Drawing Straight Lines?


I’ve just moved into digital from standard ink and lineart on paper but I’m having big troubles doing straight lines with my dear wacom companion.

Usually I would have used my elbow to swing a straight line but that technique seems fairly difficult in digital even when I swing the page around. Holding down shift in painter also doesn’t help very much as it only draws in 8 directions.

Anyone knows some good techniques on this?


You can switch from a freehand stroke to a straight line stroke in the brush options at the top. That allows you to place one point and then another and it will connect them, or you could rotate your canvas using the E key. Hope that helps. :thumbsup:


I have a 12x18 Intuos and sometimes I just use a straight edge. :thumbsup:


Thanks alot guys :smiley:

I kind of missed that option. It works nicely now except that it doesn’t seem to take any kind of pressure into consideration which is a bit irritating.

I also scanned through the tips and tricks threads but didn’t find anyone saying anything about this.

Appreciate the help :smiley:

PS. Digital drawing is alot more tricky than I though at first…


You can use pressure if you make a path with pen, or any shape tool, and then click “Align to Path” in Property Bar. This property is only in version IX and later.



Keyboard shortcuts:

b = freehand stroke

v = straight line stroke



You may wish to do more practice strokes using the Wacom. If you can draw a straight lines on paper, there is no reason for not able to do it on the Wacom, except due to lack of practice. Do more, and you will get the hang of it.


One thing, that helped me to get freehand lines straight and the thouch more familiar, was to begin to have a sheet of paper on my tablet. It’s making the surface rougher, less slippery.

As an extra you get a cover to protect the tablet for spilling drinks etc. The downside is, that it eats your pen tips much more quickly, depending on what sort of paper you use.



I do most of my lines by hand now, although I had a big problem getting used to a tablet when I first got one. My best advice is to keep practicing it by hand, even when it comes to angles that you can achieve with the Shift key.

Or… put a ruler on your tablet, that will work as well.


As said, one can hold down the SHIFT key while drawing, constraining the stroke to 45 degrees, and a straight line, for easy hatching.

This retains the thickness of the strokes.


lol, somehow, tat TOTALLY nvr occur to me…


Thanks. That’s a cool tip that will be very usefull. Some how I missed that feature in IX.


I still dont know why there isnt an option like in Photoshop where you create a dot then shift and dot again (for those that dont know… itll create a line between the two dots)… its way faster and you can get perspective quite fast.


There is:

1. Click the V key to paint Straight Line Strokes.

2. Click in the image where you want the line to begin.

3. Click and hold roughly where you want the line to end, then drag to the exact spot where you want it to end and let go.

4. To begin a new Straight Line Stroke in another location, click the V key again.

5. Click the B key to return to painting Freehand Strokes.

As mentioned earlier, if you want expressive strokes, use the Pen tool to draw the line (or whatever Shape you want).

1. Click the Align to Path icon on the Property Bar (fourth icon from the left).

2. Paint following the Shape and your brushstroke will appear on a Layer above the Shape.

Again, using this method, properties of the brush variant are expressed in the brushstroke (i.e. thick and thin lines with Pressure Expression, Opacity Expression, etc.)


uhmmm, if you think about it:

.-press V, click, drag, click, press V (painter’s way)


.-click, shift click (photoshop’s way)

I like photoshop’s way because there isnt the need to press V everythime you need a new line, its ten times faster and also you get a pencil feel wich its great for sketching and making concept design, pluss you loose the need to use the align path method if you want a pencil feel in your lines.


What would be useful is if the shift key constrained direction worked relative to the screen and not the paper, ie when rotating the paper, make horizontal relative to the screen, therefore straight lines of any angle could be achieved. Currently the straight lines are relative to the page, and so on rotated page the shift key constrains to the angle of the page, and when the page is straightened out a horizontal line is drawn.

May be this could be an additional option in the next Painter upgrade.




Now, that would be worth an upgrade! :smiley:


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