1. Design & Illustration
  2. Drawing

Quick Tip: Draw an Ink Painting in Photoshop


Sometimes all you need to create a quick graphic in Photoshop is a piece of paper, a pen, and a scanner. In today’s tutorial we will demonstrate how to convert a hand drawn sketch into an ink-style painting in Photoshop.

Step 1

First, create a simple drawing in pen or pencil and scan it into your computer. Open Photoshop and separate the drawing from the background by going to Select > Color Range and clicking on the part of the image in the preview that you want to select. You may want to experiment with the "Fuzziness" settings to see what looks best. Generally for hand drawn objects a setting between 90 and 170 works well. Then click "OK" and copy (Cmd/Ctrl + C) and paste (Cmd/Ctrl + V) the drawing onto a new layer. Make sure to name it appropriately so it does not get lost.

Step 2

Now choose a pastel (#ffddff) background for the image and start shading in the drawing. Create a new layer and call it "Shading". Then chose a hard round brush, set the Opacity to around 20% and press F5 for further refinement. In Shape Dynamics set Size Jitter to 50% and leave everything else in that section at 0%. In Scattering set Count Jitter to 100%, Count to 1 and Scatter to 75% (both Axes). In Other Dynamics set both Opacity and Flow Jitter to 20% (Pen Pressure). And most importantly put a check in the "Wet Edges" box.

The size of the brush you use depends greatly on the image that you are working on; sizes 15 and 10 were used on the image below. Use larger brushes first to make the light base. Then go back over the spots you think should be darker with a smaller brush, you may repeat the process decreasing the size of the brush you use for as long as it seems appropriate.

Step 3

After the shading is done it's time to work on the highlights. Create another layer on top of "Shading", called "Highlights" and use a medium sized brush to draw in the highlights in white.

Final Step

Now come the final touches. In the image below, I've made the pavement with the pen tool and added shadows and highlights to it. I've also drawn a darker shadow under the umbrella, all using the same brushes and the same technique of layering as before. And finishing the picture I've added some falling petals in pink. This was done again with the same technique and brush though increasing the "Scattering" in the brush settings to 500%.

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