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Photoshop Elements > Drawing

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There are many ways to convert photographs to drawings.

Here's a method that allows you to create different results by:

• Adjusting the Gaussian blur.

• Using a Levels adjustment layer.

• Threshold adjustment layer.

Be sure to check off as you go along.

Preparation

1) Preserve your original file.

If you haven't already done so, go to Preserve Your Original File.

2) Create a Background copy layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to Create a Background Copy Layer.

Desaturate the Background copy

3) Change the name of the Background copy layer to Desaturate.

4) Make sure the Desaturate layer is active (highlighted).

5) Go to Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Hue/Saturation, or press Ctrl + u.

A Hue/Saturation window will open.

Desaturate the color of the Desaturate layer by moving the Saturation slider to -100.

Click OK.

Desaturate

Background

Invert

6) Make sure the Desaturate layer is active (highlighted).

7) Press Ctrl + j to make a copy of the Desaturate layer.

8) Change the name of the new layer, Desaturate, to Invert.

9) Go to Filter > Adjustments > Invert, or press Ctrl + i, to invert the Invert layer.

Invert

Desaturate

Background

Change the Blending Mode

10) Change the blending mode for the Invert layer from Normal to Color Dodge.

Blending Mode?

At the top of the layers stack, look for the unlabeled Blending Mode box.

It's to the left of the Opacity box.

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If you're new to blending modes, go to Blending Modes.

The image will turn white.

Why?

The Color Dodge blending mode uses the shades of gray in the Invert layer to lighten the shades of gray in the Desaturate layer.

Because the shades of gray are opposite in the two layers, the result is maximum lightening—white.

Add Some Gaussian Blur

11) Make sure the Invert layer is active (highlighted).

12) Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Adjust the Radius slider until the "drawing" is to your liking.

Why do you see the drawing?

The Gaussian blur creates a difference between the Invert and Desaturate layers.

The two layers no longer have precisely the opposite shades of gray.

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Original

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Drawing

Options

Levels Adjustment Layer

You can change the contrast of the drawing with a Levels adjustment layer.

Do the following.

a) Make sure the Invert layer is active (highlighted).

b) Create a Levels adjustment layer.

c) Adjust the middle, gray, slider.

Threshold Adjustment Layer

You can use a Threshold adjustment layer to create a drawing with no grays.

Do the following.

a) Make sure the Invert layer is active (highlighted).

b) Create a Threshold adjustment layer.

c) Adjust the white slider.

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Drawing

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Drawing Modified with a Levels Adjustment Layer

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Drawing Modified with a Threshold Adjustment Layer

Other Options

Toning

You can add color to the drawing by using one of the toning methods.

Before toning, merge the layers into a composite layer.

A composite layer contains all of the layers of your photograph.

Go to Composite Layer.

Below, the midtones were toned with blue, and the highlights, with some green.

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Paint Bucket Tool

Before using the Paint Bucket tool, merge the layers into a composite layer.

A composite layer contains all of the layers of your photograph.

Go to Composite Layer.

Make a selection of the drawing with the Magic Wand tool.

Make sure Contiguous is deselected in options bar/Tool Options.

With a selection, you can use the Paint Bucket tool to add color to the selection.

Below, in the example from above using the Threshold adjustment layer:

• The black part of the drawing was selected and filled with deep blue using the Paint Bucket tool.

• The white area was selected, and filled with a lighter blue.

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Saving the Photograph

If you haven't already done so, go to Saving Files.