How To Make Fine Art Photos That Appear As Etchings

As part of a TAFE poster assignment, I had mocked up a couple of different layouts. I thought rather than spend a lot of time and effort on an idea that may not work, I would complete a rough sketch. Unfortunately, I could not find a sketch that suited my needs but I found a suitable photo that I converted into a sketch instead.

I remembered that I had some time ago developed a method of taking making a fine art photo that appeared as if it were an etching. I certainly do not claim to be the first, or that this technique is unique, just that it can give interesting results when the following these steps.

Step 1A – Take photo (subjects that are sharp and contain a lot of detail generally work best).

Step 1B – Make 2 x copies of the background – (this will leave a spare copy of the colour to re-arrange layers in Step 6)

Step 2 – On the second copy of background Use “Find Edges” filter (result will depend on each image).

Step 3 – Use “Find Edges” filter again (optional – may give an improved result when filter is applied again).

Step 4 – Convert to monochrome (lots of different techniques available – try image->adjust->desaturate or for greater flexibility add a Black and White adjustment layer).

Step 5 – Increase contrast (again lots of different techniques available – try adjusting curves by making an “S” bend or using levels).

Step 6 – Flatten all layers (EXCEPT the spare coloured one), then re-arrange layer order so the monochrome etch layer is sitting below the original coloured photo, and start painting some of the colour visibility.

(NOTE I use a black and white copy of the image as a mask. I then paint on the mask using a 10-20% opacity soft brush to gradually reveal the colour. I find multiple applications of a low opacity often give a better result than a single brush stroke at high opacity. Also the colour layer has reduced opacity to give colours that “watery” look)

Step 7 – Continue using a low-opacity soft brush to brush through colour from underlying photo.

Step 8 – Finish image with sepia background

NOTE there is no “right” or “wrong” way, you just have to experiment. Sorry, if you are looking for an automated conversion, this is not it. What I like about the technique is that the hand-painted colour has a very attractive artistic  style.

Also somewhere between Steps 4 and 5 you could also consider removing or fading any distracting elements (such as messy backgrounds)

I have also discovered that some images just do not work well with this technique. It is a case of just experimenting to see what works for you and hopefully this article will help getting you started.


Waratah etching step 01

Step 0 – take photo

Waratah etching step 02

Step 2 – apply filter “find edges”

Waratah etching step 03

Step 3 – try applying “find edges” filter again

Waratah etching step 04

Step 4 – convert to monochrome

Waratah etching step 05

Step 5 – increase contrast

Waratah etching step 06

Step 6 – start hand painting to reveal colour

Waratah etching step 07

Step 7 – continue brushing through colour

Waratah etching step 08

Step 8 – finish with sepia background

feel free to share this using this shortlink:








  1. ทางเข้า sbobet January 16, 2022 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue together with your web site in web explorer,
    could check this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader
    and a large component of folks will miss your excellent writing due
    to this problem.

  2. オンラインカジノ ボーナス January 12, 2022 at 8:37 pm #

    Greetings! I’ve been following your site for some time now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    Dallas Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

  3. インター カジノ 入金 ボーナス January 10, 2022 at 10:40 pm #

    When someone writes an article he/she retains the
    image of a user in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it.
    So that’s why this post is outstdanding. Thanks!

  4. ca cuoc bong da January 3, 2022 at 5:04 pm #

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this website
    needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more,
    thanks for the information!

  5. 入金不要ボーナス カジノ January 3, 2022 at 2:22 pm #

    I don’t even know the way I ended up right here, however I thought this submit used to
    be great. I don’t recognize who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you
    aren’t already. Cheers!

  6. 카지노사이트 December 7, 2021 at 6:06 pm #

    Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your
    web site and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing for your feeds and even I
    success you access consistently fast.

  7. Ray Cooper June 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    I am getting lost around step 6, flatteing the layers. How do I get the etch layer to sit below the original image? I am using CS 5.
    From your dumb friend.

    • MKImages June 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Hi Ray
      Oops, my tutorial already started after I had re-arranged the layers to suit. I will try & edit that tonight! There are a number of ways to accomplish this, however try this….
      Before flattening make sure original layer is not visible, then making sure only the layers you wish to combine eg find edges, curves & B&W are visible select menu:
      Layer->Merge Visible. This should result in the background (original photo) layer & the merged layer. Photoshop locks the background layer by default, so simply double-click on the background layer icon & you will get a “New Layer” dialogue box prompting you for a name (just accept “Layer 0” default) you can now drag either layer to be top or bottom one. Hope this helps, if not keep asking me questions 🙂
      My usual workflow would be step 1 make a copy of the background layer. This always preserves the original image. As long as you had a spare copy this layer you could re-order the layers.

  8. Wanda Lach June 4, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Hi Mark, this is an interesting technique and the results are quite beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • MKImages June 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      Hi Wanda
      thankyou – yes they are different, but that is why I like them

17 Trackbacks

  1. By cc cvv dumps on January 7, 2022 at 8:31 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Information here to that Topic: […]

  2. By kardinal stick on December 19, 2021 at 11:40 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Here you can find 16646 more Information on that Topic: […]

  3. By elangqq dominoqq on December 10, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Info on that Topic: […]

  4. By sbo on November 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Info to that Topic: […]

  5. By relx on November 10, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Information to that Topic: […]

  6. By Glo Extracts Mint on October 11, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on that Topic: […]

  7. By illuminati head quaters on October 2, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Here you will find 63175 additional Info on that Topic: […]

  8. By Master Writing Is Most Trusted Online on August 31, 2021 at 5:33 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you can find 64209 more Information to that Topic: […]

  9. By kurumsal sunucu yapılandırma on July 3, 2021 at 9:45 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on to that Topic: […]

  10. By microsoft exchange mail on June 29, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Info to that Topic: […]

  11. By internet teknik servis on June 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on that Topic: […]

  12. By 먹튀검증 on June 21, 2021 at 7:07 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Information on that Topic: […]

  13. By canlı bahis on May 19, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on that Topic: […]

  14. By 5d diamond painting instruction on April 23, 2021 at 3:38 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here to that Topic: […]

  15. By dewa jitu on April 12, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Information to that Topic: […]

  16. By Read More Here on April 7, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Information to that Topic: […]

  17. By USA online gun broker on March 28, 2021 at 9:15 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Info to that Topic: […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


Please Solve Captcha *