How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop

facebook How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop twitter How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop plusone How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop

MCP Actions Website | MCP Flickr Group | MCP Reviews

MCP Actions Quick Purchase

One of my readers recently wrote in asking how to make her photo into a pencil sketch.

So here is a tutorial to teach you how.  I am using the photo I just made into a blog header.  Check out a variety of other ways to edit this photo by watching the top of my blog.

*** HINT: And if you want to “cheat,” keep watching, I may pop up a free action to turn your photos into a pencil sketch next week ***

Pencil Sketch Drawing – THE TUTORIAL

Start by picking a photo you want to use. Not every photo will get amazing results with this technique, so you may need to do some trial and error.

Original:

You need to desaturate it – you can use any method to get rid of color – from desaturating in hue/saturation to using channel mixers or gradient map. I will use a gradient map for this example.

Next duplicate the layer by holding the “ctrl” or “cmd” key and “J” – then hit “ctrl” or “cmd” and “I” to invert your selection. And then change your blending mode to “color dodge” as shown below. Your photo will look white or mostly white. It is suppose to at this point.

The next step is to use the “gaussian blur” under the “filters menu.” The higher the blur, the deeper and darker your pencil sketch will be. There are no exact numbers – it is based on the individual image.

For the image below, I did a blur of 5.8 pixels. If I wanted thinner lines, the number would be lower. If I wanted thicker lines, I would increase the number.

Lastly, if you want the lines a little darker or lighter (but not thicker or thinner), you can use a levels adjustment layer as shown below. Move the midtone slider to the right to make the lines darker or left to make it lighter.

Here is the final sketch:

facebook How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop twitter How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop plusone How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop

 How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - Google Plus

Previous Post:
Next Post:

12 Comments and 0 Replies



  1. 1
    leah says:

    oooh, i’d love the action!!!! :)

  2. 2
    Jessica says:

    I’m struggling to get this to work… I’ve tried four different pictures now and I never get one that looks like it has pencil lines. I would love to achieve this look though, so maybe I just need to wait for the action? Everything looks good right up until the blur, but then adding the blur doesn’t give it the same look that the example on your blog gets.

  3. 3
    ttexxan says:

    Jodi you flatten the image after de-saturation correct. I wasnt sure if that where Jessica might be getting hung up. At first I duplicated the Gradient map layer on accident and didn’t work, but when flattening work like a charm…So to clarify I followed this open image—de-saturate image(using gradient map)—flatten image—duplicate image—Invert image—-apply blur to image—-levels to lighten or darken.

    Works great and very quick effect…Would love in action form

  4. 4
    ttexxan says:

    I left out a step on my first comment sorry

    Jodi you flatten the image after de-saturation correct. I wasnt sure if that where Jessica might be getting hung up. At first I duplicated the Gradient map layer on accident and didn’t work, but when flattening work like a charm…So to clarify I followed this open image—de-saturate image(using gradient map)—flatten image—duplicate image—Invert image—-Apply color dodge–apply blur to image—-levels to lighten or darken.

    Works great and very quick effect…Would love in action form

  5. 5
    Jessica says:

    Thank you so much ttexxan! I was missing the step of inverting my image before applying the color dodge. Seeing your list of steps helped me pinpoint my problem! :D

    Thanks for this great technique Jodi! I’m off to try it on all kinds of photos now. :)

  6. 6
    javier mayorga says:

    thank you I was looking for this
    I try other way and did not gave me this result
    thank you again

  7. 7
    Khalid Ahmad Atif says:

    Thanks indeed,

    This is what I was looking for many days and eventually I found it in this site which, is
    extremly useful and more handy.

    Regards,

    ATIF

  8. 8
    Cindy says:

    Thank you so much! I have tried this several different ways and your way works the best.

  9. 9

    haha ^^ nice, is there a section to follow the RSS feed

  10. 10

    I happened to need to do something like this and I just wanted to poke my head in and say that this tutorial helped a lot.

  11. 11
    Mary.Grace says:

    It seems to me it is good idea. I agree with you., no worries – i feel satisfied, because i just tried private guide in Saint-Petersburg I recommend it

  12. 12
    cyanotrix says:

    nice :) thanks :)



Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *

 

Image Map