this is my first question, cause usually I find the answer I'm looking for on the forums. enter image description here That image was made with Sketcher effect with Pics Art app for Android. How could I mimic it using Photoshop? Looks much like the the refine edge mask, but I'm not able to isolate it. Thanks


Thanks to everybody contributing to this thread. The following sequence indeed got me very close to desired result: brightness and contrast up, photocopy, invert, smart blur, accented edges or palette knife, gaussian blur. Still, my result shows rather hard edges compared to the washed out effect of the original. Thanks again! I would like to vote you up, but I haven't got the necessary credits (15) to vote, sorry. enter image description here enter image description here


Original image. enter image description here

  • My guess is some combination of Water Color and Find Edges / Solarize.
    – Ryan
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 14:51
  • Can you upload an image you'd like to do this with, just drop it in your question here... perhaps this shot of the steps, and let me have a play with it? I'll record the steps as an Action so you can see EXACTLY what I do, and then adapt according to your desired outcome. Actions are a way of recording steps for future playback of those steps on any other file. Each step can be paused if it has configuration settings, so you can adjust to taste as it flows through and learn what does what. It's a more dynamic learning mode than anything else I can think of.
    – Confused
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 12:27
  • I uploaded the original image. Feel free to try; it's much appreciated.
    – otf-it
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 0:15

2 Answers 2


This effect could also be achieved with the Stamp filter. (Filter>Sketch>Stamp) Though that is of course not to say that it cannot be achieved with the Photocopy filter. It depends what suits the image most.

Toggling the Light/Dark Balance as well as the smoothness in this filter may achieve very close to the result you want depending on the source image of course.

Here's a quick example of each filter; 1- Original, 2- Photocopy Filter, 3- Stamp Filter do remember that the background/foreground colours that you have selected will influence the filter.

enter image description here


The Photocopy Effect in Photoshop will probably come closest to this.

But before applying it to the source image you're going to need to push the contrast way down, and adjust the brightness to get this level of minimalism from the effect. And possibly do a couple of big noise reductions to the image to take out any sharp edges.

Photocopy Filter (effect) is in the Sketch section. As per Adobe's very common abuse of naming conventions, logic and user experience.

EDIT: As per your upload of the original... here's a VERY quick demo. I only tried once, using the method I've described, and have not bothered doing ANY fine tuning, that's your problem ;) but does give you the space to do it with all sorts of fine tuning to taste you probably won't get with that Android app.

The result of not much effort, well, none, really.

And here's what I did, in the actions panel. And just as per my original description, I've massively reduced contrast, but haven't bothered touching the brightness, then I did a couple of big noise reductions to take out some of the sharp edges.

Finally I duplicated the result and multiplied it with itself.

enter image description here


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