Sketchy Photographs




Introduction: Sketchy Photographs

Part photograph, part sketch.

Step 1: Get Ready

You will need:

  • A photograph that is ready to be sketched.
  • A program that lets you draw/trace over your photograph in separate layer. Sketching on a tablet or touch screen will give you the best results. I used the Adobe Illustrator Draw App to sketch my photo. You should be able to achieve the same results in other programs like Adobe Illustrator.
  • A photo editing program. Any program that lets you use an eraser and allows you to put images on different layers should be good. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Step 2: Adobe Illustrator Draw: Import Photograph

  1. Create a new project.
  2. Tap the 'Layers' icon located at the bottom left hand corner (the two stacked squares).
  3. Tap 'Photo Layer' and import your photograph from wherever you have it saved.

Step 3: Sketch

  1. Tap the 'Layers' icon again
  2. Select 'Photo Layer'
  3. Lower the opacity by half.
  4. Select the 'Draw Layer'
  5. Choose the tool with the pointy tip and change the color to black.
  6. Sketch away! Focus on the outlines of the objects in the photograph first. Your lines don't have to line up perfectly over the photograph, remember that it's just a sketch. Try to get a rough outline of everything first and if you want to you can go back in later and add more detail.

Step 4: Sketch

  • When I was finished sketching, I looked at my finished product and felt that it looked too neat. So, I created a third later and did a super rough sketch to give it a more authentic look.
  • When you're satisfied with your sketch, change opacity of the photograph to zero. Leave any layers with drawing at 100%.
  • Copy the image to your Creative Cloud.
  • From there you can open your image in Photoshop.

Step 5: Photoshop: Background

  1. Open your photograph and sketch in the same window.
  2. Select the layer containing your photograph.
  3. Using the Quick Selection Tool, remove the background of your photograph.
  4. Add a New Layer; this layer will be the new background.
  5. Make the background any color you want. I decided to do a white/gray gradient.

Step 6: Order

  • Re-size your Sketch Layer and move it so that it lines up accurately with your photograph.
  • Make sure that your Sketch Layer is placed above your Photograph Layer.

Step 7: Erase the Photograph Layer

  1. Select the layer containing your photograph.
  2. Erase the parts where you just want to see the sketched lines. Focus on the places where you have the most sketch marks.
  3. First, set the eraser to 75% opacity and erase the large portions that you want gone.
  4. Then, go back with the eraser set at 25% opacity to smooth out any harsh lines.

Step 8: Erase the Sketch Layer

  1. Select the layer containing your sketch.
  2. Erase the parts where you don't want to see any sketch lines.
  3. First, set the eraser to 75% opacity and erase the large portions that you want gone.
  4. Then go back with the eraser set at 25% opacity to smooth everything out.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

  • Use the Brush Tool to add color to any places where you may have eased too much. Make sure the opacity isn't set too high, you don't want the coloring to be obvious; 10% opacity should be good.
  • After you're done touching everything up, your masterpiece will be be complete!
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    11 Discussions

    I am so going to try this sooner. Is there any free software to do this?

    2 replies

    Thanks! The Adobe Illustrator Draw App is free. And for the second part, instead of using Photoshop, GIMP is free and it should have all the tools that you need.

    Thank you :) as will try this as soon as possible

    Congrats on your win btw

    Congrats on your win btw

    On my to-do list for when I've got a couple of hours play-time :)