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Tag: Anna Aspnes Designs (Page 1 of 16)

Three Ideas for Brushes

Bill remembers that his grandfather was 13 years older than his grandmother, definitely a man of the 19th century, meaning the woman was expected to do everything. His grandmother hated her middle name (Garfield after a President) and the pipe his grandfather smoked. She’d say when Samuel retired, he retired. Families are complicated aren’t they.

After initially losing this entire file on Wednesday, I started again, challenging myself to practice distinct ways for using brushes and at the same time, make it easier for myself. The time was well spent in my mind.

Extract and Mask
Stamp Brushes on Inverted Layer Masks

Rather than bring back in the entire background on one inverted layer mask attached to a photo, I think it is easier to see what’s happening to the photo on a page by using different brushes on different layers.

  • Duplicate the photo and add an inverted layer mask.
  • On each layer mask stamp a brush with the foreground color on white.

Note: On this page I used brushes from ArtPlay Palette Patriarch and the bonus brushes included with the full release, Anna Release 7 June 2019 on the multiple layer masks.

Place Overlays and Artsy Transfers

Note: I moved the transfer layers around to provide color and texture where I needed them, i.e. grounding the couple.

Place Frames
Stamp Brushes on New Blank Layers

Stamping a brush on a new layer makes it easier to adjust the position of each brush while adding texture and interest below frames.

  • Create a new layer below the frames and stamp brush 9 just below the frames.
  • Create new layers for each brush: brushes 16, 17 and 18, available in the Anna Release 7 June 2019.
Duplicate, Enlarge and Arrange Extracted Couple
  • Duplicate the layer of the extracted couple twice.
  • Move it down in the layers panel.
  • On one copy, add a layer mask and hide one person using a brush with the foreground color on white.
  • Repeat for the second copy, masking out the other person.
  • Reduce the opacity of both to 25% on Darken blend mode.
  • Rearrange both layers as desired.

Note: In order to darken one part, I stamped brush 4 on a new blank layer. Then I merged the two extractions to create one copy and clipped that to the brush layer.

Add Title and Journaling
  • Use two fonts to create a title; I used Hello Sunshine and Hello Sunshine Marker again on this page.
  • Finish journaling.

Note: The text boxes I used for my journaling are from the same file with the small frames: WaterColor Template Album No. 6.

My self-challenge for this page was to practice distinct ways for using brushes and at the same time, make it easier for myself. As I explained in a previous post, I initially stamped the brushes on one blank layer just so that I could see what they looked like. From that sample layer, I decided which brushes I wanted to use. I used brushes in three different ways on this page.

  • Stamp brushes on layer masks clipped to multiple photo layers.
  • Stamp brushes on new blank layers to add interest below small frames.
  • Use a brush as a mask by stamping it on a new layer and then clipping a photo to the brush.

I challenge you to experiment with brushes and find ways that make it easier for yourself.

Peonies

Every Memorial Day my Sarah Bernhart Peonies bloom. This year I grabbed my camera and walked out to capture the blooms in the early morning light. Then this afternoon, I went out again to cut some for a bouquet. I love these flowers. I will cut the new blooms each day while I have them, but I wish that they lasted longer than a week. They are spectacular blooms. So when those buds start appearing, I’m out in the yard practicing with my camera, an art medium that I’ve been neglecting recently.

Place Photograph and Template Layers
  • Create a new 24×12 inch document in Photoshop
  • Select a focal photo and size it to fit one side.
  • Drag the layers of template 4 from FotoInspired Template Pack 2J.
  • Reduce the size of all layers to 85%.
Place Paper
  • Place solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rougir on the left side just above the large photo.
  • Add another copy of the paper but flip it so that the flowers are on the left.
  • Add a layer mask to the second copy of the paper.
  • Use an AnnaBlendz Artsy brush to mask out all but the flowers of that paper layer.
  • Add a Color Overlay from the FX panel at the bottom of the layers panel. Select a darker pink from the photo and change the blend mode to Color.
Clip Photographs to Small Masks
  • Clip photos to small masks.
  • Add Adjustment Layers as needed.

Note: I adjusted the white balance on the photos that I shot on my deck in the afternoon light. I clipped Levels Adjustment Layers on Soft Light blend mode to most of the photos.

Add Artsy Transfers
  • Place the layers of Transfer 1 from Artsy Transfers Rougir above the paper layers but under the double frame at the bottom of the template. Delete two transfer layers and dark splatters and art stroke. Adjust position.
  • Place the the layers of Transfer 3 below the masks on the left side of the template. Position and delete layers as desired.

Note: I added a Color Overlay to a stain in Transfer 1 and a transfer in Transfer 3 to coordinate with my photos.

Add a Button
  • Add a button and thread for dimension.
  • Give the button a shadow.

I had wonderful light as it rose above the roofs when I went out with my camera about six o’clock in the morning. There wasn’t even much wind, something we don’t get often in a prairie state like Nebraska. By the afternoon, the wind was blowing again, but I found a protected area with good indirect light on my deck. I placed a piece of white board on the table and used with my small macro lens to capture different arrangements of the blooms that I had cut before putting them in a vase to bring inside.

The hardest part of this page was deciding which photos best told the story about photographing my peonies. Looking through my photographs in Lightroom, I can see some changes that I need to make for better photographs next time. Unfortunately, as I look out the window, my poor peonies are bent to the ground with all the rain and wind we’ve had over the last two days. I could bring some in to photograph, but the time to capture them outdoors is over for this year.

I encourage you to play with your camera and some flowers both outside and indoors. Then create a page using one of Anna’s FotoInspired Templates. I will add this page to the other pages that I’ve created for a book with my flower photography.

Add a Sketch to a Mask

I like the artsy look of a sketch placed above a photo, especially combined with texture in FotoBlendz masks. While I have used Find Edges under Stylize in the Filter drop down menu, I don’t like the weight of the lines. So I’m experimenting again with different techniques for creating a sketch from photo. Below is the simplest version for creating a sketch that I know.

Start with a Photo
  • Place photo on new 12×12 blank document in Photoshop.
  • Resize photo.
Apply a Filter to Create Sketch
  • Open the Filter Gallery from the Filter drop down menu in Photoshop.
  • Choose Photocopy from the menu.
  • Adjust the settings and click ok to apply.
  • Turn off sketch.
Clip Photo to FotoBlendz Mask
  • Clip original photo to mask 6 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 15.
  • Clip Levels adjustment layer to photo and change blend mode to Soft Light at 100%.
Adjust Blend Mode and Opacity
  • Turn on sketch and clip to Fotoblendz mask layer.
  • Change blend mode to Multiply at 50%.
Paper
Cluster

I have another sketch technique that I’m experimenting with that I hope to share in the next few weeks, something I’m trying to simplify within one Photoshop file. I really do like the lines created from a sketch with the texture in a mask like the one I used on this paper.

A Template and an Old Photo

Relationships with older fathers are not always easy to describe, especially by their sons. My husband remembers his father telling stories about hopping trains around the country as a young man. The photos tell another story, but there aren’t many words on this page. From my husband’s perspective it’s enough; I’m smiling as I call the page done.

I am still working on the other side of this double page spread, using photos about my husband’s mother. As I near the end of my anniversary project, I am relying on templates to get me started.

Place Layers of Template
  • Drag layers of template 5 from Travel Album Template No. 5 on to a new blank 24×12 in Photoshop document.
  • Turn off the postage stamp layer and small frames.
Use a Heritage Photo
  • Drag an old photo below the template’s small frames but above the the fotoblendz mask.
  • Resize as needed.
Extract Around the Frame
  • Use the Quick Selection tool to extract the framed portion of the photo.
  • Clean up edges with the Magic Wand tool.
  • Add a shadow to the framed photo.
Artsy Transfer and Small Frames
  • Below the extracted frame but above the fotoblendz layer place the layers psd file 1 from Artsy Transfers Airy.
  • Clip photos to the small frames and add adjustment layers as needed.
  • To each small photo mask add a 20px white stroke.
Add Texture and an Element
  • Below the photo on the top right, place Overlay 2 and the Gold Paint from ArtPlay Palette Airy.
  • Place the Tape from ArtPlay Palette Airy just below the Gold Paint.
  • Below the bottom photo, place another copy of the Tape.
  • Add the Daisy, warp the stem a little and tuck below the top frame.

One wouldn’t expect that a travel template would work for an old photo, but in this case placing the layers from an artsy transfer file below the old photo creates a soft and modern background. I encourage you to try using your old photos with modern templates.

Engagement

This two page spread tells the story of our engagement, another page for my anniversary project. I shared details about how I constructed the left side as part of a video event with Anna Aspnes, ARTPLAY LIVE 2019, available in Anna’s Store. Today I want to share a brief overview of the right side which uses some of the same techniques for using transfers and adapting templates that I shared at the event.

Place and Adjust FotoBlendz Mask
  • Place file 4 from Autumn Romance FotoBlendz Mask No. 1.
  • Clip a photo to the mask.
  • Add a layer mask to the fotoblendz layer and adjust to with a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy to accommodate the photo shape and edges.
Add Transfers to Text
  • Copy text from newspaper announcement and add a title.
  • Place Transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Sashay above the text.
  • Align along the left edge Overlay 1 and Transfer 3.

Note: Just below the text box I stamped on a new blank layer with a soft round brush in white. Then I reduced the opacity just enough to make the text more visible against the photo.

Use Transfers to Soften the Edge of the Masked Photo
  • Open and place the layers from file 4 of Artsy Transfers Sashay just below the masked photo.
  • Adjust position of each layer to soften the abrupt line of the photo.

Note: I deleted three layers that didn’t fit with my photo.

Place Small Frames and Clip Photos
  • Place the threads, frames, masks and shadows from file 13 in WaterColor Template Album No. 7.
  • Turn off the frames and add a 20px white stroke to each mask.
  • Clip photos to masks.
  • Add adjustment layers as needed.
  • Clip a 4×6 file from ArtsyKardz Sashay MultiPack No. 1 to one of the small frames, reducing the size of the file to fit the mask on the top right.

Note: I added a Black and White Adjustment Layer to one photo. The other adjustment layers were all on Soft Light, the opacity varied depending on the photo.

I am almost finished with this project and looking forward to publishing soon. It’s taken time to sort the photos, decide which stories I wanted to write and create the layouts. If you want to create your own book, there are lots of tips and more information available on Anna’s Blog and in her classes. I encourage you to explore the opportunities.

Roses

Artsy Paper #1 from ArtPlay Palette Narcissus by Anna Aspnes is a stunning piece of art without any photos. I can only hope that the roses I bought yesterday specifically for this paper do it justice.

I created this page with an Artsy Paper, photos of three different roses and a tag. Below are the steps.

Place Artsy Paper
Extract Roses
  • Place photos of three different roses above Artsy Paper #1
  • Using the Quick Selection Tool, find the edges of each rose.
  • Click the Select and Mask tab at the top of the screen.
  • Adjust the Smooth, Feather and Shift Edge levers.
  • Select Output to Layer Mask.
  • Repeat process for each rose.
  • Resize and arrange as desired.
Custom Drop Shadows
  • From the Styles Panel select a shadow for each rose. 
  • Click the FX symbol on the right of the photo layer and choose Create Layer option to place the drop shadow on a separate layer.
  • Press Command+V to access the Warp Tool. Drag the shadow a little to create more variability on your shadow layer.
  • Repeat for each photo layer.
  • To each photo layer clip a Hue and Saturation Layer. Select the Sepia Preset from the drop down menu. Change the opacity to 30% on Normal blend mode.
Add Tag and Quote
  • Place the .psd file of the tag included in ArtPlay Palette Narcissus.
  • Drag another copy of Artsy Paper #1 and reduce the size so that it just covers the tag. Clip it to the tag.
  • Add a Layer Mask to the paper layer. With a small hard round brush reveal the threads and staples.
  • Duplicate the layer. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn and invert the Layer Mask by pressing Command+I to darken the staples.
  • Add a quote if desired.

Extractions add dimension to layouts.  I encourage you to practice with the Quick Selection Tool as an alternative to using the Pen Tool for extractions.

Ferns

While I am preparing for an upcoming event in May, I found time to create this page with Anna’s new release, ArtPlay Palette Moira, using photos of ferns taken in the conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. I do wish I could grow these outside the way I did in California.

I often use an artsy paper and/or a template as a basis for creating unique looking pages for my photographs. For this page, I used artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Moira as a starting point for the page design with my fern photo. I simply added the brushes, overlays and transfers I wanted to use to a solid paper. Artsy papers are excellent patterns for good design. 

Mask Photo
  • Place photo on Solid Paper #5 from ArtPlay Palette Moira.
  • Add inverted layer mask to original copy by pressing option and clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel
  • Select an AnnaBlendz Artsy brush and stamp with white as the foreground color on the black mask to reveal the photo.
  • Duplicate the photo and mask layers twice and adjust the blend mode of each photo layer.

Note: On my page the bottom photo layer is on Normal blend mode at 40% opacity. The second layer is on Color Burn at 100% opacity. The top layer is on Linear Light at 40% opacity.

Build Background 

Below the masked photo layers, add two copies of a brush, a transfer and an overlay.

  • Just above Solid Paper #5, stamp Brush #1 on a new blank layer on the left side.
  • On the right side, add another new blank layer and stamp Brush #1 angling it differently.
  • Place Transfer #1 above the brush layers and align it with the top edge of the paper.
  • Above the transfer, place Splatter Overlay #1 along the bottom right edge of the fern photo.

Note: Brushes, overlays and transfers are included in ArtPlay Palette Moira.

Add Small Frames

Initially I dragged the group of small frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 289 above the blended photo layers. I then used that arrangement as a guide for placing the frames from Postage Frames No. 2.

  • Open the .psd file of Postage Frame #6 from Postage Frames No. 2 and drag on to layout.
  • Duplicate the .psd file four times.
  • Reduce the file size so that it just large enough to cover the template frames. There will be a difference in the width.
  • Slant and adjust positioning of the frames, masks and drop shadows to follow the positioning of the template frames.
  • Clip detail fern photos to the masks masks.

Note: My photos were all adjusted in Lightroom before exporting to Photoshop.

Define Edges and Add Depth

In the screenshot above, there is an unfinished gap at the bottom of the ferns on the right. It needs a more defined edge. Brushes and overlays help close gaps and finish photo edges. Glows add depth and light to a page.

  • Stamp Brush #6 from ArtPlay Palette Moira on a new blank layer in black above the blended photo layers.
  • Above that layer, stamp Different Stroke #17 from Different Strokes No. 12 on a new blank layer. Duplicate the stroke to darken appearance. Blend mode is Normal at 100%.
  • On the right edge, place Stain Overlay #1. On the left just below the frames, place Overlay #1. Both pieces are part of ArtPlay Palette Moira.
  • Add FotoGlow #5 from WarmGlows No. 8 and change the blend mode to Linear Burn at 100%. Duplicate the glow and place to balance the light.
Finish

Adding details creates interest and a finished look to a page.

Next time that you sit down to create a page, spend a little time analyzing the way Anna Aspnes designs her artsy papers and then experiment by manipulating the brushes, transfers and overlays from an artplay palette in order to create something unique. Let me know how it goes.

Parties

Creating a book based on events fifty years ago has its challenges. For example, I don’t have photos from the first two showers given in my honor. I have the dates and names, but I can’t remember many of the details. Maybe that’s why I treasure the photos that I do have because they help me remember. There is no way I will forget the crepe paper dress that my mother and mother-in-law created for me. For one thing, I can’t believe that two mothers would shorten the hemline that much in 1968.

I am getting close to finishing my anniversary project, so I am looking for ways to simplify my process to keep the momentum going. For this two page spread, I combined two templates from WaterColor Template Album No. 8, substituting the small frames from another album on the right side.

Components From Template

Place the layers of template template 13 from WaterColor Template Album No. 8 on the left and template 5 on the right. Change the alignment of the second text box of template 13 to match the top text box. Rearrange the frames, deleting one to accommodate photos. On the right, delete the small frames.

Note: I included the stitching from the templates, moving it as needed. I added a 20px white stroke to each frame for consistency throughout my book project. I also reduced the size of all template layers to 85%% instead of 100%.

Clip Photos to Masks and Stains

Duplicate the focal photo on the left and clip it to the fotoblendz mask and one of the stains. Adjust exposure using Camera Raw Filter within Photoshop and add a Soft Light adjustment layer at 100% opacity. Repeat with the photo on the right, duplicating and clipping the copies to six stains included in the template.

Clip Photos to Small Frames

On the left, resize and clip three photos to the small frames. Add adjustment layers as needed. On the right, place the small frames from template 6 of Travel Album No. 2, reducing the size to 85%. Adjust the positioning of the thread. Clip small photos to the frames and add adjustment layers as needed.

Add Artsy Transfers and Stains

Below the fotoblendz mask and small frames on the right, place overlay 1, transfer 2 and transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Glance, reducing the size to 85%. On the left, place stain overlay from ArtPlay MiniPalette Opacus, transfer 3 from ArtPlay MiniPalette Honor, 7 layers from Artsy Transfers Summery and two copies of overlay 1 (Linear Burn blend mode) from ArtPlay MiniPalette Honor.

Two Buttons

Place a yellow gold button from ArtPlay Palette Glance on the right and tack down with thread 2 from ButtonThreadz No. 2. Place a pink button from ArtPlay Palette Infatuated on the left along with thread 6 from ButtonThreadz No. 1.

I am within three pages of finishing this project. Using templates to create the basic design and switching out small frames or fotoblendz masks will help me maintain my momentum. Although Anna Aspnes provides information about this technique in her earlier project classes, I recommend two of her most recent classes, Artsy Doubles and AA Project 2018, for detailed instructions on what I have shared in this post.

Poetry

There is still snow here, piles of snow, so much that I haven’t seen the lawn in weeks. Thus I found the color in Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Melic very appealing as I long for spring and the tulips that will bloom in April. Below I explain my process for creating this page.

First, place solid paper 3 on a new blank 12×12 inch document.

Extract three tulip blooms with the Quick Selection Tool, arrange and give each a shadow.

Note: I adjusted the color a little by applying a Hue and Saturation Adjustment to each bloom.

Place transfer 3 and transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette Melic above the paper. Change the blend mode of both transfers to Linear Burn. Attach a layer mask to transfer 1 to hide parts of the transfer.

Stamp brush 7 and 4 from ArtPlay Palette Melic in a red orange on Normal blend mode on new blank layers just above the transfers. Tilt as needed to create the effect of stems extending from blooms.

Arrange three of the stitching .png files from MultiMedia Melic No. 1 below the blooms as well as a splatter and piece of lace. Roughly align the stitching with the brush lines

Drag one .psd leaf file from ArtPlay Palette Melic and place above the stitching. Adjust the position of the shadow included with the leaves. Place a second leaf file, rotate and reduce its size.

Finish the page with beaded word art from Melic WordART Mix No. 1 and a thread from ArtPlay Mini Palette Breeze. On the left, place a button and splatter from MultiMedia Melic No. 1.

That’s it, so simple!

A Quiet Place

The Pope-Baldwin Estates at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe offer a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of wealthy society people who summered at Lake Tahoe at the turn of the 20th Century. After years of neglect, the estate buildings were beginning to deteriorate and restoration work was started in the early 1980s when the government purchased the property. The dock in this photo replaced the original boat dock and pier.

I began this layout working with just the photo. I duplicated the original three times. I gave the second copy a watercolor effect in Topaz Studio. Above that I placed a copy of the original photo on Soft Light blend mode at 100%.

To each copy I attached an inverted layer mask. I brought back the photo with an AnnaBlendz Artsy Brush as well as brush 11 and 13 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu.

Next, I placed artsy paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu below the photo layers. Above the photo layers, I placed another copy of paper 5 and changed the blend mode to Linear Burn at 75% opacity. Above the boats on the right, I placed transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu. Finally, I created a composite of the original photo layers.

I then grouped my original photo layers and turned off that group. Using just my composite, I reduced it’s size to about 90% and clipped it to mask 3 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 14.

I duplicated my composite and clipped it to mask 2 from Coastline FotoBlendz No. 1. I reduced the size of mask 1 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 14 vertically to 60% and increased the horizontal size to 115%. I duplicated my composite one more time and clipped it to mask 1.

Note: Above the composite copies clipped to masks, I added two adjustment layers: one on Screen blend mode at 30% and another on Soft Light at 100%.

Just above solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu, I placed transfer 5. Above the transfer I added an adjustment layer on Soft Light at 100%. I also adjusted the color of the rounded area on the left with a Hue and Saturation layer and an inverted mask so that the changes would only affect that part.

To embellish my page, I placed all the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Milieu No. 1. I turned off the grass frame and its shadow. Instead, I placed the branch from MultiMedia Branches No. 10 and its shadow as well as the thread. I adjusted the color of the branch with a color overlay.

With word art from WordART Mix Milieu No. 1 and brush 6 and some splatter brushes stamped on new blank layers, my page was finished.

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