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Tag: Anna Aspnes Designs (Page 1 of 11)

Photograph Art

After a wonderful visit with my sister last week, I’m just now beginning to work with some of the photographs that I created while in California. Although my art primarily emanates from my photography, at times, a page is inspired by both the photograph and the designs with which I work. In this case, the greens in Anna’s palette inspired me to use this photograph.

I began by placing artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Heath, but soon switched it out for solid paper 2 in order to eliminate the sky. I placed transfer 1 in the same position as on the artsy paper.

Next, I created a sketch of the photo and clipped it to mask 1 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 11. I changed the color of the mask to white to accommodate a blend mode of linear burn on my sketch.

Above the sketch, I clipped the photo, added an inverted layer mask and revealed the color photo by stamping on the mask with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 8. The photo layer is on normal blend mode at 100%. I added a levels adjustment layer above the photo on overlay blend mode to brighten the photo.

Next, I roughly extracted the pagoda from a second copy of the sketch and placed it above the other photo layers. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 100% but I did not clip it to the mask. That allowed the pagoda to dominate the scene since it wasn’t clipped to the mask. I also place art stroke 1 above the group of photo layers.

With the addition of a title and text from Inspire WordART Mix No. 1, a button and leaf from ArtPlay Palette Heath, a thread 14 from ButtonThreadz No. 1 and some journaling, I finished my page.

Initially I struggled with where to place the journaling, but after I extracted the pagoda so that it rose above the masking, I though it provided enough balance to place the little cluster, text and word art on the right side. I like that the photo still dominates the page.

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On a Flight

On my flight to California, I created this page with Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Lavaliere. I’m in California celebrating a birthday with my twin sister, so you are more likely to see photos rather than pages on my blog this week.

I began this page by placing solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Lavaliere as well as the layers of file 4 from MultiMedia Lock and Key No. 1.

Note: I adjusted the color of the lock by clipping a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer to the group of file 4 layers. I also later added a layer mask to erase a part of the image so that it wouldn’t interfere with my photo.

Below the multimedia file layers, I stamped two copies of brush 4 in Lock and Key N0. 1 in a warm pink and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 100%. I added glow 2 from LoveGlows No. 2 and changed the blend mode to color at 100%.

I then placed a photo of my granddaughter between the lock and the brush layers and blended the photo into the background paper. I duplicated the photo and I extracted her with the Magic Wand tool before giving her image a custom drop shadow.

Next, I placed the layers of file 4 from Artsy Transfers Lavaliere. I adjusted the color of the transfer layer with a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer. I placed glow 1 from ArtPlay Palette Sun Fun on color burn at 100% to brighten the right corner.

Note: I added a Levels adjustment layer to the solid paper at 50% on screen blend mode. I also went back to adjust the blending of photo layers.

Finally, I added a title and journaling to finish my layout.

While working on this layout, I thought about what Anna shared in her AnnaNews email this week regarding changes she’s making in order to make more progress on the things she wants to accomplish. I think my art play was a great use of my time on the flight to Los Angeles even if I forgot to put on my AirPods so I could listen to some of my unfinished coursework while I played. That’s what I intended to do. Maybe on the flight home I will.

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One Photo and an Artsy Paper

We were out playing Pokemon Go yesterday when I saw these geese, most sitting on the ice surrounding a few swimming in an unfrozen circle of water. That geese even winter here surprises me considering how long our cold winters are, but they do. Bill stopped the car and I jumped out with my iPhone in hand. The scene was beautiful as the sun was setting, although I don’t think my snapshot did justice to the view.

In this post, I share how I enhanced the color of one iPhone snapshot before clipping it to masks in order to blend it into an artsy paper from Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Brumal.

Enhance Photo

Drag the photo onto a new blank 12×12 document. Resize to fit the page. To enhance the photo, duplicate the original and change the blend mode to Darker Color at 100%. Then reduce the opacity of the original to 75%. Add a Levels adjustment layer, blend mode Linear Light at 30%. Add another Levels adjustment layer, blend mode Linear Burn at 50%. Place a sketch layer above all the photo layers and change the blend mode to Multiply. Mask each layer as needed to emphasize and blend the color in the photo. Note: I created a composite of the layers to clip to a second mask.

Place Masks and Recolor

Place png masks 1 and 5 from Brumal FotoBlendz No. 1 just below the original photo. Note: I recolored the masks white so that I could use darkening blend modes on my photo, i.e. Color Burn, Multiply, Linear Burn.

Clip Layers to Masks

Clip the layers of photo to mask 1 and the composite to mask 5.

Place Artsy Paper

Place artsy paper 1 on Normal blend mode below the the photo layers. To intensify the color add a duplicate copy above on Multiply blend mode at 50%. Note: The design of the artsy paper creates a natural ending transition for the masks.

Add Glows

Above the photo layers, add the FotoGlow from file 7 of MultiMedia Branches No. 7 and glow 3 of WarmGlows No. 7 to enhance the setting sun in the photo.

Journaling, Button and Threadz

Add word art from Winter WordART Mix No 2, button from ArtPlay Palette Brumal, thread 5 from ButtonThreadz No. 2, thread 4 from HandStitchez No. 1. Complete journaling.

Not every page needs to be complicated to be effective. Sometimes one photo, a couple of glows and an artsy paper are enough.

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Christmas Colors?


It’s a tradition for me to hand my camera off and to sit with grandchildren on the fireplace for a quick snapshot at Christmas. This is my present to myself. Our Christmas isn’t fancy, just a meal together and watching the kids open gifts. From my perspective nothing more is needed to celebrate the birth of Christ than everyone being together again.

Having both Jeff and Jen together for Christmas this year brought back sweet memories of them as little kids. Hard to believe the black and white photo on the layout above was taken forty years ago. I miss those moments; maybe that’s why this Christmas with them both was so precious.

However, I struggled with this layout, specifically the colors. To begin, I moved two templates from Project Template Album No. 3 on to a new blank 24×12 document, I had already selected the photos I wanted to include on the page. I switched out the frames on the bottom left to accommodate the orientation of those photos.

Then I clipped my photos to the masks and frames. I wondered how I would create a Christmas page with the intense colors in our clothes. I tried changing the photos to black and white to help calm the page, but that didn’t look right either.

I finally settled on desaturating the color in each photo to soften the look a little. However, I was frustrated and walked away from this page for two days.

Returning to my page, I began experimenting with brushes to try to bring in more Christmas colors in an effort to tie the page together. I stamped a brush from Christmas Trees No. 1 on a new layer in a muted green in the gutter of the layout.

However, it wasn’t until a friend sent me a wreath that I knew how to solve my color problem. A bow from ArtPlay Palette Gentle Morning had been recolored a rusty red. That helped pull in the salmon pink of Kate’s outfit.

I sampled that color with the color picker and stamped brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 8 to fill in the background behind the photos. I adjusted the opacity and blend modes. I also added a button from ArtPlay Palette Merry Tree (color adjusted with hue and saturation layer) and ArtPlay Palette Joyeux and tacked them down with two threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2.

As much as I love these snapshots, the color scheme proved especially difficult for creating a Christmas layout. I have to admit that part of me wondered whether I should have reminded them to wear Christmas colors when I saw what I uploaded to Lightroom. I mean, it would have made for a prettier page if the colors were more harmonious. In the end, I can tell the snapshots on this layout were taken at Christmas. That’s enough for the individuals in my family!

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Christmas Memory

I captured this shot of Kate putting her letter to Santa in his mailbox when we went to see him recently. She had written a series of letters and signed her name on her letter to Santa. While Santa has her first letter now, I thought she might like to know how she was thinking about letters Santa, so I asked her to dictate to me a letter to Santa. I created a brush with her signature.

I created a sketch first and than applied a photo treatment to a copy of the original with Topaz Simplify. The sketch is on linear burn blend mode at 100%. The original below is at 5%. The first layer clipped to the sketch is on normal at 25%. The other layers clipped to the sketch layer are on soft light, screen and overlay at 100%. There is one more sketch layer above those clipped to the first sketch. That layer is on multiply at 50%. I gave that layer a custom shadow for depth.

Next, above the photo group, I placed transfer 5 from ArtPlay Palette Kitschmas and adjusted the red with a hue and saturation adjustment layer. Below the group of photo layers, I placed an art stroke and color overlay from the art play palette. Below that I stamped brush 1 from Kitschmas No. 1.

Solid paper 2A in ArtPlay Palette Kitschmas has little red Santas embedded in the pink background. I wanted those Santas but on a white background. To remove the pink but keep the red Santas, I used replace color under adjustments in the image menu. There are two copies on linear burn at 100%.

I also used the content aware tool to copy and move one little Santa to repeat the color motif under Kate’s signature.

That completed a simple layout about a Christmas memory.

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One Thing Led to Another

I went off by myself to Lauritzen Gardens on Friday. The staff creates a beautiful display each December with miniature trains, Christmas trees and Poinsettias. This year native little bluestem, goldenrod and Western meadowlark adorned the trees. The bird ornaments were cleverly made from paper plates. You would think that after nearly a five hundred shots, I would have captured everything. Unfortunately, it’s often not until I get home that I realize I should have tried a different perspective on a photo. There is always something new to learn in photography.

I would also like to be able to say that I purposefully created this page based on a preconceived design for the final product. I can’t. It was more a series of experiments that followed an initial idea to simply clip a photo to a mask and then extract the paper meadowlark for dimension.

Unfortunately, the page just wasn’t working in my mind. Rather than waste the extraction, I reduced the meadowlarks’ size and gave it a custom shadow. I placed some berries from MultiMedia Christmas Trees No. 2 just above his beak.

That first extraction led me back to Lightroom to find the tree decorated with paper meadowlarks in order to provide a context for the extraction. I clipped the tree to mask 5 in MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 6. I made some adjustments directly on the mask with blending brushes and attached a layer mask to eliminate a part of the mask.

Next, I extracted three more paper birds, gave them each a shadow and hung them on the tree.

To build the background, I stamped brushes 2 and 3 from WaterColor Trees No. 2. I clipped copies of the first photo I placed on this page and moved it around for variety in the trees’ color.

Below the trees, I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palette Joyeux on normal blend mode and hid parts using a brush on a layer mask.

Above the stamped trees, I placed the layers of psd file 3 from MultiMedia Holiday No. 4.

I could have left the page asymmetrical in design but chose to recreate the horizontal design of artsy paper 3, I placed the layers of transfer 4 from Artsy Transfers Joyeux as well as pieces from transfers 1 and 3 on the left and below the focal tree.

Finally, I placed the title from Holiday WordART Mix No. 7 in the space on the upper left to balance the journaling. This page is busier than I normally like, but when I turned off parts, it didn’t look right to me.

I usually find it helpful to try turning off and on parts in the layers panel if a page isn’t working or looks cluttered. I did that several times during the process of creating this page. Rather than labor on this any more, I’m going to let it go and move on to working with some of the other photos that I captured on Friday at Lauritzen Gardens.

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Forever Together

Anna’s latest release reminded me that next September will mark our 50th anniversary, yes 50 years living life together. Geese generally mate for life. In fact, if one mate dies, the other goes off in seclusion to mourn, often never mating again. I think Bill and I are a lot like these geese. We’ve been together for nearly fifty years. If he dies, I’m not going to choose another man. It would simply be too much work in my mind, not that our marriage hasn’t been good because it has. I just think that after 50 years, I’m too old for a second go around. I know that I’d never find a better man!!

I began this page by clipping a photo of a pair of geese to png mask 1 from Flock FotoBlendz No. 1. I added adjustment layers to improve the color and contrast of my photo.

Below the masked photo, I placed transfers 2, 3 and 5 from ArtPlay Palette Flock as well as overlay 1, 2 and the gold overlay to create a variation on an artsy paper as I explained in another post, Artsy Paper Play. In addition, I also placed artsy paper 2 just above solid paper 1. With an artsy brush on an inverted mask, I revealed part of the right side of the paper.

In the screenshot above, part of the tail of the goose on the right fades away into the mask. To solve that problem, I extracted both geese with the Quick Selection tool, gave them a shadow and placed both above the original photo. The extractions also add depth to the page.

Above the geese, I placed transfer 1 along the same line as the grass on transfer 3 which is hidden by the mask and photo.

I added the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Birds No. 2 just as they are provided in the set.

I created the title by erasing part of word art from Gather WordART Mix No. 2 and added a word that better fit my journaling.

Finally, I used three pieces of the grass, resized, a word label and a flower to create a small cluster to border the journaling.

This page came together quickly which was a good thing this weekend. I’ve been out playing Pokemon Go for the special Thanksgiving event in our beautiful weather and finally made level 37.

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A Colorful Sketch

This evening, I played with a mini palette, ArtPlay MiniPalette Jocund, that Anna will release free with a $20 purchase on Black Friday as part of Oscraps’ sales. I thought the gold and white would create a beautiful contrast for a colorful photo.

In Lightroom, I chose the sketch version of a Christmas tree photo. I altered the original photo on the right using a technique that Ulla-May shared. On my layout below, I had simplified the technique.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write down my exact steps at that time, so I hope viewing the video helps you create the effect on a photo of your own. Remember, you don’t have to use smart objects to get this effect so this technique works in Photoshop and Elements.

This was a quick layout because I had already given my photo an artsy sketch effect based on the video. I placed the layers of my altered photo below the frame on solid paper 2. I changed the blend mode of the grouped layers to multiply at 100%.

I placed lace 1 and 2, gold paint 2 and two copies of transfer 3 below the photo and frame.

I created a cluster with elements from the artplay palette and a piece of pine from ArtPlay Palette Pinery. However, my layout appeared unfinished to me.

So I placed a copy of tree sketch composite between the gold paint and two copies of transfer 3. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 50% and used a brush on a mask to conceal parts.

I hope you will play with Ulla-May’s technique to create a colorful sketch of your own. It really is easy.

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An iPhone and a Template

 

When Corbin and Kate spent the night a couple of weeks ago, we walked down to the trees beyond the pond. All I had with me was my iPhone 6 to capture my grandson’s gallantry towards his sister as he helped her mimic whatever he did, including leaping over a little stream. I did warn them about getting wet if they fell into the water below. As you can tell by the photos, Kate was hesitant at first, but soon enough began directing her brother exactly where she wanted him to stand in order to help her. It was getting dark so I had to increase the exposure later in Lightroom. Some of the photos were a little blurry, something I accepted as part of making photos of active children with an iPhone, or any camera for that matter, as the sun was setting.

For this two page spread, I used two templates from Anna’s new album, Project Template Album No. 3. Note: I put a title in the place of a textbox on the template and deleted the numbers as well as the tape and hipster plumes.

First, I clipped photos to the large fotoblendz masks and stains below, adjusting the exposure with adjustment layers.

Next, I clipped photos to the small frames, again making adjustments to the photos with adjustment layers. Note: I changed two of the photos to black and white with Topaz Studio.

I then placed copies of three small photos above their respective frames, extracted my granddaughter and grandson with the Quick Selection tool and cleaned up the framing with a small hard brush on the layer mask created with the extraction.

I stamped stains from ArtsyStains No. 3 and ArtsyStains No. 5 below both templates for additional color.

For the gutter, I placed another photo and changed it to black and white with an adjustment layer. I then added an inverted layer mask to the photo and stamped with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 8 and ArtsyStains No. 3 to reveal just parts of the photo.

Finally, I added paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 and PaperTextures No. 5 to finish my page.

My layout was quick and easy to complete with the snapshots I captured that evening with my old iPhone. Digital scrapbooking can’t get much easier!!

However, technology changes quickly, definitely on phone cameras. Like my grandchildren, I made a leap too and bought a new iPhone X last week. I haven’t gotten to take many photos with it yet, but what I captured of Kate last weekend, see examples below, with the new portrait mode definitely show the technical improvements over my older iPhone. I don’t think the blur is as good as my Fuji X-T2, but if you look closely, you will see that the background is indeed blurred, much like you would get with a DSLR. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my new iPhone.

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Embrace the Change

The Red Sunset Maple we planted in our yard in 2012 isn’t quite so little anymore. I’ve been taking photos of it every year when the leaves change. This year, it’s just now in full color. I keep trying different angles. I’m waiting for some sunshine before capturing some photos this year.

Anna Aspnes has a knack for creating shadowed overlays and transfers in her artplay palettes, but overlay 2 has got to be one of my all time favorites. I dragged just the overlay from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja onto a new blank document with solid paper 1 below and started thinking.

Although I don’t have the skills to create the kind of shadows that Anna creates, I decided to import a photo of just a branch from my Red Sunset Maple tree and try creating something similar. I extracted the branch and created custom shadow by duplicating the extraction, filling it with a dark brown, tweaking the shape with the warp transform tool and changing the blend mode to linear burn. I added a layer mask to the shadow, reduced the opacity in order to try to get it to look more realistic.

To fill the background, I placed artsy paper 2 below my extraction. That helped give my branch more dimension.

I then placed transfer 3, transfer 5 and art stroke 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja. I adjusted the position of overlay 2 so that it was directly above the overlay on solid paper 2 and changed the blend mode of overlay 2 to multiply to add depth to the paper. Note: That overlay is part of solid paper 2.

With a title from Change WordART Mix No. 1, a mix of two psd files from MultiMedia Branches No. 9 and a sentence of journaling, I decided my page was finished.

Now, what I really want to learn is how to shadow the way Anna does!

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