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HOW TO ENJOY THE DOODLE

Drawings of items on my deskThink I am having a bad case of Spring Fever this week so here is a change of pace for my blog. I have seen so many of these types of drawn objects being sold in scrapbooking kits especially. I am not the greatest at drawing, but I thought it would be fun to see if I could actually do a little of this myself.

I probably would never have tried this except a while back I was listening to one of my favorite websites, Creative Live, who was running Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Drawing the Everyday Every Day videos – Kate made this really fun to watch so I decided to try my own everyday drawings. She says you need to practice “every day” to get better at drawing, especially with the lettering (I confess I do not do this every day). The drawings do not have to be perfect and a personal flavor can be given to them which I think makes it fun to do. Both blog images were drawn on an inexpensive non-digital Sketch Pad from WalMart – supposed to be good for Pen, Pencil, Pastel and Oil Pastel. Kate says just try to create a basic theme when creating the items – they can be anything that is sitting around your home. A mechanical pencil (in image above) was used to draw for my images but Kate uses an inexpensive drawing Pen. The sketch was scanned in as a JPG file using my old scanner. In Photoshop a New Document was created and the sketch file was pasted into the document as a layer. The Select -> Color Range command was used to select just the sketching (click OK and press CTRL+J to put it on its own layer), but any way of selecting can be used. Duplicate the layer and merge down (CTRL+E) if the lines are too light – since mine were pencil this needed to be done. I placed a New Layer underneath and just used a solid hard-edged round brush to paint in the color. For the background, just painted in some pink and blue hatch texture using Just Jaimee Texture Brush Sample Brush 4 – added Color Dynamics to the brush to get the two color effect. This was really an interesting and fun project to try. Kate goes into much more detail and steps on how to do this process and does a great demonstration in her videos. Here is a link to Kate’s website so you can see how great her sketched items are.

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Wild Flower DrawingsHere is another one of my crazy drawings of wild flowers. In Photoshop with the sketch layer on top (after removing background), 13 layers were added underneath to paint the flowers and text. Watercolor and Smudge brushes were used to create the painted effect in the flowers. Adding texture in the items will give more interest to the items. Several splatter brushes were also used on some of the flowers. The background texture is from Kim Klassen called MarchDuo_soTrue. This was fun to create.

It was pretty easy to do this and I was quite surprised that I could draw anything at all. Give it a try and see if you can come up with some nice items to use in your composites. Have a Happy Week!…..Digital Lady Syd

HOW TO CREATE LIGHT LEAKS TO USE OVER AGAIN

Image of the Waterfall at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and GardensMany people are selling some beautiful light leaks to add as overlays to your images. It occurred to me that is this is just not that difficult a thing to accomplish so this blog is about making your own light leaks quickly. Besides being great for vintage looks, many digital artists use light leaks to add more light into an image. By making the final light leak layer a PNG file, it can then be easily adjusted and placed over your other images to get a quick and perfect light leak effect. The above image of the waterfall at the entrance to the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens used two light leaks – an orange one on the left side of the image and a pink color sampled from the bright colored flowers for the upper right side.

The workflow to create a light leak is pretty easy – just follow the steps below. Once a few have been tried, it is not that hard to make several colored light leaks in the same image (as above) or add subtle pattern effects to the light leak. Even some of the regular gradients that are supplied by Photoshop or downloaded from others can be turned into light leaks with a little more manipulation. In Photoshop I started with a very basic image where the different light leak effects could be seen clearly and then added and deleted after saving.

1. First click on the foreground color swatch to open the Color Picker. Choose a foreground color that would make a nice color light leak. Reds, Yellows and Oranges look very good. Also Blues and Purples can look great too with the right image.

2. Next a Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer is opened. To find it, click on the half-moon icon (4th over) at the bottom of the Layer Panel. (Alternatively go to Layers -> New Fill Layer -> Gradient Fill.) In most cases the Linear Style gradient is used. Click on the Gradient strip in the Gradient Fill Panel to open the Gradient Editor panel – select the 2nd Gradient over, the color to transparent gradient, and click OK. Don’t worry that the color may look way overdone at this point.

  • The Angle determines how the gradient lines up on the image.
  • Change the Scale to make the leak appear larger or thinner. For example, set Scale to 385% and it looks very soft and stretched out – no defined edge; set to 25% and there is a very sharp gradient edge. There is definitely an opacity change associated with the Scale setting. The default is 100%.
  • Use the Move Tool (V) to move the gradient around in the image so it can just fill up the very low edges or cover most of the image.

By adjusting the Angle and the moving the gradient in the image, it can be placed exactly where you want it. This workflow only creates light leaks with one edge in the image instead of being a strip effect.

3. If the light leak effect is too strong, set the Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer to Screen Blend Mode in the Layers Panel.

4. To save the light leak as a PNG file, turn off the all other layers and select the Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer. There are two ways to do this. I prefer the first way as the color is more brilliant and can be adjusted easier, but it does save the light leak as a much larger file.

  • Go to Save -> Export -> Export As and set Format: PNG. Be sure Transparency box is checked. Click Export All and save file in a light leaks folder on your computer. Now the PNG file can be applied to any of your other images! I usually name mine something like SJ Orange Lower Left Light Leak.png. This choice is not available for Photoshop CS6 users.
  • Go to Save -> Export -> Layers to Files. In the dialog set the Destination to the light leaks folder, File Name Prefix should be the light leak name, check Visible Layers Only box (this is important or all the image layers will be converted to files), File Type PNG-24, and check the Transparency and Trim Layers boxes. It would be easy to combine two light leak Gradient Fill layers or one with a Pattern Fill Layer clipped by turning both layers in the Layers Panel. Fort CS6 users, go to File -> Scripts -> Export Layers to Files and the same dialog box appears as discussed in this paragraph.
  • Can always double click on the gradient strip in the Gradient Fill Panel and when the Gradient Editor Panel opens, Name the gradient and click the New button – then the gradient will appear at the end of the Presets for use on another image as a gradient but it is not a PNG file.

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Coleus Plant at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and GardensAs noted above in Step 2 of the Basic Workflow, the light leak only has one side to it. There is a more complicated process and it is shown above on the Coleus Plant image also taken at the Gardens. To get a strip effect, it is fully explained in James Abbot’s How to Create Realistic Light Leaks in Photoshop short Tipsquirrel video. The major trick is to adjust the actual gradient strip tabs in the Gradient Editor panel. By moving the little tabs on both the upper and lower sides of the strip, clear spaces in the gradient can be created so a strip effect can be created. Then a second Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer is clipped to the original Gradient Fill Layer to set the color. I suggest you watch the video for a good explanation on how to create this effect. To me it seems like it would be easier to adjust the Light Leak in the Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer’s mask to paint with a black soft edged brush and remove parts of the leak or use the Gradient Tool on the mask to create a straight soft line.

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Vintage image of the Traveler Circle Swing at Coney Island in 1905To create very simple light leaks, a Fog Brush (download the one used above at Plearn) can be used to paint a color on a New Layer where the light leak would look good. Then try different blend modes and adjust the layer opacity, or add a layer mask and paint out areas that are too strong. Very easy. Then the color layer can be saved down as a light leak layer by using Step 4 in the workflow. The Traver Circle Swing at Coney Island in 1905 (the price was 10 cents for adults and 5 cents for children) historic image from Shorpy.com used a layer where an orange color was painted around the sides and top of the image and set to Vivid Light blend mode. Again this layer could have been saved as a PNG document as in Step 4 above. A border I had created a while back was added to give a little texture in the light leak areas.

I hope this info will give you an opportunity to create some of your own light leaks. These saved light leaks can be loaded into Topaz (for website link see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog) Texture Effects’s Light Leaks section to use in this plug-in. Give it a try and see if you like the results. Until next week…..Digital Lady Syd

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LIGHTROOM FOR ANIMAL PHOTOGRAHY

Image of a Sumatran Tiger at the Jacksonville ZooI was catching up on some videos from last year and ran across one that turned out to be really interesting. It is called How to Turn Your Zoo Photography into Fine Art with Lightroom by Serge Ramelli. Since I like to photograph animals at the various zoo and theme parks around here, I gave it a go and thought I would share his rather simple workflow. Be sure to check out the link as Serge offers 5 Develop presets and 2 Adjustment Brush presets to use on your images (and he also has some other very good videos on Photoshop at his site).

The image above is of a Sumatran Tiger from the Jacksonville Zoo – this is one of the tigers they use for demonstrating his breed – very nice cat. Once you have downloaded the presets and placed them in Lightroom (his video goes through this at the end), I always create a Virtual Copy to work with so the original can be used again if needed.

  1. Try looking at all his presets and choose one that looks good. The above image used his Zoo Base I preset. All the settings are set up so only a tweak here or there might be needed. The Develop Basic and Detail sections are where the adjustments are made. You can always go back to these after finishing the steps and adjust them more if the effect is not quite right.
  2. Now is a good time to Crop the image before you set up the Gradient Filters, but it can be done later.
  3. Select the Gradient Filter and add a New dot on on the right side of the image. Set the Effect drop-down field to Exposure or try out the Zoo Darken Brush. Now move the Exposure slider to select the correct amount of vignette, he softened the Clarity a little as it smooths the dark areas, and finally the Noise is set to +100. Just drag out the gradient towards the subject. Do this for the other three edges.
  4. Select the Adjustment Brush and in Effect drop-down, choose Zoo Darken Brush and paint in on parts that need to be darkened a little on main animal or subject. Switch to Zoo Brighten Brush in Effects drop-down and paint over areas that need to be lightened – basically doing dodging and burning here. Can adjust any of the other sliders to get the correct look and can add new points to get a great finished look. Try adding one for just the eyes by zooming in.
  5. Go back and tweak any of the settings since this is the beauty of Lightroom!

This is when I take my images into Photoshop and add some more filter effects. The tiger image used the Nik Color Efex Pro 4 plug-in applied to it in specific places using Darken/Lighten Center, Detail Extractor (control point on face only), Glamour Glow and Pastel (set to 46% opacity) filters. That was all that was done. Not sure mine exactly fine art but it does give a very pleasing look and the background has definitely been toned down a lot. Serge used more vignetting in his images so check out the video link for those settings.

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Image of a Western Lowland Gorilla from the Jacksonville ZooThis guy was definitely watching everyone in the area – I think he is in charge of this part of the Jacksonville Zoo. Used the same preset as above – the Zoo Base I is my favorite. Added the gradient filters and adjustment brush strokes and took the image into Photoshop. At this point the image had a lot more background color and was not cropped to the final size. In Photoshop Nik Viveza 2 was used to do a little more sharpening and brightening in the right places. A black and white Adjustment Layer was added and set to 37% layer opacity to slightly remove the color. Then the final crop was done. The desaturated look seems to suit this guy.

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Image of a Giant Tortoise at the St. Augustine Alligator FarmThis Giant Tortoise resides at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and is hard to miss! I think he is eating twigs. This time the Zoo Sepia preset was used as a starting point in Lightroom and more of the Basic sliders were adjusted to get a global effect that looked good. Then the Gradient Filters were added and the Adjustment Brush was used to brighten up his face. In Photoshop Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) Detail 3 Highlights was opened and the Highlight Detail 1 preset was selected. A black layer mask was added back in PS and just the focal areas were painted back in. On a Stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Texture Effects 2 was opened up and a new preset was created. Used a rusty edged grayish texture, some edge blur for the background but not the turtle, a light leak that had some turquoise for the shell, and a few Basic Adjustment settings were applied. In the masking section, painted back the face a little. This layer was set to 67% layer opacity. On another stamped layer, used Nik Viveza 2 just on the face to lighten it up a little more. Last step involved adding a Levels Adjustment Layer to slightly flatten out the dark edges – painted back the face so it was not affected.

These presets are very nice. It is an easy way to really set off the animals and remove some of the distractions that are usually inside the cages. I am still experimenting with this technique, but it appears to have some good possibilities. I would encourage you to at least try out the presets and see what you thing. Serge has several other videos and presets available so check out those also. Hope everyone is enjoying this early Spring!…..Digital Lady Syd

GETTING THAT POSTER EFFECT

Image of the Video Arcade Sign at the Magic KingdomThis week I watched an interesting short video by Chris Spooner of Spoon Graphics called Airbrushed Film Poster Effect so I decided to give it a try. The images in this blog are all the result of using of his steps or variations of them. This first image from Disney World follows most of his steps closely. I wanted to start by trying the actual steps to really understand how this effect is achieved. Also, I found it easier to understand what he is saying by turning on the closed captions for this video. Chris says this effect works best with darker low key photos with lots of details.

The basic steps are listed below, but I found some better ways to create some of these effect using Photoshop plug-ins from vendors as opposed to all the PS filters in this workflow. First off, the image needs to be in 8-bit Mode if using the PS filters so go to Image -> Mode -> 8 Bits/Channels. Chris starts with using the High Pass Filter set to a fairly low Radius and the top image used the filter with a Radius of 2 pixels. Chris used the Oil Paint Filter for the painterly effect on his image, but this just is not one of my favorites so the layer was taken into Topaz Impression 2 where Abstract Settings-Blake Rudis preset was applied. That is my only deviation from the workflow.

This next step is one that could be useful for other workflows. A RGB Luminosity Channel was selected by going to the Channels Panel and CTRL+clicking on the thumbnail to select the Highlights in the image. Once selected, changed to the Layers Panel. Copy and Paste (Edit -> Copy and Edit -> Paste) creates a new layer showing just the highlights on the layer. It is set to Vivid Light and the opacity is lowered. Then go to Select -> Reselect and create a New Layer. Fill selection with white using CTRL+Backspace if colors set to default black and white or Edit -> Select and set Contents to White. This layer was set to Soft Light blend mode. These steps really give an interesting look to the image and could be good for other types of effects.

This video used the Poster Edges in the Artistic Effects filter and set them to Edge Thickness 0/Edge Intensity 0 and Posterization 6 which adds dark lines into image. To get similar results for light lines, on a duplicate layer the color was desaturated (SHIFT+CTRL+U) and the Glowing Edges filter (Edge Width 1, Edge Brightness 2, and Smoothness 1) in the Stylize section was applied. It was set to Screen blend mode and the opacity was adjusted. The last few steps involved adding Noise by filling a layer with 50% Gray and than applying the Add Noise at 20% to give some grain to the image. Chris then added a tan paper texture on top and set it to Soft Light blend mode. For the above image, 2 Little Owl’s Color Bokeh Grunge Set No. 6 (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) was used to get the grungy effect.

The process is a bit tricky as there are a lot of things going on, but once attempted, you can see how to make the image look more like that airbrushed effect in posters.

*****Image of Native American demonstrating Horn PlayingThe above is of Jim Sawgrass, the Master of Ceremonies at the Ormond Beach Native American Festivals, who gives excellent talks on the traditions and lives of Native Americans throughout the country. It was my second attempt to get this poster effect and several workflow steps were changed to get this result. For starters this man was selected from the original image using PS Select and Refine Command – this works pretty well on rather detailed objects. Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available but I keep looking for it) to sharpen the image since this filter gives a nice poster feel, but Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) Detail or Clarity could have been used. No painterly effect was used on this image. Same steps as above were then followed except the RGB Luminosity layer was set to Pin Light blend mode at 71% layer opacity instead of Vivid Light. No layer was desaturated (accidentally) but it turned out fine. Same PS filter settings. Jai Johnson’s Daily Textures Unpredictable (No. 6) was placed underneath the man and on top 2 Little Owl’s Color Bokeh Grunge Set texture with a layer mask added to paint back the player. Just some clean up was done after this. I went back and added Nik Color Efex Pro on this image after finishing the horses as the results really enforced the poster feel. Therefore, Bleach Bypass, Darken/Lighten Center, and Film Efex Nostalgic Film Type 7 filters were applied – used different opacities to get the effect.

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Image of two toy horses from the Native American FestivalA similar workflow as above was used on this toy horse image also taken at the Native American Festival. This image looks even more like a Poster. After selecting the horses, to get the airbrushed effect Topaz Impression 2 was opened and the Painterly II preset was used. This preset seems to give a great slightly painterly feel that a poster requires. The white highlights layer was set to Color Dodge blend mode instead of Soft Light and was set to 74% layer opacity. The Poster Edges filter was applied with the Edge Intensity changed to 2. The Glowing Edges filter settings were changed to Edge Width 2, Edge Brightness 4, and Smoothness 3. These sliders can all be adjusted to get a needed effect. The grainy look needed to be applied so this time Nik Color Efex Pro 2 was opened and Film Efex: Vintage filter was applied and then the Bleach Bypass filter as it looked really good. The Nik filters really seemed to enhance the poster effect so try different ones to pop the colors especially. Another one of Jai Johnson’s Daily Textures Unpredictable 16 was placed underneath the horses.

There is a little trick here that I figured out to help add that poster look. On a New Layer on top, my SJ Pastel 3 brush was used to just lightly paint over some of the edges around the horses. It made some of the hard edges sort of fade into the image and by using a color that matched the background a little, it added to the overall painterly effect. This was done to a lesser extent to the Native American horn blower. For info on making this brush, see my How to Use Photoshop’s Brush Texture Section for Painting Clean-up blog.

If you like the airbrushed poster effect, this is a pretty good workflow and lots of options to make it look more like your own creation. Remember the results depend a lot on what the resolution and brightness of the image is at the beginning. I appreciate Chris Spooner sharing this type of workflow which is so flexible and gives everyone a chance to create the effect. Until next week…..Digital Lady Syd

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A FEW BRUSH TIPS IN PHOTOSHOP

Digital painting of the Swamp or Wetlands in Florida Just was not ready with a new technique but have been enjoying painting, so thought I would go over a couple little tricks I’ve  learned that might help save you some time while digital painting. It can get pretty sophisticated once you figure out where the image is going. The above Photoshop painting is called Spring in the Swamp and contains 61 layers. Even if this is not exactly your type of painting or expression, maybe there are a few tips here that will speed up your image production.

My painting started with just a basic sketch of a stream before just adding some floral brush strokes. Over the last few months I have spent hours figuring out exactly what brushes work with my painting style and creating new ones as tool presets when needed. This results in lots of brushes that can be very cumbersome to have piled up in the Brush and Tool Panels in PS.

TIP No. 1: Create several groups of brushes and save them as Tool Presets so they can be opened up anytime you want to paint those effects.

For my paintings I currently use 6 major sections: At the top of my Tool Presets Panel (top left icon in Options Bar shows current tool selected) are the signature brushes and brushes used on an almost daily basis for all kinds of touch up on both photos and my paintings. The Tool Preset Picker (click the arrow beside the Tool Presets Icon to open) and click the little square icon with the corner folded up to create a New Tool Preset – name it Drawing Brushes section. Any regular brush can be used for this since it is not being used as a brush. It will be listed at the bottom of the Tool Preset list. I find that capital letters stand out really good. Now drag it into the spot needed above the described brushes for quick use.

Regular Brushes Tool Preset in my Photoshop

The sections must be set up in the Preset Manager which can opened in a couple ways. To go directly to the Tool Preset Manager, open the Tool Preset Picker in the Options Bar and click on the top icon – a little cog wheel – in the drop-down, select Preset Manager. You will see not just the Regular Brush Tool Preset, but all kinds of brush tool presets – Mixers, Smudge, Burn, Dodge, Smudge, Erasers, etc. – the Regular Brushes have the paintbrush as an icon. Alternatively, go to the Brush Panel or Brush Picker Panel and click on the 2nd icon over at the bottom of each called Open Preset Manager. Once opened, the Preset Type is set to Brushes, not the Tool Presets, so open click on the little field to open a drop-down, and select Tools – it is now at the same place as described above. Now the brushes can be moved around by just dragging them. Also SHIFT+Highlight or CTRL+Highlight to move several brushes. Create sections by moving the header above each group to be used – i.e., Drawing Tools and then adding underneath the brushes as shown in the screenshot. Now select the Header and all the accompanying brushes and click Save Set. Once saved, the whole section can be deleted out of the Preset Manager and reloaded anytime this set of brushes is needed again. Very handy and a safe way not to loose these so important brushes if you paint. (For more info on this, check out my Why Use the Tool Preset Panel? Photoshop Painters Listen Up! blog.) The 6 major sections that work for me are: my basic brushes at top, Drawing Tools, Landscape Brushes, Snow Tools, Fur Tools, and Spatter Brushes. Brushes I am trying out are at the bottom. At this point only the Regular brushes are kept in sections. If I switch to my Mixer Brushes in the Tool Presets, there are several more brushes but not as many so I have not divided them into sections, but rather just keep them grouped together for quick use.

TIP No. 2: Name the Tool Preset Brushes so you know what they are.

When I modify a brush that is from someone else, the tool or brush is renamed using my initials at the beginning and then using the original brush title – usually these brushes all have a unique dab types that I could not have created without the original creators help. Creating several of these brushes have been explained several other blogs so I will not go into that. For example the Drawing Tools are from various people and represent very different types of brushes for creating an actual drawing effect. In the screen shot above are many examples of the way my brushes are named.

TIP No. 3: Keeping all Tool Presets open.

If you do not have Check Current Tool Only checked, all the Tool Presets loaded will be shown. I do not do this as there are so many brushes in my Tool Presets, but many people save lots of time by opening leaving open the Tool Preset Panel (Windows -> Tool Presets) – then you can actually switch between tool types very quickly, like a particular Regular Brush and a Mixer or Eraser.

TIP No. 4: Use the Brush Picker to get back to the last 7 brushes used! Can be a major time-saver.

Once Photoshop removed the ability to create your own panels to access your favorite brushes quickly (original CC and CS6), it became a real problem to paint in PS. I was constantly going back to CS6. The Brush Picker now has this great little gem that can be indispensable for painting. The last 7 brushes used are displayed at the top – just note each time you change a size it will be listed at the top again under that size. What is so great is that if the size or something else is modified in the Brush Panel, by clicking on the brush icons at the top, these settings are retained as long as the icon is showing. If you clicked back on the brush in the Brush Panel, the settings would be lost. If you click on the settings in the Tool Preset, the brush will also reset. But if you press on the brush icon in the Brush Picker, the correct Brush Panel settings are retained. This can be helpful if you are switching back and forth a lot. The thing that you must be careful about is that the settings for the Options Bar do not change as the brushes are switched – this is just for Brush Panel modifications. So watch the brush modes, opacities and flows to get correct results. Not always useful, but can be a real time saver. Oh yes, same goes for the Libraries Panel – if a brush is placed in there it will act the same as the brushes in the Brush Panel. The Options Bar settings will not be retained. The Libraries Panel is another place to put your favorite brushes though.

TIP No. 5: Use the Mode Clear to erase on a layer when painting.

My friend Nicholai over at Grut Brushes is where I learned this tip (check out his website for some really great brushes and his free brush of the week). This can be handy to erase away an area using the same dabs of what you were painting. So for example, if you are painting clouds, set the brush to Clear to get a nice cut away when parts of the clouds need to be removed. Very handy!

TIP No. 6: Use the Blur Tool to quickly soften parts of a flower or tree or bird that is too sharp.

The Blur Tool was used in several places on the above – just create a New Layer and keep the setting at no more than 50% to get some nice controlled blurred strokes. This tool was not that good in previous versions (in CS6 it does not work that well), but it works great now.

Guess this is enough for this week. Hope you find the tips handy and time-saving! Have a great week!…..Digital Lady Syd

A VINTAGE LANDSCAPE EFFECT


This week posting another oldie but goodie from my Tidbits Blog and a newer image with some of my favorite newer filters. I loved the way the above image turned out – never expected it to be this pretty considering it was an image I snapped while standing on the street in front of our hotel. It is Nelson Monument (in center) and Acropolis (aka National Monument of Scotland on left corner) on Calton Hill – I did not get to visit this site but wish I had. This was not difficult to process once I got going. After cleaning up a rather boring image, Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) Simplify was opened and a preset I call the John Barclay BuzSim Setting preset was used.  I listened to one of John’s excellent videos on Topaz Labs and created this preset which has a very subtle result. (The settings are: Simplify: Colorspace RGB, Simplify Size 0.19, Details Boost 1.00, and Details Size 0.20; Adjust: Brightness 0.01, Contrast 1.08, Saturation 1.03, Saturation Boost 1.15, Structure 1.00, and Structure Boost 1.00; and Edges: Edge Type – Color Edge Normal, Edge Strength 0.00, Simplify Edge 0.30, Reduce Weak 10.00, Reduce Small 0.20 and Flatten Edge 0.00.) Next I added 2 lil Owls (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) Workshop 6 – Texture 1 which has the beautiful turquoise and light yellow sky color – the layer was set to Overlay Blend Mode. The beautiful text was supplied by my favorite Shadowhouse Creations – his Text Brush 5. I actually clipped a bright green Color Fill Adjustment Layer to the text (to clip just ALT+click between the two layers and the color fill adjustment layer will only affect the layer below) – then the text layer was set to 55% opacity. Another 2 Lil’ Owls Texture – texture 4 was used as an overlay frame. A light yellow Color Fill Adjustment Layer was clipped to the texture file. A Curves Adjustment Layer where the red, green and blue channels were adjusted to get this slight vintage feel. The last thing done was to add a Color Fill Adjustment Layer to the whole image using a soft cream color (#c6c3bd) and the Nelson Monument was painted out in the layer mask so the eye is drawn to that area of the image.

Image of Waterfall at Ormond Memorial GardensThis image from the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens in Ormond Beach, Florida, used the same Topaz Simplify preset by John Barclay and just used Topaz Texture Effects 2’s Facing Fast preset. This time the effect was removed from the foreground flowers and Nik Viveza 2 was used to add a little vignette effect to the image. Texture Effects does a really great job of giving vintage effects and it is always fun to try out the different presets and combinations by adding new sections to get some great results.

Had a lot of fun as usual – never get tired of this!…..Digital Lady Syd

A LITTLE VALENTINE FUN

Heart image for ValentinesThis week I have been feeling “under-the-weather” so I am going to present a valentine link for the image above and the workflow for the card below from a few years ago. To get the info on how the top valentine was created, check out my original blog at Free Valentine Templates and a Valentine with Heart.

To create the above, these steps and resources were used:
1. Started on a New Document with Spatter Heart Frame from PS Brushes. A Layer Style was added – Outer Glow set to a soft yellow and Linear Dodge (Add) at 75% and a Spread of 21; and a Gradient Overlay adjusting Graphix1 Muted 8 for a gold tone.
2. Next a background was added underneath using Colored Vintage Paper by Ciara Panacchia Texture 08 (Deep Red).
3. Another texture was added above this one – Vintage Valentine Paper by Aramisdream using Texture 09. It was set to 59% and a layer mask was used to brush out the center and to create a vignette effect around the edges.
4. A layer was placed on top that used Obsidian Dawn’s Glitter set-hearts-glitter brush in a soft beige at 43% opacity.
5. Glass Prism’s cupid brush was placed in the center on it’s own layer.
6. The red valentines were placed on their own layer – Hearts by King Billy Sample Brush 20 was used (there are some other nice valentine brushes in this set). A Layer Style was added using a red Color Overlay and a small 1 pixel Stroke.
7. Two Text Layers were created using the font Precious, a perfect Valentine font. A Layer Style was added using: Inner Shadow set to Distance of 21 and Size of 21; Outer Glow set to Linear Dodge (Add) at 45% opacity and Size of 24 pixels with a light yellow color; and Bevel and Emboss set to Inner Bevel, Smooth, Depth 103, Size 10 and the rest default settings.

That is how I made some Valentines. It was a lot of fun to try out the different effects with the brushes – the layer styles really made a difference. When you have a minute, try a layer style on some of your brush strokes – you may get some surprising results!…..Digital Lady Syd

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