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How to Turn Any Image Into an Illustration in Photoshop

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Photoshop is an amazing Tool that can help you with more than just Retouching photographs; it can be used to create illustrations as well! In today’s episode, we show you how to turn a photo into what looks like a hand-drawn illustration.


Creating a custom brush

The goal for this episode is to create a drawing that looks like chalk on a chalkboard. The first and essential step in this process is to create a custom “chalk Brush.” We do this by going into the brush window and altering the characteristics of the Brush. We increase the Size, Flow, Opacity and Angle Jitter, as well as change the tip shape and lessen the Spacing. There are many little details in this Brush that help create a chalky effect.

Using Levels and Channels to create a selection

There are many ways to create a selection, and for this particular image we use the Lights and darks in our image to do so. We bring our dark and white points up with Levels to create a Graphic version of the image. A selection is then created from a copy of a Channel layer. This only selects the Light parts and not the darks, so we want to Inverse the selection. We are left with a lovely selection of the darks from our image.

Turning the selection into a Pen Path

Did you know you can turn any selection into a Pen Path?

All we have to do is click on the paths tab, and then click on the “Make Work Path from Selection” button. This simulates what would happen if we were to actually take a Pen and follow the lines of the selection. After our path is created, we can Stroke the path with our custom brush! This step is what really turns what was once a regular image into a chalk drawing.

We can always go back into the drawing with our chalk brush to add some finishing touches.

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