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Combine Hand-drawn Art with Photoshop

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Read Time: 14 mins

Incorporating hand-drawn artwork with Photoshop is a trend that's been around for a while. It's a style that instantly gives your work an edgy feel – and it translates well for both print or web-based projects.

I've supplied all the hand-drawn artwork to complete this tutorial, but you'll learn more and inject some personal flair by creating your own sketches and doodles. As you'll discover, we'll be tracing the main image of the model, so you don't necessarily need to be a talented artist to achieve a great end result.


As well as the hand-drawn art, you'll need to grab the following resources.

You'll also need to this calligraphy font.

Create Your Own Sketches

As I mentioned, all the hand-drawn artwork is supplied in the "source" folder – but you'll get more out of this tutorial by creating your own version of this illustration, rather than a carbon copy of mine.

Before we sketch the model, we'll require some initial source material; so grab yourself some pencils, pens and a sketch pad and have some fun making random scribbles and doodles – and, if you're feeling really adventurous, splash out some paint too! These can then be scanned at 300 dpi, stored on an external drive and called up as required.

Step 1

Open "Start.jpg" from the "source" folder, double-click the "Background" layer to unlock it and label it "Pale grunge." This will now be your project file throughout the tutorial.

Step 2

Add a Color Balance adjustment layer and alter the Midtone, Shadow and Highlight sliders as shown.

Step 3

Next, add a Levels adjustment layer and set the Input midpoint and whitepoint sliders as below.

Step 4

Download and open "IMG_4680.JPG" from these grunge textures. Go to Image > Rotate Canvas 90 degrees CCW, then Flip Canvas Horizontal.

Grab the Magic Wand Tool (W), set its Tolerance to 100 and uncheck the Contiguous option. Now select the darkest areas and Copy to the clipboard.

Paste the selection as a new layer into your working file, then hit Command + T to Transform, label it "Distress," then set its Blend Mode to Soft Light. Now drop all these layers into a group folder called "BACKGROUND."

Step 5

Import "Paint_1.jpg" from the "source" folder above the "BACKGROUND" folder. Transform/position as shown, then set its Blend Mode to Multiply, the Opacity to 42% and label it "Wash 1."

Step 6

Open "Paint_2.jpg" from the "source" folder and use the Lasso Tool (L) to roughly select as shown.

Copy > Paste as a new layer into your working file, set the Blend Mode to Multiply and label it "Wash 2." Now press Option while adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. In the following window check Create Clipping Mask, select the Colorize option and copy the settings below. Next, lessen the effect, by reducing the Opacity of the adjustment layer to 49%.

Step 7

Paste the selection from the previous step again, set its Blend Mode to Multiply and name it "Wash 3." Don't worry about how these layers look for now – they can be repositioned later.

Step 8

Lasso a different paint wash from "Paint_2.jpg," Copy > Paste in Multiply Mode and label it "Wash 4." Now clip a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer as you did in Step 6 using the settings shown. These layers can now be dropped into a group folder labelled "BASE WASHES."

Step 9

Load the "Grunge_brushes.abr" from the "source" folder. Add a new layer set to Multiply above the group folders and name it "Yellow brushes." Use the Color Picker to select #eae870 as your Foreground color, then add some random splatters using a selection from the new brushes. Remember to adjust the brush size and rotation settings as you work to avoid repetition.

Step 10

Add another layer, again in Multiply Mode and name it "Pink brushes." Use the same technique to add further brush strokes using #f5aad0.

Step 11

Add a final layer in Multiply Mode and name it "Black brushes." Now use a variety of black brushes as shown. These layers can now be added into a group folder labelled "BRUSHES."

Step 12

Revisit "Paint_2.jpg" from the "source" folder and Copy > Paste a further wash into your working file. Set its mode to Multiply and name it "Wash 5." Next, clip a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and use the settings below.

Repeat with another selection from "Paint_2.jpg" in Multiply Mode and name it "Wash 5." Now clip a levels adjustment layer as shown.

Step 13

Now we'll use the image of the model as a guide. This will eventually be hand-drawn – the way I work is to initially download a free low resolution comp to see how it works before purchasing a higher resolution version.

Open the model, set the Magic Wand Tool to 100% Tolerance and check Contiguous, then roughly select the white background. Now hit Shift + Command + I to Inverse and Copy to the clipboard.

Next, Paste the model within a new group folder called "ELEMENTS." Transform/position centrally and label it "Temp." This layer will serve as a temporary guide.

Step 14

Let's start adding some other elements to the illustration; open the bird and go to Image > Rotate Canvas > Flip Horizontal. Choose Select > Color Range and click anywhere on the sky. Set the Fuziness slider to 136, check the Invert button and click OK.

Now Copy > Paste the selection as a new layer within the "ELEMENTS" folder below the "Temp" layer and resize. Next, Command-click the layer thumbnail to generate a selection and fill with #a83f7c, change it's Blend Mode to Multiply and label it "Bird."

Open "Scribble_a.jpg" from the "source" folder, Select All and Copy. Back in your project file, ensure the "Bird" layer is targeted, then generate a selection from its content by Command-clicking its thumbnail. Now hit Shift + Command + V to Paste Into. You'll now have a new layer which you can set to Multiply and name "Bird scribble."

This layer automatically appears with a mask, which at this point is unlinked – meaning you can position/resize the layer content independently.

Once you're happy, click between the layer and mask icons to link them. Remember, you can still Transform/reposition both the "Bird" and "Bird scribble" layers by Shift-clicking their layer thumbnails.

Step 15

We'll be using Illustrator over the next few steps to access some vector files. Download and open this vector image, then Copy the stag to the clipboard.

Paste as Pixels above the "Bird scribble" layer, then Flip Horizontal and resize. Fill the layer content using the same pink as the bird (#a83f7c), change it's Blend Mode to Multiply and label it "Stag."

Now follow the same process to add "Scribble_a.jpg" as you did with the bird. Name this layer "Stag scribble."

Step 16

Download and open these vector trees with Illustrator and Copy the top right tree to the clipboard.

Paste as Pixels again above the "Stag scribble" layer, then Transform and set the Blend Mode to Multiply. You may also need to reposition the "Bird" and "Bird scribble" layers to make it fit.

Step 17

Import "Scribble_b.jpg" from the "source" folder and position it beneath the "ELEMENTS" folder. Set its Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 74%, then name it "Scribble 1."

Repeat using "Scribble_c.jpg" in Multiply Mode. Label it "Scribble 2" and set its Opacity to 88%.

Add "Scribble_d.jpg" in Multiple Mode, keeping its Opacity at 100% and name it "Scribble 3."

Repeat using "Scribble_e.jpg," keeping its Opacity at 100% and name it "Scribble 4."

Duplicate "Scribble 4" and Transform/reposition as shown. Name this layer "Scribble 5."

Finally, open "Scribble_f.jpg" and Paste Into a circular selection. Transform using the same techniques as the "Bird scribble" layer, then set it to Multiply at 50% Opacity. Name this layer "Scribble 6."

Step 18

Download and open these vector flourishes in Illustrator. Copy > Paste your first shape below the "ELEMENTS" folder in Multiply Mode as shown and name it "Scroll 1."

Repeat with a different vector shape and name it "Scroll 2."

Copy > Paste two more scroll layers, arrange as shown and label accordingly.

Step 19

Next, we need to download the medium-sized model image to allow enough detail for tracing. Open the image in Photoshop and print at around 130%.

Tape some tracing paper over the print and use a soft pencil (I used a 2B) to trace over the main features of the model. Use some artistic license when drawing the hair and remember to keep your pencil tip nice and sharp.

When you're done, scan your drawing at 300 dpi, then use a small hard-edged white brush to clean up any specks or unnecessary linework. Next, import as a new layer and label it "Trace" within a new group folder called "MODEL." Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 50% for positioning.

Set the Blend Mode and Opacity back to default, then clip a Levels adjustment as shown.

Step 20

You can now trash the "Temp" layer from Step 13. Now Grab the Pen Tool (P) and use the Paths option to draw around the entire model. Remember to check the Subtract from path area when drawing the inner sub-paths for the hair.

Save your work path as "Path 1," then Command-click its thumbnail to generate a selection. Now add a new layer below the "Trace" and name it "Off white fill." Fill the active selection with #ecebe4, at this point your "Trace" layer should be set to Multiply.

Step 21

We'll follow the same procedure as we did with the "Bird scribble" layer to add some color washes to the drawing. Generate a selection "Path 1." Open "Paint_3.jpg" from the "source" folder and Copy, target your last Levels adjustment layer and Paste Into. Now position the layer content, set it to Multiply, lock its mask and label it "Color 1."

Click on the Create new path icon, then draw around the model's face and hands, excluding the hair. Name the new path "Path 2," then generate a selection. Target your new layer mask and fill with black.

Import "Paint_4.jpg" in Multiply Mode using the same Paste Into and masking techniques. Adjust its Opacity to 61% and label it "Color 2."

We now need some color wash areas within the models' face. Create another independent path and draw around the facial shadow areas such as the eyes, nose, mouth, neck and hand parts. Name this path "Path 2," then generate a selection. Open "Paint_5.jpg" and Paste Into the selection as a new layer and label it "Color 3." This layer should also be set to Multiply and the Opacity to 80%. You can also use the Clone Tool (S) set to Current Layer to fill in missing areas within the active selection.

Next, paint on the mask using a small, hard-edged brush to reveal the whites of the eyes.

Paste "Scribble_f.jpg" into the same selection, set it to Multiply/80% and position over the eyes. Paste "Scribble_f.jpg" again, this time position over the neck and set it to Multiply/100%. Remember to modify the masks as required, then label the layers accordingly.

Now for a final wash layer; open "Paint_6.jpg" and Paste Into a selection from "Path 1." Set its Blend Mode to Soft Light and label it "Color 6."

Double-click its layer icon to access the Layer Style window, then Option-click the top Blend If slider (to split it) and pull the left half slider to 216.

Temporarily disable the visibility of the "Trace" layer. Your "Color" layers should look something like this.

Step 22

Open the "Ball.jpg" from the "source" folder and convert it to RGB Mode. Clip a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, then set the adjustment Opacity to 30%.

Release the "Background" to a regular layer and set it to Multiply. Drop a new layer below it, then grab a hard-edged brush and fill the entire ball with #eddadc on the lower layer.

Insert another layer and paint selective segments of the ball white.

Next, fill areas with #f97da8 and #782d83 on separate layers, then flatten. Finally, select with the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), then nudge, Expand or Contact to fit and Copy to the clipboard.

Step 23

Paste the selection into your working file at the top within the "ELEMENTS" folder. Transform/position behind the model's head and label it "Heart cluster."

Step 24

Next, source some suitable flower images for tracing; I chose flower 1 by henry3717, flower 2 by BeverlyLR and flower 3. These can be cropped and printed out fairly small (about 60mm). Now trace and scan.

Open your first scan – or use the supplied "Flower_1.jpg" from the "source" folder and convert to RGB Mode. Release the "Background" layer. Now use the Magic Wand Tool to select and Delete the background, then set the layer to Multiply.

Inverse the selection, add a lower layer and fill it with #f97da8.

Sandwich another layer and fill the central area with #8b2677. Now hit Shift + Command + E to Merge Visible.

Step 25

Drag/drop your flower into a new folder labelled "FLOWERS." Repeat the previous step on your remaining scans or use "Flower_2.jpg" and "Flower_3.jpg."

Keep each flower on an independent layer and label accordingly. Next, Transform/position to hide the bottom left and right corners of the model.

Step 26

Create a new Illustrator document and set your first line of type at around 115pt using this font. For a professional look, adjust your kerning (spacing between character pairs). Do this by placing your cursor between the characters you wish to affect and increase/decrease spacing as required.

Set the second word in the same point size and kern as well.

Add the smaller type in 48pt and position as shown.

Next, add -14pt baseline shift to both the initial characters of the larger words.

Select all, fill with white, then hit Shift + Command + O to Create Outlines. Finally, view in Outline mode (Command Y), grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move any overlapping points as required.

Step 27

Copy > Paste your text as a new layer into a new folder called "UPPER GRAPHICS." Resize and position as shown and name it accordingly.

Step 28

Open "Heart.ai" from the "source" folder from Illustrator and Copy > Paste as a new layer within the "UPPER GRAPHICS" folder. Resize and position above the "Text" layer and name it "Heart."

Next, add a mask to the "MODEL" folder and use a hard-edged brush to paint out the central area below the heart.

Step 29

At this point I felt there was more space around the composition that was necessary. This is easy to fix; hit Option Command + C to access the Canvas Size window and enter 21cm in the Width and 24cm in the Height field respectively. Click OK, then the Proceed button in the next window.

Step 30

Now align your main elements to a central guide, then feel free to reposition/resize any layers. You can also add further paint layers and use the Eraser Tool (E) on existing layers as required.

Step 31

Duplicate the "Heart cluster" layer, resize and place to the bottom right of the model's hair. Next, add some small pink and yellow circular fills within the "UPPER GRAPHICS" folder using #a86e94, #a83e7c and #eceb70. Keep each circle on separate layers, then set their Blend Modes to either Hard/Soft Light, Screen or Multiply and their Opacities to suit.

Step 32

Grab the Polygon Tool – found under the Custom Shape Tool (U). Set the Side option to 3 and check Fill Pixels. Pick #bbbaae as your Foreground color and add a series of small triangles. Set their Blend Modes to either Multiply or Linear Burn and adjust their Opacities to taste.

Step 33

Open the Illustrator scroll file again and Copy > Paste another one within the "SCROLLS" folder. Position behind the text and fill with #922952, then reduce its Opacity to 60%.

Step 34

Finally, open "Lines.jpg" from the "source" folder, generate a circular selection and Copy > Paste at the bottom of the "ELEMENTS" folder. Set its Blend Mode to Multiply and Transform/position behind the model's head and label it "Line cluster."

Conclusion and Scope

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and also discovered some new techniques along the way. Check out these links for some more hand-drawn inspiration:

The final image is below.

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