The Ultimate Photoshop Resource

Customer Support
Turn a photo into a pencil sketch in Photoshop tutorial

In this photoshop tutorial you will learn how to turn a photo into a sketch. Its easy to get a pencil sketch effect in Photoshop. I’ll also give you a few variations with color and layer blending modes for creative jump off points. Enjoy!

Turn a photo into a pencil sketch in Photoshop tutorial

Hi CAFE Crew, here is a brand new tut for you all. This is an old favorite of mine. How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch in photoshop. This is actually really easy to do and it gets quite good results too. As usual, I’ll provide a few creative jump off points at the end for your own experimentation.

1.

Start with a Photo that has some decent edge detail, here is one I got from Adobe StockAdobe Stock

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.08.44 PM

 

2

Covert the photo to grayscale (Ctrl+Shift+D / Cmd+Shift+D)

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.08.54 PM

3

Duplicate the layer by dragging into the new layer icon, or press Ctrl/Cmd+J

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.09.05 PM

4

Invert the layer Cmd/Ctrl+I

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.09.18 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.09.13 PM

5

Change to Linear Dodge blend mode and you should see a perfectly white image (Use Color Dodge for sharper edges)

pencil1

6

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur
(You could actually use any filter, as long as it creates a difference between the 2 layers)

As you adjust the blur you will get a different result.

pencil2

Here are some variations using Color Dodge, you will notice that Linear Dodge produces a softer result that Color Dodge. Try different blending Modes for different results.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.09.41 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.10.01 PM

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.10.14 PM

 

Here is the result on a different image

 

sketch

Xtra-credit

Once you have your perfect pencil sketch, why not try adding some color for a nice variation.

In this first example, I added a solid color Fill adjustment layer. Change the blend mode to color, so only the color shows through. Adjust the opacity to suit your tastes.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.10.50 PM

pencil3

 

Color Dodge result

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.10.56 PM

Also try running a gradient through a new blank layer at the top and change that to color blend mode.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.11.18 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.11.40 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.11.35 PM

pencil4

 

As you can see, the effect itself is quite simple and there are a number of variations that you can try to get very different looking results. Add a comment at let me know how you are using this effect.

Thanks for checking out this tutorial. If you like these kinds of effects, check out my Photographic Effects video course, it’s 27 different effects like this and its only $7

See you next week with another new tutorial!

Colin

Mc2TgJyQmmAnjm6EDO7B_photograpic-effects

Premium content, celebrating the launch of PhotoshopCAFE online Academy

We are excited to now offer our premium content as streaming video! We are committed to making our content available to you however you want it. To celebrate, we are offering Photoshop Secrets: Photographic Effects by Colin Smith, away for  a measly $7

This is one of out premium training courses, it’s $49.99 but for a very short time, you can get it for $7! No strings attached,  login and watch right now!(Grab it while you can).

 

CS6 Superguide

All the CS6 information and more is available as a PDF magazine called the CS6 Superguide. If you’re on our list, you will receive it free by email as soon as it’s available. If not, sign up now and get the CS6 Superguide for free. Or click the image below.

Colin Smith

Colin Smith

Colin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. Colin has Authored/Coauthored 18 books. He has won numerous awards including 3 Guru awards. He’s been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame twice. Colin is a regular columnist for Photoshop User Magazine. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI . He consults such companies as ABC Disney, Apple and Adobe

More Posts

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on Reddit

Popular Premium

Colin Smith

About Colin Smith

Colin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. Colin has Authored/Coauthored 18 books. He has won numerous awards including 3 Guru awards. He’s been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame twice. Colin is a regular columnist for Photoshop User Magazine. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI . He consults such companies as ABC Disney, Apple and Adobe

  • very effective tutorial and steps are very simple. I enjoyed a lot.

  • WOW its great i learned many things by it.

  • suruha

    This turns out very nice! I wish there was some way to make the remaining ‘lines’ to look more sketched. Maybe I will experiment. Thank you so much!

  • Jan

    Because the picture had to be converted to grayscale it will not now allow the color fill to be anything other than gray. How do you get the fill adjustment layer to be a color?

    • Create a color Fill adjustment layer on top. If it’s at the top of the layer stack, it will add color to everything (in Color blend mode)
      If you converted it to grayscale mode it wont work, redo it and use the desaturate command ctrl+Shift+U

      • Faisal Butt

        ys you are right Colin!!..