How-To

How to Draw on a Photo on iPhone

Drawing on an iPhone

Want to quickly annotate a photo on an iPhone? You can use the Photos app to do it. This guide will show you how to get started.

Have you ever wished you could add a quick sketch to a photo on your iPhone? Sometimes the quickest way to explain something is with an annotated image.

The good news is that it’s quick and easy to add a drawing to any image on your iPhone. In just a few taps, you can add your drawing and save your new image.

Keep reading to learn how to draw on a photo on iPhone.

How to Add Markup to a Photo on iPhone

Apple has a feature called Markup which allows you to add text or signatures to your photos. It also allows you to draw freehand over them.

Here’s how to add Markup to a photo on iPhone:

  1. Open the Photos app and select the photo you want to draw on.
  2. Tap on Edit.
    edit a photo on iphone
  3. Tap on the Markup icon.
    markup a photo on iphone

You will now see the Markup tools at the bottom of the screen. Let’s take a look at the different tools available.

How to Draw on a Photo on iPhone Using The Pen Tool

The pen tool allows you to draw solid lines on your photo. You can access this via the Photos app.

Here’s how to use the pen tool on iPhone:

  1. Open a photo in Photos and select Edit.
  2. Tap on the Pen Tool if it’s not already selected.iphone pen tool
  3. Tapping again allows you to set the line thickness and opacity.
    iphone pen tool width
  4. To select a different color, tap on the Colors icon.
    pen color iphone
  5. Draw with your finger on the photo. Faster strokes create thicker lines.
    pen drawing on iphone
  6. If you make a mistake, tap the Undo icon.
    undo edits on iphone
  7. If you want to create perfect shapes, draw the shape in one stroke, but keep your finger on the screen. Once you see the corrected shape, remove your finger.
    draw an arrow on iphone

Using the Highlighter Tool on iPhone

The highlighter tool is useful for marking areas of text in the same way you would with a real highlighter pen.

To use the highlighter tool on iPhone:

  1. Open your photo in Photos and tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the Highlighter Tool.
    highlighter tool iphone
  3. Tapping again allows you to change the line thickness and opacity. By default, it’s set to 80% which works well for most text.
    highlighter width iphone
  4. To select a different color, tap on the Colors icon.
  5. Draw with your finger over the text or image you want to highlight.
    highlighting on iphone
  6. If you make a mistake, tap the Undo icon.
  7. For simple shapes, keeping your finger on the screen will convert them into perfect lines.
    pentagon on iphone

Using the Pencil Tool on iPhone

The pencil tool is very similar to the pen tool, but instead produces an effect intended to look like a real pencil.

To use the pencil tool on iPhone:

  1. Open your photo in Photos and tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the Pencil Tool.
    pencil tool iphone
  3. Tapping again allows you to change the line thickness and opacity.
  4. To select a different color, tap on the Colors icon.
  5. Draw with your finger over the text or image you want to highlight. Faster strokes are more opaque.
    pencil drawing iphone
  6. If you make a mistake, tap the Undo icon.
  7. For simple shapes, keeping your finger on the screen will convert them into regular shapes.
    star shape iphone

Using the Eraser Tool on iPhone

The eraser tool is a simple way to remove parts of your drawing if you don’t want to undo the whole thing.

To use the eraser tool on iPhone:

  1. Open your image in Photos and tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the Eraser Tool.
    eraser tool iphone
  3. Tapping again allows you to select the Pixel Eraser which erases wherever you draw or the Object Eraser which will erase entire objects at once.
    eraser tool options iphone
  4. Draw with your finger over the area or object you want to erase.
    erasing shapes on iphone

Using the Lasso Tool on iPhone

The lasso tool allows you to select parts of your drawing so you can move them around.

To use the lasso tool on iPhone:

  1. Open your image in Photos and tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the Lasso Tool.
    lasso tool iphone
  3. To select an object, draw with your finger over any part of that object. You can draw through multiple objects to add them all to your selection. You should see dotted lines indicating the border of your selection.
    lasso selection on iphone
  4. To select an area, draw an enclosed space around the area you want to select. This will select everything within your enclosure.
    lasso enclosure iphone
  5. Drag your selection around. When you’re happy, tap anywhere else in your image to deselect everything.

Using the Ruler Tool on iPhone

The ruler tool allows you to draw straight lines at the exact angle that you want them.

To use the ruler tool on iPhone:

  1. Open your image and tap Edit in Photos.
  2. Tap on the Ruler Tool.
    ruler tool on iphone
  3. Drag the tool to position it. To change the angle, use two fingers to rotate it.
    position ruler on iphone
  4. Once the ruler is in position, select one of the drawing tools and run your finger along the ruler.
    draw a ruled line iphone
  5. When you’ve drawn your line, tap the Ruler Tool again to remove it.

How to Save an Edited Photo on iPhone

Once you’re happy with the changes you’ve made to your image, you’ll need to save it.

To save your work:

  1. Tap Done in the top-right of the screen.
    finished editing image iphone
  2. Tap Done in the bottom-right of the screen to save your edits.
    save image iphone

Your photo will now be saved with your drawing included.

Restoring an Edited Image

If you want to go back to the original image:

  1. Tap Edit in the top-right of the screen.
    re-edit iphone photo
  2. Tap Revert in the bottom right of the screen.
    revert to original image iphone

Your photo is restored to its original condition.

Make the Most of Your iPhone

You don’t need a fancy photo editor to edit images or to draw on a photo on an iPhone. You can use the editing tools available to you in the Photos app to get the job done.

There are plenty of other basic features that can make your iPhone experience even better. For example, you may want to  learn how to use Apple Focus on iPhone to take back control of your time. If you’re worried about your privacy, you may want to stop ad tracking on iPhone.

Struggling to type? There are some keyboard tips for iPhone you can pick up that could help you change the way you type forever.

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