New Course/Series: No Drawing Necessary: Custom Shapes

Art without drawing from No Drawing Necessary: Custom Shapes in Photoshop by Deke McClelland

Since Deke’s been recording at home, anything can happen down in our home studio. One day, he walked out an announced that he had just randomly created a course, which could be part of a series, that helped people make art quickly and accurately without needing lick of drawing skill. (You can hear Deke’s explanation, description, and thought process in the Introduction movie above.)

Thus, was born this his latest short but very sweet course, No Drawing Necessary: Custom Shapes in Photoshop. In it, you’ll find out how to quickly use predefined vector drawings to mock up a logo, spruce up a presentation, or just express your vision in express time.

The quick course (under an hour, which is like a 3 seconds in dekeTime) will show you how to leverage Photoshop’s custom shapes, move things to Illustrator to customize and simplify them, and even trace a new shape from a photographic image to make your own custom shape—all with an idea to giving you a head start power up for your next project.

Below, you’ll find a free sample video that I unlocked (aka: No Membership Necessary) that shows you how to bring in and organize Photoshop’s 700-ish-and-counting custom vector shapes into your very own, including the awesome Sea Creatures and Dinosaur collections.

The Shapes panel in Photoshop with Sea Creature and Dinosaur shape collections

Check it out:

Loading several hundred custom shapes from No Drawing Necessary: Custom Shapes in Photoshop by Deke McClelland

Oh, and just for fun if you don’t follow Deke on Instagram, here’s a seahorse bib Deke made during a baby shower for a mom-to-be who is a professional mermaid. Just cloth and fabric markers, with no Photoshop or Illustrator in sight. Proof that Deke can, in fact, draw without an undo command.

A seahorse hand drawn on a baby bib

Back to your needs and skills: if you like this idea for a quick course that doesn’t rely on hours of tedious manipulation and drawing skill, let us know in the comments and who knows what Deke will emerge with next time.

Next entry:Using the Dynamic Free Distort Filter in Adobe Illustrator

Previous entry:Painting with Gradients and Translucency in Adobe Illustrator


  • What a great course. This is what I need during lockdown.
  • Before our newest course ‘No Drawing Necessary: Creating Custom Graphics with Shapes’, I couldn’t draw a single straight line. Seriously; it is that bad. But after countless hours drawing rectangles and circles, I thought I had no future as a graphic designer – or so I thought. Thankfully, with the help of my fellow New Masters Academy instructor, Sean Adams , we were able to create over 100 custom graphics using nothing more than shapes.
  • Today’s designers are visual thinkers. They can frequently reduce a design issue to a simple diagram, and they know how to quickly capture ideas in sketch or wireframe form. But when it’s time to implement an idea, they don’t reach for pen and paper—they use custom shapes in their graphics application of choice. Every designer has their own set of go-to custom shapes that they pull out whenever the opportunity arises. These shapes serve as a great starting point from which you can branch out into new territory and create something even more useful. Today we’ll take a look at nine examples of custom shapes across several different categories with the hope that this will spark your imagination so you’ll never be caught without inspiration again!
  • Oh, and if you don’t follow Deke on Instagram, here’s a seahorse bib Deke made for a mom-to-be who is a professional mermaid during a baby shower. There’s no Photoshop or Illustrator here, just cloth and fabric markers. Demonstration demonstrating Deke can sketch without using the undo command.
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  • Oh, and in case you don’t follow Deke on Instagram, here is a picture of a seahorse bib he created for a mother-to-be who works as a professional mermaid during a baby shower. There is only fabric and fabric markers here; there is no Photoshop or Illustrator. Deke sketching without using the undo command is demonstrated.