We are going to create a realistic pencil sketch effect in this Photoshop tutorial. In case you want to save yourself the trouble, I have created a Sketch Action Set for Photoshop that includes 8 different sketch actions.
Lets get started with the pencil sketch effect tutorial
Open your photo. It’s recommended that you use a photo that has a white background and has good contrast. If you want to use the same photo as we use in this tutorial you can find it here. Once you got your photo open in Photoshop, duplicate the background layer (CTRL + J) and invert it (CTRL + I).
Turn this layer in to a smart object (right click the layer and select Convert To Smart Object) so that we can edit the smart filters in the future if needed. Now lets add a smart filter: Gaussian Blur (Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur), aroun 40px. Now turn the blending mode of the layer to Color Dodge.
Next add a Levels adjustment layer. Make the image darker by bringing the shadows and midtons sliders to the right. Then add a Black & White adjustment layer.
Next merge all the layers in to a new layer (CTRL + Shift + Alt + E), make sure that layer is on top. Turn this layer in to a Smart object in case you’ll want to edit the smart filters in the future. Go to Filter -> Filter Gallery -> open the Artistic tab and select Poster Edges and set the Edge Thikness: 3 Edge Intensity: 1, Posterization: 6. Group all the layers that you have created.
Download a lined paper texture here. Open the PNG in Photoshop and turn it in to a pattern (Edit -> Define Patter -> Name it and hit OK). Now return back to your sketch image. Add a White fill layer under the group and add the lined paper as a Pattern Overlay layer style (the latest pattern will be in the end of the list). Turn the groups blend mode to Multiply. I also lowered the opacity to 85% so that it’s more sketch like.
Lastly you can brush around the edges with a Scrible Brush to give it even more realistic pencil sketch effect.