Turning your photos into artworks or drawings used to be an expensive and time-consuming task. Back in the day, you had to hire an artist to get the job done.
Thanks to Photoshop, this task now only takes just a few mouse clicks. With the help of Photoshop actions, you can easily transform your photos into pencil sketches or realistic drawings in a matter of seconds.
Today, we bring you some of the easy-to-use Photoshop pencil sketch effects and actions for quickly turning your photos and graphics into works of art.
We included both high-quality premium Photoshop actions as well as a few free items. Be sure to download them all.
Download thousands of stunning Photoshop actions and add-ons with an Envato Elements membership. It starts at $16 per month, and gives you unlimited access to a growing library of over 2,000,000 actions, presets, design templates, themes, photos, and more.
This Photoshop action allows you to create pencil sketch drawings from your photos with a hand-drawn look and feel. It works perfectly with portraits as well as landscape photos of objects such as buildings. The sketch effect can also be easily customized to your preference.
A beautifully crafted Photoshop action that converts your photos into creative artworks using a mix of pencil sketching and watercolor effects. This action is best used for portrait photos. It includes brushes, patterns, and a video tutorial on how to use the action as well.
You can make your photos look like vintage paintings with this unique Photoshop action. This action also uses a mix of pencil sketch and watercolor brush effects to create a realistic painting-like effect. The best part is you can even customize the effect and change the colors however you like.
Want to show off your graphic designs and illustrations in the style of DaVinci’s sketches? Then you’ll definitely want to grab this Photoshop action. It allows you to make your photos, artworks, and illustrations into hand-drawn sketches. The action comes with brushes and textures to help create its authentic drawing effect.
With this Photoshop action, you can create a unique blueprint-like sketch from photos and drawings. It’s a great style of sketching to use when presenting product designs and even showcasing your art from a unique perspective. The action is easily customizable and it comes in 20 color presets to choose from.
This is a free Photoshop action you can use to experiment with pencil sketch effects. It features a creative hand-drawn style effect that works best with portrait photos.
This Photoshop action is also free to download. Instead of a pencil sketch, it comes with a painting-like drawing effect. This effect allows you to give a concept drawing look to your photos.
This Photoshop action is useful for architectural designers to quickly turn photos of buildings to look like blueprint drawings. It’s also useful for graphic designers for turning photos into architectural blueprints. The action creates a non-destructive sketch effect that you can easily customize.
If you want to create drawings out of landscape urban photography, this Photoshop action is made just for you. It features an easy-to-use action that turns urban photos into sketch drawings. The action is especially suitable for photos of buildings and populated urban environments.
This is a creative pencil sketch effect that comes as a PSD template. You can use it to easily give a pencil sketch look to your photos in just a few clicks. It comes with all the compositions, effects, and layers pre-packaged so all you have to do is edit the PSD file to add your own photos.
Using this Photoshop action, you can create colored pencil or pen-style sketches from photos. It allows you to make more colorful sketch effects for portrait photos, graphic designs, and architectural structures. The action is compatible with Photoshop CS6 and higher.
This Photoshop action is also great for making colored pencil sketches from photos. It features a stylish effect that uses abstract lines to create the pencil drawing effect. The action comes bundled with brushes and patterns too.
A free Photoshop action you can download and use to create marker drawing-style sketch effects for photos. It works perfectly with all kinds of photos, including portraits, outdoor landscapes, indoor photography, and more.
Painterly is a set of high-quality Photoshop actions that feature realistic painting-like drawing effects. These actions will help convert your photos into classic paintings with brush strokes and textures.
This is a unique Photoshop action that creates a stylish drawing effect using brush strokes. While it’s not the best choice for completely transforming photos into pencil sketches, it’s ideal for crafting trendy graphic designs for posters, websites, and covers. The action comes in 10 pre-made color presets.
This action is great for creating a realistic painting-like look for your photos. It features a flexible and customizable effect that works with portraits and landscape photos. The action is very easy to use and apply to photos as well.
If you want to give a pencil sketch-like look to your text or logo, this Photoshop action will help you get the job done. It’s made for applying a colored pencil effect to typography-based designs. The effect comes in 12 color options as well as a pre-made PSD template.
Another realistic pencil sketch effect that’s perfect for transforming close-up portrait photos into works of art. The Photoshop action features a fully customizable effect and comes with video tutorial as well.
You can create a modern colored drawing-like effect for various types of graphic designs using this Photoshop action. It comes with a customizable and non-destructive effect that works with portraits and landscape photos. The action is compatible with Photoshop CS4 and higher.
A simple yet effective Photoshop action for quickly turning illustrations into pencil sketch drawings. This action offers a very basic effect that works best with simple graphics and illustrations.
This free Photoshop action comes with a realistic painting effect for giving our photos a smooth painting look and feel. The action is easy to use and it works with Photoshop CS3 and higher.
Using this Photoshop action, you can make a more creative unfinished sketch look for your photos. It’s great for crafting unique graphics from photos for posters, magazine covers, and websites. This action also works with Photoshop CS4 and all the latest versions of the app.
This Photoshop action also features a realistic pencil brush-style sketch effect. It’s specially made for portrait photos to create an authentic drawing-like look. The effect is also easily customizable to your preference.
How To Make A Photo Look Like A Drawing
The easiest and simplest way to make a photo look like a drawing is to use a Photoshop action that comes pre-loaded with all the steps you need to perform to turn a photo into a drawing.
To use a Photoshop action, first, download a suitable action from the list above. If you’re low on budget, don’t worry there are a few actions you can download for free.
Then follow the instructions below:
- If the download arrived in a ZIP file, extract it to find the .ATN file. This is the Photoshop action file
- To install the action in Photoshop, first, open Photoshop and go to the Window menu and select Actions. This will open the Action window
- Click on the small menu icon on the top-right of the Actions window and select Load Actions. Look for the action .ATN file you’ve just downloaded and open it
- Now you can apply the action to your photo. Open the photo in Photoshop and then on the Actions window, select the new sketch action and press the Play button to run it
That’s it. Now you can adjust the action to fit your photo using the adjustment layers. Some Photoshop actions require additional resources to create more authentic effects. These actions will include instructions on how to use them.
If you’re curious to learn how to make a photo-to-drawing effect in Photoshop, you can follow this YouTube tutorial.
Photoshop Actions are the perfect timesaver to save you doing the same processing on multiple images. Using other people’s actions can help you tap into creative techniques, cutting edge post-processing styles, and beautiful effects. In this series, you’ll learn how to use Photoshop Actions and find professional examples to use in your own design work.