Third Thursday Challenge: April
This month’s Third Thursday Challenge still finds me playing in my Photoshop sandbox – grab a pail, a shovel, your imagination and join in!
I am excited to share with you an amazing pencil sketch technique – and everyone needs a pencil sketch technique in their post-processing arsenal. I have collected several different sketch techniques over the years but was amazed at the detailed accuracy of this particular combination of steps.
The author of this technique is Jim Zuckerman, from his book, “Digital Photographer’s Guide to Dramatic Photoshop Effects“. (Many thanks to my daughter and future-son-in-law for the gift of this book.)
The tutorial below is for Photoshop – if you are an Elements user, let me know if these steps can be followed in PSE as well.
Pencil Sketch Technique
- Make a duplicate copy of your image (CTRL + J)
- With the duplicate layer selected, desaturate the image (CTRL+SHIFT+U or choose Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation from the Menu bar and move the Saturation slider all the way to the left)
- Make a duplicate copy of this black-and-white image layer (CTRL+ J)
- With the new duplicate layer selected, invert the image (CTRL+I or Image>Adjustments>Invert). Set the blend mode to Color Dodge. All (or most) of the image will now be white
- From the menu bar, select Filter>Other>Minimum. Set the Radius slider to 3 (adjust to taste based on your particular image)
- As the final step, group the two “pencil sketch” layers together and name the group Pencil Sketch
- I recorded these simple steps as an action – thereby giving me the ability to run these steps with the simple press of a button on any image
From here, the sky’s the limit. To introduce color toning, Zuckerman recommends the addition of a Color Balance adjustment. You can also change the blend mode of your pencil sketch group to combine the sketch with the original color background layer for some interesting and artistic results.
In the image below, the toning was achieved by adding a Color Lookup adjustment layer (CS6) to the pencil sketch results.
I also experimented with adding textures, as you can see in the example below as well as the image of the US Capitol at the beginning of this post. (Textures by Pixel Dust Photo Art and me)
Now it’s your turn. What are you building in your sandbox this month? What challenges have you set for yourself and your art? I so look forward to your TTC contributions. The link below will be open through the end of the month – so you have plenty of time to join the party.