Create the effect of a pencil drawing in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to turn an ordinary photo into an original drawing with colored pencils, which can be used to decorate printed products, football sticks or decorate content on social networks.

I will try to explain everything in as much detail as possible so that even those users who first opened Photoshop can figure out and get at least a stunning result.

1. Create a new document.

To begin, open the photo with which we will work. To do this, go File – Open (File – Open). Customize the new document:

  1. The picture must be in RGB mode, 8 bits/ channel (bit / channel). To check it, go Image – Mode (Image – Mode).
  2. For best results, the size of the photo should be in the range of 1500-3500 pixels in width / height. Check in the menu Image – Image Size (Image – Image size).
  3. Your photo should be a blocked background layer. If not, go to the menu Layer – New – Background from Layer (Layer – New – Background from the layer).

2. Create brushes

Step 1

In this section, we will create several brushes that mimic pencil strokes. Take a piece of paper and a pencil, then draw a layer of wide shading for shading and three basic shading. Then we scan the resulting result.

If you painted each hatching on a separate sheet of paper, then you should end up with four scanned images. If you drew everything on one sheet, then take any selection tool in Photoshop, select one hatching and transfer it to a separate layer (Ctrl + J). This is what my hatching looks like.

Step 2

You do not have to repeat exactly after me, let your hatching be unique. The main thing is that you prepare three basic shading and one for shading. Please note that the basic hatching should be clear, sharp and have the same density as shown in the screenshot. If the density is uneven, then the end result may be too overloaded or, conversely, empty.

Next, open the scanned image and go Edit – Define Brush (Editing – Define a brush) to save the shading in the form of a brush, which we call “Temporary brush 1”.

Step 3

Open the second scan, go Edit – Define Brush (Editing – Define a brush) and save the brush “Temporary brush 2”.

Step 4

Open the next scan with a hatching, go Edit – Define Brush (Editing – Define a brush) and save the brush “Temporary brush 3”.

Step 5

Open the last scan, go Edit – Define Brush (Editing – Define a brush) and save the brush “Temporary brush 4”.

Step 6

Having finished creating new brushes, we need to set them up and then re-save. Press the key B, right-click anywhere in the working canvas, in the opened menu we find the brush “Temporary brush 1” and select it. Then go Window – Brush (Window – Brush) and enter the following settings:

Step 7

To re-save this brush, in the lower right corner of the panel Brush (Brush) click on the button to create a new brush and in the window that appears, enter the name “Sketch Brush 1”.

Step 8

Press the key B, right-click anywhere in the working canvas, in the opened menu we find the brush “Temporary brush 2” and select it. Then go Window – Brush (Window – Brush) and enter the following settings:

Step 9

To re-save this brush, in the lower right corner of the panel Brush (Brush) click on the button to create a new brush and in the window that appears, enter the name “Sketch Brush 2”.

Step 10

Press the key B, right-click anywhere in the working canvas, in the opened menu we find the brush “Temporary brush 3” and select it. Then go Window – Brush (Window – Brush) and enter the following settings:

Step 11

To re-save this brush, in the lower right corner of the panel Brush (Brush) click on the button to create a new brush and in the window that appears, enter the name “Sketch Brush 3”.

Step 12

Press the key B, right-click anywhere in the working canvas, in the opened menu we find the brush “Temporary brush 4” and select it. Then go Window – Brush (Window – Brush) and enter the following settings:

Step 13

To re-save this brush, in the lower right corner of the panel Brush (Brush) click on the button for creating a new brush and in the appeared window enter the name “Sketch brush 4”.

Step 14

Now all the brushes are ready. You can delete all temporary brushes that we defined at the beginning of the lesson. To do this, hold down the Alt key and click on the desired brush.

3. Create a background

Step 1

Start by creating a layer with a color fill. Layer – New Fill Layer – Solid Color (Layer – Fill New Layer – Color), call it “Background Color” and select the color # f2f2f2, as shown below:

Step 2

Now we add texture. Move on Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) to create a new layer, which we call “Layer 1”.

Step 3

Press the D key to reset the colors to standard, and go Filter – Render – Clouds (Filter – Rendering – Clouds).

Step 4

Next, go Image – Adjustments – Threshold (Image – Correction – Threshold) and set Threshold Level (Threshold brightness) at 128:

Step 5

Move on Select – Color Range (Highlight – Color range). Pipette click on the white color on the document and set Fuzziness (Scatter) by 40. After that we apply Select – Modify – Smooth (Allocation – Modification – Smooth) and set Sample Radius (Radius) by 20 pixels:

Step 6

Activate Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso), right-click anywhere on the canvas, select Make Work Path (Create a work path) and in the appeared window set Tolerance (Tolerance) 2 pixels as below:

Step 7

Create a new layer Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Background Texture”.

Step 8

Hit the D key to reset the colors, then activate the tool. Brush Tool (B) (Brush). Click anywhere in the working canvas and select the “Sketch Brush 1” brush created above. Then activate Pen Tool (P) (Pen), right click on the working canvas, select Stroke Path (Run a contour stroke) and in the window that opens, set the stroke tool to Brush (Brush).

Step 9

Next, we check that the pen (P) is active, right-click on the working canvas and select Delete Path (Delete contour). Then click the right mouse button on the layer “Layer 1” and select Delete Layer (Remove layer). Select the “Background Texture” layer and reduce its opacity to 10%.

4. Create a background sketch.

Step 1

In this section, we will turn our photo into an outline sketch. Select the background layer, press Ctrl + J to duplicate it, and move the copy to the very top of the layers panel.

Step 2

Next, go Filter – Stylize – Glowing Edges (Filter – Styling – Glow edges). Install Edge Width (Edge width) by 1 pixel, Edge Brightness (Edge Brightness) – by 5 pixels and Smoothness (Smoothing) – 15 pixels, as shown below:

Step 3

Press Ctrl + Shift + U to discolor the layer, then Ctrl + I to invert the colors. Change layer blend mode to Multiply (Multiplication), reduce the opacity to 24% and name the layer “Background Sketch 1”.

Step 4

Select the background layer, press Ctrl + J to duplicate it again, and move the copy above under the “Background sketch 1” layer.

Step 5

Move on Filter – Sketch – Photocopy (Filter – Sketch – Photocopy), install Detail (Detailing) by 3 pixels, Darkness (Darkness) – by 2.

Step 6

Change layer blend mode to Multiply (Multiplication), reduce the opacity to 50% and call the layer “Background Sketch 2”.

5. Create a sketch of a football player.

Step 1

In this section we will create a sketch of one of the players. Select the top layer on the layers panel and create a new one. Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer). We call him “Footballer.”

Step 2

Choose our new layer, hide all layers except “Footballer” and background, and fill the footballer with a color.

For this you can use any convenient method. For example, you can create a selection using Pen Tool (P) (Feather), Magic Wand Tool (W) (Magic Wand) or Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso), and then fill it with color. Or paint the object with a regular hard / soft brush (B). Color is not important.

When finished, turn on the visibility of all layers.

Step 3

Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Footballer” layer on the layers panel to load its selection, then hide this layer. After that, select the background layer and press Ctrl + J to copy the layer according to the selection shape. Place a new layer under the “Football Player” layer.

Step 4

Press Ctrl + J twice to create two more copies of the soccer player layer.

Step 5

Select the layer “Layer 1 copy 2”, go Image – Adjustments – Threshold (Image – Correction – Threshold) and set Threshold Level (Threshold brightness) at 128:

Step 6

Select the layer “Layer 1 copy”, go Image – Adjustments – Threshold (Image – Correction – Threshold) and set Threshold Level (Threshold brightness) at 150. Then select the layer “Layer 1”, turn Image – Adjustments – Threshold (Image – Correction – Threshold) and set Threshold Level (Threshold brightness) at 170:

Step 7

Select the layer “Layer 1 copy 2”, hide all the other layers and turn Select – Color Range (Highlight – Color range). Install Select (Select) on Shadows (Shadows), Fuzziness (Scatter) – by 20%, Range (Range) – by 65:

Step 8

Now go Select – Modify – Smooth (Allocation – Modification – Smooth) and set Sample Radius (Radius) by 10 pixels. Then take Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso), right-click on the working canvas, select Make Work Path (Create workflow) and install Tolerance (Tolerance) for 2 pixels.

Step 9

Create a new layer Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Sketch of football player 1”.

Step 10

Press D to reset colors to standard. Then activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush). Click the right mouse button anywhere on the working canvas and in the opened menu select the brush “Sketch brush 2”. Then activate Pen Tool (P) (Pen), right click on the working canvas, select Stroke Path (Run a contour stroke) and in the window that opens, set the stroke tool to Brush (Brush).

Step 11

Check to Pen Tool (P) (Feather) was active. Right-click on the working canvas and select Delete Path (Delete contour). Next, go Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal All (Layer – Layer Mask – Show All) and hide this layer. Then select the layer mask, go to Image – Apply Image (Image – External channel) and enter the following settings:

Step 12

Right click on the layer “Layer 1 copy 2” and select Delete Layer (Delete layer), then select the “Sketch of soccer player 1” layer and make it visible again. After that, using the left button, click on the chain icon between the layer thumbnail and the mask on the layers panel to separate them. Select a mask and press Ctrl + I to invert its contents.

Step 13

Without removing the selection from the mask, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) and set Radius (Radius) by 1 pixel.

Step 14

Hide the layer “Sketch of a football player 1”, select the layer “Layer 1 copy” and turn on its visibility. Move on Select – Color Range (Highlight – Color range), set Select (Select) on Shadows (Shadows), Fuzziness (Scatter) – by 20% and Range (Range) – by 65.

Step 15

Now go Select – Modify – Smooth (Allocation – Modification – Smooth) and set Sample Radius (Radius) by 10 pixels. Activate Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso), right-click on the working canvas, select Make Work Path (Create workflow) and install Tolerance (Tolerance) for 2 pixels. After that create a new layer. Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Sketch of football player 2”.

Step 16

Press D to reset colors to standard. Then activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush). Click the right mouse button anywhere in the working canvas and in the opened menu select the brush “Sketch brush 3”. Then activate Pen Tool (P) (Pen), right click on the working canvas, select Stroke Path (Run the outline of the contour) and in the opened window install the tool Brush (Brush).

Step 17

Check to Pen Tool (P) (Feather) was active. Right-click on the working canvas and select Delete Path (Delete contour). Next, go Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal All (Layer – Layer Mask – Show All) and hide this layer. Then select the mask of this layer, go Image – Apply Image (Image – External channel). After that, right-click on the layer “Layer 1 copy” and select Delete Layer (Remove layer).

Then select the “Football Sketch 2” layer and turn on its visibility. After that, using the left button, click on the chain icon between the layer thumbnail and the mask on the layers panel to separate them. Select a mask and press Ctrl + I to invert its contents.

Step 18

Without removing the selection from the mask, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) and set Radius (Radius) by 1 pixel. Hide the “Football Sketch 2” layer, select the “Layer 1” layer and turn on its visibility. Move on Select – Color Range (Highlight – Color range), set Select (Select) on Shadows (Shadows), Fuzziness (Scatter) – by 20% and Range (Range) – at 65.

Step 19

Now go Select – Modify – Smooth (Allocation – Modification – Smooth) and set Sample Radius (Radius) by 10 pixels. Activate Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso), right-click on the working canvas, select Make Work Path (Create workflow) and install Tolerance (Tolerance) for 2 pixels. After that create a new layer. Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Sketch of the football player 3”.

Step 20

Press D to reset colors to standard. Then activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush). Click the right mouse button anywhere on the working canvas and in the opened menu select the brush “Sketch brush 4”. Then activate Pen Tool (P) (Pen), right click on the working canvas, select Stroke Path (Run contour stroke) and in the opened window we find the tool Brush (Brush).

Step 21

Check to Pen Tool (P) (Feather) was active. Right-click on the working canvas and select Delete Path (Delete contour). Next, go Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal All (Layer – Layer Mask – Show All) and hide this layer. Then select the mask of this layer, go Image – Apply Image (Image – External channel).

After that, right-click on the layer “Layer 1” and select Delete Layer (Remove layer). Then select the “Football Sketch 3” layer and turn on its visibility. Then left click on the chain icon between the layer thumbnail and the mask on the layers panel to separate them. Select a mask and press Ctrl + I to invert its contents.

Step 22

Without removing the selection from the mask, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) and set Radius (Radius) by 1 pixel. Turn on the visibility of all layers, except for the “Football” layer.

Step 23

Now select the “Football Sketch 1” layer and reduce its opacity to 60%. Then select the “Football Sketch 2” layer and reduce its opacity to 27%. Select the “Football Sketch 3” layer and reduce its opacity to 50%.

6. Detailing the sketch football

Step 1

In this section, we will add more details on the football player. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Footballer” layer, then select the background layer and press Ctrl + J to create a new layer according to the selection shape. Move it under the “Footballer” layer.

Step 2

Move on Filter – Other – High Pass (Filter – Other – Color Contrast). Install Radius (Radius) by 5 pixels.

Step 3

Press the key combination Ctrl + Shift + U to discolor the layer, and go Image – Adjustments – Levels (Image – Correction – Levels). Set the left slider Shadow (Shadow) at 85 and right Brightness (Brightness) – at 170.

Step 4

Right click on the layer and select Blending Options (Overlay options). In the window that opens, configure the parameter Blend If (Overlay if) as below:

Step 5

Call this layer “Football Player Sketch Brightness”, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Football Player” layer, select the background layer and press Ctrl + J to create a new layer according to the selection shape. Move the resulting layer under the “Football Player” layer.

Step 6

Now go Filter – Other – High Pass (Filter – Other – Color Contrast) and set Radius (Radius) by 10 pixels.

Step 7

Press Ctrl + Shift + U to discolor the layer. Then change its blend mode to Overlay (Overlap) and reduce the opacity to 84%. Call this layer “Details of the sketch football player 1”.

Step 8

Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Footballer” layer, then select the background layer and press Ctrl + J to create a new layer according to the selection shape. Move this layer under the layer “Details of the sketch of football player 1”.

Step 9

Press Ctrl + Shift + U to discolor the layer. Then change its blend mode to Overlay (Overlap) and reduce the opacity to 63%. We call this layer “Details of the sketch football player 2”.

Step 10

Right click on the layer and select Blending Options (Overlay options). In the window that opens, configure the parameter Blend If (Overlay if) as below:

7. Fill the sketch with color.

Step 1

In this section, we will color the individual parts of the sketch. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Footballer” layer, then select the background layer and press Ctrl + J to create a new layer according to the selection shape. Move this layer under the “Football Player” layer. Change copy copy mode to Color (Chromaticity) and call it “Color Sketch.”

Step 2

Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Footballer” layer to load its selection, then go Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal Selection (Layer – Layer Mask – Show All) to create a mask according to the shape of the selection. Then we press the D key to reset the colors to standard ones, activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush), choose a soft brush, check that the layer mask is selected, and draw on it so that the result is as in the screenshot below:

8. Final color correction

Step 1

In this section, we will perform color correction to make the final image look brighter and juicier. Move on Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves). Name this layer “Color Correction”.

Step 2

Double click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer on the layers panel to configure it as shown below:

Done!

Congratulations, you got to the end of the lesson! Here is the final version:

If you want to get a more interesting result, for example, with flowing oil paint and 3D effect, then we recommend to watch Wet Paint paid action. With its help, this result can be obtained in just a couple of mouse clicks.

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