How to make a photo look like a drawing.

Learn how to transform a photo captured with your mobile device to make it look like a professional drawing.

If you spend any time on social media you’ve probably picked up on the popular new trend of posting pictures that appear to be high-quality drawings. Whether they appear as selfies, profile pics, or group portraits, the fact that you’ve noticed these unique images is just the point — you noticed.

In a sea of online images, making yours memorable takes creativity. Converting a photo to a drawing helps you achieve that goal. As people scroll through their feeds, they will often stop — even if only for a moment — to understand the message behind a drawing, sketch, or painting. You can use that moment to capture their attention with your message.

The conversion process.

The precise steps needed to convert a photograph into what appears to be a drawing will depend on the software you use. The fundamental idea behind the process is to strip the color from the image, duplicate it, invert one copy, blend the two back together, and apply a filter so that only the lines you want to show as a drawing become visible. This process can be done in black and white, or — with some apps — color can be added to make the image pop even more.

In fact, applying this process to photos has become so popular that many software programs can now perform this function automatically. With the ease of using a filter, you can transform an image on your phone, computer, or tablet to look like a professionally created drawing.

Learn more about photo editing tips and tricks.

Explore how Adobe Photoshop Express can help you instantly transform your photo to look like a drawing or one of dozens of other popular effects.