Use Amadine to Draw on a Photo

The Amadine vector and illustration app has a number of capabilities that give you the power to create in new ways. One of these is the ability to draw on top of photos. Take any photo and turn it into a background for your own sketch: you can overlay your designs on top, or incorporate your drawing as an organic part of it, as seen in the examples shown. Here, we’ll talk about how to choose photos that work well to draw on, and suggest some useful techniques.

Clothes drawn on the photos will make your design look fresh and modern.
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How to Draw on a Photo

In the Amadine app, you can overlay your own drawing on a photo in two ways: by using the Pen tool or the Draw tool. First, you’ll want to import your photo into the app by uploading it using Menu > Import. Then, choose either the Pen or Draw tool and get creative! The Pen tool draws a path based on anchor points you create. Watch this video tutorial on the Pen tool to get started. The Draw tool allows you to create a curved path as if drawn by hand, but in a slightly different way, using brushes that can be customized for width and angle. You can check out Part 1 and Part 2 of helpful video tutorials on using the Draw tool.

Choose the Right Kind of Photo

You can draw on any photo within the Amadine app, but you’ll get the best results if you select photos of high quality. Designs containing larger objects will appear better than photos with lots of smaller details.

The picture below illustrates the possibility of adding completely new elements to the photo. It’s up to you whether to add characters, objects, fantasy elements and creatures, magic, etc. In order to achieve the effect of the real presence of these elements in the photo, it is better to choose a high-quality photo with clear outlines and high contrasts. Then it will be easier for you to retrace the people, buildings or landscapes present in the photo.

Generally, it is easier to use a photo of a bald man, where the shape of the head is smooth and clearly oval, than of a woman with curly hair where the contours are not smooth. Another tip is to retrace the shapes on the photo that appear as larger sections of color, like a shirt on a person, rather than retracing fine lines of a woman’s curly hair, or the leaves of a tree.

The design of a girl with a cartoon octopus created in the Amadine app by Olha Voronova.

Infinite Options

You can extend your creativity even further by creating a collage using photos. Try layering a photo over another photo or a background you’ve drawn. Then recreate details by drawing over the photo in certain places you choose. The more sketches you add, the greater you change the composition to create an entirely original design.

Drawing in the Amadine app also lends itself well to making artwork with amorphous forms. For example, using organic shapes and shading on top of a chosen photo, you can create a unique portrait. You can also use texts and geometric shapes to diversify the visual impact on the viewer. Applying different gradients, shadows, transparency, blend mode is a great way to add vibrancy and wow-effect to your collage.

The amorphous forms poster created in the Amadine app by Olha Voronova.

Unique Brushstrokes

Another entirely different result can be achieved by adding your own illustrations to only select parts of a photo in a brushstroke pattern. The effect is a brush-like swipe of amazing color overlaid on the photo. Check out the photo below as a cool example of implementing this technique.

In this case, alternatively to the methods described above, the designer does not add new elements, but outlines the existing elements (clothing, hair, makeup) in a colorful and original manner, adding personal style and a pinch of spice.

The cartoon brush technique design created in the Amadine app by Olha Voronova.


Combining your own drawings with a photo is just one more way to easily incorporate different media for creating cool vector art masterpieces on your iPhone, iPad or Mac with Amadine. The amazing photo-based illustrations are a whole new world of your graphic design talents getting unleashed.

The design of the article was created by Olha Voronova.
Revised in January 2024

You can pick any of the described techniques to create unique designs from your photos with the help of the Amadine app for Mac, iPad and iPhone.