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Create a Sketch Text in Photoshop

Tutorials Text Effects 39567 Views November 5th, 2012

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a sketch text in Photoshop using some simple Photoshop filters and effects. The pencil sketch effect is made from scratch and you can use it for any font type and even for shapes or raster. You can automate this process using actions and fasten the process. If you want to turn a photo into a pencil sketch you can try my sketch action.


Before we begin creating this pencil sketch effect let's take a quick look at the final image preview. As you can see we'll obtain a pretty realistic pencil sketc that can be combined with different paper textures and even cutout image. Or you can combine it with some doodle brushes. I have use this pencil stock image for the preview.

Let's start with the background layer. For a sketch text effect the best choice is a paper texture, so open this notebook texture into your canvas and name it Background Layer.

Write a simple text using a not so rounded font; I have used the Cambria Font size around 165px depending on your canvas size. If you don't have that font and you are not sure how to load it into your font list, read this quick tutorial on how to install font in Photoshop. Call this first layer Sketch Text Layer. Duplicate it and rename the duplicated layer Sketch Outline 1 Layer.

Reduce the Fill to 0% and add a 2px black color Stroke to the Sketch Outline 1 Layer. Also duplicate this layer two times and call the new ones Sketch Outline 2 Layer and and Sketch Outline 3 Layer.

Let's take a quick look at the layers that we have so far; we have one filed with black layer and three layers with a black 2px outline.

Now will work with one layer at a time so keep the Sketch Outline 1 Layer visible and hide the other three. First you have to rasterize the Stroke effect of this layer by adding a new blank layer and merge the two layers; keep the same name. Add a layer mask to this layer and use Filter>Noise>Add Noise inside the mask. Learn about Photoshop layer mask.

Right click on the layer mask and choose Apply Mask; you will see that the mask and the layer are now merged with the effect applied.

Go to Filter>Blur and choose Motion Blur like in the image.

Now make the Sketch Outline 2 Layer visible and make the same steps you did for the Sketch Outline 1 Layer; the only difference is that for the Motion Blur you have to choose Angle 0.

You can apply a Smart Sharpen filter if you want a more sharpen result; and you can also reduce the opacity of both layers between 50% and 80%. Here is the result so far.

Rasterize the Stroke effect of the Sketch Outline 3 Layer and go to Filter>Distort and choose Ripple. Set the opacity of the layer to 25%.

Time to work with the final layer, the Sketch Text Layer. Rasterize the text effect and add a layer mask with the same noise effect.

Apply the layer mask and add a Motion Blur with these settings:

Reduce the opacity of this layer to 40% and add a Smart Sharpen effect:

Here is the result for the sketch text in Photoshop. As you can see in the preview image you can obtain a sketch outline effect as well if you hide the Sketch Text Layer. The sketch text looks pretty realistic.

To obtain a pencil sketch text that is colored you simply have to add a Color Overlay to the Sketch Text Layer with the desired color.

You can combine this effect with different paper textures and brushes. This sketch effect works perfectly if you want to create a scrapbook background.

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This PREMIUM Photoshop resource contains 2 PSD template files that will allow you to easily create customized sketch effects from your own text or shape. All the PSD templates contained grouped layers and smart objects so you can change almost every aspect regarding size, color ant the other layer styles. There are eight hand drawn pencil and pen sketch styles which you can adjust by placing your own text or shapes. The PSD files are made using smart objects with intact layer styles, so all aspect of the sketch effect can be changed.

10 comment(s) for "Create a Sketch Text in Photoshop"

12:03 AM Wednesday, December 12, 2012
hi dude it is very cool tut man keep it up always cool work... Thanks reply
1:46 AM Thursday, December 20, 2012
Thank you rajesh, U am glad you like the sketch text effect! reply
1:03 AM Monday, January 21, 2013
Great tutorial! Easy and impressive. I like my result. :) Thanks for the links to doodle brushes, too. reply
1:06 AM Monday, January 21, 2013
Really nice result, I like the doodle flowers that you added :) reply
3:17 AM Thursday, March 28, 2013
Beautiful colored sketch text effect made by lolket (

12:14 PM Sunday, March 31, 2013
it is what i have been looking for a longgggggggg time!!!
wow thanks so much reply
12:16 PM Sunday, March 31, 2013
You're welcome lizi! I am glad you find it useful :) reply
Ana Covo
Ana Covo
1:03 AM Friday, August 30, 2013
Very cool! I just loved and very easy this effect.
Congrats! reply
Ni Ngo
Ni Ngo
4:02 AM Tuesday, June 03, 2014
This is my result :) Not good at all :( reply
Ni Ngo
Ni Ngo
4:03 AM Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Thanks for this tuts :) reply

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