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Adobe Photoshop I can't paint or color

Updated on April 30, 2013

I can't paint or color in adobe photoshop

Greetings all:

Check the following to ensure that these simple few issues may or may not be your problem. (Granted some of these may be an insult to your intelligence, but if your like me, in a hurry all the time, you miss the small stuff.)

1. Is your paint brush setting on normal?

To fix this: check the box located underneath type at the top. Make sure Normal is selected. Any other paint brush selection may render some undesirable effects.

2. Check the setting of your transparency of your layers.

Click on the layer. The layers transparency is show in the Layers window box. Opacity is not 100% for that layer you will not be able to see it all or it will appear see through. How to fix: simply change the opacity level to 100%

3. Check the opacity setting for your paint brush. The paint brush has many levels of transparency. 100 being opaque and 0 being completely see through.

How to fix: check to make sure your paint brush flow is set to the correct opacity level of your desire also check the flow these will both directly affect how your paint brush works on your canvas.

3. The layer you are trying to paint on is not locked.

In newer versions of Photoshop it will prompt you that the layer is locked, however if it doesn’t just check to the left of the layer. If a little lock symbol is there the layer is locked. To fix this click on the lock symbol located up at the top of the layers window to unlock that layer. Make sure that you have the correct layer selected or you may lock or unlock a layer that you did not mean to.

4. The layer you are trying to work on is “covered up.” In this case you are trying to paint on a transparent layer that is underneath, for example a “solid layer” with a white background. You can fix this multiple ways. Here are a few examples.

A.) Move the transparent layer to be the top most layer.

B.) Erase the top layer or layers to let the bottom layer show through. You can use this method to create a number of different effects. This method is more time consuming.

5. Mac computers- I have had some trouble using CS6 on Mac computers. Granted they have wonderful capabilities, but if you ever had a problem with not being able to paint or use some of the tools here is the solution.

A.) Save your work

B.) Quit Photoshop

C.) Restart your Mac

I had to do this Three times before it started working, however it did fix the problem.


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    • profile image

      John Delwitz 2 years ago

      You are a freaking gorgeous person!! You just solved weeks of frustration. Thank you so much!!!!!!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      This is a useful and helpful hub for all those who are having trouble in using Adobe Photoshop. Good tips and solutions and you even presented it in a list style to make it easier to read.