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Tag: blending modes (Page 1 of 4)

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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Winter Walk

Hundreds of geese strutted in the fresh snow coverng the ground as we walked around Lakeside Park. There were even a few ducks. And my granddaughter, Kate, did everything a girl normally does in the snow: footprints, snowballs, snow angels and chased the geese. I’m going to make a two page spread with some of the other photos that I captured Thursday afternoon, but in the meantime, a new brush set by Anna Aspnes inspired my artplay this morning.

I began this page by stamping brush 6 from Trees No. 3 in a dark green in normal blend mode at 100%.

Next, I extracted Kate with the Quick Selection Tool. I added a black and white adjustment layer to erase the photo’s blue tones in her shadow across the snow. I gave her body a custom shadow and created two sketches of the photo to reconstruct her shadow from the original photo. I then added a levels adjustment layer and changed the blend mode to soft light at 50%.

To bring in the geese that Kate chased, I placed a photo below, resized it and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 100%. I added an inverted layer mask and brought back in just the geese with a brush.

Note: With linear burn blend mode, the white background disappeared, making it easy to bring back in only the geese, but it necessitated the use of two adjustment layers to lighten the geese.

To create the snow effect, I stamped several brushes from SnowSpray No. 4 in black. I then used an old Gesso style that I had. That turned the brushes white and added  dimension to the snow.

Next I placed the layers of psd file 5 from Artsy Transfers Brumal. I deleted two layers and recolored the stains a pink to match Kate’s jacket. I also stamped stain 6 from ArtsyStains No. 5 in the same pink on the left side of the page. I changed the blend mode to hard light just as the stain in the artsy transfer was.

To finish my scene, I placed glow 2 from FotoGlow Mix No. 1 and changed the blend mode to luminosity at 100%. I also placed a pink button from ArtPlay Palette Love Story, color adjusted with a hue and saturation layer, to balance my granddaughter and add a little dimension. I tacked it down with thread 5 from ButtonThreadz No. 3.

With a title and journaling, I finished my page.

I enjoyed every minute of my artplay this morning.

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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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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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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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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Choosing Background Paper

I arrived at Lauritzen Gardens about 5pm for an evening photography class that began at 7pm. I used the time before class to capture mums in the Victorian Garden and garden art in the Japanese Garden during the magic light just before sunset. What I couldn’t figure out was what I could capture after dark in an unlit outdoor garden without a flash, let alone the tripod that I forgot. Think about it, photography is all about light. Without it there are no photographs. Yet in the dark of night, I found a bit of light in the conservatory.

Inside the conservatory the white flowers under a light above stood out against the the darkness of the room and the black night outside the windows. If you look carefully at the small photo on the left, you can see the grid of the windows. With camera settings, 1/80 sec at f/2.4, ISO 6400, I was able to hand hold my camera securely enough to capture these white flowers. My instructor recommended I use auto white balance. This is one of the angles I tried as I walked around the large potted plant. If it hadn’t been for the light above I would not have been able to capture a photo.

Initially I tried masking the photo on the darkest black paper I could find, solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette City Limits, before I decided that I would finish this page quicker to use Artsy Layered Template No. 257. I clipped copies of one photo to several of the template layers. I masked additional copies that I had placed above other layers.

Once I knew that the template layers would work with my photos, I placed the black paper and made additional adjustments with levels adjustment layers. I recolored a few of the stains a lighter color to blend with the flowers. I deleted a couple of the template layers. I also added transfer 3, art stroke 2 and splatters from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent. I adjusted opacity and blended into the edges.

Next, I clipped my photos to the small frames. extending one photo into the frame below it. I lightened the white in the flowers with a levels adjustment layer on screen blend mode and used a brush on the adjustment layer mask to keep that part dark.

To finish off my layout, I added a button from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent, two threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2 and ButtonThreadz No. 3.

I generally use light backgrounds for my layouts, but occasionally a black background provides a better contrast for some photos. Using black paper with photos having a black background also made it easier to blend these night photos. In fact, blending is generally easier with paper that blends with the background color of photos.

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Simple Techniques and Basic Skills

When the kids spent the night recently, we walked up to our newly renovated neighborhood park. Kate’s been anxious to play there again now that the fencing has been taken down. It was a riot watching Corbin convince his sister that sand on a saucer swing made swinging even better. All I had with me was my iPhone, but I took some shots as they played, never thinking that I would use them to create a page. Yes, there are only photos about just a few moments at the park on this page, but for me they tell an important story about play between a big brother and a little sister.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with these photos. Initially, I dragged three of them on to my page. I knew I wanted one spanning the gutter of the page, so I would need to make some adjustments to a template. I added a layer mask to the photo and used brushes at various opacities to bring back the part of the photo I wanted to reveal. I changed the blend mode to multiply. I used another copy to extract my two grandchildren and the swing on normal blend mode and 100% opacity in order to make them stand out more from the background.

I followed the same process with the other two photos, using the lines of the sidewalk in the background and the mat in the front to line up the photos. It seemed more important that the scene flowed across the page rather than that the figures were exactly the same size. Remember, I was just playing around with my iPhone when I captured these photos. The color in my photos in the late evening light appeared too strong for me, so I attached a hue and saturation layer to each photo and reduced the saturation to blend them together better.

Next, I placed frames from two templates from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2. I made some adjustments in placement and size to fit my page design. I clipped my photos to the small frames and again added hue and saturation adjustment layers to reduce the saturation of each. I added the buttons for interest and depth.

I didn’t want more frames in the empty space below the center blended photo. So I imported another photo that showed more of the mat under the equipment. I used a paint brush on an inverted layer mask I attached to the photo to reveal enough to fill the space.

To recreate the sky in the photos, I added transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and ArtPlay Palette Summer Days. I attached inverted masks and blended away parts that interfered with the photos. I reduced the opacity, used hue and saturation adjustment layers to adjust the saturation and changed the blend modes to multiply.

I sampled the color of the mat under the equipment and stamped paint brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on new blank layers to extend the look of the playground mat. I used an opacity of 60% as I stamped on new blank layers under the framed photos. I stamped two splatters to finish my page.

A reader recently wrote a comment thanking me for sharing easy to use ideas. I am very grateful that she took the time to let me know that the ideas were helpful. I really don’t use complex techniques for my book pages. I blend and extract with my photos. I use templates (or parts of templates) and transfers. I stamp with brushes using the brush panel on new blank layers. I experiment with blend modes and adjustment layers on my photos. Having developed some basic skills with Photoshop makes my creative process much easier. I can’t say that I’m fast at creating my pages. I enjoy experimenting as part of my creative process so I’m not in a hurry. However, simple techniques and basic skills are the key to creating my pages.

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Artsy Paper Play

I missed getting out in the yard to capture some photos of my hydrangeas along the northeast wall. There was way too much happening this past summer. However, in some ways, I prefer the intensity of color that comes with the seasonal change. The greens turn rosy pink and the pinks darken to burgundy. I hate to cut them back for fall before they’ve dried out entirely. As soon as all the rain is over, I will go out to capture some more photos so that I can create a page for my flower book.

I often play with Anna’s papers by mimicking and rearranging her designs using the transfers included in each ArtPlay Palette. It’s simple way to learn about design from an expert. I started this page by placing artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Cider on a new blank document.

Note: ArtPlay Palette Cider is available for free with a $20 purchase during the sale.

Just above the artsy paper, I placed solid paper 2.

Above the solid paper, I placed two copies of transfer 1 on normal blend mode.

Then I turned off the solid paper and lined up the transfers with their placement on the artsy paper.

After turning back on the solid paper layer, I placed overlay 3, two copies of the gold paint (the top one on color burn to intensify the color), and two copies of art stroke 1. In essence, I used the basic design of Anna’s paper to create something different. I might add something more once the artsy transfers are available, but for the moment, this is enough.

Then I extracted a hydrangea, changed the blend mode to multiply and applied a filter. Next, I another copy of the photo on normal blend mode at 50%. I linked the two together and adjusted their position above transfer 1.

Above the extraction, I placed stains, the frames, text boxes, and thread from template 4 of Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2.

I clipped additional photo to the small frames.

To create more dimension, I duplicated the two copies and moved them above the frames. I extracted just enough of the flower and leaf to overlap on the frames. With a title from the artplay palette, I was finished with my quick and easy page.

I encourage you to experiment with Anna’s transfers to create your own version of artsy papers.

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