How to

No Tablet? Draw with the Mouse

Thinking in Terms of Shape

Are you feeling limited in your artistic abilities because you don’t have a drawing tablet? Don’t worry, you can still create stunning drawings in Adobe Photoshop using just your trusty mouse. Let me show you how.

Back in the day, when I first started using Photoshop for drawing, tablets like the ones made by Wacom were either non-existent or prohibitively expensive. But times have changed, and now drawing tablets are more affordable. However, if a tablet is not within your budget or doesn’t fit your needs, fear not! You can achieve amazing results with just your mouse.

The process is different, though. Instead of thinking in terms of traditional drawing techniques, you’ll need to shift your mindset and focus on shapes and gradations of value. While a drawing tablet allows for a more traditional approach, drawing with a mouse requires a different kind of creativity.

You can utilize various tools in Photoshop to draw basic shapes, which can then be layered to form more complex shapes. Gradations of color can be added using the gradient or brush tool. It may require some planning and multiple layers, but it is absolutely possible.

Experience and Inspiration

Allow me to share my personal experience as a freelance illustrator for a clothing company. I was tasked with creating digital illustrations for their magazine and calendars, specifically designed for children. These illustrations needed to be vibrant, playful, and always incorporate a “heart” element.

Despite having access to Photoshop, I solely relied on my mouse for drawing. Let’s take a look at some of the illustrations I created.

Illustration 1
This illustration demonstrates the power of shapes and carefully applied gradations of tone.

Illustration 2
Another example of an illustration created solely with a mouse and Photoshop.

I even took on the challenge of illustrating an entire children’s book using only a mouse and Photoshop. So, you can trust me when I say that it is indeed possible to create remarkable artwork without a tablet.

A Few Lessons to Get You Started

If you’re looking to dive into the world of digital drawing with Photoshop and a mouse, there are numerous resources available to help you get started. While some of them may use older versions of the program, they still provide valuable insights. I have personally created a collection of such lessons, including a step-by-step guide on drawing a sphere using only a mouse.

You can find these lessons here: How to Use Photoshop for Beginners


The possibilities are endless when it comes to drawing with a mouse in Photoshop. Don’t let the lack of a drawing tablet hold you back any longer. With a little practice and the right mindset, you’ll be amazed at how easy and enjoyable it is to create beautiful artwork.

Remember, Adobe Photoshop isn’t the only software available for digital drawing. If Photoshop doesn’t fit your budget, consider exploring other drawing and painting programs like Gimp, which is free. Let your creativity run wild and have fun exploring the world of digital art!

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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