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A Photo and Artsy Transfers

There is a pond on the greenbelt behind our house. Periodically, I’ll see ducks or geese swimming on the water. Then I walk out to capture them with my camera, near sunset for these ducks. I like that I gave can give our simple pond an artsy look with a few Artsy Transfers. Below I share how I masked the photo and created the background.

Blend and Mask
  • Duplicate the photo and place on Solid Paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall.
  • Add layer mask to a copy of the photo and stamp with brush 9 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall.
  • Add layer mask to a second copy of the photo and stamp with white on a inverted layer mask with brush 10 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall.
  • In Topaz Studio, apply a watercolor filter to another copy. Reduce the opacity to 50%.
  • Place another copy of the original photo above these layers on Normal blend mode and change the opacity to 50%.

Note: I adjusted the white balance of this .jpeg with the Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop.

Artsy Transfers
  • Place the layers of file 4 from Artsy Transfers Evenfall below the photo layers.
  • Below file 4 place the layers of transfer 2.

Note: I deleted two of the layers and added a layer mask to one to hide part of that layer.

  • Below those layers place transfer 8 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall and reduce the size to 85%.
Embellish

This is a favorite photo of some ducks swimming in the pond, but I love the artsy look with my new background!

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.

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.

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.

After a Snowstorm

After a snowstorm earlier this month, a couple out walking their dogs graciously gave me permission to capture them from behind as they walked down a path near my home. I got three shots with my iPhone before they disappeared from view.

There are two steps to creating this page. First, I worked with just the photo in Photoshop following the steps outlined in a post on Anna’s blog, Create an Artsy Sketch Effect, by team member Ulna-May. While I didn’t change the image size as stated in the post, I followed the other instructions, changing opacity and blend modes on two layers. For example, my color layer is on blend mode Pin Light at 100%. I created a composite of all the photo layers.

Next, I moved the sketch composite and original photo on to solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Inkling. I linked the two layers and resized them to fit the 12×12 layout. I duplicated the original photo and gave it a watercolor effect in Topaz Studio. I then used brush 2 from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 3 on an inverted mask attached to sketch composite to bring back in the photo. I changed the blend mode to Linear Burn. I duplicated the mask and attached it to the watercolor copy, changing the blend mode to Overlay at 100%. Finally, I roughly extracted the couple and used the same brush on the mask to lighten them just a little.

With the photo layers finished, I placed transfer 4 from the artplay palette, reduced the size to 85% and adjusted the exposure with a levels adjustment layer on Overlay at 40%. Just below the man and woman I placed copies of the silver paint included in ArtPlay Palette Inkling. I also placed art stroke 3, erasing the right side.

To finish my page, I placed the psd layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Winter No. 3. I substituted a button from the artplay palette for the blue one included in the file. I added a title from Inkling WordArt Mix No. 1.

Capturing this photo took only a minute, but provided a wonderful afternoon for playing with Anna’s new release.

Santa’s Coming Soon

Friday afternoon, I spontaneously decided to drive to Lauritzen Gardens to capture the annual poinsettia display and maybe avoid the crowds. While the massive tree created from red poinsettias was still in the center of the room, there are always variations on how the staff displays the smaller Christmas trees, other varieties of poinsettias and the model trains running throughout. It was a great way to spend a few hours on a Friday afternoon.

It’s easy for me to capture the decorated trees and poinsettias. They don’t move. The little trains are another matter. I keep practicing. Notice the nice blur on the side of the caboose and behind the train. The focus is on Santa and the sign on the back of the caboose.

Camera settings: 55mm, 1/250 sec at f/4.0, ISO 1600.

While I don’t like the photo’s composition, I selected this photo for my layout because of the train’s angle and the amount of track showing on the right of the photo.

First, I placed solid paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Mistletoe on a new 12×12 document. Next, I sized and placed my photo before extracting the caboose with Santa and the track across the bottom of the layout.

Second, I placed the psd layers of file 3 from Evergreen Fotoblendz No. 2 and clipped linked copies of the same train photo to the layers.

Note: I deleted two of the mistletoe layers.

Next, I added silver paint 1 from ArtPlay Palette Mistletoe below the extraction along the top of the train. Above the extraction layer, I added a copy of the solid paper with an inverted layer mask. I brought back in just the silver edge on the left with a hard round brush. Above and below the paper, I placed two copies of silver paint 2. The top copy is on normal at 50% and the bottom copy 100% on normal with a color overlay.

To finish my page, I placed the psd file of branch 3 from MultiMedia Branches No. 12 along the top of the train. I added a title.

Note: I darkened the berries a little with a Hue and Saturation layer and masked out one white splatter.

I’d like to return to the gardens to practice capturing Santa clearly in focus with his caboose on the left. It’s not enough for a photographer to get the focal point clear, the composition also has to be good. That’s my goal!!

I Remember the Music

A few weeks ago, a cousin sent me the photo of the house in Dallas that my Grandfather and Grandmother Kennamer moved to in 1939. I have few memories of my grandfather, but I do remember his music. I remember dancing on his porch while he played Mockingbird Hill on his fiddle. Independent of a few photos, music is my strongest memory of my grandfather. The extraction above is from the last photo I have of him, taken in 1964. Below are the steps for creating this page.

Create a new blank document. Place file 1 from Luster FotoBlendz No. 1 on solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Luster.Clip the photo sketch to mask. Add Screen adjustment layers at 100%. Above the adjustment layer, place a duplicate of the original photo. Add an inverted mask and bring back in the roof. At the top of photo layers clipped to the mask, duplicate one more copy of the original photo on Pin Light blend mode at 50%. Place textures 3 and 6 from Paper Textures No. 1.

Note: I used a Lightroom preset by Studio Romy to create the sketch. I recolored the mask white so that I could change the blend mode of the sketch to multiply.Place transfers 1 and 6 from ArtPlay Palette Luster below the mask and photo layers.Above the fotoblendz mask and photo layers, extract subject with the Quick Selection tool from group photo. Give the extraction a custom shadow.Add a black and white adjustment layer to the photo. On the layer mask use a round brush to reveal the red bow tie and face. Above the black and white adjustment layer add an adjustment layer on Soft Light at 100%. Place musical instrument 6 of Instrumental No. 1 below the extraction. Give it a 1 px stroke. Place stitches 3 and 11 from UrbanStitchez No. 12 below the text box and extraction. Add title.On the left side, place the tag from ArtPlay Palette Luster. Add address of house. Add button from ArtPlay Palette Joyeux and a thread 6 from ButtonThreadz No. 3. Add text box and journaling.

I don’t have a photo, but I can see my grandfather standing on the porch and hear him playing his fiddle.

Family

“Strive to capture the heartbeat of love in this family: preserve and transplant it into the hearts of its members both present and future,” my grandfather said. His children, including my father, reflected that love of family and it’s history. That is what I wanted to capture with these two pages.

First, I extracted my parents from a photo with the Quick Selection tool using a layer mask and gave the masked result a shadow.

Note: I used the Clone Stamp tool on solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Bravura so that I could erase the transfer on the paper to create a background for both pages.

Next, I placed the overlay from ArtPlay Palette Bravura and blended into the background another photo of my father. I changed the blend mode to Overlay blend mode at 60%.

I then placed a small frame from a template from WaterColor Template Album No. 7 to the left of my dad and clipped a photo of my dad with his siblings to the mask. Below the frame I placed a splatter and stain from the template.

I then positioned the layers of file 3 from MultiMedia Flowers No. 5 below my mother. To ground my parents, I also added file 6 from UrbanStitchez No. 1.

To finish the right side, I wrote my journaling in the textbox included in the template and added a title.

After placing the same solid paper on the left side, I dragged the layers of template 4 from WaterColor Template Album No. 7 onto the page. I clipped a photo to the templates’s fotoblendz mask and adjusted the focal photo by clipping duplicated copies to the original: black and white at 90%, Screen blend mode at 30% and Soft Light at 100%. I switched out one frame by duplicating the top one to accommodate my photos.

Note: I adjusted the size and position of the lower two text boxes.

I clipped my photos to the small frame masks. I added a button from the artplay palette.

Note: I initially adjusted these photos in Lightroom but added a duplicate copy of each and changed the blend mode to Soft Light.

Below the frames, I placed most of the layers of the layers of transfer 5 from Artsy Transfers Bravura.

Note: The splatter is part of the template.

Finally, I added the quote from my grandfather. I thought the word family summarizes what was most important in my dad’s family.

Tulip Garden

The tulips weren’t blooming at Lauritzen Gardens in April, but they were simply stunning at my photography class Wednesday evening. With optimal light on these tulips for about forty-five minutes, I worked the angles with my little camera. My instructor suggested that I capture more of the stems with the tulip flowers. I’m so glad I did because those shots work perfectly with Anna’s new postage stamp frames. Below, I share the steps for working with one photo for the background combined with some detail shots.

Place photo and resize to fit the boundaries of a 12×12 document. Add inverted layer masks and bring back in the photo with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes. The bottom layer is on color burn blend mode at 100%, the second layer on normal at 75% and the extraction at the top is on normal at 100%. Create a custom shadow for the tulip extraction by putting it on a separate layer, then warping and erasing as desired.

Note: I processed all the photos on this page in Lightroom before adding them to my page. I also added a levels adjustment layer on soft light at 100% just above the masked copy on normal blend mode. I used solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Amaranthine as a foundation for this page.

Below the masked photo and extraction, place transfers 4, 6 and 8 as well as the lace from ArtPlay Palette Amaranthine. Change the blend mode of transfer 4 to linear burn at 75%.

Add transfer 5; mask as needed and change blend mode to liner burn at 75%. At the top of the transfer group, place transfer 3 on normal blend mode at 100%.

Place psd frames 2 and 8 from Postage Frames No. 1. Clip photos to masks. Tilt frames to angle on the page.

Add thread 6 from UrbanStitchez No 12 as an edge for the extraction. Add stitch 11 to tack down the frames. Add button from ArtPlay Palette Hello Autumn and button thread 2 from ButtonThreadz No. 2. Finally, add a title and journaling.

Note: I adjusted the color of the button with two levels adjustment layers, one on overlay at 100% and the other on screen at 50%.

After all the browns, grays and whites of winter, I’m more than ready for some color.

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.

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