Photo To Sketch With Good
Likeness and no Fuss

From Photo To Sketch

There are many software packages available where you can instantly convert your photo-to-sketch into a seemingly hand-drawn sketch.

One of the best packages to capture a sketch is PhotoShop CS5 and PhotoShop Elements (Elements is a simpler version where you don't have to go through a steep learning curve.) Then you can try for Google's Sketch Up which is aimed more at the architectural market or try Sketch It. Hey, but it is more worthwhile to sketch it in by hand where there is a simple way to do this here—and get it fairly accurate!

Drawing well is a skill anyone can learn and develop no matter what your age. Drawing well then is not a talent for the gifted few but for anyone who likes to draw!

Most of these pages have been created for the beginner with no knowledge of sketching or drawing but who would really like to draw well, with confidence—and therefore a masterful drawing.

So let's start off with the drawing materials you'll need for these exercises. A 2B and a 4B quality pencil, an eraser plus cheapish typing paper. Later, when you become an expert, get a ring-bound sketch pad which usually comes with a solid back as support for your paper.

Okay, the first exercise is for you to do a portrait drawing from a photograph (a portrait photo) taking no more than 15 - 20 minutes to completion. Why the time limit? Because it will stop you fiddling and worrying what it is going to be like. Also, it is to measure your progress with a "before and after" drawing, and you'll notice the difference—so put a date on it.

Often it is daunting to be confronted with a pristine sheet of paper so let's get in contact with the paper first by drawing lines around the perimeter as if you are drawing a picture frame. Make these line bold and free, no inhibitions! Go over some of the lines again to make them thicker. Think of this as a warm-up exercise, nothing more.

Drawing Upside Down
Betty Edwards popularized this method even though it has been around for quite awhile and not a lot to do with the right side of your brain.

When you draw this way (upside down) you don't "see" specific detail the same way, you only notice the "negative shapes" which are those shapes between the forms (eyes, nose, mouth, bottom of chin) which is quite important when getting a true likeness.

With this exercise you are only drawing in lines, no shading as we are doing "photo to sketch" drawing. Draw in thicker lines where you see shadows, under the chin, eyebrows, nose and so forth. The key to this first exercise is not to fiddle with it—use short, sharp pencil lines following the contours and negative shapes (more on negative shapes later on another page.)

Have you done the exercise? Have you got a likeness? Please load your images up here, both the photo and your photo-to-sketch sketch to show others how it is done. Thank you for your participation in this exercise.


More Pencil Sketches Here: Unleash Your Potentail 

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Your website is beautiful and exudes with goodness—-here is all the info, free of charge, just go and play with it, free your creativity. It would be the perfect site for our 10 year old, who is a keen (and very good) drawer in the sense that she truly enjoys it and will do it in her free time just for fun.

Vardit Kohn
The Hague