Anything Photoshop or Photography


Image of Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine, FloridaThis week’s blog is basically a simple tip on getting a textured border to match your image effect, and the video shows how to create your own border brush. National Geographic cites the above image as one of the “Most beautiful Streets in America” – Magnolia trees with Spanish Moss shade the street near the famous Fountain of Youth located in St. Augustine, Florida. In earlier blogs I discussed using plain double-edged layer styles for a clean-edged look on regular photographs. Dave Cross has some great tutorials on more creative edges and adding some great looking borders that he teaches on KelbyOne and in his still excellent book Photoshop Finishing Touches. But when I am creating a “painterly” look, these really do not do add to the image and I am left with a feeling that the image is unfinished. Since most watercolor images have a light border around them, I had created one that I liked a lot, but it still was not quite the effect I was looking to get. (See Related Blogs at bottom – some with free download links for styles and frames.) Therefore, I have come up with this little workflow to create the perfect artsy border each time.

The trick to getting a this beautiful edge on your image is to:

1.  Create a New Layer on top of your final post-processed image.

2.  Select the Paintbrush Tool using a similar brush that was used to paint in the image, (or create the one in my video), and paint an edge around the photo – you do not have to paint at 100%, but also try 50 or 60% brush opacity and make sure that you are a little sloppy so that it looks like an actual painting showing bits of the underlying canvas.

3.  While still on the border layer, this time switch to the Eraser Tool and select the same brush from the Brush Preset Panel. I set the brush size a little less in the Eraser Tool and painted back around the painted border rough edges. This creates a really nice natural edge look. All brushes in the Brush Preset Panel can be used with any type of brush tool – eraser, smudge, sharpen, mixer, clone stamp, pattern stamp, etc. – very handy.

4. Now go back and forth between the Paintbrush Tool (B) and the Eraser Tool (E) until you get the border you want. A quick tip is that if you hold how the E tool very quickly and paint, it will return to the Paintbrush Tool when you release the key. This can make creating the border very fast.

As a last optional step, add a Bevel and Emboss layer style (double click on the black part of the layer in the Layer panel) and click on the words Bevel and Emboss. The above border was set to Style Inner Bevel, Depth 75% and Size 17 pixels. Contour was check with Range 25% and Texture Pattern was set to a Gesso Pattern by John Derry at Scale of 250% and Depth of +75%. Experiment with the pattern as this can really help blend the border into the photo if a plug-in was used to add the effect. Below is a video link showing how I created the second image’s border using the basic steps above. (Does not show up in RSS Feed – need to open blog to run You Tube Video.)


Image of a shop display in St. Augustine, FloridaSince I am pretty new with creating videos, just bear with me on this, but I do like the brush created in it. I hope you will be able to enjoy painting borders just like this one. Try different base brushes and playing with the Brush Panel settings. I hope to be able to create some more nice painterly brushes as I learn more about the various settings. Once again, it is fun to add your own spin to your images. Have a good week!…..Digital Lady Syd

Post-Processing Info:

Image 1: The original was taken from a moving trolley bus so it was a good candidate for a “painterly” look. Photoshop CC’s Shake Reduction filter helped the blurriness just a little. Next I followed Ian Barber’s Photoshop Soft Light Glow video to add a really nice lighting effect (the Gaussian Blur Radius was set 143). Next some major clean up removing posts and signs and a Levels Adjustment layer to add some contrast back. Alien Skin Snap Art 4“s Impasto Vignette preset was used with a mask set at the end of the road to add a little more detail. Next Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) ReStyle Treehouse preset was added with no changes. Painted the border with an oil brush using the same brush in the Eraser Tool to get the same edging effect. I think it now looks like how I want to remember it!

Image 2: I was please this image turned out so nice since it was behind glass. Just the basic adjustments in Lightroom. In Photoshop OnOne (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Perfect Effects 8.1 was opened and an orange and blue Split Tone filter was applied with the Balance set to 74, and an Detail Adjustment Brush was used to sharpen up the birdhouse and glasses. Shadowhouse Creations released Texture Set JJ – several really nice free textures last week including the Texture 5 shown here. An really nice brush from David Cole Complete Digital Painting Techniques called wax resist was used to paint back in the items in a layer mask on the texture (click here to download these brushes). This book is older but is still quite relevant to the basic digital painting techniques being used today. A Curves Adjustment Layer and Levels Adjustment Layer along with a couple clean up layers were added before the border was added as shown in the video.

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
How To Make Frames or Borders
Digital Lady Syd’s Free Layer Style Frames
More Border Fun!
Feeling Like a Walk on the Island
Soft Painterly Effect

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