How To Stroke A Path In Photoshop

Stroking a path is, unfortunately, more complex than stroking your sweet little pet. This is a fairly complex procedure that requires some focus. We will be honest; accomplishing this might be more rewarding than stroking your pet. We have simplified the process for you.

To stroke, a path in Photoshop, select your brush tool and adjust the settings to your liking. Then, select the Path, right-click on it, and choose “Stroke Path.” In the window, choose Brush in the drop-down for tools. The setting in your brush will be applied to the Path. 

For further detail, please continue reading. 

How Is Stroking A Path Used?

If you have stumbled upon this article and are curious about why artists want to stroke a path in Photoshop and how this is incorporated into art, let us explain. Stroking a path can be useful in a variety of ways. 

It can help create various effects, such as a border around an object or a shadow effect. It can also be used to create a more detailed design or texture. Moreover, stroking a path can create a smooth transition between two colors or shades. 

Some artists can even create a 3D effect by creating a stroke on the Path with a different angle or color. 

How To Make A Path?

Before you can begin stroking the Path, you must understand how a path is made. 

To make a path easily:

  1. Open up the document.
  2. Go to the right side of your window and look for the layers panel. 
  3. Create a new layer by clicking on the icon. 
  4. Name the layer for ease. 
  5. From the tools panel on the left, choose the Pen Tool.
  6. Make sure to choose Path in the drop-down menu in the panel that shows on top. 
  7. Now click to make the anchor points and join them while creating a shape that you like. 

Another Method To Make Paths

We love Photoshop because of its range in doing simple tasks using multiple methods. A different method to make paths is detailed below. Follow these steps if they seem easier. 

  1. Create a new layer. 
  2. Draw the object that you wish to draw a path around. 
  3. With the item selected, go to the left side of your window and go to the Paths panel. 
  4. At the bottom, select the icon that looks like a circle. This will create a new path. 
  5. This Path will enclose the object that was selected. 

Applying A Brush Stroke To A Path

Let us dive into what we are here for. Follow the detailed instructions below to apply the brush stroke to your Path. 

  1. Open up the document that has the Path in it. 
  2. While you are on the layer with the path, go to the tools panel on the left. 
  3. Now go to the brush tool and choose the brush you prefer for this work. 
  4. Adjust the size and the hardness to your preference as well. 
  5. Now, deselect the brush tool.
  6. Select the Path that is drawn and right-click on it. 
  7. In the drop-down menu, choose “Stroke Path.”
  8. You can also select this Path by going to the Paths panel on the right side of the screen. Here, right-click on the Work Path and choose “Stroke Path.” 
  9. A window will appear. In this window, click on the drop-down menu to see it. 
  10. Here, you can pick from a range of tools. 
  11. To apply a brush stroke to the Path, choose Brush. 
  12. Now click OK. 
  13. The Path will have a brush stroke on it. 

For a visual tutorial, here is a video that might help you. 

Hide The Path

For your work to look neat, the Path must be hidden. To hide the Path, follow the steps below. 

  1. Once you are happy with the stroke, it is time to hide the Path for a cleaner look.
  2. Go to the layers panel on the left. 
  3. On the top of this panel, look for the Path option. 
  4. Go here and deselect the Work Path. 
  5. To do so, click anywhere away from the Work Path. 
  6. The Path will disappear. 


Using a path as a guideline for your brush strokes might make your job easier as an artist. This may save you time to work on other intricacies of your piece of art. With adequate practice, you can use this feature further to your advantage and create elaborate effects.