Photoshop is a huge, multipurpose program. Because of this, some of the features that can be very helpful for pixel art are somewhat hidden, and not well known. I will try to highlight some of these features in a series of blog posts.
Drawing straight pixel perfect lines can take FOREVER. If you’re still using the pencil too to create lines one pixel at a time, there is an easier way, and this is for you.
Photoshop Drawing Lines
Your first option is obviously using the Line Tool. You just have to make sure it’s set to Pixels mode, and Anti-alias is unchecked. But switching tools is slow, so I want to show you how to create lines with the pencil tool.
The first tip I have for you is just for drawing lines at 90° angles. Start by clicking down the left mouse button, as if you’re about to draw the line. Now, without releasing the button, hold SHIFT. Now when you drag, your line will be restricted to the angle that you drag in. Release the mouse button before shift so that you don’t accidentally draw more than you want.
This is very good for drawing small fast lines. After a certain point though, it becomes easier to use this next method.
This next method is a bit more powerful. You can create a line between any two points. First, click once where you want the line to start, as if you’re just placing a pixel normally. Then, SHIFT+Click on the second location. Photoshop will automatically draw a line between the first place you clicked and the second.
The only downside to this method is that you can’t really draw lines at perfect angles unless you know where to click. But that’s why making grids is helpful.
Happy line drawing!