Digital painting from a pencil sketch

As an amateur and self-taught painter (I don’t like to call myself an artist) I always find it’s hard to adapt with graphic tablet, although I knew I have to get use to it if I want to make some nice digital drawings.

Fortunately, from David Revoy’s blog, there’s an article about how to turn my pencil sketch into digital drawing with some easy steps, all I need are :

  • Gimp ( I got the latest version ; 2.8.4)
  • G’MIC plugin
  • MyPaint, and Krita (optional)

And so I made this sketch, and uploaded into my computer with using my pocket camera, it would be better if I can use a scanner, but I don’t have it, but nevermind it.


First, open it with Gimp, choose from menu : Colors – Level , and adjust some setting just like in the picture below, to make the paper more white and the pencil sketch darker.

Screenshot from 2013-06-30 00:15:58

And then , open G’MIC plugin, and choose filter “PhotoComix Smoothing” , it’s at Testing – PhotoComix – PhotoComix Smoothing , ( if you don’t have it, maybe you have to update your G’MIC plugin first ) Just leave the setting as the default, the purpose of using this filter is to make the sketch look more smooth without loosing its sharpness.

Screenshot from 2013-06-30 00:17:32

To remove the paper from pencil sketch and make drawing transparent, choose Colors – Color to Alpha , and press OK.

Screenshot from 2013-06-30 00:19:26

Now, as the picture has turned transparent, Add New Layer with Layer Fill Type : White, and put that new layer in the bottom of the sketch layer.

Before I started to color my sketch, I change the layer mode into “Multiply” so the sketch line will more visible after I color it.

Screenshot from 2013-06-30 00:22:53

And I saved this picture with .ora (open raster file) so it can be opened in MyPaint.

At David Revoy’s blog , he used Krita to colored his drawing, I wish I can do that too, as I believe Krita is the most powerful digital software at this moment,  but I already enjoy using MyPaint, so here I just use MyPaint to color my sketch with only one layer !

Screenshot from 2013-06-30 00:25:35

What I love about MyPaint is it has very simple interface, so I can draw easily without any disturbance, and here I used Devaad Mixbrush (it called Deevad since it was made by Deevad, off course, hehehee ) I only use one layer to color this, but it would be much better if there are more layers, because using more layers will create a more realistic painting.

So this is the final result :


And that’s all about how to turn a pencil sketch into a digital painting, with using some help from these useful open source graphic software : Gimp, G’MIC plugin and MyPaint ! 😀

source :


G’MIC Plugin


  1. Pingback: A Journal of a Painting - Part 1 | Chris - BETA edition
  2. arhsa · July 22, 2013

    saya follow via email ya Mbak

  3. Pingback: Digital Painting Tutorial Part 3 : From Pencil to Digital
  4. VX · May 19, 2015

    Thanks for the wake-up call!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s