How To Darken Lines In Photoshop

Whether you are a photographer, a graphic designer, or you restore old pieces of art, there will more than likely come a point when you run into some lines that you feel should be darker. Luckily, there are several easy ways to darken lines in Photoshop.

Lines can be darkened in Photoshop in various ways, depending on the type of editing that is happening:

  • Adjusting levels to darken lines across an entire image
  • Using the Burn tool to darken specific lines
  • Thickening lines in vector images to make them appear darker

Photoshop is a versatile editing program that allows for all different types of editing. Below, you find an easy walkthrough of three different ways to darken lines, so you’ll know what to do no matter which type of project you’re working on.

How To Make Lines Darker In Photoshop

Because Photoshop can be used for various types of editing, there are always several ways to achieve what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, the methods you take to darken lines in a photo aren’t the same steps you would take to darken the lines of a vector graphic or hand-drawn art piece. While some methods can be used in many instances, it’s best to choose the method that will give you the best results for your project type.

Darkening Lines in Photographs Using Levels

The Levels adjustment in photoshop is a quick and easy way to darken lines in an image. This manipulates the shadow, midtones, and highlights in a photo, giving you the ability to deepen contrast and help edges and lines stand out more.

To start, load up your document in Photoshop and open up Levels. Levels can be accessed from the Adjustments panel, represented by an icon that looked like a jagged line graph. You can also find Levels in the panel menu.

The Layers window should pop up on the right-hand side of your screen. You will see a line graph in the middle called a histogram, with three moveable arrows below:

  • Black
  • Gray
  • White

To darken lines, you’ll want to focus on adjusting shadows and highlights. Drag the black and white Input Levels sliders towards the middle until they touch the first pixels of the histogram on either side.

This method is great for darkening lines in line art as well.

Making Lines Darker In Photos and Art With the Burn Tool

Sometimes, you want to darken certain lines in a photo, but not all of them. One way to do this is with the Burn tool.

The Burn tool allows you to selectively darken areas of an image by painting over them. This allows you more control over what you darken and how dark you make it. The more you paint over an area, the darker it gets.

To darken a line in a photo, grab the Burn tool from the tool by. This is represented by an icon that looks like a hand with the thumb touching the fingers to make an “O” shape.

Next, set your brush options in the options bar, and start to paint over the areas of the image that you want darker. Remember, the more you paint the darker it gets, so it’s best to go slow so you can achieve the best results.

How To Make Lines Thicker In Vector Graphics Using Photoshop

When it comes to working with vector images, sometimes it’s not that the line needs to be darker, but that it needs to be thicker to actually show up.

For example, let’s say you uploaded a design to Placeit to create a mockup, and the lines didn’t stand out as much as you’d like. You go to edit the design, but you realize the lines are already set to black. Instead of darkening the lines, try thickening them so that they appear darker when printed.

To do this, open the design in Photoshop and click on the layer with the line you want thick. Next, change the size of the line in the options bar and save the design.

If you are thickening lines in line art, you may need to use the stroke option. Simply grab the Magic Wand tool and select the lines you want to dark. Then click Edit, and select Stroke. From here you can change the width of the lines so they appear darker.

Final Thoughts

If lines appear small or faded, this can ruin the entire look of a design or image. Hopefully, these tips helped you find a solution for darkening lines in Photoshop, no matter what kind of project you are working on.