Line Art


This assignment teaches you how to take a drawn image or photo and turn it into an image that can be silkscreened onto a T-Shirt.
You will take images, convert them to line art, using three different methods in Photoshop, and then take the best version into Illustrator to trace and colour!

  • Find ONE photograph with good contrast and a very neutral background.
  • Open the file with Photoshop and duplicate your background layer 3 times
  • Duplicate layers by dragging them onto the paper icon at the bottom of the layers tab
  • Follow the instructions to create line art – remember to use a different layer for each method!
    • Threshold Only
    • Smart Blur (possibly with Threshold) – on new layer!
    • Find Edges (possibly with Threshold) – on new layer!
    • Pick your best line art version, make sure it is the only visible layer and save your file.
  • Import your image into Illustrator and live trace and live paint your object
  • Separate your colours into separate layers. Use either Illustrator or Photoshop for this.
  • Re-open your first Photoshop file, as well as the one you just exported, and combine them
    • Do this by holding the shift while dragging the layers from one image to the other.
  • See the sample Photoshop file to see a completed project.
  • You should have at least 6 layers: Original, three conversions and the colour layers.

your Photoshop file with 6+ layers


3 Photoshop Tasks, Illustrator Trace, Paint and separation

  • Draw a good still life pencil sketch, (fruits, flowers, etc.)
    • – make sure you have strong outlines!
  • Scan it into the computer as a Grayscale image
  • Save the image as a JPG
  • Repeat the above steps with your sketch
    • (It might be the best version to use in ‘live trace’ – try it….)
How to Video

PDF Guide

Gallery of Samples