Creating a canvas

Learn about setting canvas size and orientation, including rotating orientation

Jump to Mobile or Windows 10


When you open Sketchbook for the first time, a canvas is already created for you. But, what if the canvas created is not the size you want? There are an assortment of tools for customizing your canvas. If you want some basic information on canvases, resolution‍ and size, check out What is a canvas.

How to rotate a canvas

When creating a canvas, there should be an option for rotating your canvas. Use it to set the orientation to either portrait or landscape.

In some versions, above the canvas orientation icon, you’ll see the size of your canvas in Mpx (Megapixels). Below the canvas dimensions will be the maximum number of supported layers, based on the canvas size and device performance.

How to set the canvas size

Are you looking for a way to change the size of your canvas? Do you have a project that requires a high-resolution image? If so, selecting a larger canvas will help. When creating a new canvas, go into the canvas options to do this. You will have two options, one contains a list of predefined canvas sizes and the other is for entering your own dimensions. If you need help finding these options, read this article.‍ 

Creating a canvas in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

Unlike the mobile and Windows 10 versions, in Sketchbook Pro you don't need to set the orientation of your canvas during creation. This can be done at any time, using the Transform puck‍.

To create a new sketch, from the lagoon, select Files menu icon and flick toward New sketch icon. You could also use the following hotkeys: Cmd+N for Mac or Ctrl+N for Windows. If you want to change the default canvas size, use Preferences.

Setting your saved default file format

Do you need your files saved as PSD, but they keep getting saved as a TIFF by default? Sure you can use Save As every time you save to select what you want. But, why not change your default saving option?

  1. Do one of the following:

    • For Windows users, select Edit > Preferences, then tap the General tab.
    • For Mac users, select Sketchbook > Preferences, then tap the General tab.
  2. Tap the format you want to enable it.

  3. Tap OK.

Changing the default canvas size for new files

By default, the size of a new image is the size of the display.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • For Windows users, select Edit > Preferences, then tap the Canvas tab.
    • For Mac users, select Sketchbook > Preferences, then tap the Canvas tab.
  2. Then, select either of the following:

    • To specify a custom size, select Use width and height of window. Enter the width and height in the fields provided (choose from pixels, inches, cm, or mm).The maximum size is 6400 x 6400 pixels for the 32-bit version or 8192 x 8192 for the 64-bit.
    • To use the default display size again, select Use width and height of window.

Creating a canvas in Sketchbook for mobile devices

When you have finished a sketch and want to start another one, use ** New Sketch icon for the Sketchbook mobile version New Sketch** to create one.

In the toolbar, tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version and select Gallery icon in the Sketchbook mobile version New Sketch. The maximum number of layers is displayed next to the canvas size. You can also scan a real-world sketch to bring it into Sketchbook and go from there. Check out How to scan sketches. ‍

iOS users: Creating a custom canvas size

  1. In the toolbar, tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version and select Gallery icon in the Sketchbook mobile version New Sketch. The panel changes, displaying more options.

New Canvas customization New Canvas presets

If you would like to scan in an image, load it, and continue sketching, check out How to scan sketches.‍ 

  1. Enter a height and width. The file size and maximum number of layers is displayed. If you don’t want to keep the proportions, remove the check from Keep Proportions.

  2. Tap Create. Tap the last entry again to create the canvas. 

Android users: Creating a custom canvas size

  1. In the toolbar, tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version and select Gallery icon in the Sketchbook mobile version New Sketch. The panel changes, displaying more options.

Changing the size of your canvas in Sketchbook for mobile Creating a custom canvas size in Sketchbook for mobile

  1. Select Custom. Enter a height and width. The file size and maximum number of layers is displayed.If you don’t want to keep the proportions, remove the check from Keep Proportions.
  2. Tap OK. Tap the last entry again to create the canvas.

If you would like to scan in an image, load it, and continue sketching, check out How to scan sketches‍.

iOS users: Selecting a custom pre-defined canvas size

  1. Tap File icon in the Sketchbook mobile version, then ** New Sketch icon for the Sketchbook mobile version**.
  2. Select Presets. New Canvas presets and manual input New Canvas custom size
  3. Look through and select the option that best suits your needs.

Android users: Selecting a custom pre-defined canvas size

Are you about to start a project for the web, mobile, or video/film? If so, we have added some suggested preset canvas sizes. This is a good place to start, if you are unsure what canvas size you need.

Creating specific canvas sizes in Sketchbook for mobile Creating specific canvas sizes in Sketchbook for mobile

  1. Tap File icon in the Sketchbook for mobile version, then ** New Sketch icon for the Sketchbook for mobile version**.
  2. Select Other.
  3. Look through and select the option that best suits your needs.

Rotating the canvas

When creating a canvas, there’s an icon to rotate your canvas. Tap it to toggle the orientation between portrait and landscape mode.

There are a couple other things you might notice. Above the canvas orientation icon, you’ll see the size of your canvas in Mpx (Megapixels). Below the canvas dimensions is the maximum number of supported layers, based on the canvas size and device performance.

Rotate from Landscape to Portrait Rotate from Portrait to Landscape

Creating a canvas in Sketchbook for Windows 10

When you have finished a sketch and want to start another one, use ** New Sketch icon for the Sketchbook for mobile version New Sketch** to create one. In the toolbar, tap File icon in the Sketchbook for mobile version and select Gallery icon in the Sketchbook for mobile versionNew Sketch. A new canvas is created that’s screen size.

Creating a custom canvas size

If you want to choose from an assortment of preset canvas sizes or create a custom one, check out the following:

  1. Select Menu icon > New Sketch icon for creating a canvasNew Sketch and tap to access a dropdown menu. New Sketch dropdown menu in Sketchbook
  2. Choose one of the following:

To set the size of your canvas

When creating a canvas, you may want to set the size of your canvas. You have a couple options:

  1. Tap the Custom menu and select from the preset sizes in the list.
  2. Tap the Width and/or Height fields and enter your values. Width Height

If you want to lock the proportions, ensure the icon between the two field looks like unlock canvas proportions.

To unlock the proportions, ensure the icon looks like lock canvas proportions.

To set the orientation of your canvas

  1. To change the orientation of your canvas, tap the middle of the canvas image.

Orientation Custom canvas

  1. When finished, tap Create.