Half Sketch Effect

This tutorial will show you how to make an image look like it’s half-sketched. It’s a really easy effect that I’ve been seeing around lately. Reminds me of that A-Ha video.

We’re obviously going to start with our object. I used another image from PhotoSpin
(PhotoSpin # PS008088).


Select your object and extract it to its own layer with [Ctrl + Shift + J].


Duplicate that layer again with [Ctrl + J].


Go to [Filter > Stylize > Find Edges]. Press [Ctrl + Shift + U] to desaturate the layer.


Bring up the Levels dialog with [Ctrl + L] and adjust the sliders until you get the detail you want.



Add a Layer Mask with the button at the bottom of the Layers palette, or with [Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All]. With the Layer Mask selected, choose the Gradient Tool [G].

Drag the gradient over your image to make some parts of the mask visible.


You can repeat the gradient until you get the effect you want.


That’s about it. You can get creative with the Layer Masks to create some differing effects.

Comments Spill 7 Comments »

  1. September 30, 2008 4:48 amDaniel

    I love this one. I see pictures like this all the time and use photoshop frequently, and still didn’t know how to do this! Thank you!

  2. February 23, 2009 2:22 amBarry Jackson

    I have adobe CS2 . I cannot find “Gradient tool” in my tool box . When I press (G) as instructed I get paint bucket .
    Could you please point me to “Gradient tool ” on CS2.

  3. March 7, 2009 11:41 ambindlov

    Barry, try to press (G) one more time

  4. March 9, 2009 2:20 amTeesaa

    Hold the mouse button on the paintbucket(button) and when the option appear, select the gradient tool

  5. March 10, 2009 5:32 amTom

    To get to gradient tool, press and hold the paint bucket and you should get the option to change to gradient tool.

  6. March 10, 2009 9:08 amGemma

    This is amazing!
    Thank you so much! Now my amature photos looks more or less professional!

  7. October 6, 2009 4:24 pmemily

    To get gradient by keyboard, and to cycle through any of a tool’s incarnations (aka freehand lasso, polygonal lasso, and magnetic lasso), press Shift+G (or L, S, etc).

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