While I just finished an advanced class on brushes with Anna Aspnes, I am concurrently enrolled in A Year of ArtPlay 2017. One of the assignments for the ArtPlay class was to create a page blending multiple images. This page actually reflects my learning in both classes. I am delighted that these classes build on one another.

These are four of the photos, captured in March at Lauritzen Gardens, that I blended together to create my composite.

First I began by placing artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Hygge above solid paper 1. Starting with an artsy paper made page design easier. In the layers panel, note that I used a layer mask to blend out part of the dark brown stain so that it wasn’t so dominant. I also stamped with gray on a new layer over that part and added a gray overlay on color at 100%.

Next, I placed transfer 1 above the corresponding part on the artsy paper and clipped my first photo to the transfer. I adjusted my image with levels adjustment layers, one on screen and the other overlay. Then I clipped the closeup of the plants and blended it into the shelf. It is on normal at 50% Above those layers, I placed another copy of transfer 1 on soft light at 100%. For blending, I am using a brush set that I compiled from some of my favorite AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes.

Next, I added the head of the statue, attached an inverted layer mask and brought back in just what I wanted with brushes before giving the image a drop shadow as well as a gray overlay with the styles menu.

On the right, I placed the vertical photo of the stone wall, attached an inverted mask and again used brushes to reveal parts of the photo. One of the brushes I used was brush 12 from ArtPlay Palette Hygge. I also added brush 2 to my abr file of favorite blending brushes. I adjusted the light with a screen adjustment layer and glow 5 from WarmGlows 2.

Note: For blending, I created a new .abr file with brushes from Anna’s AnnaBlendz Artsy brush sets. For my file, I selected the brushes from Anna’s blending series that were simpler in that they look like primarily one texture. I am also finding that when I load the brushes from a palette I am more likely to use them and discover new favorites to add to my favorite brush abr file.

I decided that my scene needed someone to enjoy it. I found this photo of Kate that I’d taken in January 2016 sitting in about the same spot. In a way Kate’s curls reminded me of those on the statue.

I roughly extracted her using the Quick Selection Tool on an inverted layer mask and added a shadow. I added two levels adjustment layers: the first on screen and the second on overlay. I also placed another copy of the closeup photo of the plants, blending out the edges on a layer mask as needed.

Finally, I placed the layers of file 5 from MultiMedia Hygge No. 1 on the right below Kate in the layers panel. I added a phrase in the heart with the type tool. On the left, I created a cluster with a button from ArtPlay MiniPalette Cherish, a leaf that I copied from the multimedia file and thread 3 from ButtonThreadz No. 2. I am hoping that with the gray button and the gray moss in my photo that I’ve picked up enough gray. I also placed four glows to correct the color and simulate the light above my granddaughter.

Do I like it? Yes. I especially like how much what I have learned about working with brushes shows in this layout. It’s hard to see the texture in these screen shots. While this won’t go in this year’s book, I am going to put it in an album after printing.