Learn Photo Editor Tutorials

How to Turn a Photo Into Pen Art

By Audrey Webster | Photo Editor Tutorials

Whether it’s silly doodles or fine art, using pens is a fun way to get creative. Pen art sketches give depth and character to their images. Dutch artists Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh, some of the greatest artists in history, used ink to capture their surroundings. This unique style of art usually avoids color. It instead relies on the pen to create a monochrome image that utilizes linework and texture. Now, you can convert your photo into a pen and ink drawing by using BeFunky’s Photo Editor

Photos of anything can be transformed into pen and ink art. Take portraits of your friends or shots of wildlife in the great outdoors and make them look like they’ve been drawn with a pen. Pen art is a breeze with BeFunky. 

How to Go From Photo to Pen Art

Pen art presents a photo in a unique and eye-catching style. There is even variety within pen art itself! Choose styles that resemble ballpoint pen art or fountain pen art, customizing either to your personal style. Follow the simple steps below to create pen art from your own photography. 

Step 1: Upload a Photo

The first step is to upload your photo. Click here to head straight to the Artsy tab. Next, you can either choose to upload your own image by selecting Computer or Google Drive. You can also experiment with a stock photo from BeFunky before working on your own photos by clicking More, followed by Stock Photos.


Step 2: Turn Your Photo Into Pen Art

Click on Pen Art to see two options: Pen Art DLX 1 and Pen Art DLX 2. The first emphasizes fine lines and uses two colors. The second leans into broader strokes and shapes while giving slightly more texture to the image. For this case, we’re selecting the first option.


If that's all you need to do, go ahead and click the checkmark to apply the effect. Otherwise, the button on the far left brings you to the Settings menu, where you can adjust the amount of pen art that is applied to your image.

You'll notice the Adjust and Select tabs. Adjust allows you to determine the amount of the effect you want to apply. And Select allows you to choose where the effect is applied. Using the Select menu is a great way to create a unique, multimedia work of art!

adjust pen art and apply

Once you're done editing, click the Apply button to save your changes.

Step 3: Save Your Pen Art Photo

Make sure to save your photo once you’re done editing by using the Save dropdown menu. You can save your finished product to your computer, BeFunky, Facebook, and more.

Save Pen Art photo

Well done! You’ve just made your photo look like it came straight out of a sketchbook! No pens or paper required.

pen art after
pen art before



Creative Pen Art Inspiration

If you want to make your photos into pen art, but aren’t sure where to get started, keep reading! We have some tips and tricks for pen art editing to make your photos look as unique as the subjects they’re capturing. Let’s explore the two pen art editing options. 

Create a Monochrome Portrait

Pen Art DLX 1 utilizes finer lines to emphasize the light and dark spaces in the photo’s subject and its surroundings. Notice how this colorful example has a more monochrome tone after the effect is applied. If you prefer the simplicity of ballpoint pen art, this is a good effect to play with. You can use the sliding scale as detailed above to adjust how much of this effect is applied to your photo. With higher saturation, you will achieve a more dramatic result.

Pen art portrait example after
Pen art portrait example before



Add Depth and Texture to Still Lifes

Our Pen Art DLX 2 effect uses wider strokes to highlight the photo’s shapes. The feature does two cool things to the image. First, it resembles fountain pen art, which works with the colors and shapes of the photo. Second, it brings out the photo’s depth to create a 3D pen art effect. The photo’s subject in the forefront pops out in front of the scenery behind it. This keeps the photo-realistic, even with a pen art filter.

Depth pen art example after
Depth pen art example before



Transform Your Photo Into Pen Art

Pen art is a creative way to showcase your photography. Make your images look like works of art using these editing effects. It’s quick to learn and easy to use. 

Now, it’s time to turn your photo into a pen-and-ink masterpiece!

Go From Photo to Art in One Click

Photo Editing. Simplified