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20 Incredible Photoshop Actions for Sketching Effects

By
on Photography & Photoshop

Turning your photography into sketches could be a great approach if you want to give your photography a little more impact. Doing this looks fantastic and gives a hands-on appeal to your work.

How can you accomplish this? Why, through Photoshop actions, of course. What you’ll find here is a solid collection of Photoshop sketch effects that can be added to your photos via actions. These actions take the guesswork out of turning a photo into a drawing while paying heed to the importance of light and shadow.

So you don’t have to go it alone here as we’ve compiled a collection of incredibly useful sketching Photoshop actions that aim to streamline your workflow and aid in bringing new effects to your photography post-production.

Sketch Portrait Photoshop Actions

The Sketch Portrait Photoshop Actions provide a sleek hand-drawn effect. The resulting image has a glossy look while still being realistic. It includes well-organized layers and serves as an excellent time-saver. It works best with black and white photos.

Sketch Portrait Photoshop Actions

Concept Sketch Photoshop Action

The Concept Sketch Photoshop Action is an engineer or architect’s delight! It makes it easy to turn any architectural drawing into a professional-looking sketch. The action set could be used for building interiors, exteriors, and product designs. It comes with hand-drawn brushes and textures, including 12 brushes and 18 patterns.

Concept Sketch Photoshop Action

Hand-Drawn Pencil Sketch Photoshop Action

The Pencil Sketch Photoshop Action can turn any portrait-style photo into a digital piece of art that appears as though it was hand-drawn. It works on objects as well, and you can select from 10 color presets. Everything can be applied with one click, and the result is fully layered and non-destructive.

Hand-Drawn Pencil Sketch Photoshop Action

Pencil Sketch Photoshop Actions

Next up in our collection is this set of Pencil Sketch Photoshop Actions. It includes 15 different actions that you can use to turn portraits into sketches. It comes with instructions, is non-destructive, has editable layers, and can be used for photos that will be used on both the web and print media.

Pencil Sketch Photoshop Actions

Da Vinci Sketch Photoshop Actions

The Da Vinci Sketch Photoshop action immediately turns any photo into a sepia-toned illustration that looks like it came out of Da Vinci’s sketchbooks. It works best with portraits and objects and creates finished photos that are layered so they can be customized further. It also comes with five pen color tones and ten color presets.

Da Vinci Sketch Photoshop Actions

Pencil Sketch 2 Photoshop Actions

The Pencil Sketch 2 Photoshop Action is another great way to quickly turn a photograph into a piece of digital art. You can edit the individual layers and use them for various purposes.

Pencil Sketch 2 Photoshop Actions

Architecture Sketch Art Photoshop Actions

Another option is the Architecture Sketch Art Photoshop Actions. This set comes with full layer control and is non-destructive, and it works for a wide range of photos like landscapes and portraits. This one-click action can be used for both the web and print as well.

Architecture Sketch Art Photoshop Actions

Pen Sketch Photoshop Action

Here’s another interesting choice to consider. The Pen Sketch Photoshop Action gives your photos the look of a hand-drawn sketch. What makes this stand out is how the action creates a crosshatch pattern for shading. It includes well-organized layers and complete instructions.

Pen Sketch Photoshop Action

Digital Sketch Photoshop Action

Another action you may consider is the Digital Sketch Photoshop Action. This one creates a digital sketch effect when added to your photos. It works best with portraits and has a softness to it that’s really compelling. It comes with ten color effects as well.

Digital Sketch Photoshop Action

Pencil Sketch 3 Photoshop Action

Here’s another interesting choice for creating a sketch from a photograph. This action set can be implemented with a single click, and the result is lovely. If you want to play with the available settings, however, you can do that, too. It has editable layers and can be used on a wide range of photos.

Pencil Sketch 3 Photoshop Action

Sketch Art Photoshop Actions

The Sketch Art Photoshop Actions work to create a soft sketch appearance on your photos. The result is a realistic-looking sketch that takes many cues from your original image. Even better, your original image layer remains unscathed, so you can always revert to it if need be.

Sketch Art Photoshop Actions

Color Sketch Photoshop Action

This action really sets itself apart from the pack. The Color Sketch Photoshop Action creates a professional-looking, colorful sketch from your photographs, and it accomplishes this using hatching and abstract effects.

Color Sketch Photoshop Action

Archi Sketch Photoshop Action

The Archi Sketch Photoshop Action is ideal for architectural photos. It turns any image of yours into a professional-looking architectural sketch. It has ten color effects, includes well-organized layers, and further settings that you can adjust to get the precise look you want.

Archi Sketch Photoshop Action

High-Quality Pencil Sketch Photoshop Action

The High-Quality Pencil Sketch Photoshop Action is another easy way to create digital artwork from photos with a single click. It has a multitude of layers you can adjust and tweak. And in the end, you’ll wind up with a photo that looks as though it has cross-hatching, blending, and many more features of hand-drawn art.

High-Quality Pencil Sketch Photoshop Action

Portretum Sketch Drawing Photoshop Action

Portretum Sketch Drawing Photoshop Action is ideal for adding some flair to your portrait photography. This one-click action can be applied to any portrait and comes with the action file, brushes, ten color presets, graphic elements, and a user’s guide.

Portretum Sketch Drawing Photoshop Action

Sketch Photoshop Action Presets

You might also like to consider the Sketch Photoshop Action Presets. Apply this to a particular spot on your photo, and then play the action. It’ll turn that area into a sketch with all the subtle shading and details of a real hand-drawn piece of art. This action has fully editable layers as well.

Sketch Photoshop Action Presets

Sketch Art Smart Photoshop Action

You might also want to try the Sketch Art Smart Photoshop Action. With well-organized layers, you can customize this action to suit your specific needs and make selections regarding background, color, and more. It comes with ten brushes, five textures, and a quick start-up guide.

Sketch Art Smart Photoshop Action

AI Architecture Sketch Photoshop Actions

Here’s another great option if you’re looking to add some flair to architectural photos. This action turns your building photos into sketches with just a single click. It offers ten styles, relies on AI for best results, and is fully customizable to suit your specific needs. It even has an emphasized greenery action for highlighting foliage in your original photo.

AI Architecture Sketch Photoshop Actions

Cartoonize Photoshop Action

The Cartoonize Photoshop Action will turn any portrait-style photo into a digital painting. The result is an image that looks like a cartoon, and you can use the resulting image on the web and in print. Plus, the action is non-destructive.

Cartoonize Photoshop Action

Realistic Vintage Sketch Photoshop Action

Last in our collection is the Vintage Sketch Photoshop Action that turns any photo into a vintage-looking sketch. The result is a realistic-looking drawing that’s achievable with a single click. It comes with 15 color presets and a video tutorial that makes it easy to get this action working.

Realistic Vintage Sketch Photoshop Action


And there you have it! Our collection of Photoshop actions that have been created to turn any photo you choose into a professional-looking sketch.

These actions are easy to use and stand to substantially reduce the time you spend on photo edits. We wish you the best of luck in your projects and hope you find these actions helpful!

How to Install Photoshop Actions

  1. Download and unzip the action file
  2. Launch Photoshop
  3. Go to Window > Actions
  4. Select Load Actions from the menu and go to the folder where you saved the unzipped action file to select it
  5. The Action will now be installed
  6. To use the newly installed action, locate it in the Action panel
  7. Click the triangle to the left of the action name to see the list of available actions
  8. Click the action you want to play and press the play button at the bottom of the Actions panel