Sketch Rendering Issues

I’ve have a small, yet super annoying issue when I try to add some color and shading to my sketches. In this case the sketch lines are done in Painter with a detail airbrush as my brush tool. When I go to select certain areas that I want to fill with my color the selection won’t go all the way to the black line; it leaves a slight gap. This happens if I do it in Painter or bring it into Photoshop. So, when I add the color I get a white line right next to the black line instead of the color going right to the sketch line. I’ve attached an example of what I get.

Looking for some help on how to prevent this. Different brush tool? I’m out of ideas to try.

Thanks in advance.

You can try filling it 2-3 times. Photoshop will keep expanding the fill. You can also adjust tolerance of the fill bucket, as well as check on and off Anti-alias.

Personally, I expect this and have changed my workflow to accommodate. I usually just use a large brush to fill instead of a paint bucket, or I do an edge outline with a thick brush and then fill it, and then brush over the gap. Or I just fill and brush over the gap.

Thanks for the response. I’ve tried those other methods. Playing with the Photoshop tolerances and other tools don’t seem to make much of a difference, but it is slightly better.

I’ve been going in with a bigger brush to clean up the lines, but on more complex sketches with multiple areas that I want blocked in different colors this gets a time consuming. Just seems like there has to be a quick simple way to do this without spending a lot of time going in with a brush to clean up the lines.

Anyone else, or is this just the way it is?

Layers + multiply are your friend. No need to select stuff when you can paint Oma different layer.


Thanks R. I agree your suggestion is the best method. I was just wondering if there was another way, so that I could minimize the number of layers in a bigger layout. Gets confusing when the layers pile up. Figured I’d post the question to see if there was some other methods out there.

Appreciate the responses.

I spend a lot of time in photoshop and I can tell you that the best way I found is to create layer masks using selection tools.

Quick way to do this, when I want to mask the entire background surrounding a sketch, simple click the magic wand on the background area, then right click, select “inverse selection”, then with a new layer selected, “add layer mask.” Now your layer mask should hide everything surrounding the sketch and you can forget about it.

An even nicer way to apply this technique is to actually apply the layer mask to a group, and then drop all your layers into the group.

In terms of not becoming overly cluttered with layers, keep everything neat using labels and groups. Also try to stick to 3-6 layers per sketch, and combine layers when possible. Lows, Midtones, Highs, Highlights, Colors, ect.

For further techniques, check out the videos on

Good luck

So basically what we’re saying is that there isn’t a magical way and you will end up with more layers :smiley:

You could try selecting the outside of your shape, and then inverse the selection, both Photoshop & Painter have an inverse selection function. Then your fill would bleed outside of the sketch line.
This one is better, in Photoshop I have used the Modify > Expand to add pixels to the selection quite a few times. Just expand the selection by one or two pixels, or as needed depending on the resolution. Then you can fill.
You could also paint in the color on a separate layer, erase away the bleed, and then merge the two layers, which is another loose sketch render technique I’ve seen.

I am going with the multilayer approach. I have bumped against this “problem” myself now and again. Its of course not really something wrong, it just has to do with the “tolerance” settings of the magic wand selection tool. Your “black” lines have a grey edge due to a number of reasons not least of which is antialiasing. The magic wand tool is therfor only picking what is white, and the little line you are left with is actually very very light grey. You could try adjusting the tolerance so that the tool picks up more of the grey area at the boundary of your lines, although this of course means you will partially colour over the boundary of your lines.

There are a couple of ways i work with this. In the example you show the easiest way is to have the colour on a separate layer underneath which you can than quickly fill in the gaps with a brush (easy since the colour is on both sides of the line). Where you only have colour on one side, and therfore filling the missing gaps with paintbrush would take too long (you dont want to colour over the lines), i would also start with the colour on a new ayer underneath. I then ever so slightly blur this colour layer, duplicate it a few times and merge them together. Not saying this is the best method, but its just the way i have done it in the past without giving much thought to it.