Make a Photo into a Line Drawing

If you want to make a photo into a line drawing here’s an easy and effective way to do it.  (Just hold on…  why would ANYONE want to do that?  Lots of reasons, like making a colouring page for children, or creating artwork for a website…)

Here’s how I do it:-

Start with a photograph.  Here’s a photo of St Patrick’s Church in Coleraine.


Open your photo in Photoshop. Make sure it is properly exposed using the levels adjustment.


When the levels are satisfactory duplicate the layer. (Cmd/J Or Ctr/J). Select the top layer and desaturate it. (Cmd/U Or Ctr/U). Correct the levels again if needed.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 21.05.14

Duplicate the new layer, so you now have two desaturated layers and a colour background. With the top layer selected, invert the image (Cmd/I Or Ctr/I).

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 21.09.39.png

From the layers drop down menu select ‘Colour Dodge’  – this should leave the top layer white. From the filter menu select Blur/Gaussian Blur. In the dialogue box set the radius to 3 pixels.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 21.12.33.png

Finally, darken (or lighten) the pencil lines using the Dodge and Burn tools. Dodge makes the lighter and burn makes them darker.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 21.14.11.png

Have a go!

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