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A Simple Story

I’ve been vacationing with family, remembering old memories and making some new ones. Five years is a long time in the life of a little boy. Corbin began asking about returning to Wisconsin Dells just after Christmas this year. It’s a simple story that he remembered, feeding and petting the deer. Corbin added to his stories about Wisconsin Dells this year, a new memory of riding on a big tube behind a boat, something he wasn’t big enough to do five years ago. I’ll have to add that new story to another book.

On this page, I used the things I love: the clean look of a white background, photos clipped to FotoBlendz masks and simple designs.

Clip Photo to Mask
Build Background
  • Below the mask, place the Silver Paint from ArtPlay Palette Axiom.
  • Next stamp brush 9 in black and position on the top right. Change the blend mode to Linear Blend at 75%.
  • Stamp brush 6 on the top left and change the blend mode to Linear Burn at 100% opacity.
  • Stamp brush 9 in a larger size on the lower left. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn and reduce the opacity to 75%.
  • Below brush layers, place Transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Axiom.
Add Overlays
  • Positon Splatter Overlay 1 below the photo layers.
  • On the left, place Overlay 1. Duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to Overlay so that it will show up better on the light background.
Use Brush to Create Second Focal Area
  • Drag the .png version of brush 5 from NoteBook No. 4. Reduce the size and position just above the photo layers.
  • Place FotoBlendz 8, available in the AnnaRelease 26 July 2019. Reduce the size to fit the notebook page.
  • Clip older photo to the mask.

Note: I used the warp tool to adjust the mask to fit my photo.

Add Journaling, Button, Thread and Dates
  • Write journaling. Tilt to follow the angle of the notebook brush.
  • Place “story” file from Axiom WordART Mix No. 1.
  • Below that, place “beautifully simple” file.
  • Then place the word transfer Axiom file. Change the blend mode to Darken at 50% opacity.
  • Place the Dark Blue Button from ArtPlay Palette Axiom.
  • Tack it down with thread 9 from Knotted UrbanThreadz No. 1.

Simple pages that tell a story are my favorites.

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.

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.

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!

Color Challenge

This is the first layout that I have finished as part of the 100th Color Challenge with Anna Aspnes Designs. It’s all about red, black and white in combination with one of the quotes provided in the forum at Oscraps. I already had an idea for a photo when Kate and I walked to the park Saturday afternoon. Below are the steps for creating this page.

After extracting Kate and the play apparatus from four photos, I combined them to create one composite. I gave the composite a custom shadow.

Note: I made the black and white adjustments to the photos in Lightroom.

To color just part of the apparatus, I duplicated the composite and then used the Quick Selection tool to extract just the part I wanted red. I added a color overlay using the styles panel at the bottom of the layers panel.

To build a background, I placed brush 1 from Countryside No. 2 and brush 2 from Countryside No. 1 on the page below the extractions. I blended out part of the second brush with a layer mask.

To ground the play equipment, I added threads from UrbanThreadz No. 9 and three layers of stitching from UrbanStitchez Misc. No. 1.

The hardest part was scaling and combining the four extractions so that I could have a complete scene. That and adjusting to a new version of Photoshop CC. The rest was easy!

Start with a Brush

Sometimes all you need to begin a piece of art is just one brush as I share below.

Stamp brush 1 of San Francisco No. 1 on a new blank document.

Drag the frames, stitching and one text box from template 3 of Travel Album No. 4 on to the document above the brush.

Clip a photo to each mask. In this case I used just one photo, but changed the crop for each mask.

Below the brush place transfers 1, 3 and 4 from ArtPlay Mini Palette Harken.

Add heart and button from mini palette. Create title and write journaling.

Yes, I left my heart in San Francisco and I’d go back to see all the things I didn’t see.

Alexander

Anna always packs a lot of information into her classes; last Friday was no exception. Although I want to view the recorded version of Heritage Live, I now have the format, based on a template provided in the class materials, for my anniversary project. I have already changed the first two pages that I had already completed to fit my new format.

I love the white border because it will unify my book no matter what color I use on the pages. This format will also provide more flexibility when it is time for me to publish the book. It took time to rework my original pages, adjusting the text especially, so I am going to begin each page with the template. It will be easier for me.

Bill taught biology and math; sometimes his students brought him critters that he would bring home as pets. While it was nice that our first pet was a good size for our small apartment, I really didn’t want a pet rat. The left side tells two stories: one about Alexander, our pet rat, and the second story about a rosy boa for which I don’t have a photo. However, as you read, you’ll see that the two stories are connected.

I began my page by clipping solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Elysium to each large mask on the template.

Next I placed overlay 4 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 12 on the left mask and clipped the photo of my husband, Bill, feeding our pet rat with an eye dropper. I masked out the background on the photo and clipped artsy paper 4, placed below the photo, to the overlay. I adjusted parts of the overlay with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes.

Below the masked photo, I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palette Elysium and the layers of transfer 3 from Artsy Transfers Elysium. I added a layer mask to hide a part of one layer that interfered with the text.

I clipped two photos to the frames from WaterColor Template Album No. 4. The thread was part of the template.

Finally, I added a button, title and wrote my journaling.

While I’ve added a bordered template, I am still using fotoblendz overlays and masks, small frames from template and artsy transfers. My project is not complicated; I like that when I’m attempting to create a book.

Brush Play

Sometimes, I just play with brushes. While the end product may not be my favorite layout, I think that simply experimenting with blend modes and brushes is valuable. On this layout, I painted with digital brushes in Photoshop. Below, I explain my steps.

Stamp brush 6 from ArchiTextures No. 10 on a new blank document. Below the brush layer, place solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Home.

Note: The brush is partially transparent which allows the texture to bleed through on normal blend mode.

Paint the house with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14 and ArtsyStains No. 6 on separate layers.

Note: Using separate layers allows you to rotate or duplicate a brush. I practice using the Brush Panel to rotate brushes, but sometimes it’s faster to move it after stamping.

Place a photo below the stamped painted house with added paint. Click command and the brush layer from ArchiTextures No. 10. Marching ants appear. Go to the photo layer and click the add layer mask icon. An inverted mask will appear linked to the photo. Then stamp with white as the foreground color on the black mask with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14, ArtsyPaint No. 8 and AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 10 to fill in a scene around the house.

Note: I “undo” a brush stroke if it doesn’t look the way I want. Once it looks right to me, then I duplicate the mask and clip it to other layers of the photo. The top layer is a sketch on linear burn at 70%. The second photo layer is linear light at 50%. The bottom photo layer is multiply at 50% with a screen adjustment layer attached.

Above the photo layers but below ArchiTexture brush 6 layer, place layers of file 3 from Artsy Transfers Evanish, a glow from ArtPlay Palette Glance, overlays from ArtPlay Palette Evanish and splatters from ArtPlay Palette Home.

Add word art 8 from ARTWord ART Mix No. 1, a red button from ArtPlay Palette Merry Tree and thread 7 from ButtonThreadz No. 1.

I’m not going to say that this is my favorite layout, but while playing, I enjoyed myself practicing.

Different Purposes

On Thursday during my week in California, I flew up to San Francisco to spend the day with my friends, Adryane and Don. Last year it rained, but this time, the weather was perfect t-shirt weather and perfect for making photographs.

I use the photos that I make not only to create art, but also to document the things I want to remember or share with family; in order words, I make pages that I will print through Persnickety or add to the my current book project. This two page spread is for my book.

While I have used both focal photos on this two page spread on two previous pages, I wanted to create something for the next book I will publish. Think about it from an efficiency perspective, I’ve already done some of the creative the work, so why not?

Note: I started with the photos that I previously used on layouts. For information on those previous layouts, see Quick and Simple and Pokemon Go.

I explain the process below.

Place layers of photo on left, deleting layers and changing blend modes as needed. Place photo on right, create a sketch, mask another layer to improve color and maintain blue in sky, add track extension.

Note: I used most of the layers of the photo on the left from a previous page. I placed only the photo on the right but repeated some steps, i.e. making a sketch.

Add frames, stains and art strokes from templates 2, 9 and 13 from WaterColor Template Album No. 5. Clip photos to masks and adjust as needed.

Note: I used the fotoblendz mask from template 9 on the right. I also substituted a frame and mask from template 13 to accommodate the screenshot on the right. I used the frames from template 2 on the left.

Below all the frames, place transfer 1 and 2 from ArtPlay Palette Surf’s Up on the right. On the left, place transfer 7. In the page gutter, place two gold transfers, reversing one. Stamp brushes 5 and 10 in blue. Pull layers from psd files 1 and 4 from Artsy Transfers Surf’s Up to fill in background. Stamp brush 5 in red, rotating for variation.

Note: I chose layers from the artsy transfers based on color and texture to fit my vision for this page.

Place additional photo in page gutter and add an inverted mask. Stamp with brushes from ArtsyPaint 7 and ArtsyPaint 8 on the mask in white to reveal the ship. Align photo with line of background brush on left.

Add Pokeball, red button from ArtPlay Palette Weihnachtsbaum and thread from template 15.

I think it’s okay to reuse photos for different pages, especially if you have different purposes, i.e. art or memory keeping. Both are valuable for me at this point in my life.

Pokemon Go

As part of my birthday celebration in February, I flew up to San Francisco to play Pokemon Go on Pier 39 with Adryane and Don. Besides finding enough Wailmer candies to evolve a Wailord, I captured the Dragonite in the screenshot and fought level 5 raids. We played, stopping only for photographs, lunch and dark chocolate, until I had to catch my flight back late that afternoon.

When I caught the screenshot of the Ferry Arch from inside the app and the photo of the Ferry Arch with my FujiX-T2, I was already thinking about making a page remembering the day. This was one of the easiest pages I’ve ever created. It involved combining two photos and some iPhone screenshots using artsy brushes on inverted masks. Directions for creating this page follow.

Create a sketch of the photo, change the blend mode to linear burn and duplicate. Add an inverted mask and use brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14 and AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 10 to bring back the sketch.

Note: I used Topaz Simplify to create my sketch. You can also create a sketch with Photocopy in the Filter gallery.

Use the same brush sets on inverted masks to add color from the photo copies to the sketch. Place the top color layer on color burn at 100% and the layer below on linear burn at 100%. Use the same technique on the extension of the track.

Place textures 2 and 3 from PaperTextures No. 6 above the photo layers.

Stamp brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14 on new blank layers in a light blue below the photo.

Place iPhone screenshots on the page, resize and give each a custom shadow. Add thread 9 from UrbanThreadz No. 15 above the cards. Add a Poke ball above the screenshots and give it a shadow.

Note: I found the Poke ball on the internet.

Place photo just below the Pokemon screen shots. Extract and give it a shadow.

Add title and journaling to finish the page.

I want to thank Adryane and her husband, Don for a fabulous day: talking, walking and playing Pokemon Go.

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