How to Convert a Photo into a Sketch in Photoshop


Before Changes


After Changes

This photoshop tutorial is to help you learn how to convert photos into good looking sketches.  And then if you want to learn more we will show you how to make an inverse sketch.  Ok after you have the picture that you want to work on open in photoshop:

1. In the Image menu select Adjustments and then Desaturate.  (Image>Adjustments>Desaturate.)  And it should turn black and white like shown on the left.


2. Then in the Filter menu select Stylize and then Find Edges.  (Filter>Stylize>Find Edges).  It should look something like whats shown on the left.  In this picture the result seems a little too bright, in order to bring out more of the black:


3. Use a Levels Adjustment Layer, (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels) to bring out more of the black if you want.


Ok, that’s all there is to making a good sketch, now if you want to make an inverse sketch here’s how:


4. Make a duplicate layer of the Background layer, (Layer>Duplicate Layer).  And then change the Layer Mode to Exclusion.  When your done your layer menu should look like this on the left.


Completed Photo

For Further Training on Photo Effects:

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4 responses to “How to Convert a Photo into a Sketch in Photoshop”

  1. Ross says:

    Thanks for this tutorial! That’s the exact effect I was looking for. I had it on my first phone’s camera and I wanted to recreate it.

  2. Sean says:

    Hey, thanks so much for this tutorial. It’s the fifth one I read on the subject and each of those was ridiculously fiddly, using pen tools for outlines etc, when all I wanted was a black and white rough outline. This tutorial is great and simple.Thanks alot!

  3. san says:

    Is there a technical name for this process? I seem to remember that there is something more specific than just calling the result a sketch or outline. I’m trying to find out, as I need to use the term (if it exists) to describe some images. Can anyone help?

  4. Mary-Ann says:

    Thanks for guide! I used to use Sketch Drawer tool ( It’s great!

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