Tip: Turning Scanned Pencil Sketches into Digital Paintings

Hello and Welcome to this tip covering Turning Scanned Pencil Sketches and Drawings into Digital Paintings.

Tim Von Rueden takes us through his process of scanning a sketch and getting it prepped for a digital painting. This includes scanning, cropping, then separating the pencil line work from the background.

Here is the result we are trying to achieve with a clean line art from the sketch and have it be separated from the background:

↓ Below are some of the key frames from this tip ↓

1. First I’m going to grab one of my sketches and scan the image

2. After cropping the image, here is the result of the scan, try to get the best scan possible and leave little to no gray fade areas from scanning

3.  Under Image> Levels, Enhance the contrast between the white and blacks using the sliders

4. Next we are going to grab the white background and delete it, to do so go to Select>Color Range, and choose white from the canvas and change the fuzziness as desired.

5. After selecting the white, simply click delete to separate the pencil line work from the background

6. While coloring you may notice a grain black/white trail from the pencil line art, change the layer to multiply to fix that.

7. Lower the opacity as desired as paint away :D

After a good half hour of having fun with color here is the result I came up with for the featured image!