Sketch This


As much as I would love to avoid the time waster of Facebook, I can’t seem to stay away. I have managed to avoid silly quizzes and endless game playing, but I am a sucker for status updates and seeing what my friends are up to. One of the things I have noticed in the last few days is an application that turns your profile picture into a sketch. People seem to be excited about it so I thought I would show you how you can do it yourself. It’s easy!

1. Choose a photo you would like to turn into a sketch and open in PS/PSE. I chose this photo of my daughter from last weekend.

2. Remove color from the photo (Ctrl Shift U)
3. Duplicate layer (Command J).
4. With Background Copy active, invert the photo (Command I). This will switch your black and white colors, making it look like a photo negative


5. In the layers palette, change the layer blend mode to Color Dodge. Don’t worry — this step will turn your photo white. It won’t stay that way, though!


6. Now go to Filter >Blur> Gaussian Blur. When the dialogue screen comes up, drag the slider until the photo looks like you want your sketch. Click OK.



7. You can stop here, or, you can add some texture. I don’t like the Photoshop built-in textures, so I opened up a piece of digi paper that I love the texture of. I used a canvas overlay by Nancie Rowe Janitz, but you can use any paper you like and just remove the color (Ctrl Shift J).

8. Add your paper (with color removed) on the layer above your sketch. Try different blending modes to see which one works best with your photo. I used multiply mode with an opacity of about 33%. Once you are happy with the texture and look of your sketch, merge your layers. Here is a 100% crop of my image so you can see the texture:


9. You can continue to play with it like you would any other photo. For mine, I adjusted the brightness and contrast a bit and then added a vignette. This was the final result….perfect for putting on a layout, printing out and framing, or giving as a gift.



Our photo editing programs are capable of so much…why not give something new a try!


P.S. As part of the process of listening to what our readers want/need, you will notice that there is now a CONTACT US button at the top of the sidebar section and there is also an archive list. Thanks for your suggestions…keep ’em coming!