I love the look of sketches and a while back I saw a tutorial for using the Minimum Filter in Photoshop. I converted it to work in Elements and I will be sharing that with you this month. It’s a super easy technique that I use again and again. The toughest part is selecting a photo that will convert to a sketch without too much noise. I’ve found that brightly lit, close up portraits work the best for me. Shadows and hot spots create funky results in a sketch, so post process your photo, fixing any issues before converting it to a sketch.
1. Open the photo that you want to sketch. If you’ve created and new layers, you will need to merge the layers together so that you are working with just one layer. (save the file as a PSD before merging the layers, so you don’t lose them. Then merge your layers and resave with a new filename.
- Now, we need to duplicate this layer twice. You can use CNTL/J or the menu to do this. I find that CNTL/J, while very quick and easy, just doesn’t work sometimes! If CNTL/J isn’t working, select Layer then Duplicate Layer.
- Now, you should have three identical layers! Turn off the top one by clicking on the little eye in the layers palette
- Now, select the middle layer and convert it to Black and White. You can either use the Enhance/Color/Desaturate or you can use Enhance/Convert to Black and White as seen below.
- Once you select this, you will be shown an option screen where you can choose the type of B&W. I personally like Scenic Landscape for Sketches, but feel free to experiment! Select your type of B&W and press OK.
- Perfect!!! Now we need to make a copy of the B&W layer. Use the instructions in step 2 for duplicating a layer. Your layers palette should look like this:
- Making sure that the new B&W layout (the top one) is active, hit CNTL/I to invert. It will look like an old film negative.
- Now we need to change the Blend Mode, of that layer, to Color Dodge. Click on the Blend Mode box (default is Normal). That will bring up a drop down box. Click on Color Dodge.
- Ok, so everything disappeared!!!! No problem! That’s what it’s supposed to look like!
- Go to the top Menu and Choose Filter/Other/Minimum. Be sure you are still on the funky B&W layer.
- When you select Minimum, it will show an additional screen asking for the Radius. Type in 2 or 3 (3 will give you a heavier sketch). Then press OK
12 If you want a B&W sketch, you are done!!! To add some color, turn on the Color layer at the top of the layers palette by clicking on the little eye.
- Making sure the top color layer is active, change the Blend Mode of that color layer, to whatever trips your trigger!! I personally like Overlay, but there are several that will give you some cool effects…run down thru them to find the look you want.
That’s it for this tutorial!!! Have fun. Can’t wait to see your sketches!!!
Here’s my layout using Kristmess’ Beautiful Heavenly Kristmess Collection. I merged the 4 layers of the photo, then placed it on the BG paper and changed its Blend Mode to Multiply.