Learn step by step how this painting was created. You will get a good understanding of how to create anime images with beautiful lighting and learn techniques that will help you in many types of drawings.

Preview of Final Results


How to Create an Anime Artwork in Photoshop

Step 1 – The Outline

Most people draw the outline on paper then use a scanner to load the outline into Photoshop. Begin by opening the outline image into Photoshop.


  1. Use the Levels tool (Image > Adjustments > Levels) to correct the contrast of the outline. You can do this with the Levels tool by moving the black and white input sliders towards the center of the histogram. Make sure that the background is 100% white and the outline is 100% black with smooth edges.
  2. To begin, you’ll need to unlock the Background layer. To do this, double-click on the Background layer in the Layers palette and click OK in the New Layer window.
  3. Now that the layer is unlocked, you can change the blending mode to Multiply. This will make the white background in the layer transparent.

Tip: Ensure that there are no broken lines. You will be using the Magic Wand tool often and broken lines will slow you down.

Step 2 – Separating the Outline

In this step, you’ll learn how to separate the outline and the background into two layers. This will also make the outline slightly thinner. You’ll also learn how to dissect the outline without any jagged edges using the Load Selection from Layer command.

In the above image, you can see the difference between using the Magic Wand tool and the Load Selection from Layer command. The Magic Wand tool produces jagged edges that become apparent when placed on a colored background. Instead of using the Magic Wand tool, use the Load Selection from Layer command to produce smoother outlines that blend well with any background.


  1. In the Channels palette (Window > Channels), click on the load channel as selection button. This will create a selection using the tonal information from the layer. Press the Delete button on your keyboard to delete the white background.
  2. Add a new layer below the outline layer and fill the layer with white.
  3. Change the blending mode of the layer to Multiply.


  1. Useful tutorial, thank a lot! But one thing I cannot understand: why should we checkmark the Other Dynamics option, if we do not any changes in this palette? It seems to me the result is the same, with checked option or without it?

  2. ummm wouldnt it be better to use the gradient tool instead of the dodge and burn? its waaay easier, i tried dodge and burn, it didn’t work as well and was hard to make it smooth. The gradient tool does it all for you. gradient is better

  3. Does anyone know how to perform the same function in Photoshop CS6? That is the newest version, and I cannot find the button mentioned.