There are different ways to turn photo into line drawing but doesn’t look real, like someone draw it.

This technique of line art uses different densities of crosshatching to simulate lighter and darker shades of gray to obtain that look and the result is great.

Crosshatching is the drawing of two layers of hatching at right-angles to create a mesh-like pattern. Multiple layers in varying directions can be used to create different textures.

Crosshatching is often used to create tonal effects like shadows, by varying the spacing of lines or by adding additional layers of lines.

This tutorial achieves a very convincing result and it is really easy to follow, so let’s get started!

How to turn photo into line drawing with Photoshop

  1. Creating Edges

  2. Create the crosshatch Patterns

  3. Create the first layer of shadows line art

  4. Create the second layer of shadows line art

  5. Bring back the line art

  6. Create the Darkest Shadows

  7. Add Color

Step 1 Creating Edges

a) Duplicate the layer.

b) Apply Smart Blur: Filter > Blur > Smart Blur. In the pop-up mode set to Edge Only. This will produce an inverted line art

smart blur

c) Invert; Image > Adjustments > Invert

invert

d) Hide this layer, we will use it later

e) Create a white layer above the original background (face)

Step 2 Create the crosshatch Patterns

Let’s create 2 different patterns.

a) Create a new document with a white background

b) Draw a 45 line on a new layer

c) Use: Alt-Shift-Command+the right cursor to create a copy of the line to 10 pixels to the right. Continue until you get a set of strips.

d) Merge the layers

e) Select a square area

pattern

f) Create the pattern: Edit > Define Pattern

g) Name the pattern stripes 1

Now let’s create a second pattern

a) Reflect the strips horizontally

b) Repeat the process from letter e

c) Name the pattern stripes 2

pattern 2

Step 3 Create the first layer of shadows line art

a) Duplicate another layer of the background

b) Apply Threshold: Image > Adjustments > Threshold

c) Move the threshold level so you get the layer areas of shadows

threshold level

d) Open the Layer Style and apply Pattern Overlay

e) Select the first pattern we created

f) In the blend mode of the dialog box select Lighten

Layer Style

g) Scale the pattern till you like it.

h) Convert this layer to a Smart Object: in the layers, dialog box select Convert to Smart Object

i) Set the blending mode to multiply (remember to create the white layer of the letter e from step 1)

line art

 

Step 4 Create the second layer of shadows line art

a) Duplicate another layer of the original background

b) Repeat step b

c) Now move the threshold level so you get a smaller area of shadows, for instance, the eyes or the lips

d) Open the Layer Style and apply Pattern Overlay

e) Select the SECOND pattern we created

f) In the blend mode of the dialog box select Lighten

g) Scale the pattern till you like it.

h) Convert this layer to a Smart Object: in the layers, dialog box select Convert to Smart Object

i) Set the blending mode to multiply

turn photo into line drawing second layer of shadows

Step 5 Bring back the line art
edges

a) Move to the top of the layer stack the Edge layer we created in step 1

b) Set the blending mode to multiply

Step 6 Create the Darkest Shadows

a) Create another copy of the original layer

b) Apply threshold

thershold

c) Set the level so we only got the darkest shadows, the inner part of the lips for example.

d) Be sure that this layer is on top of the layer stack, set the blending mode to multiply

turn photo into line drawing

Step 7 Adding color

You can add color or multiple effects on the image using the original photo.

Place it above all layers and apply overlay. This will create a tint over the crosshatches

It is a very subtle effect that looks very natural.

You can use this kind of effect with any photo but I recommend using it with portraits.

Final result:

turn photo into line drawing

References for turn photo into line drawing:

Guide to Shading Techniques: Hatching, Cross-Hatching, Scribbling and Others 

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Javier Cantero

Javier Cantero