Anything Photoshop or Photography


Image of Aliona with textureThe above image is a modeling shot taken of my daughter-in-law with Painted Textures beautiful Seafoam texture added above. The first tip below was used to apply the texture. This week I thought I would pass on a couple painting tricks I am currently using. (See Image 1 in Image Notes at end of blog for more info.)

Creating a Nice Simple Brush for Painting Out Textures

Image of two mushrooms treated with a textureThese were fairly good-sized mushrooms that popped up in my yard this week – had to take a picture of them as the natural texture of the mushrooms was so pretty. (See Image 2 in Image Notes at end of blog for details and resource info.) Painted Textures Christmas texture was added and on a layer mask, the mushrooms were painted back using a very simple brush – Photoshop’s Chalk Brush 60 with the Shape Dynamics Angle Jitter set to 19% and a brush opacity of 30% – I use this brush all the time to add a painterly edge to textures. By changing the Angle  Jitter setting just a little, a different looking stroke is laid down each time. Use this brush at different sizes and opacities (I often start at 12% opacity) to get the effect you like. It has a little bit of a watercolor brush look to it, but build up the effect by painting over the areas several times. It really works great for painting out textures in masks. It works very well for creating the frames that many of the painted-looking images require.

Clipping a Texture to a Border for Extra Effect!

Image of my porch using Alien Skin's Snap Art 3 Photoshop plug-in This may be one of my favorite images that was just a quick snap taken on my porch. It has an autumn Victorian feel to it! What was done with this image to get this look? Lightroom and Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 created the painterly effect. (See Image 3 in Image Notes at end of blog for details.) What I discovered is that you can actually clip a texture to the frame (ALT+click between layers to clip the top texture layer to the frame below) to get some very interesting textures applied to them. In this case Kim Klassen‘s July Set Rue texture (if you are not on her newsletter list, get on it to receive beautiful free textures like this one) was clipped to the frame to give the vintage feel to the whole image. You can try any of your favorite textures.

Saving a Border You Created

Remember you can always save any borders you create by selecting just the border layer. Turn off all the other layers by ALT+clicking on the border eyeball and go to File -> Scripts -> Export Layers to File and select the PNG-24 default settings. Click Run button and Voila! you can drag it into any image you are working on as a border. In the case above, a frame was created using my free SJ WC Salt Water Brush. Then just clip a texture to it (as described in section above) and adjust the layer opacity of the clipped texture (and don’t forget to try different blending modes too). For more information and a visual of the PNG dialog box, check out my How To Make Frames or Borders blog.

Add Blend If Sliders to Textures for Extra Texture

Image of Frog using Topaz Clarity and ReStyleThis large Barking Tree Frog that fell out of my Palm Tree while it was being trimmed was very patient while I photographed him. It only lasted a few minutes, but he was very still for me – I love his little hands. This is the same frog that was in my Viveza 2 Does It Again! Tidbits Blog. Three of Kim Klassen’s textures were added and the Blend If sliders were applied to her textures to get the above effect. The combined Blend If slider adjustments give that sort of spotty grungy look that I liked for the nature image. (For details on which textures and settings see under Image Notes – Image 3 at end of blog.) I covered these sliders in a previous blog, but this image shows more exact results of what the Blend If sliders can create. (See my How to Use Those Handy Blend-If Sliders! blog link.) One important thing to watch out for is a color shift if a Stamped (or Composite layer) is created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) – just set the Fill (not Layer Opacity) to 0% and it will work fine.

Using a Pattern Overlay Layer Style to Add a Texture Effect to a Border

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly image with special border effectThese large Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies love my yellow and bright pink Lantana flowers in my front yard. This girl had her eye on me – my camera makes those little click sounds and some of the butterflies are disturbed by this – but it did not stop her from what she was doing. All the techniques described in this blog were used in some way on this image border. Another way to add texture to your border layer is to use a Pattern Overlay Layer Style (just double click in the layer to the right of the thumbnail to open up) – then by clicking on the words Pattern Overlay (the check box does not open up the dialog info for it), a pattern can be selected in the drop-down menu. , The pattern can be moved around by dragging the mouse in the image and moving the texture, and blend modes, scale, and texture opacity can also be adjusted.

The border above was created in white on its own layer using pastel brush settings in the Image 5 notes below. A bright pattern was stretched to 852%, which is okay since it is just for a little bit of border color (normally this is way too high and the pattern is greatly degraded unless it is a very high resolution pattern). A bright yellow-green texture was added on top and the Blend If tabs were adjusted to slightly break down the edges to give more texture in the border – these settings are also listed below. Check out my short More Border Fun! blog for another example on how to do this.

Converting a Texture or Image to a Pattern

This concept can be a little confusing since Photoshop seems to use the word texture and pattern interchangeably. Basically the way I see it is that a texture is usually in a JPEG or PSD format while you must use a special extension, PAT, to use the Photoshop Pattern items. This includes using the Pattern Stamp Tool, Pattern Fill Layer, Content Aware Fill Pattern, and Pattern Overlay Layer Style. Note that any texture or image can be easily converted into a pattern by opening up the texture in Photoshop, go to Edit -> Define Pattern. A dialog opens up and the texture or image name appears in the Name field. Now when you open up the Pattern drop down list, it appears at the end.

I hope some of this info will help you with your basic texturizing and painting of an image. They are really simple tips that can be big time-savers. Have a good week!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try Again!
How to Turn a Brush into a Watercolor Brush
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz ReStyle


Image 1: This image was taken by Premiere Model Management as a JPEG. My daughter-in-law’s beautiful image was first adjusted in Lightroom and an Adjustment Brush was used on her eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows before bringing into Photoshop. Painted Texture’s beautiful Seafoam texture was added and a layer mask was added where the Chalk brush was used to hide and reveal the image underneath using different brush opaciites. In the Layer Styles Blend If section, the Underlying Layer black tab was split and set to 5/17 which brought out the jean outline nicely. A composite layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was created on top and made into a Smart Object. The Camera Raw filter was opened and the image was adjusted to correct her skin tone with the texture around it. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top to add back just a little bit of contrast into the image, and her face was painted back so the effect was not on her skin.

Image 2: Took a 3-shot HDR and selected PhotoMatix Pro’s Merge to 32-Bit HDR to create a Tiff in Lightroom before adjusting the Basic Panel sliders. I bought some really beautiful Lightroom presets at Craft and Vision by Dave Delnea and applied his Washed Tropics Look3 preset – I really like his photography style too. (Craft and Vision is one of my favorite places to get interesting and inexpensive E-books and was created by one of my favorite photographers David duChemin.) In Photoshop just did a little clean up removing a strand of grass. Next Nik’s Viveza 2 was opened and a control point was added to each mushroom to add a little structure and adjust the tone. The last step involved adding Melissa Gallo’s Painted Textures Christmas texture. As noted above, a layer mask was added to the texture and the Chalk brush was used to add in the painterly border. In the Layer Style the This Layer white tab was split (ALT+click on tab to split) and set to 48/173. I really love what the texture did to bring out the color in the mushrooms!

Image 3: First in Lightroom I used my old SJ Vivid Drawing Look preset – still works pretty good when converted to Lightroom 4 and 5 settings. In Photoshop Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 was opened up and the Watercolor Abstract preset was applied using Cold Press Paper in the settings. Three layer effects were used to add back some Photorealism to the flowers and clouds in the background. Different brushes were used on each layer so experiment with this when you set up the layers. Back in Photoshop the next step was to create a stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) ReStyle was opened where the Cream and Plum preset was selected. Settings were: Color Style Sat – Primary -0.30 and Fourth 0.44, and Lum Primary set to -0.37; Texture Strength -1.00. In Basic Section, Color Temperature set to 0.36 and Saturation -0.11, Tone Midtones to -0.14, and Detail Sharpness 1.00. This preset brought the nice fall colors. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to increase contrast. On a New Layer a border effect was created around the image by using my SJ WC Salt Water Brush painting in white.

Image 4: This time I added Topaz Clarity to the image using the Morning Dew preset and then I popped into Topaz ReStyle, their new plug-in, and changed the color to more of a greenish-brown color scheme. Started with Gable Green and Gandis. Changed these settings: Color Style: Sat – Primary 0.75 and Fifth -0.30; and Lum – Primary -0.31, Third -0.83, Fourth -0.20, and Fifth -0.66; Texture Strength 0.72; Color: Detail Structure 0.03 and Sharpness 0.42. Three Kim Klassen textures were added this time: Loveinlayers (set to Hard Light blend mode, 69% layer opacity, and in the Layer Style the Blend If This Layer white tab was split (ALT+click on tab) and set to 182/216 and Underlying Layer black tab set to 0/56.) and the B channel was unchecked): Ugglovebandw (set to Linear Light blend mode, 94% layer opacity, and in the Layer Style Blend If This Layer white tab split and set to 156/205 and Underlying Layer black tab set to 45 – a layer mask was added to texture to remove some of the black in the final result for this layer); and UggLove Ugglove (set to Hard Light blend mode, 96% layer opacity, and in the Layer Style This Layer white tab split to 159/175.) A New Layer was created and set to Overlay blend mode – with a low opacity soft small brush, some of the areas I wanted to emphasize were painted in. (See my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog for info on this.) A Curves Adjustment Layer was created to get rid of the over-dark blue tones in the shadows by changing the colors in the Red, Green and Blue Curves. The last step was to add a stamped or composite layer that is composed of all the layers on top (SHIFT+ALT+CTRL+E). When this was done, the color changed in the image. I believe this was due to the Blend If Layer Style changes. I figured out that to get around this, set the Fill Opacity for the composite to 0 and it is no longer an issue.

Image 5: In Lightroom the Lens Profile and Remove Chromatic Aberration boxes were checked, and then the image was cropped tight and switched to Portrait layout. Another preset from Dave Delnea’s group, C+V Washed Vintage 001 preset (link in Image 2 info) was applied and the butterfly was painted over with an Adjustment Brush with the Saturation, Exposure, Sharpness and Clarity sliders were adjusted to sharpen his body and eye a little. In Photoshop a duplicated layer was made (CTRL+J) and the image was opened in Topaz ReStyle. I am finding I always check this out before going on as sometimes I can get a slightly better color palette for an image, as I did in this case. Used Moody Collection’s preset Wedgewood Blue and Tan.  Set Structure slider to -0.39. In Mask painted out the butterfly and foreground area to keep background blurry but not foreground. Back wing was set to just a little blur. This was a great way to sharpen the foreground area and slightly blur the background to direct the eye to the butterfly. Nik’s Viveza 2 was applied as a Smart Object with several control points placed on the background to slightly desaturate the area around the butterfly wings, and some to sharpen and add a little more saturation to the foreground colors. Back in Photoshop a Curves Adjustment Layer was chosen and just a little more contrast added to the outside areas by dragging down on the curve – then in the Layer Mask the butterfly was painted to appear a little brighter to draw the eye a little more. This is just standard processing. Now a border was created using a basic Photoshop Pastel brush from the Natural Brushes 2 set and in Brush Tip Shape set the spacing to 81% and size 60 pixels, Smoothing was turned on, and Shape Dynamics Angle Jitter set to 10%, just like in the Chalk Brush. The edge was painted in white around the image where I wanted. A Pattern Overlay Layer Style (click fx at bottom of Layer Panel and select) and this time a free brightly colored pattern was used that contained the colors of the image. The one used is from 10 Splatters Patterns by Idealhut 07 pattern. The Pattern Opacity was set to 46% and the Scale was set to 852%. The pattern was moved around to get the effect I liked. Next French Kiss Artiste Collection’s Autumn Leaves texture was clipped on top of the border. In the Layer Style the Blend If This Layer black tab was split and set to 82/120 and the white tab was split and set to 151/214.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: LEARNING TO PAINT IN PHOTOSHOP | Digital Lady Syd's Fun Photoshop Blog

  2. Pingback: 6 TIPS FOR PAINTING IN PHOTOSHOP | Digital Lady Syd's Fun Photoshop Blog

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