Transforming a photo to artistic sketch for a non-artist.

headhead-edI can draw simple things, but I’m not really an artist, so, wanting to use “sketches” instead of photos for a project, I went looking for software that could transform photos into sketches.

I’ve used free online software in the past for this, but none seemed very versatile.  My photo-editing software, Paint Shop Pro, can create sketches, but it’s hit and miss getting good results and it’s not very intuitive for tweaking on the image.

4734292815I decided to try commercial software and the first one I came across seems to be perfect for what I want to do.

According to the product page for AKVIS Sketch, it “converts photos into pencil sketches and watercolor paintings. Now you do not need to handle a pencil to feel like an artist. All you need to create your original work of art is good taste and AKVIS Sketch.”

4734292815-2AKVIS has a number of artistic photo manipulation software tools.  A 10 day fully functional trial period is available for each.

My 10 day trial of Sketch has expired. I liked it well enough that I’ll be purchasing the AKVIS Sketch software. I would like to include some of the other software, but that’ll have to wait.  In the meantime, here’s some of the images I converted during the trial period.



One of the things that I noticed is that increasing the color saturation – more color –  of the photo resulted in better “sketches.”


5108705689 colored pencil high

After several hours of working with the program, I had saved 4 presets. I processed each photo with each preset and saved the result, with little additional adjustment. Later, I selected my final version from those that had been saved and deleted the rest.


3520432580 colorpen


2293135486 detailed

10909757506 bluepen

4734292815 image by FairbanksMike on Flickr under provisions of a Creative Commons License
3207444420 image by Bill Debevc on Flickr under provisions of a Creative Commons License.
5108705689 image by cloudchaser32000 on Flickr under provisions of a Creative Commons License
3520432580 image by craigfinlay on Flickr under provisions of a Creative Commons License
2293135486  image by Nicholas A. Tonelli on Flickr under provisions of a Creative Commons License
  image by Don Graham on Flickr under provisions of a Creative Commons License

art, internet income, photography, work, zazzle
4 comments… add one
  • Rummuser Jul 13, 2014

    What is the motivation?

  • Cheerful Monk Jul 15, 2014

    That’s generous of the photographers to let you use their pictures commercially. I’m happy for you.

    • Mike Jul 15, 2014

      Some people seem to license all of their images on Flickr that way. Others allow use, but with more restrictions. For me, all of my photos are copyrighted with no use except by permission, with one exception. A fellow was doing a Wikipedia page on a house in Charleston we visited a couple of years ago and asked me to make my photos of the property available via a creative commons license, which I did.

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