I'm trying to learn how to use my Wacom tablet in Photoshop.

I just drew a cloud with the pen then used paint bucket to fill it in. There's a very small transparent outline around the cloud outline I drew with the pen.

I'm sure there's a simple solution for this, but I can't seem to find an easy on Google. I'm hoping someone knows what I'm talking about?

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    All the Wacom stylus does is utilize tools within Photoshop. I'd guess that this "small transparent outline" would be the exact same thing as using a mouse with any brush. It has to do with brush settings and nothing directly related to anything Wacom.
    – Scott
    May 27, 2017 at 21:31
  • 2
    Thats what you get for using paint bucket. Its one of those tools that are there for legacy reasons rather than any practical ones.
    – joojaa
    May 27, 2017 at 22:05

2 Answers 2


Just to expand/rephrase the answer @billy_kerr gave:

When you click the paintbucket tool inside an area, it has no idea that the cloud you drew with the paintbrush tool is a line. Everything in your image is just tiny squares (pixels) and when it spreads out and meets each pixel it has to decide if it's something it should fill in or avoid, ( basically whether it's the same colour as the pixel you originally clicked on or not).

If the cloud line you'd drawn was pure black and each pixel was either pure black to signify the line, or white, to signify it's not part of the line, the paintbucket tool would have a pretty easy job of deciding what to fill in. However, even the blackest of lines drawn with the paintbrush tool in PhotoShop do not have pure black pixels at the edges of the line. They're various shades of your chosen colour to simulate soft edges, rather than harsh jaggy (aliased) edges. You're probably familiar with how this looks from zooming in.

So when the paintbucket tool gets to your paintbrush line that you drew for your cloud, its not meeting one colour. It's meeting lots of various shades of that one colour and needs to decide if it should fill them in with the paintbucket colour or not.

Still seems easy, but if you go to the farthest edges of your cloud line you'll see some of the pixels are closer in colour to what was behind them (possibly white background) and some closer to the line colour. What does it do there? That's where you get the problem you experienced, where paintbrush decided the edges of your cloud line were probably something that wasn't meant to be filled in and abandoned filling at the point where you see the faint transparent edge.

You can adjust how close a colour has to be to what paintbucket is trying to fill in by highering the tolerance option. The higher the number, the more paintbucket will treat deviations from the original colour you clicked as something it should probably fill in.

And, as already also mentioned, this has nothing to do with using a Wacom, it's just how the paintbucket tool works and is a bit of a hangover from the early days of digital images.


Most illustrators keep line work done with the paintbrush tool and fills on separate layers if they're two distinct renderings. The line work is the upper layer and you can colour under it on the fill layer, aiming to underlap the fill slightly so that the lines hide the imperfections of the fill boundary (often done with the paintbrush tool also - similar to a broad marker - instead of the paintbucket).


I suspect this has little/nothing to do with your Wacom tablet. Most wacom tablets are only input devices - somewhat like a mouse. They have little or no effect on the programs you run, but the settings in the program/tool you are using are more likely to be the problem.

This may fix your issue:

  1. Select the Paint Bucket tool

  2. In the tool options along the top, set the tolerance level to something like 50.

  3. Now try using the Bucket Fill tool. If it's still not quite right, you might need to adjust the tolerance further.

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