How to Make a Drawing Look Real in Photoshop

By Teresa Starr

Adobe Photoshop is a digital imaging software used by photographers, graphic designers and graphic artists to touch-up photos, create graphics, logos and other graphics work. The software comes with filter plug-ins that make it quite easy to turn a pencil drawing into a more realistic picture by using digital shading. For beginner Photoshop users, this activity might require multiple attempts before you get the desired outcome.

Things You'll Need

  • Scanned pencil drawing

Step 1

Open the drawing in Photoshop by clicking on "File" and then "Open." Click "Browse" to find the file you want to work with.

Step 2

Press "CTRL," "SHIFT" and "U" to desaturate your drawing file.This will remove any colors, if you have any, as well as make the pencil strokes the same color.

Step 3

Click on the "Smudge" tool in the "Tool Palette." The smudge tool looks like an index finger that is rubbing on paper. Use this tool to blend all of the pencil lines by clicking and dragging from one place on the drawing to another. This will smooth out the pencil lines.

Step 4

Hit "CTRL" and "L" to open the "Levels" option. Click on the left slider and drag it to the right until you see that the lines of your drawing are turning darker. Click on the right slider and drag it to the left. This will lighten different parts of your drawing. Adjusting the levels will make your drawing look smooth, and more realistic. Keep in mind that you can change the levels to anything you'd like. Change the levels until you get your desired appearance. Repeat to give your drawing more depth.

Step 5

Click on the "Burn" tool in the "Tools Palette," and then click and drag on different areas of the picture to make them darker. This will give the drawing even more contrast. Your drawing should now look real after using these tools. Repeat these steps if you need to try again.