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Drawing/Painting Effect - viewed times


In this Photoshop tutorial I'm going to show you a technique to create a drawing/painting effect.

We're going through the following steps:

  • Prepairing the image
  • Applying High Pass filter
  • Applying film grain filter
  • Applying cutout filter
  • Blending mode Overlay
  • Ading more definition
  • Blending mode multiply

1. Prepare the image

For this Photoshop tutorial I'm using following image:



You can use this image to practice yourself. In Windows you have to right click on the image and select Save target as...

Now let's get started.

The first thing we do after we've opened this image is creating a duplicate. We do this by clicking on the image in the layers palette and while holding the mouse button we drag and drop it on the New Layer icon New Layer.

2. Apply High Pass filter

With this new layer selected we go to the menu and select Filter/Other/High Pass... and enter for radius a value of 1.5. It all depends on the size of the image you're using. This image is 500 pixels wide, so with an image that's pixels wide you'll probably need to multiply this radius by 2.

3. Apply Film Grain filter

With this same layer still selected, we go to the menu and select Filter/Artistic/Film Grain...
We're going to use the following values:
  • Grain: 0
  • Highlight Area: 19
  • Intensity: 10

Highlight Area is the most important value. In most cases you'll notice that a value between 18-20 will give you the best results.

The result should look something like this:

Drawing effect

4. Blending mode Overlay

With this layer still active, we change its blending mode to Overlay.

Overlay mode

5. Apply Cutout filter

We now make the background layer active by clicking on it in the layers palette (you will see a Brush front of the layer, indicating that this layer is active).

In the menu, we select Filter/Artistic/Cutout...

We enter the following values:

  • Number of levels: 8
  • Edge simplicity: 0
  • Edge fidelity: 3

Number of levels is always the most important value when you use the Cutout Filter. When you use this technique with other images, try values between 6-8.

The result should look like this:


Cutout effect

6. Add more definition

Make a copy of the layer with the name Background copy (the one with the B&W drawing) by clicking on the image in the layers palette and while holding the mouse button we drag and drop it on the New Layer icon New Layer.

In the menu we select Filter/Artistic/Poster Edges...

We use the following values:

  • Edge Thickness: 10
  • Edge Intensity: 10
  • Posterization: 0

7. Blending mode multiply

Set the blending mode of this layer to Multiply and the Opacity to about 30%.

Poster Edges Blending Mode

And this is the final result (after some slight sharpening):

Final Result


Other example (only step 1-5):

Original photographPhotograph with technique applied

Final words

Throughout this tutorial I have used different blending modes and also different settings for several filters. In general they will give good results with most images. There are occasions that it's better to select a different blending mode or use slightly different settings. The global technique that I've shown you stays the same though.

Have fun!


For more help with Photoshop check out ourPhotoshop Trainingsection.
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