Imagine I draw something with the brush tool in Photoshop CS5.

I want to save the drawing as .png, but I want it to have a solid color background (white, for example) like here:

enter image description here

But creating that background is difficult, mostly when I'm working with thin areas (such as the feet). Besides, I have to do it many times, because these are frames of an animation.

Do you know a faster and more accurate way to do it than painting it by hand with the brush tool? I tried to use the magic wand, but the result is never satisfying, probably because it's not vector, and I can't control that easy the amount of pixels the selection takes.

Thanks a lot.

  • 1
    What software are you using? If you used the pen too[l], are the shapes closed shapes or open shapes? That art looks exceptionally pixelated for pen tool output.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 19:02
  • Please make a few edits to your question so we can assist you further because it is unclear at this time what software you're using.
    – user9447
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 19:04
  • Darth_Vader, thanks for your help. You were right. I didn't explain it well enough so that somebody that wasn't me could understand. It's not even the pen tool, it's the brush tool (my mistake). On the other side, the software was Photoshop CS5. I'm adding that info now. Thanks! Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:16

3 Answers 3


The easiest way might be to:

  1. Make a background layer fill it with white.

  2. With your line drawn character on the top layer, flatten the image.

  3. Magic Wand the white on the outside of the character and hit delete.

This should leave you with the white character! Hope that works!

  • This is probably the quickest solution. Flattening the layers isn't necessary (and in fact I'd advise against it). Instead I'd "sample all layers" with the magic wand. That way you can easily clean up any weird edges with the eraser.
    – Hanna
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 21:55
  • I think I'll go for this one. It seems que quickest option when you are working with an animation and you have many frames. That's why I didn't want to do it by hand... Thanks! Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:15

I think the best solution for your need is to use masks. Just put a background and select with mask the drawing, delete the background... And you have the draw with background.

Is what you need or I'm wrong?


The basic answer you already know... Do it by hand. That's how everyone does it if they are trying to fill brush strokes.

You can try the flood fill tool but that often requires you to work on the same layer as your key line (Black outline) and it has a tendency to feather edges requiring you to manually correct those anyway.

Often what is done is that the key line layer is set to Multiply and color fills are painted (manually) on a layer below the key line. This method ensures you don't mistakenly mess up the key line.

enter image description here

Ultimately, you have to do it by hand. There's really not any other solid method. And if for animation, you have to do each frame.

I don't really understand the issue with small areas (legs). You can zoom in when you paint. If you find it difficult painting with a mouse there are tablets and other input devices designed to make painting easier, but they do cost.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.