How to Create a Black-and-White Pencil Sketch from a Color Photograph
 

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Tutorial: AKVIS Sketch

A Little Girl

 

The author of the tutorial is David Kelly.

 
Source image Result
Source image Result

This tutorial describes how to use AKVIS Sketch plug-in in conjunction with Paint Shop Pro to create a realistic looking black and white pencil sketch from an existing colour photograph.

If your favourite image editing program is "plug-in" compatible, to add interest to this tutorial why not download Image 01, the original colour photograph, plus AKVIS Sketch's unrestricted free ten-day trial and try out the photo with Sketch, inputting your own settings then comparing the tutorial's final pencil sketch result with your own.

Download the photo by right clicking it then selecting Save Picture As. Save it to your hard drive, remembering where you saved it. To go to the downloads page for AKVIS Sketch's unrestricted free ten-day trial, please left click here.

    Image 01, original photograph
    Image 01, original photograph, © D. Kelly
  • Step 1. Open the original photo in Paint Shop Pro 9.
  • Step 2. Use PSP9's freehand "point-to-point" selection tool to carefully select the young girl.
  • Step 3. Save the selection to an Alpha channel: Selections - Load/Save Selection - Save Selection to Alpha Channel - name then save. Saving a selection makes it easy to recall without having to redraw if a mistake is made.
  • Step 4. Name and save the image as a Paint Shop Pro image file.
  • Step 5. Invert the selection, Ctrl+SHIFT+I. The selected background and foreground image area can now be edited separately from the young girl. See the image below.
    Image 02, selection inverted
    Image 02, selection inverted
  • Step 6. Select Adjust - Blur - Gaussian Blur, then enter this setting, Radius = 2.00.

    Name and save the Gaussian blur setting as a preset then click OK to apply the blur effect to the image's background/foreground areas and return to PSP9's workspace.

    Note: Unlike the human eye AKVIS Sketch does not divide photo details into important and less important areas. All clear details are drawn sharply. Depending on the original photograph there could be times when not enough separation occurs between the principal subject and less important background or foreground objects. To avoid this apply a Gaussian "blur" effect to these areas before running Sketch. This helps with subject separation in the final sketch.

  • Step 7. Remove the selection, Ctrl+D. See Image 03 below.
    Image 03, selection removed
    Image 03, selection removed
  • Step 8. Call AKVIS Sketch from within PSP9 - Effects - Plugins - AKVIS - Sketch.
  • Step 9. Left click Sketch "Run" button to apply its default settings.
  • Step 10. Switch between the Before and After views. In this example, having previously prepared the photo in PSP9, applying Sketch's default settings has created an acceptable black and white pencil sketch. See Image 04 below.

    If the pencil sketch isn't to your liking play about with Sketch's Effects and Strokes slider controls until you are happy with the result. Remembering of course to left click Sketch's "Run" button after each adjustment to apply that changed parameter value to the image.

  • Step 11. When you're satisfied with how the pencil sketch looks, left click Sketch's "Apply the result to the image" button . This closes Sketch to reveal PSP9's workspace containing your finished black and white pencil sketch.
    Image 04, the final pencil sketch
    Image 04, the final pencil sketch
  • Step 12. Name then save the completed black and white pencil sketch in your preferred non-lossy image file format.

Although this example was created with AKVIS Sketch plug-in used in conjunction with Corel Paint Shop Pro 9, similar results can be obtained with other plug-in compatible image-editing software packages.

Conclusion
AKVIS Sketch is a creative, addictive plug-in that will enable you to create your own personal, quality artwork from colour or black and white photographs with the minimum of effort.

 
How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Classic Style — Classic Style
   — Artistic Style — Artistic Style
   — Timeline — Timeline
   — Toolbar — Toolbar
   — Background Effects — Background Effects
   — Adding a Frame — Adding a Frame
   — Text and Watermark — Text and Watermark
   — Drawing on a Canvas — Drawing on a Canvas
   — Presets — Presets
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
Examples Examples
   — Pencil Sketch: Let's Draw a Tulip — Pencil Sketch: Let's Draw a Tulip
   — Convert a Photo to a Color Sketch — Convert a Photo to a Color Sketch
   — Transform a Video into a Cartoon — Transform a Video into a Cartoon
   — Sketch Gallery — Sketch Gallery
   — Pastel Drawing Technique — Pastel Drawing Technique
   — AKVIS Sketch in Architecture — AKVIS Sketch in Architecture
   — Graphite Pencil Portrait — Graphite Pencil Portrait
   — Watercolor Drawing — Watercolor Drawing
   — Artistic Processing — Artistic Processing
   — Watercolor Painting out of Photo — Watercolor Painting out of Photo
   — Winter Dream: Fairy-Tale Forest — Winter Dream: Fairy-Tale Forest
   — A Woman in a Tub: a Real Work of Art — A Woman in a Tub: a Real Work of Art
   — Watercolor Portrait — Watercolor Portrait
   — Pencil Sketch of a Pet — Pencil Sketch of a Pet
   — Postcard Framed in Pencil Drawing — Postcard Framed in Pencil Drawing
   — Baseball Photo to Color Drawing — Baseball Photo to Color Drawing
   — Make a Sketch from a Wolf Photo — Make a Sketch from a Wolf Photo
   — Motorshow: a Pencil Drawing — Motorshow: a Pencil Drawing
   — Wild Beast of Prey: Watercolor — Wild Beast of Prey: Watercolor
   — A Hand Draws a Hand — A Hand Draws a Hand
   — Convert Vector Drawing to Sketch — Convert Vector Drawing to Sketch
   — Portrait out of a Newspaper Clipping — Portrait out of a Newspaper Clipping
   — Quiet Harbor: a Watercolor Painting — Quiet Harbor: a Watercolor Painting
   — A Little Girl: B&W Pencil Sketch — A Little Girl: B&W Pencil Sketch
   — Westmuir Street in Glasgow — Westmuir Street in Glasgow
   — Sweet Couple: Create a Postcard — Sweet Couple: Create a Postcard
   — Black-and-White Image in Photo Frame — Black-and-White Image in Photo Frame
   — Dream to Reality: How to Blend... — Dream to Reality: How to Blend...
   — Christmas Card from a Photo — Christmas Card from a Photo
   — Artist at Work — Artist at Work
   — Friends in a Cafe: Sketch&Blur — Friends in a Cafe: Sketch&Blur
   — Versailles: Traveling to the Past — Versailles: Traveling to the Past
   — Drawing on Aged Paper — Drawing on Aged Paper
   — Self-Expression: Sketch in a Minute — Self-Expression: Sketch in a Minute
   — Two Beloved Dogs — Two Beloved Dogs
   — Orchid: Drawing in Watercolor Pencil — Orchid: Drawing in Watercolor Pencil
   — Shiny Apple: An Artist's Touch — Shiny Apple: An Artist's Touch
   — Cardinal: A Scene From Nature — Cardinal: A Scene From Nature
   — Variations On A Rose — Variations On A Rose
   — Cute Girl: а Pastel Drawing on Paper — Cute Girl: а Pastel Drawing on Paper
   — On a Bright Street (Sketch&Photo) — On a Bright Street (Sketch&Photo)
   — Mount Saint Michel Watercolor — Mount Saint Michel Watercolor
   — Gala Evening — Gala Evening
   — Radiant Girl: a Detailed Color Portrait — Radiant Girl: a Detailed Color Portrait
   — Parisian Chic — Parisian Chic
   — Toy Story: Create Your Own Comics — Toy Story: Create Your Own Comics
   — Video Clip Processing — Video Clip Processing
   — Creation of a Short-Film Storyboard — Creation of a Short-Film Storyboard
   — Smudging Technique on a Sketch — Smudging Technique on a Sketch
   — Making Embroidery Patterns — Making Embroidery Patterns
   — Quicktime Transition — Quicktime Transition
   — Red Oleander (Old Drawing Effect) — Red Oleander (Old Drawing Effect)
   — Seeing Eye Dog (Comic Book) — Seeing Eye Dog (Comic Book)
   — Produce Illustrations for an RPG Article — Produce Illustrations for an RPG Article
   — Student Project: City by Water — Student Project: City by Water
   — Timeline: Stop the moment! — Timeline: Stop the moment!
   — Sunny Sketch — Sunny Sketch
   — Electric Horses: Glowing Drawing — Electric Horses: Glowing Drawing
   — Reflections on the Garry Oak — Reflections on the Garry Oak
   — Creating a 3D Drawing — Creating a 3D Drawing

 

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