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Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: blending modes (Page 1 of 3)

Variety of Greens

There is usually a story behind every photo made. In this case after walking in the warm sunshine my sister, Glenda, and I enjoyed a salmon salad at the Farmhouse, a lovely open air bistro on the grounds of Roger’s Gardens. I suppose a photo of the salad might have marked our day better than these fake succulents, but this trip was filled with work days helping my daughter move. Once we found a little shade, I helped my sister photograph these with her new camera. Sometimes, I simply take what I get and fill in the details of the story in order to document an event. Sometimes, I just want to remember a time together.

This was a very simple layout to put together using Anna’s new release. I actually chose this photo to document our lunch based on the color scheme of the new ArtPlay Palette Notabilia. I placed transfer 1 from the new artplay palette on a new blank document and blended my photo into the transfer using an inverted layer mask.

Note: I adjusted the color in my photo with a hue and saturation adjustment layer, but I learned a valuable lesson on color as I worked with this page.

Next, I placed the layers of psd file 2 from MultiMedia Documents No. 2 to create a frame effect around my photo. I switched out the flower with one from the artplay palette and added word art from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I clipped an extracted copy of the same photo I had clipped to the transfer to the paper layer for the document multimedia file.

While I liked the photo on the multimedia document, I did not think there was enough interest on my page. I then opened Artsy Layered Template No. 255 and dragged the layers below my multimedia layers and turned them off. First, I moved the frames, text boxes, splatter and art stroke above the document layers but below the succulent element, thread and word art. I reduced the size of the frames slightly and recolored them an off white. The white frames appeared too stark with the color scheme. I wrote my journaling and added a subtitle from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I could have left my page as below, but it appeared incomplete to me.

I began turning on the template layers that I had grouped below the multimedia layers. I recolored some stains, adjusted the blend mode and deleted some layers until I though I had created a soft background for the document file. I especially liked the look of the textured paper on the left with the paper in the document file.

I though I was finished with this page, until I looked again at the lack of variation in color on my page. So I reopened the file, adjusted my framed photos a little more, recolored some of the template stains and reduced the opacity.

I like the more natural variety in greens on this page much better now. Too much matching of color is not always a good thing.

Perspective

What I see as I look through my camera lens isn’t always what my artist side puts on a layout. Often, I don’t even know what a piece of art will look like until I begin experimenting. However, that’s the joy I find in creating, finding a different perspective than what I initially saw in my camera.

For this page, I began with a photo that I captured last week and file 4 of MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. After working with my photo, I clipped copies to the different layers.

Next, I extracted the gates to the Victorian Garden from another photo and placed that over the first photo. While I liked the look, I didn’t think it looked as artsy as I wanted.

So I created a composite by pressing the keys command + option + shift + 6.

I turned off my composite temporarily and placed brush 1 from Cameras No. 4 on my page and changed the blend mode to linear burn.

I used the Elliptical Marquee tool to cut a copy of the center of the lens on the brush. I placed the copy just above the original and filled it in more with brushes.

I reduced the size of a copy of my composite and clipped it to the copy of the brush lens that I had created.

Next I clipped a larger copy of my composite to the original camera brush.

I placed brush 7 from Camera No. 4 below and clipped another linked copy of the photo to it. I placed one more copy of brush 1 on normal at 40% normal blend mode.

To emphasize the lens of the camera brush, I placed two threads from UrbanThreadz No. 14 and one from UrbanThreadz No. 3. I stamped some splatters from Splatters No. 1 on new blank layers and positioned them on a diagonal.

To finish my layout, I added a title and journaling explaining why I created this piece of art. I think it important for my family to know why I create from a different perspective at times.

Experimenting with Daylilies

I used to have a picture book about daylilies; I can’t find it now. But I remember that’s where I found a Hemerocallis variety that would grow in Southern California. After moving to Nebraska, I found another variety, Happy Day, this one with sunny yellow blooms. They only last a day, but they contrast beautifully with the blue Balloon Flowers and Rozanne Geraniums that I planted next to them in my garden.

I would like to add a second side to this page for my flower book. Unfortunately, July is past the peak bloom for my daylilies to look their best. So I am going to save this layout so that I can add to it later.

I often use templates to create my pages. This page is based on Artsy Layered Template No. 253. I may change or delete layers, even move parts, but for me they provide an good starting point for an artsy page. After dragging over all the layers of template 253, I turned off all but the small frames and text box. In place of the mask included in the template, I placed png mask 4 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 8. I chose this mask because the shape was similar to transfer 8 from ArtPlay Palette Abrazo that I wanted to use for this layout.

Next, I layered additional photo copies as well as copies transfer 8 from ArtPlay Palette Abrazo. First I blended in a layer with just one flower from my photo on darken blend mode at 70%. Second, a copy of transfer 8 on pin light blend mode at 100%. Third, I blended in part of the photo to show through part of the transfer.

Above that I placed another copy of the transfer on normal blend mode at 100% and added a layer mask to hide parts of the transfer so that the photo showed through. Finally, I added one more copy of the photo, attached an inverted mask and blended back enough to fill the suggested frame in the transfer.

At this point I turned back on several template layers, recolored some, adjusted positions in the layers panel and changed the blend mode of others. My goal was to ensure that the texture showed through the photo layers. I also placed solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Abrazo.

Once I finished working with the photo and template layers, I wrote my journaling, added a mini cluster with a button and thread from UrbanThreadz No. 14 to anchor the small frames, placed a title and two more buttons to create a visual triangle.

Yes, I think starting with a template makes creating an artsy page much easier. Once you place the layers of a template, then it’s a matter of playing with placement of layers, blending and blend modes to create the look you want. Try experimenting with multiple copies of a photo and transfer by changing blend modes and revealing parts with layer masks.

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Feed the Goats If You Dare

You wouldn’t think that goats would be more agressive than deer to feed. However, they were. It looked so easy when Corbin held the seeds in his hand for the goats. They tried to eat Logan’s cup and seeds. Both Logan and Corbin just laughed at their antics.

Unfortunately, when Kate held up her cup of seeds, the goats knocked it to the ground. Poor Kate cried while mommy picked up the cup and gathered a few seeds to put back in Kate’s cup. Then Owen lectured the goats on their behavior.

After Corbin showed Kate how to line up some seeds on the railing, she started placing some on the wooden railing while the rest of the family kept the goats busy. Once she had placed some seeds, she waited for the goats to come over to eat them. Kate laughed when three goats battled for the seeds she had left on the railing.

Below are some of the pages that I’ve already finished. The book I am working on this year may not have as many pages as previous years. I’m not worried about the number of pages that I complete; I just want to document some of our stories.

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I am using a similar format for each page: a template, a light background, blending in the background, hand written font for the title. Today’s page is no different.

I placed template 2 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 on the left with out making any changes other than stamping directly on the fotoblendz mask to darken areas to accommodate my photo. On the right, I placed template 8 but substituted the frames from template 4 to better fit my photos. On this side, I enlarged the fotoblendz mask and layers below about 15% so that it extended across the page gutter. I clipped my focal photos to the masks and stains below.

Next, I clipped additional photos to the small frames and attached a levels adjustment layer to each on soft light at 50%. I adjusted the exposure of some of the photos with the camera raw filter.

I created the sky by blending together two transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and pieces from Artsy Transfers Coastline. I used the same background paper, solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso that I used for the photos that I captured the same day at Deer Park.

I switched out two urban threads for two included with the template, wrote my journaling and added a title. Finally, I added an arrow from eA Arrows No. 1 to connect the the title with photos and the story.

Combining photos and stories with a template make my process for creating the pages for my book simple and fast, just the way I like it.

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ArtPlay Homework

I have gotten a little behind with the lessons from A Year of ArtPlay 2017, but I found some time over the holiday weekend to tackle the June class that Anna released a week ago. I like to call my pages following classes my homework assignments, as I have found that when I apply the concepts soon after watching the class videos, I am much more likely to consistently incorporate Anna’s techniques into my own artily.

As a retired teacher, I also know the value of applying new information in my own unique way. I literally practice applying what is presented in a class, but I try to change or adapt the lesson content to my own prior learning. Simply put, practice the skills taught and then try to use them in a different way.

After viewing June’s lesson, which entails three videos each just over 20 minutes long, I went in search of a photo that I could use. Although Anna provided her layout and photo, I chose not to use those tools because I prefer to practice with my own photos. So my layout does not look like Anna’s. Using a different photo pushes me to adapt and apply what I viewed in class videos.

I’m not going to explain in depth specifically what I did on this page as Anna does a far better job in the three videos. Rather I hope these screen shots will encourage you to take a look at A Year of ArtPlay 2017.

First I blended a photo and sketch together.

Second, I worked with an artsy paper and transfers. I tried at least a half dozen papers before making my decision to blend an artsy paper with a solid from ArtPlay Palette Parasio and transfers from Artsy Transfers Parasio. Note: the idea for the glow in the background was taken from a completely different ArtPlay artsy paper.

The last steps involved something Anna calls “puzzle blending”, working with several brush techniques, embellishing and creating a title.

I am always pleased after finishing one of Anna’s lessons from A Year of ArtPlay 2017, pleased with my art homework and pleased with the new ideas I learn from class.

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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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Play With Me Grandma!

I just finished sorting about 3000 photos from our trip last week down to more than eight hundred with which I might create pages for my annual book. Yesterday, while I was sorting, my daughter shared with me some of her memories as a child. Without even opening an old album, I remembered what she was describing. I also knew that despite not having many photos from when she was a child, the photos I had captured helped her remember things we did together as a family.

After my daughter called, I thought about my granddaughter Kate and how much I want her to remember our time playing together. In my last post, I wrote that I don’t often hand my camera off to anyone else. That’s the reason I’m not often in the family photos. I just don’t like having my picture taken. As I’ve gotten older the dislike has only gotten worse. However, on this trip, I handed my camera to my son twice and asked him to take a few pictures of me and Kate playing together. Since photos of me are rare, I decided to begin creating pages about our trip with these photos of the two of us.

If I can get beyond the dilemma of too many photos, creating pages with templates is the easy part of my process. I began this 24×12 inch page with mask 5 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7 placed over solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso. To each layer of the psd mask, I clipped linked copies of my photo.

I did not know exactly which template I would use. Sometimes, I switch out the masks included in templates just for the variety. Sometimes, I just like the look of a mask and then search for small frames from a template that fit the shape of the mask.

Since I wanted to combine photos from both days on one two page spread, I looked for a template that would accommodate a vertical photo of me and Kate standing in the water. I loved Kate’s wave to her daddy in this photo. I clipped it to the mask included with template 3 from WaterColor Template Album No. 4 as well as some of the template stains.

However, rather than use the supplied small frames, I chose two from template 11 from the same album. I had already used template 3 once, but by switching out the small frames with those from template 11, I changed the look and better accommodated two more vertical photos. I added brush 7,overlay 2 and a little boat (recolored with a color overlay from the style menu) from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso.

Note: I extracted Kate’s foot for an out of bounds look on the left side.

For color balance on my page, I decided to mix the photos across both sides rather than separate them by date. I chose just the frames, text boxes and urban thread from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 2. However, I tilted the small frames a little so that they looked more like the style on the left. I clipped my photos to the small frames and adjusted the exposure and color of the water with adjustment layers. Because the included frames were a little larger, I deleted those and added a stroke style in white to the masks to simulate frames.

To add interest on the page gutter and to tie the two pages together, I placed another mask from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7, png file 4.

My page style is consistent with the other pages I’ve already finished for my book this year: a light background, journaling, clear page edges, something across the page gutter, an informal font title, urban threadz, minimal elements, masks and blending. However, this page is extra special in that I am now pictured in my book; I’m not just the author and photographer. The next time Kate says, “Grandma, play with me,” I will remember this page of memories playing together: holding hands while floating on our backs, jumping in the waves, riding a boat and climbing ladders to slip down slides.

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White on White Plus Pink

With the warm weather and longer days now, when Kate spends the night we enjoy being outside together. Last Saturday, I suggested that she help me pick enough peonies to fill a watering can. Just so you’ll know, a grandmother who also likes to play with her camera, someone like me for example, sometimes plans for these photographic adventures. This time I suggested to Kate that she might like to wear the dress that I’d given her for Christmas to pick the pretty flowers. With her hair in a loose bun and no shoes on her feet, she danced out to the peonies with that watering can in hand. And if you are wondering how I got her to sit still for a moment, Kate climbed up on the table when I asked, “Can you see the robins nesting in the deck eves?” This photo isn’t perfectly cropped in camera; I often have no more than a moment to capture Kate before she’s on the move again

To create this page, I first duplicated the photo and applied a filter using Topaz Simplify. I reduced the opacity of the Simplify layer and masked it as well to reveal more of Kate’s face in the original photo. With the strong backlighting in the photo, I added an adjustment layer on screen blend mode to get a more high key look.

Then I clipped all the photo layers to the fotoblendz layer of file 4 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 6.

To hide more of the houses in the background behind Kate, I used the quick selection tool to create a mask and then filled back in the area I wanted to reveal with a soft round brush. The texture of the fotoblendz mask is still there despite the layer mask that I added. This layer is on normal blend mode at 100%.

To each of the other layers in the psd fotoblendz file, I clipped a Simplify copy for a painterly look and adjusted how much was revealed with a layer mask or by changing the opacity. I also stamped a brush from ArtsyPaint No. 11 on a new blank layer and clipped another Simplify copy to the brush. Just above Kate, I placed a glow from FotoGlow Mix No. 1 on blend mode lighter color and WarmGlows No. 8 on hard light in order to add a soft simulation of the direction of the sun.

To add texture without bringing in additional color, I pulled spackle transfers from Artsy Transfers Sage and positioned them along the lines of the table

Next, I added a transfer and two copies of artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Hope. I masked a portion of the transfer and set the opacity to 40%. I reversed the two copies of paper 1 and added inverted masks to reveal just the edges with the spackle and touch of pink.

I placed 5 layers of file 3 from Artsy Transfers Anything. Using the psd file allowed me to delete any color layers that didn’t work with the other textures on this page.

Finally, I placed the little bird from a friend, added a title and journaling, splatters and a flower from UrbanThreadz Flowers No. 1.

Keeping the both background and textures white on white with a touch of pink gives me a delicate high key look and keeps the focus on the soft photo. I have some other photos of Kate playing with the peonies that I will include on an opposing page of a two page spread.

Sunflowers

Every fall, sunflowers bloom on a little prairie near us. The sunny yellow is stunning against a blue sky. Bees flit from one bloom to the next. I took my granddaughter Kate to play among the blooms a couple of years ago; she was delighted of course! I’m looking forward to walking this prairie again this fall. I chose this photo to create this page because I loved the focal cluster of sunflowers.

After placing solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Sol, for a little more depth, I placed artsy paper 1 above on normal blend mode at 40%. I placed my photo, duplicated it and applied a painterly effect with Topaz Simplify.

With fotoblendz overlay 4 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 10 highlighted, I pressed option and clicked so that I got the marching ants. Then I went back up to highlight the photo Simplify layer and clicked the icon at the bottom of the layers panel to mask my photo layer. On my mask, I also stamped brushes from ArtsyStains No. 3 and AnnaBlendz Artsy No 7 to reveal more of my photo. Adjustments to the photo and changing the blend mode to multiply made the blue in the sky disappear.

Next, I used a combination of the Quick Selection Tool and the delete key to extract the sunflowers most clearly in focus on a duplicate of the original photo on normal blend mode at 100%. I gave that layer a drop shadow. Above that layer I placed another copy of the Simplify layer, attached the same mask and reduced the opacity to 30% on normal blend mode.

For additional texture, I placed transfers from ArtPlay Palette Sol and ArtPlay Palette Shine as well as transfer 5 from Artsy Transfers Shine above and below my photo layers.

Next, I placed the layers of psd file 3 from MultiMedia Suns No. 3 below my extraction layers.

I added urban threadz from UrbanThreadz No. 3.

Finally, I added a title using a font called Garden Pro. To that I added a wood layer style as close to that on the wooden sun as I had. I used an ornament included with this font that looked like the sunflower leaves and gave that the same style. I placed a copy of an extraction above the leaf and tacked both the flower and ornament down with a button thread. On the right, I placed a yellow button and gave it the same layer style before tacking it down with another thread from ButtonThreadz No. 2.

I love the sunny, cheerful look of my artsy sunflower page!

 

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.

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