By Greg Mills

As a Faux Artist and webmaster I enjoy the graphic tricks a Mac allows me to do. Sometimes converting a digital picture into something reminiscent of a drawing or painting serves my creative efforts. Having a variety of graphic styles makes web sites more interesting and compelling for web surfers who have seen it all.

As an avid reader of our print magazine, “MacTech,” I noticed an ad run by one of our advertisers. I went to the Akvis web site ( and downloaded a trial version of their Akvis Sketch application for the Mac platform. Wow, you drag and drop a digital picture into a window on the interface and it converts the image into a drawing, painting or charcoal rendering before your eyes.  

With in half an hour my desktop was cluttered with digital photos and black and white drawings generated by Akvis Sketch. I then enabled the full program using a key and began to experiment with the color drawing and water color settings. It seemed like the childish excitement of using Photoshop for the first time years ago, but Sketch has a much less cluttered interface.  

Akvis Sketch is advertised as software for the conversion of digital photos to pencil sketches and watercolor drawings but seems to do much more. The controls and adjustments allow you to manipulate your rendering in artistic ways that anyone can achieve with a bit of experimentation.   They say Akvis Sketch is for people who can’t draw but even if you can draw, the results are so fast and easy to manipulate, even artists will love it.

Akvis Sketch runs on Mac and Windows PCs and is available as both plug-ins and stand-alone programs. The stand-alone program is priced at US$72 and is well worth it. Go to the Akvis web site and give the software a try. You will see that I am not exaggerating the power of the program.  

That’s Greg’s Bite on Sketch.

Rating: 10 out of 10