How to be concise with the lasso tool

For Illustrators and Scientists using Photoshop as a precise painting/editing tool:

Imagine being able to precisely paint inside the lines in Photoshop without worrying about perfecting the path tool. Make your illustrations go quicker and be more efficient.

  • Do you hate the pen tool with a passion?
  • Does painting in Photoshop make you change your style?
  • Are you intimidated by all the buttons on Photoshop?

Consider this less-known but intuitive tool. Like everything else in Photoshop, it’s loaded with options and the default setting is not user-friendly. Put a new skillset in your Photoshop box of tricks by learning how the lasso tool works to help you paint concisely and quickly.

I used to be the one who felt like I had to change my style once I transitioned into the “digital canvas”.  When I started, it felt like my techniques in watercolor and colored pencils no longer applied in Photoshop. I was forced to paint with airbrush and bezier curves. It was intimidating. I tried to avoid it until my first professional illustration job required me to work in Photoshop.

Slowly I learned. Slowly I found out more about shortcuts and toolsets. One day I mistyped a shortcut and made the screen look all weird. I had to close all the files and reboot Photoshop to undo my one mistake. Sometimes I would discover something neat and scribble it on the backside of an envelope, never to be seen again. I took classes. I seeked work with the great masters in the field. I’d pick up tricks from watching others use Photoshop.

I’m still learning, but I want to share some tips and tricks with you, so you can skip some of the agonies and challenges I went through. The problem I see is that most Photoshop tutorials are aimed for designers and photographers, and not for painters/illustrators.

Here’s one way you can use the lasso tool like a frisket. Enjoy! If you like this post or have questions, feel free to leave a message in the comment section. Thanks and happy Photoshopping!


About Ikumi Kayama

Studio Kayama’s Founder, Ikumi Kayama is an award-winning medical & scientific illustrator who helps scientists and doctors how to be heard and understood and how to express the value of what they do through accurate and useful illustrations. Ikumi's mission is to make science relevant and accessible to everyone using accurate visuals. She also gives PowerPoint Design Tip seminars for the scientists and various illustration technique courses for the artists. Come say hello and follow Ikumi on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Google+ .