Illustration • How-To How to Trace a Drawing in Adobe Fresco

Practice digital drawing and create a coloring page.

Line art can provide handy outlines for coloring pages. Explore your creative side in a relaxing way by using a vector brush and a color palette to trace and fill a line sketch in Adobe Fresco.

Headshot of Lidia Lukianova

Hi, I’m Lidia Lukianova. I’m an artist and a designer at Adobe. My favorite projects include illustration, identity, lettering, and animation.

Before You Start

Feel free to download my pencil sketch if you’d like to practice these steps. To use it, save the Photoshop document to Creative Cloud Files or your preferred cloud service that you can access from your tablet. Then open Adobe Fresco and choose Import and open to open the PSD file.

Step 1: Choose an Outline Color

I created a pencil sketch to serve as a guide for you to trace the lines. Using a guide also helps train the hand to draw smoother lines with a stylus. Before you start drawing, choose a color for your outline; shades of black work well because they create a clear definition between sections. Select the Eyedropper and drag it to the color you want on the palettes below the sketch.

Adobe Fresco toolbar is on the left and a pencil sketch of a woman’s profile displays on the right with color swatches below

Step 2: Create a Library and Pick a Brush

If you want to reuse a color, tap the color chip and then tap the + (plus sign) icon to save the color to your library. Choose a vector brush to create clear, crisp lines. I liked the Basic Round brush for this project.

Left: Eyedropper and color chip are selected, black swatch added to library; Right: Vector brushes shows Basic round brush

Step 3: Outline the Sketch

Customize your brush using the settings at the bottom of the toolbar. I experimented to find the right combination. What ended up working best for me was to set the brush size to 7 and the Smoothing to 85%. I also unchecked Pressure Dynamics and Velocity Dynamics under the Brush Settings to create smooth lines that were all the same width as I drew. When your brush is ready, use your mouse or stylus to trace over the lines of the sketch.

Brush settings: Size-7.0, Roundness-100%, Pressure dynamics and Velocity dynamics are both disabled

Step 4: Trim the Excess

Sometimes you might draw unwanted or intersecting strokes. To fix this, you can use the Eraser—or keep the vector brush selected, double-tap the touch shortcut to activate its secondary state, and hold it as you drag across the segment you want to trim.

Eraser tool & Touch shortcut are highlighted, orange lines crisscross over lines that intersect at the bottom of the drawing

Step 5: Color Inside the Lines

Time to start coloring. Choose the Paint Bucket and pick your color. This step works best if your lines intersect. If there are gaps, the color will fill unintended areas.

Paint Bucket selected, color chip set to pink, parts of face are filled with shades of pink and blue

Step 6: Expand Your Palette

This is where I had the most fun. Each color combination I used produced its own stunning result. Experiment with different colors to see what you like.

4 versions of the profile illustration showing different color combos; pinks & blues, greens & purples, purples & yellows

Step 7: Save It or Share It

Whether you want to continue your work in progress on your desktop, or share your finished creation, you can tap the Share icon and share to Behance, Quick Export to social media, or save your work in a variety of file formats.

Share icon is selected and shows Publish & Export and Quick Export options above colored line art

Color with Us

See the beautiful Illustrations from our Adobe Coloring Book collection. Choose your favorite, color it your way, and tag it with #AdobeColoringBook so you’ll share your creation with us.

6 line art styles: lion head, flowers, ‘Stay Kind’ with families and birds, abstract art, ‘Thankful’ message, and letterforms

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

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