Sketch your memories in stunning detail with our photo-to-realistic drawing converter.

  1. 1️⃣ Download Sketch Drawer.
  2. 2️⃣ Load Image.
  3. 3️⃣ Choose Drawing Style.
  4. 4️⃣ (Optional) Adjust Settings.
  5. 5️⃣ Save Drawing.
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️Posted by:
Eugene UstinenkovEugene editor-in-chief of the SoftOrbits, Ph.D. in computer science, CTO of the SoftOrbits / 📅 Last updated on:  2024-05-16

I needed a realistic sketch of an old family photo for a special gift. Photoshop's way seemed like climbing Mount Everest for a Sunday stroll. Tried free online tools - some okay, some...not so much. Downloaded Sketch Drawer - looked promising, and wouldn't you know it, turned the photo into a perfect sketch in minutes. Saved the day!

📙Quick summary

  1. Sketch Drawer   
  2. Photoshop (for creating realistic drawings: open photo, duplicate layer, desaturate, duplicate again, invert, change blend mode to Color Dodge, convert to smart object, apply Gaussian filter, make adjustments, save)   Read More
  3. Free Software (convert photos to sketches: upload photo, choose format, hit Send, select sketch effect, download)   Read More
  4. Mobile Apps (Photo Sketch Maker, My Sketch Pencil, Sketch Photo Maker)   Read More

A picture says a thousand words. But what can be even better than that? A pencil-drawn portrait or an amazing sketch of your favourite photo!
As a photographer, you can always click beautiful portraits. However, those are too common. Anyone can click selfies and apply filters and upload them to Instagram. A pencil sketch, detailed drawing, or colour painting feels much more intimate and personal.
By learning how to choose a picture realistic drawing converter, you’ll be able to create unique gifts for your friends and family. And you can do all this on your phone or laptop! Any portrait can be turned into a pencil sketch with multiple online programs and smartphone apps. Apart from giving your photos a unique feel, this will also be helpful if you want to learn sketching and drawing.
Let me tell you about a few simple picture to drawing converter tools for converting images into drawings!

Boat image..
Convert boat Picture to Drawing..

How To Convert a Picture into a Realistic Drawing

There are many options if you’re looking for a picture drawing converter. With dozens of features, filters and effects, choosing the one that suits your needs is a bit difficult.
That’s why we’ll first discuss picture to drawing converter software, a converter and editor specially designed for changing images into sketches. Once you briefly review the steps, you can check out a few more recommendations!
Covering even Photoshop and smartphone apps, this list will help you choose the perfect image to realistic drawing converter for your artistic needs.

Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter

Sketch Drawer is an intuitive picture to drawing converter that allows you to change any image into a pencil drawing. It even comes with presets for controlling the type of shading, colours, paintbrush effects, etc.
Picture to drawing converter software..

From a detailed sketch with shadows to stencils and minimal line drawings – you can use this one program for any drawing!
Because Sketch Drawer can automatically detect outlines and shadows, you won’t have to make any selections. The program will convert the whole image independently and let you make the final adjustments while showing you a real-time preview of the final result!

How to use Picture to Line Drawing Converter: Tutorial

Sketch Drawer has dozens of combinations of drawing styles and presets. We’ll learn how to convert a picture into a realistic drawing using this program and some brief descriptions of the options available.

Open the photo

When you install Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter and open it, you will see the option of Add File. Use this to open the image you want to edit or drag and drop.

Picture to drawing converter: Open the photo..

Select the Sketch Style

SoftOrbits Photo to real sketch converter gives you a toolbox on the right side. The first option you’ll see under it will be Style, from which you can select Realistic, Classic or Detailed.
Realistic: Realistic style will give you a good balance between subtle outlines and detailed shading. This style will also retain the lights and shadows so that the final image will look like a professional drawing.
Detailed: Like the name suggests, the detailed style will emphasize the details, especially the parts which require shading. You’ll get almost no white areas, as even the bright areas will have some light pencil shading. This style is great for landscape photos, although portraits require a bit more minimal look.
Classic: The classic style is the best for creating simple line drawings and subtle portraits. This style will give you very simple shading and bold outlines, which is great for creating a drawing with a soft look.

Picture to drawing converter: Select Style of drawing..

Select the preset

Unlike the sketch style, the preset affects the finer details of the sketch, like the colour effects, the thickness of pencil strokes, overall contrast etc.
Picture to drawing converter has a lot of different options, including felt tip pen, colour drawing, pop art, low contrast sketch, high contrast sketch, soft black and white preset, simple paintbrush etc. A few of the most important presets are Simple, Light and Pen.
The Simple preset gives a paintbrush look, while the Pen preset is good for sharp, bold borders with a medium level of shading. The Light preset is great for creating line drawings and stencils because it results in less shading and more black-and-white areas!
A good tip is to watch the preview box over the original photo. That box will show you how the final sketch will look with different settings!

Sketch Drawer: Select Preset of drawing..

Adjust the final settings

Apart from these options, Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter also gives you control over these settings – Contour, Hatching and Colourization . If you enable these options, you can change the edge strength, amount of shading, stroke thickness and intensity of each feature.
Contour refers to the outline of the converted photo, and increasing the edge strength or intensity here will give you bolder and more detailed borders.
Hatching settings affect the shading applied; darker areas will have more zigzag lines. Since excessive cross-hatching looks unnatural, keeping the stroke thickness and strength to a minimum will be better. This will help you create shadings without making it seem like a computer did all the work!
Colourization adds colour to the sketch, and you can change a black-and-white image into a colourful one. You can choose which colours are used and whether the image has a uniform pencil or a free-flowing paintbrush effect.

Picture to drawing converter: Set settings of the image..

Save file

Once all your settings are applied, click on Run and see Sketch Drawer convert the photo into a drawing. Then you must click on Save!

Sketch Drawer: Save the result..

Sketch Drawer Sketch Drawer

Sketch Drawer: a Handy Photo to Sketch Converter

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Video Tutorials

👨Sketch Drawer: Picture to Sketch Conversion Made Easy

Sketch Drawer is a software program that allows you to convert your digital photos into artistic sketches with just a few clicks. It offers a convenient and user-friendly alternative to manual drawing or complex editing software.
👍 Strengths of Sketch Drawer:
  • Simple and user-friendly interface: Sketch Drawer boasts a straightforward interface, making it easy for beginners and casual users to navigate. No artistic experience is required!
  • Variety of presets and effects: Experiment with different sketch styles and effects to achieve the perfect look for your photos.
  • Batch processing: Save time by converting multiple photos into sketches at once, ideal for large collections or projects.
  • Optional customization: While presets offer a quick solution, Sketch Drawer allows you to fine-tune details like stroke thickness and intensity for a more personalized touch.

🤔 Things to Consider with Sketch Drawer:

  • Limited editing capabilities: Unlike professional editing software like Photoshop, Sketch Drawer focuses primarily on photo-to-sketch conversion. Advanced editing features might be absent.
  • Software cost: While some free online alternatives exist, Sketch Drawer itself might require a purchase or subscription.
  • Output quality: While convenient, Sketch Drawer's conversion process might not achieve the artistic nuance and detail possible with manual drawing or professional software.

🌟 Sketch Drawer is a Great Choice for:

  • Quickly creating artistic sketches from photos: If you want to add a creative touch to your photos without the hassle of manual drawing or complex editing tools, Sketch Drawer is a great option.
  • Casual users and beginners: The user-friendly interface makes Sketch Drawer accessible to anyone, regardless of artistic experience.
💡 However, if you:
  • Need precise control and advanced editing features: For professional-grade results or intricate artistic details, consider exploring a more comprehensive editing software like Photoshop.
  • Prioritize completely free solutions: Free online photo-to-sketch converters might be a suitable alternative if budget is a major concern.

💡Ultimately, the best choice depends on your needs and priorities. Sketch Drawer offers a user-friendly and efficient way to convert photos into sketches, but for more advanced editing or completely free options, explore the alternatives!

Way #2: How To Convert a Photo into a Realistic Drawing in Photoshop

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If you already have Photoshop on your laptop, you can follow the following steps to turn a photo into a realistic drawing!

How to Convert Picture to Realistic Drawing in Photoshop

Open the photo and duplicate the layer

When you open the image in Photoshop, it’ll be loaded as the Background layer in the Layer panel of the toolbar.

Drag and drop this onto the folded paper icon to create a new layer. Once the original photo is duplicated, you’ll see 2 layers – Background and Background copy.

Photoshop: Open the photo..

Desaturate and duplicate again

You must remove all the colours from the duplicate layer and make it black and white. Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Now, this Background copy layer has to be copied again. Use the same drag-and-drop method to create a 3rd layer, called Background copy 2.

Photoshop: Duplicate layer..

Photoshop: Go image to black and white..


We have to invert the 3rd layer, which will give a film negative look, turning dark areas light and light areas into black patches. You can do this by using Image > Adjustments > Invert.

Photoshop: Invert the image..

Change blend mode to Colour Dodge

When you open the Layers panel, on the top-left corner, you will see the blend mode as Normal, which is by default. Change this to colour dodge.
You should now see the Background copy 2 photo become almost completely white!

Photoshop: Change to colour dodge..

Convert this 3rd layer into a smart object

Before applying the main sketch effect using Gaussian blur, we must change this layer into a smart object. This will keep the layer fully editable, and the changes won’t become permanent.
So, when we apply the Gaussian blur filter, we can still go back and adjust the settings as we require.
To change the layer into a smart layer, go to the Layers Panel, and click on the menu icon in the top-right corner. From that menu, you can select Convert to Smart Object.

Photoshop: Convert into smart object..

Apply Gaussian filter

Gaussian blur filter will give the final pencil effect we are looking for! Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Once the filter is applied, your photo looks like a realistic drawing. You should also adjust the radius of the filter and see what look you like best! Increasing the radius allows you to create a drawing with thicker pencil strokes.

Photoshop: Convert into Gaussian blur..

Photoshop: Change Gaussian blur..

Some optional adjustments

If the sketch looks too bright, you can change the blend mode to Multiply to darken the image. Also, to fine-tune the image's overall brightness, you can change the opacity. Bringing it down will reen your sketch.
You can also consider playing around with the Levels adjustments! You can add customizations and modify the shading by changing the sharpness, brightness, and contrast and using tools like Dodge and burn.
If you want to add colour to your sketch, you will have to duplicate the first layer, bring it to the top and change the blend mode to Colour.
This will mix the converted layer with the colours from the original image!
You can find more information on the colourization process in blog posts online or YouTube videos.

Photoshop: Add the colour..

Save image

You’re done! You can save your image once you are happy with the final effects. Try options like Torn Edges or colour filters and experiment!

Photoshop: picture to realistic drawing converter..

Way #4: Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter: Free SoftwareIf you want to convert a photo into a pencil sketch quickly on the go, you can try out these online programs!

Pencil Sketch Online

Pencil Sketch Online..

Pencil Sketch is a very simple and free-to-use picture to realistic drawing converter. All you have to do is upload your photo and decide the intensity of the pencil strokes from 0 to 20.
The program automatically detects borders and gives you a lightly shaded sketch! The only drawback is that you cannot add colours, and the shading needs to be more realistic.



Photofunia is another free picture to realistic drawing converter software where you can convert your photos for free. You must upload the image and click on Go. The program will give you a black-and-white photo with an accurate pencil sketch within seconds!
It works well for minimalist portraits, although it gives even white areas a light grey shade and may not be suitable if you want a line drawing with thick borders.

How to use Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter Tutorial:

Upload the photo

Choose the format of the final file and hit Send

Choose sketch effect

Convert Image will give you a detailed pencil sketch immediately.

Download your image

A small disadvantage of this program is that the sketches are created using strokes that slant from right to left, with almost no shading or hatching. So, the results only sometimes look natural.

Way #5: Best Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter AppsSmartphone technology lets you download various free apps that turn your photos into pencil sketches! Let me tell you about a few of the best ones.

Photo Sketch Maker

Photo Sketch Maker..

One of the highest-rated apps in this category, the Photo Sketch Maker is an automatic converter and editor! After selecting the image you want to edit, you can choose from options like a pencil sketch, watercolour effect, hard pencil sketch and much more.

My Sketch Pencil

My Sketch Pencil..

My Sketch Pencil is a photo-to-realistic sketch converter for iOS users. It offers up to 20 sketch effects like art brush, smudge, vintage look etc., and gives a very realistic result. The only catch is that you’ll have to pay about $2 for the full version!

Sketch Photo Maker

Sketch Photo Maker..

Another free app for Android users, Sketch Photo Maker, converts any photo into a drawing automatically. It gives options like water painting, colour pencil effects, oil painting effects, cartoon styles and the classic black and white pencil effect. It even allows you to change the sketch to red, blue or green.


While photographs have their special place, people need to pay them more attention nowadays. However, a pencil drawing or an oil painting is captivating and striking! It can also make for great birthday gifts and Christmas presents.
This is why SoftOrbits Picture to Realistic Drawing Converter is an amazing program. You can turn a normal photo into a realistic hand-drawn sketch with just a few clicks! It gives you many presets like watercolour effects and felt tip drawing and even lets you make fine adjustments like edge strength, hatching and stroke lengths.
Converting an image into a drawing is possible even on your smartphone. Check out apps like Photo to realistic sketch converter or free online tools like Photofunia, where all the magic happens without you having to make any manual selections!

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