How to Make Chalk and Charcoal Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to give a chalk and charcoal effect using Adobe Photoshop.

For this tutorial, we will be using this particular stock photo over here. You can download this particular stock photo from the following link:
Step 1 – Changing the Mode of the document
We will start by opening up the image tab on the top, move to Mode and select the gray scale option.
With that done, a pop up window will appear on the screen asking you whether you want to discard the color information or not. Over here, simply click on Discard.

making the document grayscale

Step 2 – Making a selection
Now you can pick up the lasso tool from the toolbar towards the left side of the screen and zoom into the image. Over here, we will make a rough selection of the boat. With that done, right click on the selection made and choose the ‘select inverse’ option. This will inverse the selection that we made previously.

using the lasso tool to make a selection

Step 3 – Applying the Feather option
Now that we have a selection of the background, go to the select menu at the top, move to modify and click on the ‘feather’ option. Over here, we will set the feather radius to 8 pixels.

using the feather option

Step 4 – Applying the wind filter
Now we will start adding filters to the image. To do this, go into the filter menu on top, move to stylize and click on the “wind” option. Over here, we will set the direction from the right and keep the default value for the method, which is Wind. With that done, click on Ok. Next, we will repeat this step but this time, we will change the direction of the filter to “from the left”.

using the wind filter

Step 5 – Applying the Minimum option
Now let’s head back to the filter menu, move to other and select the minimum option. In the pop up window, we will set the radius as 2 pixels. This will add a very light blur effect to the image.

using the minimum option

Step 6 – The Chalk and Charcoal Effect
The last filter we will be adding here is the chalk and charcoal effect. For that, move to the Filter menu and open up the Filter gallery.
Within the sketch section over here, you will have the chalk and charcoal effect. Select that option and towards the right you would have 3 key components of the effect. Over here, we will change the “chalk area” and the “stroke pressure” options. Adjusting these two options will redraw the highlights and mid-tones in the image with a sold mid-tone gray background. Therefore, we have set the Chalk area to 10 and Stroke Pressure to 2. The values can vary according to the image you are working on. You can experiment with different values over here to see what looks better.

configuring the chalk and charcoal effect

Step 7 – Making an inverse selection
Now, that we have given the chalk and charcoal effect to the background, we will give the boat the same effect as well. For that, select the lasso tool once again, right click and click on the “select inverse” option.

using the lasso tool to make an inverse selection

Step 8 – Configuring the chalk and charcoal effect
Now let’s open up the Filter gallery once more. Over here, on the settings panel we will reduce the stroke pressure to 1 and increase the chalk area to 12. This is so that the boat can blend well with the background.
With that done, let’s deselect the selection and our chalk and charcoal effect is complete.

applying the chalk and charcoal effect