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Improve Your Drawings Using Flip-Horizontal

Drawing by Gvaat

Flip-horizontal, also referred to as flip-canvas, is an amazing tool for artists of all skill levels – all the pros use it, I have little doubt that Old Masters used it, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this powerful tool.

Regardless of where you are in your art journey, flip-horizontal will help. If you are a beginner, it will help you a lot. 

What is the meaning of Flip-Horizontal?

Flip-horizontal refers to looking at a mirror image of your artwork to identify errors that are otherwise hard to spot. It so happens, that when you see the mirror image, you see many more of your mistakes, 

Photoshop menu for flip horizontal option

How to use Flip-Horizontal in Photoshop:

In Photoshop, Flip-Horizontal is under the main menu’s image section. Go to:

– image/image rotation/flip canvas horizontal

You can also add a keyboard shortcut to this command by going to edit/keyboard shortcuts and in the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, findimage/image rotation/flip canvas horizontal. Mine is mapped to Ctrl-F. 

Using the shortcut saves lots of time, I use it throughout the entire drawing and painting process.

If you are working digitally, almost all painting programs have a flip-horizontal feature. 

How to use Flip-Horizontal for traditional drawing:

If you are working traditionally, use a large mirror. Set it up as part of your work space and periodically hold up your drawing to the mirror, and look into the reflection. 

No mirror? Use your cellphone. You can take a picture of your traditional art on your phone, and use the phone’s picture app to flip the image across the horizontal axis.

Flip-horizontal is one of the most powerful tools immediately available to any artist, and the earlier you find yourself in your art journey the more use you will get out of it. Try it a few times and I think you will be convinced.