Simplify a Doodle in Photoshop (Part 2)

This post is a follow up, in which this Motif will be completed.
I’ll be using the Brush tool, Eraser tool, the Transform > Distort function, and a Levels Adjustment layer.

I have a couple of objectives and some quick tips, for turning this hand drawn doodle into a final Photoshop brush.

1) I want these two petals to look more consistent with the others

2) I want to fill in these parts of the motif that are missing

For my first objective, I’ll be using the Brush tool and Eraser tools.

With black as a foreground color and a Hard Round brush tip, it’s as simple as painting over areas that you want filled in. And, with the eraser tool, removing areas where I want more negative space.

Here are some examples: where the black areas are darker, it’s where the brush tool painted in black. Now these two petals look more consistent with the others.

The eraser is perfect for smoothing out bumps and lumpy areas, and overall reshaping.

For both the brush and eraser tools, you can change the size “on the fly” by using the left and right bracket keys. With a really small eraser size, you can get into really tight corners for precision.


Next, I’m going to fill in missing artwork, using the Transform > Distort function.

When I drew this, it went right up to the edge of the page. So, I’d like to just fill these areas in digitally.

I’ll start by erasing the two partial petals altogether, so I can start fresh, and replace them with a duplicate of a full petal.

I’ll grab the Lasso tool and make a selection of a completed petal to duplicate.

Once selected, Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste. When you do this operation, the copied element is automatically added to a new layer above. I do this twice so I can have two copies.

Grab one of the petals with the Move tool.

Choose Edit > Free Transform to get access to the bounding box and rotate and move the petal into thegeneral location, where you want the area filled.

Next, go to Edit > Transform > Distort.

Again, you will get a bounding box, the this tiem you can pull or push on one of the little squares, and “squeeze” the shape into a better position.

Once you get these in place, you can simplify things by merging your layers together. In your Layers panel, click on the three lines at the top right, to access this option.

At the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the half full circle icon, and choose Levels from the menu.The very last step to complete this Motif, involves a Levels Adjustment Layer.

This will darken the blacks and make them all uniform, as well as whiten the whites, helping to eliminate the gray colors.

First select the top eyedropper icon, and click on the darkest black in the motif, to have that color applied to all the blacks.

Repeat same for the whites.

Next, I want to eliminate any remnants of the white in the background, and have a 100% transparent background.

Select the Magic Wand tool, make sure the Contiguous setting is unchecked, click on the white color and hit delete. If you turn off the default Background layer, you will see the artwork layer has complete transparency, leaving only the black line work.

Turn this artwork into a Photoshop Brush:

If necessary, go to Edit > Free Transform, and size the artwork up, as it’s always better to create a large sized brush initially.

Grab the Rectangular marquee tool and drag around the artwork to make a tight selection.

Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. You will see the Preview of your tip pop up and you can give the brush a name at this point.

Select the Brush tool and with a color selected from your Swatches, you click onto the screen and “stamp” your brush.

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