As a writer, designer, and photographer, Michelle Shefveland has a passion to inspire and teach others the exciting possibilities of creating art with the aid of digital tools. We are thrilled to have her join us at Somerset Place to share a beautiful digital technique you can create with your photographs.
Blending. It’s a go-to technique in digital art, allowing texture, color, and luminosity of layers to magically mix together using layer blend modes. So fun. So addicting. But it can be a bit tricky to master at first. The key is to experiment and know that with digital you can’t make mistakes (the Undo key is your best friend)!
Let’s start simply by creating a basic 12×12 photo blend collage using Adobe Photoshop Elements and some digital art graphics that assist in learning this amazing technique.
Adobe Photoshop Elements (or image editor that supports layer blend modes like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro) – free 30-day trial download for PSE 10 here
Digital Photo in .jpg format
Digital Graphics: photo blends, word art, and embellishments (Painter’s Canvas Photo Art Blends 5, Say it Again 2 Scrap.Words, Botanical Banners, Butterfly Danglies by Michelle Shefveland)
1. Open Adobe Photoshop Elements
2. Open a Painted Photo Art Blend from Painter’s Canvas Photo Art Blends 5 (File > Open > Browse system for 03_Paint_PhotoBlend 5.jpg from the 12×12 folder > Open). Note: if you want to create an 8.5×11 collage, open the same Photo Blend from the 8.5×11 folder. This size would be printable on any standard ink jet printer
4. The most common (and easiest) method for using this set of Photo Blends is to place the photo layer above the painted photo art blend. To do this, with the Move Tool on the Tool Bar selected, drag the photo on top of blend (using Photoshop Elements click on the photo and drag it downward on top of the PhotoBlend in the Photo bin; release mouse).
5. Adjust the size and position of the photo, if necessary, using the Move Tool in the Tool bar at left of screen. Try to cover the entire painted portion of the blend so no black is showing.
6. Now for the magic! Change blend mode of photo layer from Normal to Screen at the top drop down in the Layers Panel (right side of screen). You can always sample all of the other blend modes; the black paint strokes just lend themselves so well to Screen.
7. Your end result is a painterly image on a white background. You could stop here, add some word art and be done. However, let’s add one of the texture papers included for more color and dimension.
9. You can easily add color to the texture paper (Press Ctrl-U to open Change Hue/Saturation Dialog Box; Cmd-U on a Mac). To achieve the sea foam color, I set the Hue to 174 and Saturation to 46, making sure to check the Colorize box at bottom right.
10. Set the blend mode of the paper layer to Multiply. Multiply disregards all white and intensifies color and texture in the layers beneath it. Sample all of the blend modes and opacity, as there are so many variations, and each photo reacts differently to textures.
11. This brings up an important point. Especially when dealing with portraits, you may need to erase some of the texture over the skin areas. Select the Eraser tool from the Tool bar. Using a soft round eraser brush from the Default Brushes set to a low opacity (20-30%), I erased the texture paper over my kids’ skin.
The piece was finished by adding decorative word art and digital art accents.
13. Add to your scrapbook album or frame for a beautiful wall art display.
There really is no end to the fun once you understand how blending works using the different blend modes within Adobe Photoshop Elements. For altered artists, add texture and rich dimension to your imagery before printing your hybrid art projects!
Keep learning and creating!
Enjoy a discount exclusive to Somerset Place readers: Please enter somerset22 at checkout for 22% off any order at CottageArts.net (including sales items). Valid thru July 31, 2012. Happy creating!
A big “Thank you!” to Michelle for sharing this fantastic digital tutorial with us. Michelle Shefveland is the owner of CottageArts.net and ClickArtistry.com, digital scrapbooking/photography sites. She is also the author of Scrapbooking the Digital Way (Corel).
Michelle and her husband, Kris, reside in Sauk Rapids, MN, with their three kids and four-legged pal. Visit her team’s blog, Cottage Arts, for more tutorials and inspiration. See Michelle’s Digital Workshop column in each issue of Somerset Memories in addition to her upcoming article in Somerset Memories Autumn ’12 (available October 1st), which features digital art quilting techniques. You can also catch her fantastic designs in Somerset Digital Studio.
Posted: Thursday, July 5th, 2012 @ 10:16 am
Categories: How-To Project Tutorials.
Tags: Guest Artist, Somerset Digital Studio, Somerset Memories.
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