How to draw a picture from a photo in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop provides a very wide range of creative photo editing capabilities. In the photo editor you can not only improve the frame, but also achieve unusual artistic effects.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw a picture from a photo in Photoshop. As the main tool we will use filters.

For example, take this picture taken in Portugal:

But what happens after our manipulations:

To draw a picture from a photo in Photoshop, open the picture in the program and create a color layer: Layer / “Layers” → New Fill Layer / “New Fill Layer” → Solid Color … / “Color …” .

In the dialog that appears, set the color of the paper on which our sketch will be. You can choose shades of white, gray or sepia.

After that, create a copy of the main layer ( Background ) and apply the Photocopy / Torn Edges filter from the Filter / Filter set → Filter Gallery … / Filter Gallery … to it .

We will call the new layer “Rough Draft” . Set its blending mode to Multiply . Here we simulate a sketch that artists make before drawing details.

But artists never draw clear and precise lines the first time. We want to do something like a sketch, and there should be more rough lines. Therefore, we create a copy of the “Rough draft” layer and slightly increase it. Press the key combination Command + T and in the top menu set the width and height to 105%.

The canvas will stretch a bit and the lines of the picture will double. After that, set the opacity of this layer to about 10–20% so that the lines become almost invisible, as if the artist was aiming and marking out a sheet for further drawing.

Now, let’s do the same, but reduce the original canvas to make even more outline lines.

Copy the “Rough outline” layer and use the transformation to reduce the width and height to 95%. Set the opacity for this layer to 10–20%.

Now we need to add more graphic effects so that the stylization is even more like a drawing.

Create a copy of the base Background layer .

After that, we will use the Cutout / Application filter from the filter set Filter / Filter → Filter Gallery … / “Filter Gallery …” . Filter parameters can be selected to your taste or use our settings.

Drag the stylized layer to the top of the layer panel and apply the filter Filter to it → Stylize / Stylize → Find Edges … / “Select edges …” . It will allow you to more strongly highlight the main lines and boundaries of objects that should be better drawn in the picture.

Now we will make the borders highlighted in the previous step black and white: Image / “Image” → Adjustments / “Corrections” → Desaturate / “Desaturate” .

Name the new layer “Sketch” and set its blend mode to Color Burn . Adjust the opacity.

You can repeat the previous step to add more details.

So, we almost succeeded in drawing a picture from Photoshop from Photoshop. Now you need to add a little pencil hatching.

Create another copy of the base Background layer and drag it to the top of the layers panel. Apply the filter Filter to the new layer → Stylize / Stylize → Find Edges … / “Select Borders …” .

Now bleach it.

We use the Angled Strokes / Inclined Strokes filter from the Brush Strokes / Strokes set in the Filter menu → Filter Gallery … / “Filter Gallery …” .

Adjust the stroke length, direction and detail.

Set the new layer to Multiply and the Opacity to about 60%. It can be seen that strokes were added to the image.

We continue to add details. Let’s make even more strokes.

We also duplicate the base layer Background , apply the Crosshatch / Inclined Strokes filter from the Brush Strokes / Strokes set in the Filter menu → Filter Gallery … / “Filter Gallery …” .

Discolor it.

Set the blending mode to Multiply and adjust the opacity.

At this stage, we have already managed to make a picture from a photo in Photoshop. If your goal is a black and white sketch, then you can stop there.

For those who want to go further, we offer a way to create a coloring effect: some parts of the image will be colored, while others will remain monochrome.

Create another copy of the base Background layer and drag it to the top of the layers panel. Set the blending mode to Color . The picture immediately “colored.” It remains on the mask to leave individual parts of the image painted.

Add a mask to the layer by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon in the lower menu of the layer panel. By default, add a mask of white color, we need to invert it: click on the mask icon and press the key combination the Command + I of .

After that, choose a brush to your taste. This can be an imitation of a pencil, crayons or watercolors from the standard set of Adobe Photoshop or some additional brushes.

With the selected brush on the mask, draw in white the areas where the color should be. You can experiment with the size and type of brush, its density.

It turned out like this:

With the help of these simple manipulations, we were able to make a pencil drawing out of a photo in Photoshop. Each step is on a separate layer, so that at any moment you can strengthen or weaken one or another effect, add or remove something with the help of a mask.

Taking the principles of this method as a basis, you can come up with an algorithm with other filters from the Filter / Filter set → Filter Gallery … / Filter Gallery … and in Photoshop make a pencil drawing of the photo.

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