Photoshop is a powerful tool for editing images. It has become the standard for photo manipulation and retouching.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a simple vector illustration from scratch.

Vector graphics are scalable, meaning they can be scaled without losing quality or resolution. They also allow you to easily edit them later on.

This means you can change colors, shapes, and even add text. Vector graphics are great for logos, illustrations, icons, and other design elements.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the Pen Tool to draw freehand lines on top of your existing artwork. Then we will use the Pathfinder panel to combine our paths into one shape.

After that, we will apply some basic color adjustments to make it look more realistic.

Why Vectorize Images?

When creating digital art, there’s no reason not to go all out. You should try as many different techniques as possible. The best way to do this is by learning new skills.

One skill that may seem intimidating at first is working with vectors instead of pixels.

But when you understand what makes vectors so special, you’ll see why they are such a powerful tool.

The main advantage of using vectors over rasterized images is that once you have created your design, you can scale it infinitely without any loss of quality.

The second big benefit is that you can manipulate your designs however you want.

If you need to resize something, move it around, or recolor it, you can do all of these things with ease.

Finally, vector files are much smaller than their pixelated counterparts.

So if you are sending someone a file online, it will load faster. And because they are smaller, you won’t take up as much space on your hard drive.

How To Vectorize An Image In Photoshop

Let’s get started! First, open up a new document in Photoshop. For this tutorial, I’m going to start with a 300x300px canvas. Next, let’s import an image.

Step 1: Prepare The Image

First, we need to prepare our image. We’re going to start off by adding a layer mask. Make sure the Fill Color is set to white (FFFFFF). Click OK.

Now select the Brush Tool and click inside the canvas. Choose a soft brush with a small size.

Step 2: Make A Work Path

Now we need to make a work path. To do this, hold down Alt/Option+click anywhere on the canvas. A blue line will appear where you clicked.

Drag the line until it reaches the edge of the canvas. Once you reach the edge, release the mouse button. Your work path is now complete.

Step 3: Create A Vector Mask

Next, we need to convert our path into a vector object. Select the Rectangle Tool and press Shift+Alt/Option+M to activate the Shape Selection Tool.

Press Shift+S to enter the Shape Settings dialog box.

Set the Width to 0.5pt.

Set the Height to 100%.

Click OK.

Your rectangle has been converted into a vector object. It looks like this:

Step 4: Add Stroke

We need to give our vector object a stroke. Right-click on the vector object and choose Stroke from the menu. In the Stroke dialog box, set the width to 5pt.

Step 5: Apply Layer Masks

Next, we need a layer mask. Go back to the Layers Panel and right-click on the background layer.

From the context menu, choose Convert to Smart Object. This creates a smart object containing both layers.

Select the Background layer and drag it below the vector object.

To create a layer mask for the vector object, double-click on the vector layer.

In the Layers panel, click on the little arrow next to the layer mask thumbnail. This opens the Layer Mask window.

To add a black fill to the mask, click on the Black color square. To remove the fill, click on the White color square.

Step 6: Export As A Vector File

Right-click on the vector file and choose Save for Web & Devices…

Choose SVG from the Format dropdown list.

Save the file in your preferred location.

How To Convert Image Into Vector Art In Photoshop

How To Convert Image Into Vector Art In Photoshop

This method is very similar to the one above. However, instead of converting a shape into a vector object, you’ll be creating a new layer.

Step 1: Open an Image

Open an image in Photoshop. You can use any photo editor or even Google Images. Just make sure that the image is at least 600 pixels wide.

Step 2: Duplicate the Image

Duplicating an image is easy. Simply press Ctrl+J twice. The first time should bring up the standard “Duplicate” dialog box. Type in the name of the duplicate layer.

Step 3: Delete The Original Image

Once you’ve duplicated the image, delete the original. There are two ways to do this. Either go to ViewStep 4: Create a New Layer

Create a new layer using the following steps.

Double-click on the new layer.

From the Layer Menu, choose New Layer.

Name the new layer something like “Vector”.

Step 5: Draw A Line Using The Pencil Tool

Draw a straight line across the top of the canvas.

Step 6: Fill the Line with Color

Choose Solid Color from the drop-down menu. Use a dark gray (333333) for best results.

Step 7: Erase the Line

Use the Magic Wand tool to select all the areas inside the line. Choose Eraser from the Tools menu. Click once outside the line to erase.

Step 8: Convert The Layer Into A Vector Path

Go back to the Layers panel. Double-click on the “Vector” layer.

The Layers panel will now show a blue outline around the layer.

Go to Edit → Preferences → Guides. Make sure that Show Guides is checked.

Now, when you draw over the “Vector” layer, the path will appear.

Step 9: Add Strokes

Click on the “Vector” icon in the Layers panel.

You’ll see a small triangle pointing down. Click on this triangle.

A popup will open. Select Stroke from the menu and enter a value of 5px.

Step 10: Add A Layer Mask

Add a layer mask to the “Vector” layer by clicking on the little arrow next to the layer’s thumbnail.

Step 11: Adjust The Layer Mask

Adjust the opacity of the layer mask by dragging the slider. If you want to increase the visibility of the vector art, decrease the opacity.

Step 12: Save the Vector File

Save the file in your preferred location.


There are many different methods to convert images into vectors. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

It really depends on what kind of work you’re doing and how much time you have available. I hope you found this tutorial useful!