This is is simple and easy six step procedure that will take any image (some are better for the technique than others) and create a wonderful work of art - well maybe work of art is a bit of a stretch but you will like the end result.
And just think how grateful the important people in your life (grand parents, siginficant other, parents, friends) will be when you present them with a perfect line drawing you made all on your own!
The first thing you need is a good photograph.
It can be pretty much anything but portraits seem to really lend themselves to the technique plus people love to see line drawings of themselves.
The image I am going to use has a bit of a problem right at the start - there are some blemishes that need to be removed. If you don't do this step then those blemishes will become part of the line art and that is something you probably don't want.
OK - here is the image and you can see there are some areas that need to be fixed up.
The left cheek, above the lips and maybe in the high forehead. The forehead may be freckles and a natural part of her appearance but they may also become little dark spots in the final image.
The easiest method to eliminate these unwanted features is to use the clone or one of the patch tools, depending on your version of Photoshop.
I used the patch tool in Photoshop CS and it worked just fine.(see - you don't need the latest and greatest version of Photoshop to do all of these tutorials. The most often used core features go back to at least Photoshop 7).
The image also has an overall red cast so I used the Color Correction technique to balance it out. Now she has really great green eyes!
Another area that needed some work was the teeth. They area not as white as they could be so another technique, Soft Light Dodge and Burn (it is half way down the page) was used to add a bit of sparkle to the teeth.
If your project is just a quick one then move on to the next step. If you truly want to create something to be proud of and if there are some areas that really need to be smoothed out (like this image) then some additional prepatory work is necessary because the better the original image the better the end result.
Probably the best technique is the beginning part of the Digital Makeover tutorial.
Just to make sure I had the best image for this technique, all of the procedures (Color Correction, some Dodging and Burning and the digital Makeover) were applied to the image.
This is how it looks now ...
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and move the radius slider around till you find what you like.
The radius of the Gaussian Blur is 11.5 pixels.
Go to Filter > Other > Median and move the radius slider up the scale until you find what you like.
The radius of the Median Filter with this image was 3.0 pixels.
I believe this is the best choice but the final adjustment method is up to you.
You can flatten the image at this point or do a few different things to spruce up the image ...
There are some additional adjustments you can do to spice up the line drawing image.
The first thing is the merge Background copy 2 and Background copy into a single layer - Layer > Merge Down - Ctrl-E/ Cmd-E.
The layers palette will have the line drawing layer and the original background layer.
Now change the Blend Mode of the top layer to Luminosity ...
This will bring out some of the original color from the background layer ...
You can also add a texture to the image - Filter > Texture > Texturizer ...
This will bring up the Texture portion of the Filter gallery with four choices ...
and each of them havs three adjustments. This is the image with the Canvas Texture ...
There are a lot of filters in the Filter Gallery - take some time and go through each one to see which one produces the best effect.
Image Clean Up
Line Drawing Procedure
Taking It Further
Sample Line Drawings
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