Create a Photo Sketch with Edge Sketch

Create a Photo Sketch with Edge Sketch
August 14, 2019 Kevin Rexroat

Photo sketch

With all of the cutting-edge design tools we carry in our pockets, there are still a lot of trends that cop looks from back inna day. You’re probably already on this train, making your brand images stand out by applying cool retro effects like Polaroid film, black and white, and pixelate, but if you want to go full-on olde skhole, you can create photo sketches with our Edge Sketch tool. That’s right — we can show you how to make your images look like they’ve never been near a camera.

How to turn a photo into a sketch with PicMonkey

Edge sketch interface

As with most PicMonkey tools, the basic steps for creating a photo sketch are totally easy. After opening your image in PicMonkey:

  1. Click the Effects tab on the left, then click Edge Sketch.
  2. Fine-tune the look by adjusting the sliders.
  3. Click Apply to save your changes.

That will get you started, but you can do a lot more if you’re open to some tinkering.

Get the best look for your photo sketch

Edge sketch controls

The Fade slider controls the amount of the effect you see. At 0%, you see the entire effect. At 100%, the effect is completely faded out. As you increase the fade, the original image starts to peek through. If it’s a color photo, this brings some color into your new sketch. This is sort of a midpoint in the process of converting picture to sketch that you can use to get a nice washed-out look.

If you want more of the original photograph in your sketch but you don’t want any color, apply a black and white effect before using Edge Sketch. Black and White, Super B&W, and Tri-X will be great. Then as you increase the fade, more photographic details come in, but you retain the monochromatic sketched look.

Choose the best image for a photo sketch

Properties for the best photo sketches

We don’t wanna tell you how to live your lives (and seriously, mess around with whatever pics you want), but not every image is a good candidate for a photo sketch. If you want the best results when you turn a photo into a sketch, look for images with the following traits:

  • Sharp, clear lines and edges (think architecture and geometry)
  • High contrast
  • Broad swathes of the same tone

Creating sketches from portraits can be tricky — they often have lots of fine details and smooth contours rather than clear lines. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try a few. With the right lighting and editing, you can get some great results.

How to combine sketches and photos

Combining photos and sketches

You can also sketchify specific parts of images while leaving other parts untouched. The simplest way to pull this off is to apply the effect, click the brush icon in the upper left, select the eraser, and erase the effect from everything that should not look sketched.

Beautiful, right? Now go forth and create. Just don’t make a bunch of photo sketches and then tell people you took a few art classes or stacked your design team with artists from Pencil U.

Actually, wait. That’s exactly what you should do.

We won’t tell.


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Kevin Rexroat
Kevin is a technical and creative writer with experience writing for Redmond and Hollywood. He is by all accounts a terrible vegetarian, mainly because of pepperoni pizza. He has never seen "The Sound of Music," but he has seen pink dolphins. In addition to being an accomplished writer, his acting and singing have been described as "fine."


  1. Avatar
    Cindy Fox 3 years ago

    Awesome changing. Can’t wait to try out some Edge Sketch

  2. Avatar
    Bookish Freaks 3 years ago

    This is a must try.

  3. Avatar
    John wright 2 years ago

    Thanks for this nice post. In this post give information for turn photo into sketch with edge sketch and for that in this post give wonderful information in detail that helps people. I like this post.

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