Photoshop Tutorial: How to Remove Backgrounds

Learn how to use the Pen tool to remove the background of a photo and create silhouettes on Photoshop, with Klarens Malluta

The Pen tool is mightier than the sword but you have to know how to use it. One of its most common and useful functions is to divide elements of an image into separate pieces, such as the foreground and background of a photo.

Klarens Malluta (klarens.malluta) is a self-taught digital artist who has worked with clients from across the world. In this tutorial, he demonstrates how to cut a background from an image and create a silhouette from a photo using the Pen tool in Photoshop.

1. Prepare your tools

Select the Pen tool and ensure it is set to the Path option. Click to place your first node just off of the side of the image. Zoom in on your image to make it easier to draw an accurate line around the element you want to extract from your background.

2. Draw the line

Clicking your cursor in another place will create another node and a straight line which connects both points. The line will then connect to any further nodes you make. This is how you will create your line.

If you want to curve the line at any point you can click and hold, dragging the cursor to shift the angle of the bend. To return to a straight line, click on the last node while holding the Alt key and drag a new line from that point.


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