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.
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: