Even if you can’t sketch with a pad a pencil, you can turn a photo into a realistic rendition of a charcoal drawing and impress your critics. With Adobe Photoshop, your artistic talent is unlimited. Creating a charcoal drawing is fun and with a little practice, you’ll soon be turning photos into realistic drawings. Read on to learn how to turn an image into a charcoal drawing in Photoshop.
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Open an image in Photoshop that you want to turn into a charcoal drawing. Any photograph is fine as long as there is a clear difference between the subject and the background.
Duplicate the background layer and desaturate the new layer. The easiest way to do this is to press "Crtl+U" and when the box opens, slide the "Saturation" point all the way to the left and click "OK." Then duplicate the new desaturated layer.
Invert the copy of the desaturated layer by pressing "Crtl+I" and the image will take on the appearance of a negative. Set the inverted layer’s blending mode to "Color Dodge." The image will appear to be white or almost white.
Bring back a little bit of your image by using "Gaussian Blur" from the "Filter" menu. Experiment with the slider and watch as the lines increase and decrease until you find an effect you like.
Paint lightly over the image to lighten or darken specific aspects with the "Dodge" and "Burn" tools. Use a low opacity and work with small strokes. This step is optional; you can stop after the last step if you choose.
Add some texture to your charcoal drawing by selecting the "Texturizer" option from the "Filter Menu." Choose canvas and ignore the preview window. When you click "OK," your image will appear as though you sketched it with charcoal pencils on a canvas paper.