Learn Effects Showcase

Turn Your Photos Into Charcoal Drawings

By Derric | Effects Showcase

Charcoal artists. You'll find them perched along sidewalks on downtown streets, at amusement parks and major tourist attractions. Even if you've never actually shelled out money to have a charcoal drawing created right before your eyes, you have to admit, they look pretty freakin' cool.

Now you can create that look yourself at home with BeFunky's Charcoal effect. It turns any photograph into an incredibly realistic charcoal drawing, and you don't have to get your hands dirty.


Choosing The Right Photo

First, you'll need to decide on a photo to turn into a charcoal drawing. We suggest a photograph without too much clutter. With the charcoal drawing, you can vary the detail level of the charcoal sketch. But even a very thinly detailed charcoal drawing tends to have a bit of thickness to it, so if you choose a cluttered photo, things can start to look a bit messy. It's a good idea to pose in front of an empty wall, if you want a perfect drawing effect.

Creating Your Own Charcoal Drawing

To get started, you'll need to upload a photo to BeFunky. Open the Upload menu at the upper right corner to select one of the options. You can choose an existing photo that you've uploaded before (registered users only) or you can upload a brand new one from your Mac or PC's desktop. Other options include webcam and social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Bebo and more.

Once you've decided on a photo to go crazy with, it will show up in the center of the screen. Before you start to play with your charcoal drawing effect, consider cropping your photo. You'll find the Crop button on the Tools menu, at the right side of the screen.

Crop tool

Pro Tip: Cropping is a great way to get rid of some of the unwanted clutter and zero on only the part of the photo you want to work with.

Charcoal #1

To start playing around, click the Charcoal button that's located on the left sidebar. Clicking any one of the presets will turn your photo into a charcoal drawing in literally just a few seconds.While the presets create some cool charcoal drawing effects for you, settling is no fun. You can play around with things like the colors or the detail level of the charcoal sketch, using the effect settings panel, which pops out right after you click on any effect preset.

Charcoal #2 Screenshot

Pro Tip: If you cannot see the settings, just click on the wrench icon next to the effect name.

When you're done playing, go ahead and save your charcoal drawing. You can save it to your desktop, to your BeFunky library or both. When you're happy with how everything looks, you can share it to Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and more, directly from BeFunky.

Or, if you want to get really creative, print them out on paper, park yourself next to a charcoal drawing artist and give that starving artist some real competition.

Photo Editing, Simplified.

Photo Editing. Simplified