Pencil Sketch Effect

With a little bit of Affinity Photo magic, you can turn ANY photo into a pencil sketch.

Step 0: Downloading the Photo

The technique woks for any picture, but you can download the image I’ll be using here.

For your convenience, I’ve also included a video version of this lesson. 🙂

Step 1: Black and White

Alright, let’s do this. With your photo opened up in Affinity Photo, let’s duplicate the current layer by pressing Command J.

Duplicating the current layer will make it easy to see our amazing before and after images when we have all of our effects all wrapped up.



With this photo duplicated, press on the Adjustment Studio.



Apply an HSL adjustment.



Drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left to completely desaturate the photo.
Exit from the HSL Dialog Box.



Step 2: Blend and Blur

In the Layers Studio, click on the duplicate layer again, and change the Blend Mode from Normal to Color Dodge.



With the Blend Mode changed, press Command I to invert the Blend Mode.
Your image should be totally white, or if it’s not completely white, it should look like there is just a faint sketch going around it.


At the top of the screen, go to Layer, then New Live Filter Layer, then Blur, then Gaussian Blur Filter.


In the Dialog Box, drag up the Radius slider to bring back some of the picture.
If you drag the Radius all the way up, you can see all of the picture again, which isn’t what we want for the pencil sketch.


Instead, to give the picture a sketched look, keep the Radius slider toward the left, at whatever intensity looks good to you.

In this case, I’ve left it at 0.8 pixels.
Then, exit from the Gaussian Blur Filter Dialog Box.





Step 3: Bolder Lines

Go to the Adjustment Studio, and press Levels.



In this Dialog Box, increase the Black Level slider.

The higher the slider is increased, the more black and thick the lines look.
If you slide the Black Level too high, then the whole picture becomes black.



Keep the slider somewhere in the middle for a good pencil sketch effect.
If you follow these steps again, this effect can work any of your pictures!



Nice work following along with this tutorial, you great student you! By following all of these steps to the end, it’s clear that you take your photo editing pretty seriously.