enter image description here this one here

enter image description here and this one as well

The shading on the building, especially the squiggly liny texture got me confused. I don't see it that often. Does it have a name? How could one recreate it?

Credit: godmonkey illustrator on behance

  • have you tried asking the illustrator?
    – Luciano
    Aug 18, 2022 at 12:04
  • Have you looked at what the noise filter can do? It can add random noise, which looks a lot like film grain or stippled shading if used as a layer.
    – user8356
    Aug 18, 2022 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


To me, it looks like a few stacked layers.

A base greyscale or possibly minimal color layer. Then a diffusion layer on top of everything.

enter image description here

You can achieve the diffusion (stipple) effect easily by opening a duplicate of the image and converting it to Bitmap mode.

You must use a duplicate of the image. It's not possible to get the Diffusion Dither on a layer, it has to be applied to the entire image. But once applied you can then convert it back to RGB for use as a layer in the original document.

enter image description here

enter image description here

The PPI used when converting to Bitmap will determine how fine/course the diffusion result is. You may need to play with different PPI settings to achieve a specific result.

Then merely convert back to RGB and move back to the original file and adjust blending modes (and scale it to match the original again if necessary).

enter image description here

You can sort of achieve something similar by duplicating the base layer and merely setting the duplicate's blending mode to Dissolve then play with layer opacities.

enter image description here

But the Dissolve blend mode will effect both light and dark pixels and tends to be more fine overall. It may not be possible to get the course, clearly visible, only dark, grain like the Diffusion Dither provides.

Or combine all of this, with an added layer for coloring. Naturally, each image is different. So, it may take different "tweaks" based upon the starting artwork and desired result.

enter image description here

enter image description here

This is all, of course, merely a guess. You'd have to ask the artist to know specifically. And I'm sure there are more methods which may result in similar effects.

  • 1
    Beat me to it. 😅 I'm sure Diffusion Dither is what the OP is looking for. Dissolve blend mode gives a slightly different pattern without the "squiggly liny texture" the OP likes. Besides that the diffusion dither seems to be softened by scaling it up at some uneven factor like 166% with Bicubic Smoother interpolation and a paper texture has been added on top of everything.
    – Wolff
    Aug 17, 2022 at 20:22

The main object of the interest is obviously the diffusion dither halftoning. It's available for bitmap images in Photoshop. It's also in freeware like GIMP or Krita. It's not common in vector drawing programs. One could, of course, trace a bitmap version, but a plugin is needed for fast and easy results. Illustrator plugin Astute Graphics Stipplism makes it well, but it's not freeware.

There's an older answer which creates it in Photoshop with bitmap image mode. There's other possibilities to get the same effect. You may for example copy the interesting layer to another image and turn it to indexed color mode. An example:

enter image description here

( a politician, copied from a news site)

It has 4 colors (= 3 colors + transparent). Adaptive palette gives optimal colors so that the image still shows the original subject recognizably. Dithering amount 75% gives a good balance between dithering and solid color areas. If there were 0% there would be only solid colors.

To get recognizable size pixels the image resolution must be well selected. This image is 750 pixels wide. If you are lucky the used colors may also fit to your artistic idea, but you can colorize it later in the composition.

If you copy & paste the dithered image to an RGB image you get it as a new RGB layer. The original background layers stay intact.

In the next image the original news photo background has got Photoshop's sandstone texture filtering which seems to be used in your examples:

enter image description here

Because the image composition is in RGB mode all layers can be colorized separately, if needed. Here the background gets a less offensive color:

enter image description here

One may want for convenience a way to apply the dithering to a layer without pasting to a new image which is then converted to bitmap or indexed mode. It's possible. G'mic filter collection (freeware) which is available for GIMP, Krita, Paint.NET and Photoshop contains it. An example (Krita):

enter image description here

(zoom in to avoid the interference with screen pixels)

There are numerous of adjustments which are useful when searching a good dithering. The saturation slider replaces the white with an average hue color. I kept it B&W.

The effect is destructive , so it's useful to make the dithering to a layer duplicate, because one can easily make a retry, if needed. As an alternative G'MIC filters allow also output to another layer than to the original.

The dithered version can be used also as mixed with layer blending modes to the original. An example (Krita):

enter image description here

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