Turning photographs into realistic-looking oil paintings or pencil sketches requires more than just the application of filters. Learn how to use Photoshop's brush collection to obtain the best results. Part three - pencil sketches.

Ask any artist and they’ll tell you that all the tubes of paint in the world cannot replace the simple pencil when it comes to artistic potential.

Through the centuries, the litmus test of an artist’s ability was demonstrated best through the medium of drawing. In days of yore, student painters spent years drawing with graphite to hone their skills.

The so-called “Sketch Filters” in Photoshop consistently yield very disappointing results; re-creating the quintessential sketch demands a little more inventiveness and an approach that mimics traditional techniques.

Pencil sketches work especially well when very soft leaded pencils are used on a tinted paper, with a few touches of white chalk here and there to heighten the tones.

This is what we’ll produce here, digitally. Don’t worry if your freehand abilities aren’t up to snuff, all that’s required here is the ability to scribble.

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