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Free Photoshop Actions: Sketch and Painting Effects Set [Updated]

Photoshop actions is an awesome time saver for photographers and designers of any level of mastery. These, let’s say, add-ons allow performing usual manipulations you do in Photoshop to achieve a certain effect on the image.

You may ask, then why using these free Photoshop Actions for images if you can get the same results and even better when you do all the manipulations step-by-step? The answer is plain and simple: people in general are lazy.

Say, you have a task to convert loads of images into vintage pictures. You may try a few ways to do this to find out the best one, and then spend more hours by applying the steps you performed to achieve the result to every photo you have. It sounds boring and feels tedious. That’s why you need Photoshop Actions.

How It Works

Actions are a cool invention of Photoshop creators. It’s a set of steps that are usually performed to apply a certain effect (or a few effects) to an image that is recorded, downloaded to Photoshop and may be used anytime you need it. You need only to run the Action you choose and watch from aside the program performs all the steps you usually do manually. It takes just a few moments for each picture and saves a lot of time for you.

There are a few ways of getting PS Actions:

  • You can create an Action file by your self;
  • You can download an Action already created by someone else.

How to Create an Action

Creating an Action is an easy thing for Photoshop professionals. You just need to perform these steps:

  • Right click to small arrow on the Actions panel that reveals the drop-down menu;
  • Choose “New Action” from the drop-down menu, name it and click “Record” button. A tiny panel with buttons “record”, “stop”, “play” etc appears beneath the main Actions panel;
  • Than you can perform all the manipulations you need to create a new effect or add a new filter to your image.
  • You can always stop recording if you need to change something or try another way. Click the “stop” button on the panel and make your changes. When you’re ready click the “record” button again. You can play your action to see if everything is ok, or delete the action you don’t like and start over again.

You can choose a folder where you will keep all your actions, set a keys combination for it and even set a color for it. Then, anytime you need it, you can choose your action from a list and apply it to whatever number of images you need. Later you can also edit your action, add new steps and change everything you need. You just have to open the action, and record a new manipulation (don’t forget to choose the steps where you need to put this new one). After the recording is finished you can manage the steps, remove and replace them.

How to Add Actions to Photoshop

If you are a bit more lazy or extremely busy and have to do a lot of work in a few minutes you can browse the Internet and find the action that suits your needs. It takes less time and still can provide you with perfect results.

To add new actions to Photoshop and manage them you should:

  • Download the Action file to your computer;
  • If the pack contains multiple files you should unpack it first to the folder where you will keep the Actions;
  • Choose a file with the .atn extension and run it (make sure the Photoshop is running too);
  • Find the new action in the list of Actions in Photoshop and apply it!

You can add a new action right from your Photoshop window. From the drop-down menu on the Actions panel choose “Load action” and browse your computer to add an .atn file.

How to Apply an Action

Applying an Action is snap. Open an image you need to edit, choose an Action for the list and click the play button beneath the Action panel to run the Action.

You can also change the panel to “Button mode” (right click on the upper-right corner of the panel and chose “Button mode” from the drop-down menu). Then you’ll need just to click the selected action button. Then sit and watch the magic happens.

Are you looking for more Photoshop files and sources? Here’s what we’ve previously compiled:

There are loads of ready-to use Photoshop actions on the web. Here we offer a collection of beautiful and creative free Actions that add painting and sketch effects to images. Grab and enjoy!

Sketch Effect Photoshop Actions

Sketch Artist-Photo to Sketch effect

Sketch Artist Photo to Sketch effect

Sketch Painting Photoshop Action

Sketch Painting Photoshop Action

Sketch Photoshop Action

Sketch Photoshop Action

Architecture Sketch Photoshop Action

Architecture Sketch Photoshop Action

Sketch Art Photoshop Action

Sketch Art Photoshop Action

Free Photoshop Sketch Action

Free Photoshop Sketch Action

Like Pencil Free Photoshop Action

Like Pencil Free Photoshop Action

Double Sketch Action for Photos

Double Sketch Action for Photos

Pencil Sketch Effect Photoshop Action

Pencil Sketch Effect Photoshop Action

Pencil Sketch Action for Photoshop

Pencil Sketch Action for Photoshop

Free Photoshop Action for Pencil Effect

Free Photoshop Action for Pencil Effect

Comic Sketch Free Photoshop Action

Comic Sketch Free Photoshop Action

10 Free Photoshop Actions for Sketch Effect

10 Free Photoshop Actions for Sketch Effect

Vintage Look Free Photoshop Action

Vintage Look Free Photoshop Action

HDR Sketch Free Photoshop Action

HDR Sketch Free Photoshop Action

Highpass Color Sketch Free Photoshop Action

Highpass Color Sketch Free Photoshop Action

Pencil Sketch Free Photoshop Action

Pencil Sketch Free Photoshop Action

Free Photoshop Actions Sketch Set

Free Photoshop Actions Sketch Set

Set of Free Photoshop Actions for Sketch Effect

Set of Free Photoshop Actions for Sketch Effect

Free Photoshop Action for Pencil Effect

Free Photoshop Action for Pencil Effect

Free Photoshop Action for Sketch

Free Photoshop Action for Sketch

Scanner Darkly Effect Free Photoshop Action

Scanner Darkly Effect Free Photoshop Action

Photo-to-Pencil Free Photoshop Action

Photo-to-Pencil Free Photoshop Action

Free Photoshop Actions Set for Sketch Effect

Free Photoshop Actions Set for Sketch Effect

Painting Effect Photoshop Actions

Painting Effect Photoshop Actions Set

Painting Effect Free Photoshop Actions Set

Photo-to-Oil-Painting Free Photoshop Action

Photo-to-Oil-Painting Free Photoshop Action

Impressionist Free Photoshop Action

Impressionist Free Photoshop Action

Watercolor Painting Free Photoshop Action

Watercolor Painting Free Photoshop Action

Oil Painting Free Photoshop Action

Oil Painting Free Photoshop Action

Cracked Wall Paintings – Free Photoshop Action

Cracked Wall Paintings - Free Photoshop Action

Realistic Painting Free Photoshop Action

Realistic Painting Free Photoshop Action

Watercolor & Acrylic Painting – Free Photoshop Actions

Watercolor & Acrylic Painting - Free Photoshop Actions

Watercolor Effect Free Photoshop Action

Watercolor Effect Free Photoshop Action

Real Painting Free Photoshop Action

Real Painting Free Photoshop Action

Painting My Sky – Free Photoshop Action

Painting My Sky - Free Photoshop Action

Watercolor Painting Free Photoshop Action

Watercolor Painting Free Photoshop Action

Photo-to-Painting – Photoshop Actions Set

Photo-to-Painting - Free Photoshop Actions Set

Helen Stark
Helen is a passionate writer who finds inspiration in everyday things and is happy to share them with readers. She has been creating content for fashion, beauty, food and tech blogs during last years. You can follow Helen on Twitter and Google+
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  • I have seen the collection, here I want to add another tutorial which has described the steps of converting the photo into pencil sketch in a detailed way . You can add this in your list also http://www.clippingpathindia.com/blog/2015/10/17/photo-to-pencil-sketch-photoshop-tutorial/

  • I’ve made something like this.. follow your actions… Pic from James Cooper’s link.

  • This action for photoshop runs very well
    http://graphicriver.net/item/watercolor-aquerello/15698320

  • cursedun

    Thanks for the great list, much appreciated!

  • Fargo Art

    Thanks sooooo much!

  • Art of Pencil sketch is really awesome and creative. Your collection is really great and awesome.

  • a great impact of focus on this image. very cute

  • Excellent details post. Thanks a lot for the brilliant post.

  • Great Post Really Helpful
    Thanks

  • It has very nice bro….!!!

  • Hey Helen Stark,
    Informative and educative post for all designers. I can say as a beginner this post will more important for all beginners and i’m sure . Like your post guy .

  • That’s really a pleasant Post mentioned within this Post about how to write a post, so i got clear idea from here. Keep on posting!.. http://greenappleimages.com/

  • Lily Belous

    Oh wow, thanks a lot for detailed instructions. I’m gald I’ve found your article at the right time as I’m studying this topic at my courses in July. And thanks for additional links to free Photoshop files – really helpful!

  • Excellent !!! I am new here in this post but I have learned a lot. Thanks for your superb post !!!

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