Sketched Photo

To start our learning, let's learn how to make a real photo look like it was sketched. This will require Adobe Photoshop.

First, find a good picture. You should look for one that is high quality and of medium sized. I will use this one:

Original image I am using

Now that you have found your image, follow the steps below:

1. Press CTRL+U and check the "Colorize" check box. Set the "Saturation" to 0.

2. Your picture should now be black and white. Now duplicate the layer, by right clicking the layer and selecting "Duplicate Layer."

3. Next, invert the picture by going to Image -> Adjustments -> Invert, or by using the keyboard shortcut - CTRL+I.

4. Change the top (inverted) layer's blending mode to "Color Dodge".

Changing the layer\'s blending mode

5. Now the final steps, go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur (making sure that the top layer is selected). Play around with the settings until you find something that you like.

6. Press CTRL+E to merge the layer down. Now you are done! Enjoy your new image!

Resulting sketched-looking image


  • For a first tutorial thats very nice; although isnt there a filter in PS to make it look scetched?

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Fri 14 Oct 2005 at 0:58

  • It looks like an elderly black-white photography.

    Yes, lotrgamemast, there's an entire chategory of effects that belongs to how you make pictures look sketched. You can get a really good effect if you copy the layer that should be sketched, and Desaturate it. Then you copy the saturated image and invert it, then you just Color Dodge the image and Gaussian Blur (radius) it from 1-9. This will get shadows and certain areas dissapear and really givee a neat, sketchy look.

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Fri 14 Oct 2005 at 1:37

  • In photoshop there is often several ways to get the effect your after. This is just one of several ways to get that nice skecth effect. But, this is my favorite way of doing it. And I think it looks nicer then the other ways I have tried.

    Posted by Daniel Malmqvist (external link) on Fri 14 Oct 2005 at 4:24

  • It's no secret that Photoshop can be used in many ways. When I searched with the keywords "sketch effect" it turned up 1905 tutorials.

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Fri 14 Oct 2005 at 6:40

  • Well yeah it's a very common tutorial I suppose. Because people like the effect. My next blog is gonna be better then this. At least if it turns out the way I want it too wink

    Posted by Daniel Malmqvist (external link) on Fri 14 Oct 2005 at 8:07

  • Nah, it's not a very common tutorial. Good-Tutorials has probably indexed every tutorial there is. New GFX-sites dont gets big anymore, instead we see that big sites grows much bigger! Lowter has a classic Programming-content, and I dont see why people will be interested in reading blogs that explains something that already has been (over 2000 times probably!).

    Posted by Karl-Sebastian on Sat 15 Oct 2005 at 10:13