Pencil Sketch Drawing Effect Photoshop Tutorial

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your first purchase. How’s it going everyone, Chris here from Spoon
Graphics back after a nice break over the holidays with my first tutorial for 2017.
Today we’re going to have fun in Adobe Photoshop and create a pencil sketch effect that quickly
converts a photograph into a realistic drawing. The effect works best with studio type photographs
with a nice clean background with good lighting and focus. Images with minimal texture also
generate the best results. This is an image from Shutterstock that I’ll be using in this
tutorial. Begin by opening your chosen image in Photoshop.
Make a copy the background by right clicking and selecting Duplicate Layer. This will keep
the original background layer unedited. Go to Image>Adjustments and Invert to flip
the image into a quite a scary looking negative version! Right click on the layer and select Convert
to Smart Object. Head to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and
enter 40px as a good starting point. Because we made the layer a smart object we can find
tune this figure later. Change the blending mode drop down menu to
Color Dodge to see this first step of the effect in action. It already has some nice
pencil crayon like sketch lines as if it has been coloured in by hand. Add a Levels adjustment layer and move the
midtones and shadows sliders slightly towards the right to boost the contrast. Next add a Black and White adjustment layer,
which gives the effect more of a traditional graphite pencil appearance. Head to Select>All, followed by Edit>Copy
Merged. Go to Edit and Paste to make a snapshot of the effect so far at the top of the layer
stack. Go to Filter and select Filter Gallery, then
navigate to Stylize>Glowing Edges, Configure the sliders to minimum Edge Width, then Max
Edge Brightness and Smoothness. After Okaying the effect, go to Image>Adjustments
>Invert, then change the blending mode to Multiply to render the white background transparent. Reduce the opacity to around 60% to produce
some subtle outlining sketch lines to add more authenticity to the effect, making it
look like it has been drawn by hand. Add a new layer, then use the CMD, or CTRL
on Windows, and Backspace key to fill the layer with white. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery again, making
sure not to select the top option because that will repeat the Glowing Edges effect. This time navigate to the Texturizer and select
Sandstone from the drop down menu. We are creating a paper like texture and despite
there being a Canvas option, I think the Sandstone option looks more realistic. Change this layer’s blending mode to Multiply
and reduce the opacity to around 70% to finish off the sketch effect. It’s up to you whether you stick with the
traditional pencil look, or toggle off the visibility of the Black and white adjustment
layer to leave a coloured pencil crayon type effect. Each one has realistic looking sketch
lines and shading, along with a subtle paper texture which makes the effect much more believable.
Head back and alter the amount of Guassuian Blur applied to the Smart Object to test out
different results. If you enjoyed this tutorial don’t forget
to hit the subscribe button on YouTube to stick around for more, or join my mailing
list over at if you want to receive all my tutorials, free design resources
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You can see how great their templates look and find out more about all the features at Don’t forget to use the code SPOONER to get 10% off your order. So as always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.


  • StRyan

    Amazing work as usual!

  • Haechi

    Great! Another one to try out!

  • Sucrose

    this is awesome dude 🙂 happy new year!

  • LiveBig7

    thanks for tutorial. Every lesson appreciated.

  • zentatsunoryu

    most other folks take 20 minutes for the same info, under four minutes with an ad. Fantastic!

  • Evian622

    Amazing, as always!

  • Abu Ibrahim Al Karamani

    Yo fam

  • Sabir Ali

    Happy New Year Chris Thanks for sharing one more mind blowing Tutorial its easy steps to follow you done a good job. keep sharing in this year we hope get more tutorial to learn form you amazing tips and tricks .

  • Sanket Sony

    awesome effect!

  • Yegor Ilyeen

    Nice girl you have chosen

  • Edwin Mulder Veenboer

    very nice. thnx for sharing!


    Hey Can you please do a tutorial of How to make the Adele 25 font for Adobe Illustrator? Thank You

  • Abhishek s

    very nice effect 👍👍

  • ดังตฤณ

    You've already left something good on this earth!

  • Thomas Chien

    wow! Awesome effect and great tutorial! I gotta try it some time. 🙂

  • Алексей Котцов

    Chris, many thanks for your great work!You always please us with their works!)


    Thank so much for the tutorial…..AMAZING

  • Alexander

    Very nice. Thank you

  • sara wang

    Great tutorials I really enjoying watching them! I wonder where is your accent from, I kinda like your accent 🙂

  • Juliana Cheatem

    You are the BEST!

  • Jordan

    These videos are truly so helpful thank you so much!!! Great channel

  • Towa Norling

    what do you do if you dont have the gaussian blur?

  • Cyber Pineapple

    Its pretty sketchy if you ask me

  • Spoon Graphics

    Join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics if you want to keep up with all my other content. Every subscriber gets a FREE design resources bundle! 📦

  • Alberto Junior


  • Zulafqar Ahmed

    Great tutorial

  • Yasu

    Great tutorial!

  • Jou

    Holy shit this is the best ps tutorial ive ever seen

  • Unnati Saraph

    Thank You very much. It was really a good brief video with clear instruction.

  • Syao Crt

    Thank you very much, the effect looks awesome 🙂

  • Jan van Timmeren

    Thank you

  • User C

    Apparently, Photoshop Cs2 can't add Gaussian Blur to smart objects making the blur adjustment at the end impossible I had to redo the whole process more than twice. Lol, I think I need an upgrade.
    Great tutorial btw.

  • CSGO Detective

    very nice super on point

  • Rory Dowling

    Really great tutorial, bravo!

  • Z

    I'm impressed by your Photoshop skills. It makes me realize I still have a lot to learn!

  • XHannoUS

    you're a god, ty alot

  • fausto Rossi

    Good job but your explanations aren't clear, so sorry thumbs down.

  • Reham Dizichi

    u speak really fast and your instructions aren't clear waste of time

  • Ivan Llanas

    It was great the fact you made a smart object of the lately blurred layer. Once you get the job done you can easily fine-tune it by changing the blur amount. Bravo!

  • Prank Mail

    omg the accent, thanks it was pretty short and conclusive i just had to play some part over again with the closed caption ON to understand XD

  • Cantona

    Can't you talk any faster ? I could only keep up cos my name is Barry F***ing Allen . Enjoyed this tutorial ? Sorry i blinked and missed it ffs .

  • Felix Brönnimann

    Thank you Chris! An other great tutorial! For me it works better when you leave the layer with the "glowing edges" to "normal" and set the opacity to 20%! Thanks again and I'm looking forword to an other tutorial!

  • Hugh Blaisdell

    Thanks so much. Great vid!

  • Mahamudul Hasan Arman

    Big help. Thank-you.

  • Christine Anatone

    This is great. To the point, doesn't waste time, and it works. Thank you!

  • Mr Debunker

    Wow, incredible tutorial, quick, easy to understand the tons of great information. Subscribed!

  • raj parikh

    Ala tane kai aavde 6 dafod

  • ash Edyson

    Can people stop with the most unoriginal pose for a photo. It looks so dumb.

    Who was the creative director or the photographer that said. Lets do this again and again.


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