Snap Art Ad – Pencil Sketch

Below is a photo from Hernan Rodriguez used in our series of Snap Art ads. He used Exposure to help get the retro look.

As you can see, we are starting with a photo that is already great. Snap Art can cover up some imperfections, but the better your original the better the final art will be.

This is the original. Copyright 2011 Hernan Rodriguez

In this ad I wanted to show that Snap Art can do more than paint, so I used the Pencil Sketch style. You can see a variety of the other styles in our example gallery.

Within Snap Art I used a layer mask on the subject so I could give him more detail than the background. I created a second mask on his eyes, nose, and mouth to make those crystal clear. You can see how this works in the article I wrote on the previous ad. There are also great videos on these techniques.

You can grab Snap Art and run it in trial mode to see for yourself how easy this is! If you are already convinced then head over to our store where you can get Snap Art by itself or as part of the heavily discounted Photo Bundle.


Someone recently asked to see the settings used to make this picture, so I’m including my preset below. However, keep in mind that the shapes of the mask layers are very specific to this photo. You’ll see that one layer covers the body and another covers the eyes, nose, and mouth. To use it on your picture you will need to reshape those layers.

Of course you must already have Snap Art installed for this to work. You can download and use Snap Art in trial mode if you don’t own it.

Save the preset to your desktop first. In most browsers, right-click the link below and choose Save As. That should save a file with a .f1s at the end of the name.

Then double-click the .f1s file to install.  Next time you run Snap Art you should see it in the User Settings list. Note that there are two versions of the preset. Make sure you grab the one that matches your version of Snap Art.

Snap Art 4 – Pencil for James Dean ad

Snap Art 3 – Pencil for James Dean ad


Exposure X4

Try Exposure X4 free for 30 days, and discover a new world of creativity with gorgeous customizable looks and a complete set of editing and organizing tools.

About the Author:

Jeff Butterworth is the founder of Alien Skin Software. He used to create the products, but now he does marketing and gets coffee for the programmers.


  1. Ben Marckel August 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Sweet picture and effects! So much more realistic than the basic filters in Photoshop.

  2. KennyDriscoll September 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    This is pefect, printed on the right paper it would look like something from the 1950’s… awesome job

  3. Dan September 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I attempted to get the realism that is in this sketch, but can’t seem to find the settings. Can someone give an approximation of the selections and settings ?

    • Jeff September 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      I just added my preset to the end of the article with some explanation. You will need to reshape the mask layers to fit the eyes and body of your own photo. Take a look at the Background tab and the two layers in the Layers tab to see how I moved sliders to get different looks in different regions. The Pencil Type set to Hard Pencil is important for that cross hatched look in the background.

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