Doodle in Photoshop (Lasso and Polygonal Lasso Tools)

In this quick tutorial, I’ll be using the Lasso and Polygonal Lasso tools to simplify this hand drawn doodle.

Lasso Tool: Make freehand selections by dragging completely around an area

Polygonal Lasso Tool: Make a selection by clicking to set a start point, and continuing to click around the entire area

The goal is to turn this doodle into an actual Motif, in which extra, unwanted details are easily removed.

Once you have a completed Motif, there are so many things you can do with it.

You can turn it into a Photoshop brush, and use it for some quick stamping. You can also open it in Illustrator and convert it into a Vector, which is ideal for scaling.

Quick Steps to Simplify the Motif:

1. Unlock the scanned artwork layer, which is automatically named Background, and create a duplicate. (It’s always a good idea to make a copy of the original and leave it untouched)

2. Grab the Lasso Tool and draw around the portion of the doodle you want to focus on
(when you release, you will see the “marching ants”, which indicates the selected area)

3. Use this shortcut to “jump” this selection to a New Layer above:
(PC) – Control + J
(Mac) – Command + J

Note: Use the Zoom Tool to get closer to specific areas

4. Use the Lasso Tool for all areas that you can easily select freehand, and hit Delete

5. For these areas marked in red, I want to define a more precise selection, specifically around the black edge of this petal.

The Polygonal Lasso Tool allows for this precise control.

The key is to make an initial click, setting the starting point, and continue with small, close together clicks, closely following the edge of the shape.

And, to close the selection, you must click at the same point where you started.

The red lines above define the selection areas.

Selection A – small, controlled clicks were placed around the edge of
the petal, and up and around to close the selection

Selection B – an area inside the petal was also selected to remove the
extra details

In a follow up post, I will continue to simplify and refine this Motif, using the Eraser Tool, the Brush Tool, and a Levels Adjustment Layer.

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