This is a fun way to make your photos look like a pencil sketch. It’s a great trick to make coloring books for the kids that is guaranteed to keep them coming back for more. Use it with photos of your pets or portraits of family members. If you’re a writer or illustrator or painter this will be great for you to illustrate your book, or make a light outline drawing for painting.
I use Photoshop so this technique is designed with that in mind. I’m sorry if you don’t use that software but maybe, if you use another graphic editor you can adapt it to that software. Here goes! Have fun!
Creating A Pencil Sketch From a JPG
STEP 1 – Duplicate The Background Layer
First duplicate the background layer. Go Layer> New> Layer via Copy. Now we have 2 layers, the Background Layer, and Layer 1.
STEP 2 – Desaturate The Photo
With Layer 1 selected, choose Image> Adjustments> Desaturate. This gives us a grayscale version of the photo.
STEP 3 – Duplicate Layer 1
At this point you must duplicate Layer 1. With Layer 1 selected, go Layer> New> Layer via Copy. Now we have 3 layers, the Background Layer, Layer 1 and Layer 2.
Next we’ll be working with Layer 2.
STEP 4 – Invert Layer 2
With Layer 2 selected, go Image> Adjustments> Invert. This will make your photo look like a negative.
STEP 5 – Change The Layers Blend Mode To Color Dodge
In the Layers Palette change the Layers Blend Mode for this layer (Layer 2) to Color Dodge. This will make your photo almost completely white, but don’t panic! Everything is going to work out just fine.
STEP 6 – Apply The Gaussian Blur Filter
Go Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur. When the dialog box appears start by moving the Radius Slider all the way to the left. Once you’ve done that you can start to slowly move it to the right.
Now here comes some real Photoshop magic ó because as you move the slider your sketch will start to appear. At this point take time to experiment and make sure you are getting the desired effect.
Bigger numbers create a more pronounced effect, but at some point this will turn your sketch back into a photo, which you don’t want, so when you reach that point simply nudge the slider to the left just a little and that should do it!