Photoshop Fundamentals: Use Brush Strokes for a Hand-drawn Effect

Dateline: October 23, 2007
Version: Adobe Photoshop CS3

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Draw upon Photoshop to give your photos that illustrated look and achieve dramatic results using Photoshop's own filters and brushes. For the hand-drawn effect shown here, pick a color to use for each section of the photo. For our mysterious male, we chose a brown to add drama. Stipple the color to give the photo texture and a wet look. We kept to a two-color palette for the photo of the man, but of course you can select more colors for your images.

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Download handdrawn.tif, shown at left, launch Photoshop and open the file. Choose Image > Mode > Grayscale. Choose Image > Mode > RGB Color. Choose Image > Adjustments > Brightness/ Contrast. In the Brightness/ Contrast dialog box set Brightness to 15 and Contrast to 35 and click OK.

Press F7 to show the Layers palette. Using the Lasso tool (L), press Option and click to create a selection around the hat. Choose Layer > New > Layer via Copy (Command + J). Rename the new layer “hat.”

Press D to set Default colors (black foreground, white background). Choose Filter > Sketch > Stamp. Use the options in the resulting Stamp dialog box and click OK.

Select the Brush tool (B). In the resulting Options bar, use the options shown and click the Brush button to open the Brush Preset Picker. Click the Options arrow, select Natural Brushes from the drop-down menu and click Append. Select the Stipple 43 pixels brush and change its size to 148 pixels. Click the Brush button again to close the picker.

In the toolbar, click the foreground color sampler. In the resulting Color Picker dialog box, enter C:52; M:69; Y:83; K:68, and click OK. In the Layers palette, click the Lock Transparent Pixels button. Brush over the black areas of the hat, building up color and texture similar to ours shown.

Click the Add Layer Mask button. Press D to set Mask Default colors, then press X to inverse them so that Black is the Foreground color. Use the options in the Options bar, then brush over the white areas of the hat, adding texture similar to ours shown.

Repeat steps 2 through 6 to add color and texture to the face and coat. Drag the original photo layer to the trash. As a final touch, create a black background and use the same process to add some texture to it.

Our final result is shown at left.

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