Turn your amazing photos into AMAZING sketches!

Step One. LAYER ONE.

  • Double-click on your Background layer to unlock it and then right-click and select “Duplicate Layer” or CTRL + J.
  • Select Layer 1 and link the adjustment layer Invert or CTRL + I. Change the blend mode to Color Dodge. Your image should now be white.
  • Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. For my radius I chose 48 pixels. Slide the setting until you are happy with the amount of detail in your image. If your image is smaller than mine (1291 x 864 px), you will most likely need a smaller radius than 48 pixels.


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Step Two. OIL PAINT.  To make it look more like a sketch, I like using Oil Paint found under the Filters tab. Select Layer 0, your Background layer, go to Filter > Oil Paint … Oil Paint is completely optional so play around with the settings. For the sketch look we are trying to get, softer strokes would be better.

  • The settings I used for this image were:
    • Stylization 1.00
    • Cleanliness 7
    • Scale 0.5
    • Bristle Detail 10
    • Angular Direction 48
    • Shine 0.3
  • Click OK to apply the filter.

Step Three. DESATURATE.  For this step, you have two options:

1. The most common option is to desaturate your image using Hue/Saturation. Create the adjustment layer and slide the saturation all the way down to -100.


2. My favorite option is always Black & White because you can really control detail based on the colors in your image. Create the adjustment layer and slide each color to emphasize certain details. I really wanted to focus on the fur and the ball so I brought out more of the red and yellow in the image.


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Step Four. CONTRAST.  Create a Levels adjustment layer to brighten or darken the image. The small graph shows you how much black (left side) and white (right side) there is in your image. The lightness of my image is pretty good so I just want to add a little more black. A cool trick is to hold the Alt button while sliding each setting to see how much you’re adding to the image. Try it out!



Step Five. FINAL TOUCHES.  Depending on your image, create a layer mask to hide any details. In my case I wanted to get rid of most of the curtain detail in the background. I just duplicated Layer 0, changed the blend mode to Overlay to brighten the window/curtain area and created a layer mask to hide everything else.