Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Turning a Photo into a Sketch

Our household has a new puppy so I have been having so much fun taking pictures. Puppies grow so fast, I want to capture this cute time before it's gone. I thought it would be fun to turn one of Maggie's photos into a sketch and then scrap that in a layout. I found a tool that gave me just the look I was after. Here is my layout simply titled "Maggie."

When I first started down this path, I experimented a bit with Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 because I like this software and I knew there was a filter for artists effect that could render a sketch look. However, I had an image in my mind of what I wanted and I just couldn't get the result I was after. So, I went looking for another tool that might do the job. I ran across a FREE software package called FotoSketcher. You can download it here . It was very easy to install and equally easy to use. It has a variety of artists effects including pencil, pen and ink and several painting effects. You can adjust the look of each drawing type with setting for things like edge intensity, color intensity, contrast, etc. It was actually fun just trying out the different drawing types and seeing the end result. For my sketch I used the drawing type of "Pencil Sketch 1" and because I wanted a black and white sketch, I set the color intensity to zero. Here is the pencil sketch after using FotoSketcher.
For my layout I didn't want a typical rectangle image. I really wanted to fade out the edges and give the black and white sketch a color tint. so I brought my sketch into Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 and edited the image. First I chose from the main menu Enhance, then Adjust Color and finally Color Variations. This gave me several versions of my sketch with one color or another intensified. I decided I liked the variation with "Increased Red". Next I wanted to fade out the edges of the picture so the focus would be on Maggie's cute face and my expression while I was holding her. To do this I used the eraser tool and set my brush to a large round shape with a fuzzy edge (the edge fades away). I worked around the edge of the sketch taking a little bit away at a time until I had the right size and shape. I printed my image on cream colored cardstock, then tore the edges by hand. I distressed the edges with Tim Holtz Walnut distress ink. After my sketch /picture was done I just tried to create a layout that had a touch of a vintage look. This was a fun project that let me try something different for a change of pace.


  1. I love this page and the results of your editing. I am so intimidated by PS that I seldom even try, but you've given me something to work on. Also, I love Labs (I have two - yellow and chocolate) and your puppy is so cute.

  2. Did you use a stamp that said "maggie" or is that a sticker? I Love this LO! The colors all blend together perfectly! Good job :)

  3. Manda - Thank you for your kind comments. The title "Maggie" is actually cut out of smooth black cardstock. I used my KliK-N-Kut digital craft cutter to do the job. Thanks for stopping by! ~Dolores

  4. Such a pretty layout Dolores! Thanks for sharing the link.