Step 1 of 17: Intro
There’s two obstacles to creating dry media sketches such as charcoal, using Photoshop. The first is that the built-in filters don’t do a very good job of brushstrokes. You can get a kind of line effect and some cross-hatching, but none of it follows the features of the subject and it doesn’t look very realistic at the end. The other obstacle to drawing using the brushes is one of natural ability. If you don’t have any, it’s nigh on impossible to draw something that doesn’t look like it was done by a seven-year old.
Fortunately that’s where this tutorial comes in because we’re going to create a charcoal sketch that does emphasise the different areas of the subject, yet doesn’t require any actual ability to draw. The only thing you need is a photo you want to use as the template. It also needs to be pointed out that it’s much quicker to do this using a pen and tablet than a mouse. With the latter you will need to keep changing the size and opacity, whereas with a pen it reacts to the pressure you use.