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Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Category: Photoshop (Page 1 of 2)

Eight Years and Two Days

Born eight years and two days apart, it’s hard to imagine that Owen, my oldest grandson, and Kate, my youngest grandchild, will be close. Yet, every once in a while I capture a photo of the two of them together that tells me that with time they will have a closer relationship. Since they had a shared family birthday party this year, I decided to create one page for the event.

I began this 24×12 inch page by extracting Kate from the photo and giving her a custom shadow. I then clipped copies of photo to the psd layers of mask 1 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 7. I also extracted my grandson Owen so that I could replace the background in that photo with solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul and overlay 1 from ArtPlay Palette Whizzo when I clipped it to png mask 3 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 7. I positioned the two photos so that they were facing in opposite directions to support my journaling. Once I had the two focal photos positioned, I went back to Lightroom to find that one photo I remembered of the two of them together.

Note: The dot overlay over the solid paper from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul was easier to manipulate so it matched the dot spacing on solid paper 6 from ArtPlay Palette Whizzo. Owen’s shirt was actually green, so I gave him a gray blue shirt instead with a hue and saturation adjustment layer.

I dragged the layers of template 16 in Travel Template Album No. 3 on to my document. I extracted my grandson and granddaughter, substituting another copy of the gray paper with overlay 1 for the background below the photo and clipped all three layers to the fotoblendz mask. I again added a hue and saturation adjustment layer to the photo to change the color of my grandson’s shirt.

Next, I deleted the frames from template 16 because there were too many of them in the arrangement for balance on my two page spread. I kept the template’s stains and text boxes. I replaced the frames with a frame set from template 7 in Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1. I dragged the frames over to my page and clipped my photos to the masks. Rather than change the color of my grandson’s shirt, I converted the photo to black and white with an adjustment layer. That also created a rest stop on the right side of the page.

Note: Once I knew the shape of the frame arrangement I needed, it was easy to look for a replacement that would work below the fotoblendz mask and have the correct photo orientation.

I moved one text box to the left and adjusted it’s size to fit the space for balance. I repeated the pink and gray in the stains before adding file 7 from UrbanStitchez No. 2 to ground my granddaughter.

For a little birthday fun, I stamped three line drawing brushes from eA Birthday No. 1. I added color to the brushes with some of the balloon stains from WaterColorBalloons No. 1 and ArtsyStains No. 2. I added my title and their ages. With a sticker, button and thread from ButtonThreadz No. 3, I finished my layout.

I, of course, captured a lot more photos of the party, but I don’t think I needed them all to tell this story. Despite the difference in age between my grandchildren, I hope that one day they will enjoy this memory of their shared birthday party.

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Time Enough

I love butterflies: photographing, extracting, and scrapbooking them. They are delicate and short lived, but so very beautiful. When I saw Anna’s new brush set, Butterflies No. 1, I wanted to create with them again.

I began by stamping brush 8 in a mid gray on a new 12×12 document. I changed the blend mode of the brush image to linear burn.

Then, I added color by stamping stains from ArtsyStains No. 2 and Artsy Stains No. 3. All are on blend mode linear burn.

Next, I extracted three butterflies from photos using the quick selection tool and an inverted layer mask. I experimented with the position of the color stains.

I added several twigs from ArtPlay Palette Tinge, ArtPlay Palette Yule, ArtPlay Palette Glance and ArtPlay Palette Swell.  Again, I experimented, adjusting the position of the twigs and stains until it looked right to me.

Next, I placed urban threads from ButtonThreadz No. 1, ButtonThreadz No. 2 and UrbanThreadz No. 9.  I adjusted their position. I also added glow 7 from Butterfly Glows No. 1 and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 70%.

Finally, I added a quote for a title to finish my very simple layout combining brushes and extractions, two strategies that I use often and that characterize my style. I love it when a layout is easy!

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Capturing Success and Struggle

While I am not a daily photographer, I enjoy capturing family moments with photos and stories that I will compile in a book at the end of the year. This page is about my granddaughter Kate and her reticence about learning to swim. It wasn’t that she didn’t like playing in the water or sliding down a water slide. She simply didn’t want anyone holding her in deeper water. She was afraid.

I took a little different approach on this page regarding combining photos and words. I used the photos to tell the story of her success and the words to tell the story of how she overcame her fear. I wrote wanting her to remember that success often involves struggle. Kate loves going to swim lessons now, but initially she cried as she clutched the bars of the bench on which she sat. It has taken her three months to get to the point that she’s happy about going to swim lessons.

I used Anna’s templates for this double page spread, specifically two templates from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 3. The template design works well with other templates that I used for earlier pages, Serious About Play and Happy Place.

Except for a few changes to the fotoblendz masks on the templates, I used the templates as Anna designed them. On the large blended photo on the left, I added another copy of the photo above the fotoblendz layer and an inverted mask. With a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 8, I used white as my foreground color to reveal the rest of my granddaughter’s leg. I also used transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette H2O to fill in the water over the area that I masked out. On the right side, I used an overlay from the same palette and masked out the parts I didn’t want to extend the water across both pages.

Next, I clipped the other photos to the smaller frames and added adjustment layers. I recolored some of the stains or clipped a transfer to them.

Finally, I added a title and fish element from ArtPlay Palette H2O before finishing my journaling.

I have finished one more page for my book, a page with a significant family story about success and what it sometimes takes to achieve success. I do not have a set number of pages planned for this book project. I’m trying to keep this project simple and relaxed this year. The templates are making it easy to put the pages together.

Serious About Play

Kate is very serious about her play. When she says “talk about it” or directs saying “play with me”, that means let’s pretend play now! Every time we repeat the lines of a story we’ve read together or stop to examine something interesting, she is learning as she plays. It has been quite a while since we’ve walked out to the little bridge on the creek among the trees beyond the pond. The area was covered with dandelion seed heads on Thursday.

Every time we go out on an adventure together, I’m playing and learning too. I play with Kate and learn a little more about how to work more quickly with my camera to capture our moments together. I’m very grateful for the time with Kate and for a process that allows me to bring together some photos to create another story page. We are both very serious about our play. Today, I share part of my Photoshop play with some photos that I captured on an adventure Thursday afternoon.

I began this page with a composite of a photo and the psd layers of file 3 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7 and AnnaBlendz Artsy Brushes No. 8. I made adjustments to the large mask and clipped the composite to that layer. I duplicated the composite and clipped it to the other fotoblendz layers.

Note: Near the bottom of the layer’s panel is the folder that contains the original layers I used to create this composite. They are all linked. I sent a copy of the original photo to Topaz Simplify to get the painterly look for the background and attached a layer mask to that copy and masked out my granddaughter to allow the original photo of just her to show through. There is also another layer on soft light above the Simplify and original layers.

I used the same process using file 4 from Multilayered FotoBlendz No. 7 for the second photo. This time, I turned off two of the layers that didn’t work with my photo’s placement. I again made some adjustments directly on the mask as well as an attached layer mask with AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 8.

Next, I placed the layers of templates 4 and 5 from WaterColor Template Album No 4. While I used primarily the frames, I also used a texture and recolored the stains on template 4. I used the same photo treatment on all the framed photos. To create the out of bounds effect, I duplicated the photo layer and moved it above the frame. I stamped with brushes from ArtsyStains No. 3 to fill in the area.

For more depth I added png files from Spackle Textured No. 6. I stamped a paper texture from Paper Textures No. 3 on a new blank layer. I used brush files from MiniDots No. 1 to create the look of dandelion seeds blowing in the wind.

Finally, I incorporated my title with the layers of MultiMedia Suns No. 1, added another dandelion and wrote my journaling.

I think one could say that I have definitely been seriously playing this weekend.

A Little More Practice

After I have attended a class or video event, like Sunday’s NSD ArtPlay Un3dited, I like to practice with the concepts shared so that they become part of my repertoire for creating art within Photoshop. It’s especially fun to experiment with the ideas in a different way, to see what variations are possible. I began this page with a photo I captured early in April and the layers of transfer 5 from Artsy Transfers Pierian.

After placing my photo on a new blank 12×12 inch document, I exported it from Photoshop into Topaz Simplify and worked with the plug-in’s adjustments to add a more painted look to my photo. I duplicated the original twice and used the Find Edges filter on each copy with a one on color burn at 20% and another on multiply at 60%.

Next, I created a composite. I added a layer mask and applied a layer from artsy transfer 5 to the mask. For a painted texture, I added solid paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Moorlands on multiply at 50%.

After creating another composite, I reduced the size 50% and placed it to the left using the texture in the solid paper to guide me. Then I attached a layer mask and used brushes from ArtPlay Palette Moorlands, Clouds No. 1, an edge from Easy Torn Edges Layered Templates No. 2, applying two different techniques that Adryane shared on Sunday during NSD ArtPlay Un3dited Event.

After finishing my composite, I added bird layers from MultiMedia Birds No. 1 and brushes from Take Flight No. 2 behind the cutout openings. I also created a cluster with elements from ArtPlay Palette Pierian and ArtPlay Palette Moorlands for interest and to create a spot for a title.

What I enjoy about my experimenting is learning some new techniques for working with layer masks. This new learning fits so well with Anna’s Advanced Brushes Class. I think that I’m ready to use this information in a new way now.

Happy Place

Now that the weather is warming up, Kate and I often walk to the park. With spring in full force here, this is where she wants to be: playing, climbing, sliding, swinging and jumping on the equipment. The park is Kate’s happy place and if there are other kids there, even more so because that gives her someone else with whom she can pretend and play besides me. That’s when I focus on making more photos.

There is no way that I can scrap all the photos that I capture while we are playing at the park, but I want Kate to remember how much she loved playing there. With Anna’s artsy templates, I can combine photos from several different trips to the park to create an artsy page for this year’s book telling the story of how much she loves this place. Yes, this story page will be part of another book.

After reading Ulla-May’s tutorial, Artsy Sketch Effect, I wondered if the instructions of the tutorial might work with some playground photos since I don’t have many cityscapes as recommended for this effect. However, the photos that I capture of my granddaughter Kate on the colorful playground equipment she loves so much are often bright and bold with strong lines.

Following Ulla-May’s directions to create a sketch, the screen below shows what I got with my first photo. I adjusted the opacity on a couple of layers and changed the blend mode of the color layer to hard light. Otherwise, I simply followed the directions. I created a composite of all the layers to use with the template’s mask and stains rather than drag all the layers over to a new document.

First, I dragged all the layers of template 6 from WaterColor Album Template No. 4 to the left side of a new 24×12 inch document. I replaced the fotoblendz mask with a mask from template 9 but clipped copies of the photo to stains from both template 6 and template 9 to better accommodate my photo.

I followed the same process to create an artsy sketch with two additional photos and clipped those to the fotoblendz masks of template 7 on the right side of my page.

I clipped other photos to the framed masks as provided in the templates, adjusting as needed with adjustment layers. I did not apply the sketch effect to those photos.

Finally, I added a title, a glow from MultiMedia Suns No. 2 and a scribble from ScribbleSun No. 1 to finish my page. This page is bright and cheerful, just like Kate at the park. The artsy sketches add to the fun. I’ll definitely repeat the sketch effect on another page in this year’s book.

More On a Painterly Look

While I haven’t finished viewing all the videos from class, Creating Painterly Images, I thought I would share what I did with these white orchids using Topaz Lab’s plug-in Simplify as well another technique the instructor demonstrated in class. I have another six videos to view, all of which demonstrate how to add a painterly look within Photoshop or with a plug-in like Simplify from Topaz Labs. I haven’t viewed the class video on Topaz Labs yet, so what I share today is based on my current understanding of how the plug-in works.

Aside from the original extracted copy and custom drop shadow at the bottom of the orchid group, I created a sketch within Topaz Labs’ Simplify with one copy and a digital painting with another copy. On both of those copies I applied the inverted masks before taking them into Simplify. To the painterly copy, I clipped a lightened copy of solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Tres Bon. There are two more orchid copies: one for which I used the find edges filter and another copy of the painted version on color burn at 30%.

Note: I have been experimenting with Topaz Labs’ Simplify plug-in for more than two years. This link, Create a Digital Painting, is my favorite tutorial for using Topaz’s Simplify. It’s from 2014, but I still think this tutorial explains best how the Simplify plug-in works so that I can make my own adjustments on the presets provided in the software. Once you’ve done this a few times, you will not need to have the instructions on your computer screen while you work in the plug-in. This plug-in works in both Photoshop and PSE.

To soften the look of the orchids, I next created a composite of just the orchid group. I duplicated it three times. Then I rotated each copy maybe 4 or 5° both clockwise and counter clockwise and changed the blend mode of each to color burn at 25%.

Below the orchids, I placed two copies of transfer 5, copies of transfers 3 and 6 as well as the gold paint from ArtPlay Palette Tres Bon. I stamped brush 2 and brush 6 from Tres Bon No. 1 with a dark brown on new layers and changed the blend mode to linear burn. I changed the blend mode of transfer 3 to color burn and transfer 6 to linear burn.

For dimension, I placed file 6 from UrbanStitched Leaves No. 3 along with threads from UrbanThreadz No. 9 and UrbanThreadz No. 11. I should try to use the .abr files for stamping the threads, but I have an old habit involving searching and then dragging over the file that I need to break. I recolored the button and added a thread from ButtonThreadz No. 2. I stamped my title on a new blank layer just under the orchids in the same dark brown I used for the brushes.

I will let you know soon what I learn in the last six class videos.

List of Brush Strategies

If you’re taking Anna’s Advanced Brushes class, then you know that the assignment this week is to try one or more of the techniques that Anna demonstrated in a layout. Next week, we’re going to be looking at more brush techniques in a new DigitalART project. Incorporating some of the techniques that Anna shared has been quite a challenge for me. I tried to choose those strategies that I am more likely to use on a regular basis as part of my process.

First, I loaded WallTextures No. 2 into Photoshop and selected brush 2 to stamp on a new blank layer. I changed the blend mode to linear burn and masked out part of the brush with a layer mask. For this page, I used only .abr brush files rather than png brushes.

I clipped a copy of a photo to the brush.

Next, I selected a few brushes from the AnnaBlendz Artsy brush series to begin compiling an .abr file of my favorite brushes. I also added some stains I’d incorporated into another .abr file to my brush panel. I used those brushes to reveal parts of two copies of the photo of the cyclamen lining the path by stamping on inverted masks. The first copy is on normal blend mode at 100% and the one above on overlay at 100%.

Before beginning this page, I experimented making my own brush from the cyclamen petals in a photo. I distressed my new brush. I used my new brush by rotating the brush tip as I stamped on an inverted mask as well as two AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes that I changed in the shape dynamics part of the brush panel.

I dragged those layers to my new layout and placed them below the wall texture brush in order to fill in the flower bed. Two lower layers are on normal blend mode, another layer is on overlay and the top layer is on soft light. I duplicated one more copy of the photo that I had clipped to the wall texture brush and used brushes to contain my blending. That’s a concept that Anna explained last month in aAYear of ArtPlay.

To create a background, I created another brush from a photo of a door and brick wall using the strategies Anna demonstrated in class. I chose a color from the color picker and stamped my new brush on a new blank layer. Then I erased parts using a brush with the eraser tool. I’m divided on whether I prefer a layer mask or simply using the eraser tool to delete parts of brush layers. A layer mask makes it easy to make changes. However, the eraser tool is quick, especially for distressing. I can see benefits to using both strategies. Above my door and new brush, I stamped brush 4 from WallTextures No. 2. I used the eraser tool to modify the brush layers.

Below my door, I stamped brush 7 from WallTextures No. 1. I erased parts with the eraser tool. I added gold paint 2 from ArtPlay Palette For the Record to the edge of the door. Between my door layers, I added glow 2 from ButterflyGlows No. 1. I changed the blend mode to color burn at 45%. I think using the glows for adding color is easiest for me at the moment.

To finish my page, I placed a butterfly from ArtPlay Palette Studious and adjusted the levels of the butterfly to increase the contrast. Then I clipped two copies of a photo and adjusted it’s position. I tacked the butterfly down with a thread from UrbanThreadz No. 4. Next, I added a title to my page and splatters from Artsy Transfers For the Record to create a visual triangle of black.

Finally, I added solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Sugar and lightened it with a levels layer on screen blend mode at 45%.

What strategies did I use on this page?

  • used .abr files rather than png brush files
  • clipped a photo to a brush
  • stamped brushes on inverted masks
  • made adjustments to brush tips in the brush panel, i.e. shape dynamics, scattering
  • blended photos with brushes on layer masks, i.e. contain image to improve the blending
  • created my own brush presets from photos
  • distressed a brush layer with the eraser tool

These are all techniques with which I want to develop more expertise. I’ll watch the upcoming lesson next week and decide what else I want to add to my list of strategies.

More Brush Practice

While I was walking around the lake a couple of weeks ago, I came upon a man tossing sticks into the water for his dogs to retrieve. I wouldn’t want to be those dogs. The water was cold, but the dogs seemed to love the play. He was so pleased when I emailed him some prints of the photos I captured, telling me he didn’t have photos of his dogs.

To create this page, I began playing with the transfers and overlays from MiniArtPlay Palette Gelid, stacking several along the right edge above a solid paper.

Then I continued to practice with brushes in Photoshop. As part of my participation in Anna’s class, I have decided that I will upload the brushes included with each artplay palette rather than use the png files. The more I practice with the brush panel, the easier it will be to use brushes as part of my process. (Note: this isn’t a complicated page, I’m more interested in developing new habits at the moment.)

I placed my photo above a solid paper, overlays and transfers. Then I clipped an inverted mask to the photo by pressing the option (alt) key and clicking on the add layer mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel. My photo disappeared. Next, I stamped brush 6 from Countryside Brushes No. 2 with white as my foreground color twice at 100%. Yes, I love this brush set! I changed the blend mode of the brush layer to multiply. Where needed, I stamped brush 2 from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 4.

In aA Year of ArtPlay’s February class, Anna talked about the idea of containing an image. With a brush from MiniPalette Gelid, I stamped below the dogs with a blue sampled from the water. I don’t think I would have done this using just png files. This is another reason for having the brushes preloaded in the brush panel. I also added a fotoglow from WarmGlows No. 3 below the photo to simulate the sun’s direction.

Finally, I placed a wood word art from Scenic WordART No. 1, tacked it down with a stitch from MiniArtPlay Palette Gelid and added a few sentences for context about this photo. Yes, I could have done more with elements, but I’m more interested in learning to work with brushes, i.e. what’s going to be most convenient. So I’m happy with the simple look of this page.

MiniArtPlay Palette Gelid will be available beginning Friday with a $20 purchase for the birthday sale at Oscraps.

One Idea Leads to Another

This layout was inspired by content in Anna’s class, Advanced Brushes, as well as her class, aAYear of ArtPlay. After finishing the videos from lesson 1, I sat down to play with some of the ideas from class. All I wanted to do was practice so I would remember some of the new information. I didn’t intend to create a new page. However, the brush play led to another idea that I picked up from the February lesson of aA ArtPlay. Before I knew it I had created this layout with one photo, a new brush from Countryside Brushes No. 2, Artsy Transfers Moorlands, MultiMedia Leaves No. 6 and ArtPlay Palette Moorlands. Sometimes, artplay is like that, one idea leads to another and then another.

I will admit that I tend to just use the png versions of Anna’s brushes, well except for her AnnaBlendz brushes. After uploading the new brushes, I stamped brush 4 on a new blank layer and clipped my photo to the brush. I chose this one because I thought the watercolor look of the lower part would work with the water in my photo and I liked the dominant horizontal line in the brush. There is also a pretty texture on the left that is a little hard to see on the white background. I did enlarge the brush a little with the bracket keys before stamping it on a new layer.

Then I placed a duplicate copy of the photo, linked to the original, below the brush and original photo. I added an inverted mask to my duplicate and stamped with the same brush, using white for as the foreground color, on the black mask. I changed the blend mode of that photo copy to multiply. To fill in the upper space, I used a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 5. The blending brush I chose is quite open so I left my opacity at 100% and stamped in the area above the lake to bring back in the trees and bicyclist.

Next, I dragged the layers of file 1 from Artsy Transfers Moorlands. I turned off three layers and adjusted the color with a hue and saturation layer to work with my photo. I love the flexibility available with psd layers of Anna’s transfers.

I then placed a fotoglow above the photo layers and changed the blend mode to overlay at 40% in order to lighten the area around the bicyclist.

Finally, I added the psd layers of file 4 from MultiMedia Leaves No. 6 and adjusted the color of the leaves with a hue and saturation layer. With a subtitle below a word art from Scenic WordART No. 1 and another copy of the fotoglow on normal at 50%, I finished my page.

I am not going to add any journaling, after all, this layout was just supposed to be a few minutes of practicing with class material. Now that I have finished a page, I will print it for an album and remember how much I enjoy on going learning. I’m already looking forward to the next lesson in Anna’s Advanced Brushes that comes out later today!!!

 

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