Create a Pencil Sketch Effect in Photoshop CS4

andy_pencilsketchPencil sketch effects are easy to achieve and a great way to use a photo for a logo, combine it with other artwork, or numerous other applications.

When choosing your photo, I would recommend choosing something that is already on a white background, or one where the background is not too busy. If there is too much detail in your background, it could be distracting and cause the final result to not be as pleasing. If your background is too busy or distracting, you can isolate the image using the extract tool or one of the lasso tools. That is what I have done with my image below.

The second tip I have is that be sure to resize your image, if necessary and then save as a .psd or a .jpg file. Close, then re-open the image. If you resize your image and then try to apply the pencil sketch effects within the same image, the history brush  (which we will use later in the process) will not recognize the history as the size has changed, therefore it cannot apply the same history.

Change the mode of the new image layer to grayscale (Image > Mode > Grayscale).

Duplicate the background layer, rename if you would like.

Invert the new layer  (Image > Adjustments > Invert)

Next, convert the blending mode to Color Dodge (you can do this directly in the Layers panel). Don’t panic, because at this point more than likely, you will only see white on your screen.

Add a Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > blur > Gaussian Blur)

I have chosen a pixel radius of 10.0, however your settings may vary depending on the look you are after. I liked the darkened edges because I felt it added to the roughness of this image, so I went with a larger setting.

Depending on the look you are after, or the application, you may choose to quit at this point. For the purposes of this tutorial however, I will go to the next step of coloring the image back in with some of the original color.

Flatten image (Layer > Flatten), then change the color mode back to RGB (Image > Mode > RGB Color).

Create a new layer and set the blending mode to Multiply.

Use the History Brush Tool (located below the Clone Stamp Tool), to paint the color back in, in the desired areas. I used a soft, round, 100 pixel brush, with 50% opacity, so that I wouldn’t deposit too much color back at once.

I wanted the color to be a little spotty and not too smooth or uniform, for this piece. Below is my finished project. I hope you find this tutorial useful!

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