Turning Pencil to Ink
Photoshop tutorials including Photoshop and Fireworks. Tutorials for digital image editors and digital colorers. How to use Adobe Photoshop, how to digitally color images and artwork.No joking around, this is how you do it. This is for those people that have a pencil sketch or drawing and want to turn it into ink. But they don't necessarily want to ink it; and with good reason, because of the incredible technology advancements over the years. With Photoshop we can falsify a realistic and even better than realistic inking job. Now their are downsides, once you have your fake ink job complete, it takes more work to "touch it up" (which will be covered in the next tutorial), but after you see how good you can get something to look after touching it up, you will gladly accept the extra work.

We're going to jump right into it, you should know all of the basics of Photoshop; layers, the toolbar buttons, and the basic layout of the program overall. First off, we're going to start this out like any normal project starts out. We're going to open the sketch we want to edit [FILE > OPEN].

Next we're going to crop our sketch and take out the extra white spaces or lines that we don't want. Click on the Rectangle Marquee Tool and select the general area of the photo that you want to keep (as seen in the picture to the left), and then crop it [IMAGE > CROP]. Following the intial crop, you should have alot better starting point for your project, but there may be some other things that you don't want to keep in the picture.

Now is the time to crop those as well using the Polygonal Lasso Tool. You can do this by selecting the part of the image you want to keep and going to CROP again, or you can select the part of the image you don't want to keep and hit the delete key. Hitting the delete key will let the canvas show through, so if you do this you might want to change the color of the canvas accordingly.

Now we need to change the picture to look more like ink opposed to those hard to color pencil marks. This is so much more simple than people make it. First open up the Brightness/Contrast editor [IMAGE > ADJUST > BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST], once you've got it open start playing. The best approach is to slowly increase the contrast of the image before you even mess with the brightness. If the ink lines start to blur up to much together, undo it (CTRL + Z) and try sharpening the image [FILTER > SHARPEN > SHARPEN EDGES].

Again, if you can't find the desired settings to clearly define one line from another then try using the SHARPEN, SHARPEN MORE or SHARPEN EDGES filter. Once you sharpen the image, start playing with the Brightness/Contrast editor. Usually you want to take your time while on this step. If you rush through it and leave it with some spots that are black holes and others that are white annoyances, then their is not point in even coloring the picture. It will have already been ruined.

So you might be saying one of two things right now. First, you might be asking yourself why someone had to write a tutorial for this seemingly easy process; and two, you might be wondering why your picture doesn't look quite as good as you had in mind when thinking about inking it with Photoshop. Two great questions that deserve to great answers.

First off, no one seems to understand that you can use Photoshop to ink pencil drawings, their are no written laws or set of guidelines that say you need to have someone personally ink your work. And to the second question, we're just getting started. This tutorial gave you a quick little introduction to inking. The next tutorial will cover how you take this new "inked" art, and transform it into something truly beautiful. I suggest you read it if you haven't already.

- Joseph Lookabaugh


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