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Drawing Tool

There are many uses for the Pixlr drawing tool , but a requirement that arises frequently is the need to add text to a drawing or image. Text without a shape or background is lost when it is applied to an image or canvas.

This guide is designed to introduce you to the functions and features available when using the drawing tool as well as practical examples of when and how this tool could be used to full affect.


Let’s assume that we own an image that we want to use within our website; however we want to add text to the image before it is uploaded to the website.

To do this we could use the text tool by itself, using the text tool alone maybe suitable if you wish to add personal name or signature to the image, but in some instances you will need to create a dedicated shape to enhance the text making it easy for viewers to read. Simply enlarging the text or using a horrid colour that stands out like a soar thumb is not an ideal solution.

Here is an example of what could be produced:

Drawing Tool - Woman Texting

Now lets look at how we create something similar to the example above.

The first step requires you to open the image that you wish to add a shape and text to.

Drawing Tool - Woman on Beach

Let’s assume that a marketing company has been asked to create a ‘get-away’ advert with the intention of enticing city workers to take a break in the Seychelles. As a marketing company we know that imagery is more powerful than textual content. Because of this we will need to embrace and use as much of the image as possible whilst engaging the user and promoting our brand.

In this instance we want to add a message to the right hand side of the sky. Not only is this the most engaging position for people to read your content but the character within the image also appears to be looking that way.

As we stated initially, adding text alone is ok, but it’s not always the best solution. For optimal engagement we might add a touch of colour behind our content to ensure that it really stands out.

To do this we will need to use the shape tool. Once the shape has been selected it’s down to you to select the most suitable shape style, opacity, mode, border size, radius and whether you want the shape to be filled with a colour and what that colour should be.

Drawing Tool - Tool Bar

In this instance we have selected the rounded edged box shape.

Since we do not want to loose that gorgeous sky blue background we will want to use a soft colour that blends into it. We do not want the background colour to be too heavy either so we should lower the opacity to ensure this doesn’t happen.

We have set the mode to Normal but you can play about with the various modes to identify which works best for you. We have selected a border size of 7 pixels as this will retain a smooth effect whilst not letting the border over-power the image.

The radius is set to 130 simply to soften the corners and the overall feel of the box to make certain that it blends in neatly with the rest of the image.

We don’t want a horrible blank white space to be left, as this would most certainly look unprofessional and amateurish. Instead we decide to fill the space with a colour that closely matches the sand colour; this will make our text stand out ensuring the image retains a consistent colour scheme throughout. An overload of colours is often what spoils a piece of marketing material and what makes the entire piece of work appear un-professional.

Anyhow, after setting the tool up as we wish to use it we are now able to apply the shape to our image and the outcome will look like this:

Drawing Tool - Woman on Beach Step 2

Now that our text background has been added it’s time to add the text to this image. To do this you will need to select the text tool Drawing Tool - Text Tool and create the message that you wish to add.

Once the content has been created and added to the space allocated, the advert begins to take shape and this is what we are left with:

Drawing Tool - Woman on Beach Step 3

Now that all of these changes have been applied to our advert, it’s time to add one key aspect; the company name. As this is a fictitious advert we have just made a brand name up. We are going to apply a simple signature styled brand name to the bottom right of the advert.

We want to keep the advert looking neat, clean and classy so we must avoid leery colours that could lower the tone and cause our target market to feel skeptical about Atlantic Holidays Inc.

To ensure that our message is enticing yet professional we will use a black or a very dark grey as the colour for the company name. This not only makes it easy to read with a light background behind it, but it also enhances the clean look and feel of the entire advert.

Drawing Tool - Woman on Beach Step 4

As you can see, by using the shape tool we have been able to professionally personalise and brand an advert to meet the requirements of the client and their customer. We are using this scenario as an example but the same principles could be applied to any piece of marketing material or image.