Monday, November 27, 2006

How to turn a photo into a pencil sketch

I had an idea.... what if I used the computer to turn a photo into a pencil sketch? Then I can transfer it to a doll face- without needing to know how to draw so well. All I'd need to do is "color it in." Isn't that fun? I think so!

I've been talking a lot about that Arranbee doll, so I decided to use that image as my example. You can use any photo you want. Make a doll of your best friend!

I used ADOBE PHOTOSHOP to do this technique. You may be able to use some other software, but I'm only familiar with Adobe Photoshop. If you know of another way to do this, let me know and I will publish it!

Here's how:
Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop, Choose
Image->Adjustment->Desaturate to change the photo to black-and-white.
Step 2: Click Layer-> Duplicate Layer, duplicate the background as background copy (click ok).
Step 3: Use Image->Adjustment->Invert, then the image will look like a negative.
Step 4: From the layer palette, set the blending options as Color Dodge. (Layer palette it located on the bottom right.) Click on "normal," and a dropdown will open. The image will turn completely white.
Step 5: Choose Filter->Blur->Guassian Blur, set the radius 4 pixels.
Step 6: Choose Layer-> merge visible. You are done!

Now that you have your image, resize it so it is the right size for your doll's face. Print it on high quality paper, then use your favorite transfer technique to transfer the image.

Here's another example. This time I used a picture of myself.

What do you think?
Could be a useful technique....


  1. Rivkah, I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the wonderful sculptures. I'll be back.
    I've linked to your blog site.

  2. Rivkah, what a great idea about creating a "pencil sketch"--I can't wait to try it! By the way, I love your whole blog! Karen Miller of

  3. Marilyn Oliver11:18 PM

    My daughter has a doll almost like this from Efanbee. Old and needs repaired. Try to send in my drawing, not very computer literate. Marilyn


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