I want to colour a line-drawing, but have the line art on one layer, and the colour on another. To block colour shapes, I want to use the magic wand tool to select them, then paint inside the selection - but that leaves the colour needing to be on the same layer as the line art.

I could use the already active selection to cut the coloured area and paste onto a new layer, but I wondered if there's a better way.

  • I suspect you are asking about layer-masks, but could you provide a sample of artwork, so we can better understand the question. Mar 1, 2019 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


Typically how this is done is by placing your line art on a layer above other layers and then setting it's Blend Mode to Multiply. This allows you to add layers below the line art containing the color(s).

By setting the line art layer to Multiply you get the benefits of pseudo transparency and only the key line will show, assuming it's a black or dark key line.

(This is quick and messy because I couldn't zoom in to be more accurate).

enter image description here

If you want to make a selection, simply highlight the line art layer, and use the wand to select an area. Then switch layers and fill the selection with color.

You'll notice in the animation above, for the hair at the end of the animation, I did just this -- highlighted line art layer, used the Magic Wand to select the area for the hair, switched to a new layer (below the line art) and then filled with color. The selection will remain active when switching layers.


Choose the Magic Wand tool and then make sure "Sample All Layers" is selected. This setting is in most tools allowing you to control if you want things to only affect that layer or all layers. Some tools have additional layer options in the same location as well.

enter image description here

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