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How to Draw on Canva – Canva Drawing Tool Guide

How to draw on Canva - Canva Drawing Tool

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Canva is an online graphic design tool. But can you draw on Canva as well?

How do you draw on Canva freehand?

I will answer all these questions in this post, covering all the details of this topic.

Let’s start with the basics of whether drawing in Canva is even possible.

Can you draw in Canva?

Yes, you can draw freehand in Canva with different paint brushes and colors. You can also adjust the brush stroke size and transparency with the Canva Draw, also called the Canva Drawing Tool.

The Canva drawing tool explained

Canva is an online, cloud-based design tool. Any design you create on Canva has to be done on the computer using your mouse and/ or stylus pen, and this includes freehand drawing.

You can choose a brush type, a color, and other settings, and create sketches, doodles, and basically anything else you like.

It’s relatively easy, too!

With the new Canva drawing tool, you can draw on Canva on a new or existing design. You can draw on top of any image or text, and the drawing element can be used as any other element.

Once you are done drawing, you can move the drawings around just like you would any other object in your Canva design.

See the details and video below on how you can draw in Canva.

How to Draw on Canva - Can you Draw in Canva

How to draw in Canva

You can draw freehand on Canva with the Draw tool. Open an existing design or create a new one. Choose your brush type, weight, and color, and create any drawing you want.

Here are the detailed steps to draw in Canva:

  • Access the Canva Drawing tool
  • Choose your brush and color
  • Adjust your brush size and weight
  • Start drawing

Here is a quick tutorial.

And here is a step-by-step process.

1. Create a design on Canva

Canva has many external apps that can be added to increase the tool’s functionality. The Draw tool is one such app.

Earlier, you would have to install the app from Canva Apps to be able to use it.

Now, you can find Canva Draw on the left of your screen, in the editor panel.

Go to Canva and open a design. You can create a design from scratch or use an existing design on which you want to draw.

How to Draw on Canva Step 1 - Create a Design

2. Access Canva Draw

Click on ‘Draw’ on the left of your design menu.

How to Draw on Canva Step 2 - Click on Draw

The Canva Drawing Tool gives you four sets of options:

  • Brushes
  • Size and weight of brush
  • Color
  • Color transparency

We start with the brush type.

2. Choose your brush type

There are 3 different kinds of brushes:

  • Pen
  • Marker
  • Highlighter

There is also an eraser.

Different kinds of brushes in the Canva Drawing Tool


The Canva pen tool is the simplest and thinnest. Its point is sharp by default, but increasing the thickness makes it almost a marker.


The marker tool behaves simply like a whiteboard marker, and you can also increase and decrease the length.


The highlighter brush works exactly like a highlighter in any physical or digital document. It’s like a transparent color that covers the base color.

Note: There also used to be a glow pen in the Canva Draw tool before. It had a white center and a colored glow as a border. It has now been discontinued.

Here are the 3 effects of the different brushes in the Canva Draw tool.

Different brushes in the Canva Drawing Tool

The biggest difference between the brushes of the Canva Draw Tool is in the thickness, effect, and angle.

The pen has a pointed tip and works exactly like a pen we use for writing.

The marker works like a regular marker we use for a whiteboard, and a highlighter has an angular stroke that works like a highlighter for text.

Canva Drawing Tool - Different effects of brushes

You can simply choose the brush that works best for you and start drawing!

How to Draw on Canva Step 3 - Choose a pen

Pro Tip:

Canva also has a shape assist tool that can help you refine any shape. You draw a shape freehand, and if you hold the cursor in place for a couple of seconds, the Canva shape assist tool will turn it into a smooth drawing.

See the example below.

Shape assist with the Canva Drawing tool

3. Choose your brush size

The size of brushes in Canva goes from 0 to 100, and the default is 100.

You can drag and drop the pointer to the thickness you want for each brush.

How to Draw on Canva Step 4 - Choose a brush size and weight

4. Choose your color

Click on the color icon and then on the ‘+’ tool, just like when you create other designs on Canva. to choose the color you want to draw with.

You can also see the colors from your Canva Brand Kit here, you can simply select the one you want with one click.

How to Draw on Canva Step 5 - Choose a color

5. Choose the color transparency

The last setting to explore is brush and color transparency.

You can just drag and drop the level to choose the one that works best for your design.

How to Draw on Canva Step 6 - Choose your brush transparency

6. Draw in Canva

Now that you are familiar with your drawing options, you can create any kind of freehand drawing in Canva.

You can use the Canva drawing tool to draw freehand from scratch or on top of other elements like graphics and images.

Pro Tip:

If you want to erase parts of your drawing, simply use the Eraser tool. You can use it to erase your whole design or make little edits.

You can also choose the thickness and transparency of the eraser.

How to Draw on Canva Step 7 - Use the eraser if you need

The Canva Drawing tool is very handy whether you use Canva for work or for business. It is also great for collaborative work which you can do with Canva for Teams.

Can everyone draw on Canva?

The Canva Drawing tool is currently available both in the free and Pro version of Canva.

All you need to do is to get a Canva account and install the Draw app as mentioned above.

How to make shapes in Canva?

You can add a shape to your Canva design board by going to the Elements section in your Canva menu and choosing the shape you want. Just click on it, and it will be added to your Canva design.

You can also add a custom shape in Canva by uploading an image of the shape, or by using the freehand draw tool.

However, remember that unless you’re a perfect artist, shapes added with freehand drawing may not look as good as the ones added from the prebuilt design elements.

Canva Pro offers 610K+ design elements including shapes, so if you need a giant collection of beautifully designed shapes, you could consider getting the premium version of Canva.

Read more about what is Canva.

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FAQ: How to draw on Canva

Canva has a drawing tool which you can use to create sketches, doodles, and illustrations.

You can draw freehand in Canva with the Canva Draw tool.

You can use the Canva Draw tool in your desktop app or browser. As of now, the drawing tool is not available in the Canva mobile app.

Install the Canva Draw app in your Canva account, and use different brushes and colors to start drawing. 

Canva has a drawing tool (app) which you can use to color or paint your designs using different brush sizes, colors, and color transparencies. 

The paint tool in Canva does not look similar to the Windows Paint tool, but you can create any type of digital freehand drawing and painting projects with it. 

Yes, Canva has a Draw tool which includes a simple pen tool and a glow pen tool. You can change the size and color of both the pen tools to get the drawing you want. 

You can add lines in your Canva design from the Elements section of your Canva design dashboard. 

You can also draw custom lines with the Canva draw tool. 

There is only one freehand tool in Canva, the drawing tool. You can find it to the left of your design menu or under Apps.

Yes, you can draw shapes in Canva using its library of built-in elements, which includes a variety of shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, and custom polygons. You can also use the Canva Drawing tool for drawing custom shapes.

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Ryan Biddulph
1 year ago

Now this is cool. I never knew drawing existed on Canva. I did draw a few times on the basic programs that were preloaded with my laptop; it was not pretty LOL. I am a bit of a caveman when it comes to drawing. I’ll stick with writing and yapping into a camera.

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