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Create a Winter Scene with Photoshop Brushes and Textures



A while back I did a Fun Photoshop Blog called “Just Plain Fun Brush Effects!” and I find it is still one of my favorite pastimes, especially when I seem to lack that creative urge. Here is a fairly detailed “how to” on creating the first image. So here we go.

1. First start with a New Document – I used a 10 ” X 8″ size at 240 Resolution. This whole image uses the same gray blue color.

2. One of my favorite places for textures and brushes is from ShadowHouse Creations – almost everything he has is great. On a New Layer I loaded up his Tree Brush Set 2 and started with The Woods brush in a dark blue at the largest size. Clicked once in the foreground of my file and my image is started. Add a layer mask and paint out (in black with a soft brush) some of the bottom edge so it is not just a straight line across but looks like a little snow drifting.

3. Added a New Layer below the foreground tree and selected his Tree 9 from the above set – clicked once near the middle of the image to create a horizon with some soft trees showing by setting the layer opacity to 33%.

4. I had to add another New Layer and selected The Woods brush again. Click once, Free Transform (CTRL+T) and line up with the treeline in the first layer you created. Add a layer mask and paint out the tree sticking in the image so it is just a line of grass across the lower image.

5. In Tree Brush Set 2 add the deer on its own layer on top.

6. In ShadowHouse Creations Birds Brush Set 3 are the Birds – 14. Add on their own layer.

7. With Obsidian Dawn’s Grasses and Plants brush set, use grasses 1 and 8 and at different sizes to cover the sharp edge of the foreground line.

8. Create a group for all the brush layers -all but the background layer and name it Objects.

9. Next I added a sky image above the bottom background image. Add a layer mask and paint black on mask to cover all but the sky. I set the opacity of the layer to 19% as I did not want much color in the sky, just a feeling of blue. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer to further light it up if it is still colorful.

10. Highlight the Objects Group layer and add ShadowHouse Creations Texture ST-8 to give a really old feel to the image.(Go to File -> Place, locate your image, and click Enter. Adjust texture to fit image and click Enter to set. Finally right click and in menu select Rasterize to get rid of the Smart Object.) Set layer to Linear Burn mode at 63% opacity.

11. Florabella’s Snow 3 texture (the link is to her Facebook page with the free download on the left side) layer was added under this layer to add a snow falling effect. Highlight the Objects group and then follow the steps for bringing in a layer as in parenthesis above.

12. The last step involved adding two OnOne PhotoFrames (see sidebar for website at my Tidbits Blog) using Taufer Texture 05 and grunge 09. This gave the cool effect of snow appearing on the tree. A layer mask was used to remove too much white from the tree areas in places that did not look natural. So I don’t eave you at this last step and not know what to do if you do not own OnOne PhotoFrames, try BittBox Ice Texture 2 set to Soft Light blend mode, another one of my favorite textures and gives a very similar effect.

It looks like a lot of steps but it becomes very intuitive once you get going and a lot of fun.

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For another winter look, here is an image I created just from brushes and posted on my Tidbits Blog back in September. Since it fits the theme for this blog, I am going to add this image again and give you the resource information to use some of these beautiful brushes. Same basic workflow as above: creating a New Document, adding objects and brush effects (in slightly different colors this time) on individual layers above, and adding interesting textures and frames or styles as a last step.

This images use tree brushes from Winter Trees by Melbrushes and Trees from c4grfx brushes. Textures from Shadowhouse Creations Old Canvas 4 and the Glitter Brush Set by Obsidian Dawn.
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I guess you can tell I like to use tree brushes. This look will take a little more time but I love the overall calm feel to the image. Used the same tree brushes as above, from Winter Trees by Melbrushes and Trees from c4grfx brushes with a light gray-tan color. Then I added the best Flood Filter around – the Flood Filter from Flaming Pear to create the water reflection. I have not found any other plug-in that simulates flooding and reflections as well. In this case a simple reflection in Photoshop could be made with a Wave Filter applied. To create the foggy look, BB Brushes Fogs and Mists 12 was used in a soft white. A layer was added just above the white background to add a slight texture effect using a light tan color with Seu Davi brush 775 applied to the upper sky area at only 6% opacity. This layer was copied (CTRL+J) and flipped vertical so it shows up in the reflection area and the layer was set to 9%. Next a New Layer was created using beautiful gradient from Graphix1 Tainted Love gradient set called Contrast 30. The gradient was lined up to separate the sky from the ground and set to 49% opacity. Last, the little lights in the reflection were created in Topaz’s new Star Effects plug-in (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) but a similar effect could be created by using Frostbo’s Snow Drop brush (love this brush!).

I am constantly amazed at all the beautiful brushes available for free download and what great images you can put together with very little effort or artistic skill. Download these brushes and textures that I have indicated and see what you can put together. The sources listed are some of the best resources you will find and their websites are packed with lots of other goodies…..Digital Lady Syd


Fun with Clouds – Brush Them In to Add Some Interest

I love landscapes but there are so many times when you take an image in the bright sunlight and the sky is just a blaring blue. My favorite method to add clouds is to brush them in using cloud brushes you create yourself or download from someone else. These are placed on a layer by themselves so that the opacity can be adjusted later if they start to distract from the main focus of the image. Add a layer mask and paint out with black over areas where there should be no clouds. Use a brush at 50% opacity to blend in some of the clouds edges if they are too bright or sharp.

In the shot of the side of the old Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) in St. Augustine, Florida, clouds were added before processing the image in NIK Color Efex Pro4. I used my Cloud #4 and #1 brushes in my SJ-Clouds Set. If you would like to download some other great cloud brushes, Obsidian Dawn has some beautiful cloud brushes on her site, especially her Cloud II Photoshop Brushes.

The Old Courthouse Cupola in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Ghost House Cupola at the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida, are both examples of brushed in clouds on a separate layer on top of the image and then masked out where the sky is not.

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The cupola sky was actually a blown out gray color as the day was very overcast. In this case the color of the sky was changed to a soft blue using the Color Replacement Tool (see my Tidbits Blog “Like a Chameleon – The Color Replacement Tool“) and then another layer was added where clouds were brushed on to get the soft cloud bank look. Finally the image was processed in NIK Color Efex Pro 3 using the Tonal Contrast filter to get the crisp vintage feel.

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In the Ghost House image the sky was changed to a blue color using the Color Replacement Tool and then it was processed using the digital workflow by Don Smith (see “Digital Landscape Effects with Nik Software“) where the cloud layer was created with cloud brushes before processing in Color Efex Pro 3. This is one of my favorite cupola images with the unexpected bat flying on top.

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One of the best ways to get the cloud effects you want is to photograph different types of clouds at different times of the day. Then create your own Photoshop brushes using you favorite clouds. I did a blog a while back that explains how to create your own brushes in detail – see “How to Create Photoshop Brushes from Objects or Text.” It is really not that hard and it is fun to see your own images in the clouds!

I believe this is the fastest and easiest way to add clouds to images – I have added cloud photos to images with pretty nice results but the selection process can be tedious and the edges will need to be cleaned up. I like being able to choose the clouds I want and place them where I want. The flexibility is very nice. Just be sure to try a Hue/Saturation or Curves Adjustment Level or paint some slight color in your clouds if you are not getting the contrast you need. Also try stacking your different cloud brushes to create some new clouds – possibly add a bit of color on your brush to add some realism. This can all be done on different layers so the color effect can be faded.  Experiment!

Try out some of your own clouds or some I have supplied above and see what you think. It really is very easy to get good results!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Soft, Dreamy Look

Have you ever just wanted to try a different look on your images? I wanted to try this type of look for a while, so this week I began experimenting. The technique seems to be very popular right now and involves adding a very soft fill layer to get the effect. Most of the time it works best on floral, nature or still life images. It can be effective with some landscape images, especially with the help of textures which I did not address in this blog.

I found that LPDragonfly at Deviant Art has described the steps very well in some wonderful tutorials. Her Background tutorial and the Soft Bright Colors tutorial were used (see linked .jpg tutorial images that can be downloaded). Frames from OnOne Software (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) were used on all the images.

To summarize her two tutorials and adding a bit of my own ideas, here is the basic workflow (see my action link further down in blog):

  1. For shooting flowers, her basic premise is to put the flowers in the shade and allow the background to be in the sun, preferably with a floral background. I did not do this for my images, but will try to do this on future flower shots. Also use the widest aperture your lens will allow and focus on just one flower or group of flowers.
  2. First clean up image such as removing any objects and getting rid of noise.
  3. Add a Color Fill Adjustment layer set to Soft Light blend mode and adjust the opacity. Try different colors – will give very different looks
  4. Create a Curves Adjustment Layer adjusting the Blue Channel (Try Input 0, Output 64; Input 255, Output 201 – and adjust the curve to taste). May want to use a different channel depending upon the image you are using.
  5. Add a Selective Color Adjustment Layer (be careful not to adjust the black sliders – this increases the contrast) and/or a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. May not need all of these adjustment layers.
  6. Create a composite on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), set layer to Screen,  add a Gaussian Blur with a Radius set to +10 pixels, and adjust  layer opacity.
  7. Add a final Levels Adjustment layer and move the middle tab to get the best look.
  8. Try using the mixer brushes in Photoshop and paint on some of the flowers or objects on a separate New Layer to get a more painterly look. (See my blog “Adobe CS5’s Mixer Brushes.”)
  9. Now would be a nice time to add a texture for further emphasis.
  10. Try using a cream colored vignette (used NIK Efex Pro 3.0 Vignette preset but this can be created easily in Photoshop using a color instead of white for the vignette) as shown on the orange and yellow flowers below to get a different feel to the softness.

This same basic technique was used on all the images.

The same soft feel can be obtained by using some of Florabella’s Actions which are much more extensive and she has many more varieties than the simple one I created. They are fairly reasonably priced, so if you like the look, you may want to check out this website and buy one. She has a nice article on how she creates her look at this link, where she states she is doing basically what LPDragonfly outlined in her tutorial.

Obviously the easiest way to do this is to create an action with these different Adjustment Layers set up in it. OK – I did it for you and it can be downloaded here. You do not have to be on a Background Layer to get this to work and most of the Adjustment Layers do not have any settings in them – the Action stops so that you can adjust them as you go along. I tested it on several images – it contains the workflow from above.


I am sure with a bit more exploring, this effect can be achieved using some of the great Photoshop plug-ins such as AutoFX Software‘s Dream Suite or Mystical Suite. Hopefully I will be able to look into this at a later date.

That about wraps up my efforts for achieving the soft, dreamy look. I do believe adding some textures at low percentages and different blend modes, and using layer masks to mask out where the texture should not be in an image, would really add to the look. I hope you will get a chance to try out this look – it can be quite lovely!…..Digital Lady Syd


Create Realistic Planets

I was looking through some of my old magazines and I came across an old article in Photoshop Creative Issue No. 5 called “Create Space!” They had created this beautiful looking planet so I just had to try it out. My results are shown below.

I used another tutorial called “Creating Planet Rings” for the ring effect and the starfield and space object brushes are from Obsidian Dawn’s Space Brush set. This image took quite a while to complete so I began thinking about how this could be done easier. First, I will recreate the steps using just the magazine instructions for the planet (since I am not sure this issue is still available). Afterwards, I will show you how to get the same effect with the Planet brushes I created using this image. It only takes a few minutes!

THE LONG WAY – Actual Steps

STARFIELD:  First create a New Document which will eventually be your final image so make sure it is set to the size you which to make. Create a black background layer and on a New Layer, use some of Obsidian Dawn’s Space brushes to create the stars. I used the color c2d0d8, a light gray-blue,  for my objects. Put each of the objects on its own layer so it can be repositioned easily and the opacity may be adjusted individually. You may eventually need to add a Layer Mask to the starfield layer to get rid of any interfering dots in the body or rings of your planet, and the opacity may need to be reduced on this layer if the stars appear too bright.

PLANET:  This looks hard but it actually is pretty simple:

  1. First find a texture that you think may create a nice look. In this case, I used a free texture from Mayang Texture called concrete_with_stones_4060445.jpg. Open this image up in Photoshop.
  2. With Elliptical Marquee Tool, create a circle (hold SHIFT and ALT keys to center and make a circle while dragging) to just fit the inside the edges of the texture. Now CTRL+J to copy the selection to a New Layer and name “Texture.”
  3. With selection still active (if not, CTRL+click on the layer thumbnail), go to Filter -> Distort -> Spherize and set to 100%. Repeat this filter a few times to get an effect you like for your planet terrain.
  4. Fill your background layer with black and and copy your Texture layer three times (CTRL+J).
  5. On Texture 1 copy, fill with a blue (may want to change this color later to get a better effect) and name the layer “Color.”
  6. On Texture 1 copy 2, fill the circle with black (CTRL+click the thumbnail and ALT+Backspace to fill with black), name it “Shading.” Texture 1 copy 3 name “Atmosphere.”
  7. Highlight the Atmosphere Layer and set to Screen Blend Mode. Create a Layer Style (double click on name to bring up Style dialog) and select first:  Inner Shadow changing just these settings — Mode (Screen), Color (light cyan – I used b5d2e3), Global Light Angle (8 degrees), and adjust Distance and Size sliders to the right to get the color effect on the planet you like; Outer Glow — Mode (Screen), Color (Light Cyan), Size to create halo effect or atmosphere (120); and Inner Glow — Mode (Screen), Color (Light Cyan), and Size (120).   Now create a New Layer underneath and merge the Atmosphere layer down (highlight both layers and press CTRL+E to merge) – this applies (gets rid of the layer styles which you do not need anymore).
  8. Highlight layer called Shading and move it above the Atmosphere layer. With Move Tool, drag darkened disk up to the right so it masks the top-right third of the Atmosphere layer. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and set Radius to 95 pixels. Go to the Texture shape layer (be sure to use only this layer) and CTRL+click on thumbnail to create circle selection; then with the Shading layer highlighted, go to Select -> Inverse (SHIFT+CTRL+II) and then press BACKSPACE to remove shading from starfield. CTRL+D to deselect.
  9. Highlight Atmosphere layer and add a Layer Mask. With a soft brush set to 10-20% opacity and gently remove most of the remaining glow on the top and left side of the planet. See photo above for guidance. When done, right click on Layer Mask and select Apply Mask.
  10. Drag Texture layer above Color Layer and set blend mode to Screen. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation and select Saturation and move to bring some of the color back into the planet. Reduce opacity of layer to 33% and duplicate the layer two more times. Free Transform (CTRL+T) and select Rotate on the two duplicate layers you just created to adjust some of the detail on the planet. Highlight all three Texture layers and CTRL+E to merge together.
  11. Duplicate the Texture layer. On copy go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels and pull black and white tabs towards the middle – try to create a hard cloud effect. Free Transform (CTRL+T) and Rotate to get a good effect. Rename this layer to “Clouds.” Rename the Texture layer to “Land.” Reduce the Shading layer opacity to 95% so more texture shows through.
  12. Duplicate the Land Layer. Go to Filter -> Stylize -> Emboss and set the Angle to (-15), Amount to 1, and Amount 500%.  Name this layer “Highlights” and duplicate layer and name it “Shadows.”
  13. On Highlight layer go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels and input 145/1.00/210 and set layer to Linear Dodge blend mode at 50% opacity. On Shadow layer go to Levels and input 87/1.00/111 and set layer to Multiply blend mode at 70% opacity. The Clouds layer may need to be brightened a bit now – go to Levels or Image -> Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast.

All the steps above do not have to be done exactly as listed – sometimes I did not Free Transform three times if I already liked the effect or sometimes I went back to adjust my colors. This is just a basic guideline on how to create a relatively realistic planet.

Your planet is done!

RINGS: Now I followed the “Creating Planet Rings” tutorial to create the ring for this planet. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Create a New Document and fill with black. Set your Foreground color to Black and Background to White. Go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds. If you do not like the way the pattern looks, run the filter again until you like it.
  2. Go to Filter -> Distort -> Twirl and set to 999 – then apply the filter about three times to get a clean twirl look.
  3. With a Layer Mask, clear out inside and outside the twirl to create a ringed circle. When happy with the result, right click on Layer Mask thumbnail and Apply Layer Mask.
  4. Go to Edit -> Transform -> Scale and flatten ring as much as you want.
  5. Go to Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise and set to 15% and Gaussian. To get rid of the colored dots, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation and set Saturation to (-100).
  6. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels and move center tab to right (0.32). The go to Image -> Adjustments ->Hue/Saturation and click colorize. Choose a color. Set layer to Screen blend mode so black parts become invisible.

MOONS:  These are just like small planets only they do not need atmospheres or textures on their bodies.

  1. Create a small circle on a New Layer and fill with a light color.
  2. Duplicate layer and fill circle with black – with Move Tool drag to create shading cut out. May need to adjust the opacity of the color layer if it appears to bright in your sky.

The final stage is to copy your planet, ring and moon into the Starfield document. Now clean up any starfield stars that may show up in the wrong places, add a Layer Mask to ring layer (if needed) to hide overlapping areas, and place your moonlet. I actually lightened the ring in the darker area behind the planet to try and give a more realistic look.

Here’s another image using similar steps to the first image but I have also supplied the brushes for the planet in the download.


In this case two colors were used for the rings – just click on the layer and with the Free Transform Scale (CTRL+T and right click to select Scale) to make the rings fit, then erase if they enter into the planet. The texture for this planet can also be found in my Planet brushes. I used BittBox’s Grunge Ice Texture 3 for the red planet. As an update to this tutorial, Photoshop Creative Magazine just came out with an article in their latest US edition (Issue 74) called “Create a Spacescape” that uses similar techniques to that above.  Definitely a good reference.

THE SHORT WAY  – Planet Brushes

Download for my Planet Brushes

Now that you can know how all the space images were created, here are those same images using brushes made from the major components above.

Here are the steps to create the planet images as brush images very quickly:

    1. Create your starfield as discussed above.
    2. Set Foreground color to b5d2e3.
    3. Add a New Layer and select the SJ-Basic Planet Brush brush. Click once.
    4. Next create a New Layer and select the SJ-Texture for Planet brush. Click once.
    5. Create another new layer and change Foreground color to white. Use the same brush and click once on top of the texture layer you just created. Add a layer mask and use a black brush set to 50% opacity and lighten up area inside the planet so it is not too bright – you still want a fairly white rim around the edge.
    6. Go back to the light blue color and use the SJ-Graduated Light Ring brush. Click once and adjust layer opacity to get the right effect.
    7. Add galaxies using Obsidian Dawn’s brushes. Select SJ-Moonlet brush to add a small moon circling the planet and then change the color to black and click once more to add shading.

Try experimenting by stacking the planet texture brush strokes in different colors on individual layers – then change the blend modes and opacity, or add layer masks and only let a small amount of color show through. Also, use the Blender brush I included in the download for a soft blend of the the colors or to adjust the atmosphere of the planet. You can some very unique planets this way.

That’s it!


Here is another example of an image that was created just using brushes. Some of the brushes used are: my planet brushes that can be downloaded above, my lens flare brushes (for the sun in the upper corner) that were created in the blog “How to Create Photoshop Brushes from Objects or Text” and can be downloaded here, Obsidian Dawn’s Space-Starfield2 and Comet1 brushes, Hawkmont’s Moon8 brush, and qzma’s Realistic Planets and Star Field Brush-Frozen Planet. I created the face following my blog on creating Photoshop brushes linked above.

I feel that following the long planet tutorial at the beginning does give the best planet results but it is a rather time-consuming process. The brushes can give the same feel quickly if you need to fill a certain look in an image or need it for a background. For just plugging in realistic images of our solar system in the sky, then download Obsidian Dawn’s Planet brushes – these are absolutely wonderful. They would be perfect for that full or partial moon that is missing from your image. Also, here is a Life Photos Gallery link to “NASA Envisions Alien Worlds” that shows what others are envisioning for this type of art. I hope this has inspired you to try a couple quick, out-of-this-world images for a real change of pace…..Digital Lady Syd


Word Fun with Tagxedo

A few months ago I heard about Tagxedo, a free internet-based program that fits words into shapes while emphasizing the most important or used words.  I did not have time to try it around the holidays, but with this post I wanted to show you a few of the cool results you can get from this site.   Currently the program is in beta testing and is free – eventually there will be a charge to get full use.  Check out their article entitled “101 Ways to Use Tagxedo” to get lots of great project ideas.

The above image includes one of the provided shapes (Rose) and used very basic settings. Tagxedo allows you to upload your own shape, font, and text. I used the font, Fantaisie Artistique (a retro font I really like – click the link for a free download from daFont.com).  Click on the arrow to the right of the word Font which opens up the Font menu, and at the bottom click on the Add Fonts button to select a font from your computer.  To create your own color schemes, click to the right of the word Theme to open the Theme Menu,  and at the bottom click on Add Theme button to insert color numbers from Photoshop’s color picker – this image used f06eaa and ffffff (pink and white).  Finally I created a list of flower and summer words in Notepad and copied them into Load – Enter Text field.  Note you must use CTRL+V to paste into this field.  This is where any text can be copied in and several other options are presented.

The above image used the program shape called Cup (I think it looks like a watering can) with their color scheme called Rainbow Bright.  Texture No. 17 from Photoradar (one of 100 free textures to download), a stock photo of flying birds, and my picture of Pensacola Beach  from last July were added as background treatment in Photoshop.  An OnOne PhotoFrame was added as a final touch.

In this last example a Robert Frost poem called “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road” was used to show how the main words in the poem are chosen – in this case only horizontal lines were applied.  A provided Font called Pea Mee-Mee and the color scheme 51610.8 was selected.  With the Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop, a tree shape from an Adobe free download called 150 more shapes was created.  Next the white from the background was removed withused the free Adobe Pixel Bender filter and my favorite filter for it, the free Kill White filter (it works better with Pixel Bender than just as a Photoshop plug-in) to delete the white areas – can get some very interesting effects using Kill White so I recommend downloading it. (Note – often an error warning comes up when applying Pixel Bender – just say OK.) The image was saved as a png so it could be added in with the Shape Menu of Tagxedo.   Once finished with the image in Tagxedo, it was brought back into Photoshop and placed over the original shape layer created for Tagxedo.  The same saved Tagxedo image was added back in as one of the background layers,  some other textures and brush layers were added along with a vignette and an OnOne Photo Frame (here is a link for a smaller free version to use).

There are so many things you can do with this program  and I plan on spending some more time just creating different effects.  Once again, trying out new things is so much fun – and this program is definitely one you should try!…..Digital Lady Syd


Create Postage Stamps with Your Images

Method One:  (the old fashioned way – do it yourself)

I just did a really fun tutorial from Gavin Hoey at TipSquirrel.  This site has lots of short fun tutorials.  This is one from a few months ago and is called “Old Postage Stamp Effect in Photoshop.” Here is an example of following the tutorial pretty closely.

The original image was cropped and Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom preset Matt’s Vintage Style was applied along with a few adjustments to get the correct colors. I wanted a vintage look since the postmark has a 1968 date on it. I also found out that stamps cost only 6 cents then. The image was brought into Photoshop to begin the stamp look. Gavin has graciously given us the brown envelop background and the two postmarks as a download to help complete the tutorial.   Ok, here goes the quick tutorial version – check out Gavin’s short video for a visual understanding.

1.  Open up your image.

2.  Set Color Picker to default Blank and White.

3.  Go to Image – Canvas Size and increase the canvas by 10%

4.  Unlock background layer by double clicking on the layer.

5.  Select Eraser Tool and in Options set brush Mode to Pencil, Size 100 pixels and in the Brush Panel, set Spacing to 150%.   Click on top left corner once, then hold SHIFT+click on upper right corner, SHIFT+click on bottom right corner, SHIFT+click on top left corner to complete the outside of the image with perforated edges.

6.  Add text layer to indicate the cost of the stamp.

7.  Go to Layers – Merge Visible to preserve transparency for edges.

8.  Open up background, in this case the brown texture Gavin provided.

9.  Drag stamp layer into this image and close the stamp image.  Free Transform (CTRL+T to center and adjust on paper texture.

10.  Go to File – Place and choose post-mark-lines-GAVIN-HOEY.  Free Transform (CTRL+T to size and place along top of stamp.  Change Layer Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce opacity.

11.  Go to File – Place and choose post-mark-GAVIN-HOEY.  Free Transform (CTRL+T) to size, rotate slightly and place in upper left of image.   Change Layer Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce opacity.

12.  Highlight stamp layer and open Layer Style at bottom of Layers Palette.  Select Bevel and Emboss and change Depth to 144 in my case, Size to 32 and Soften to 7.  Change Shadow Mode Color to H37/S79/B35 for a nice soft brown.

That’s it.  I used OnOne’s PhotoTools Professional Edition 2.6 software and added an Antique Color set to Soften at 41% opacity.  I used OnOne’s PhotoFrame 4.6 Professional Edition to Dave Cross’s Frame 17.   I love both of these products and use them all the time.

Method Two:  (the easy way)

I just created another stamp image using pshero’s Photoshop tutorial and file with a stamp template that can be downloaded by scrolling to the bottom of their tutorial. This is a really simple way to get a quick stamp effect if you do not want to go through all the steps. They also include some wonderful brush postmarks from Kiyay71677 on the Deviant Art site to add on top of your stamp.  If you want postmarks indicating that are very nice but contain UPS and FedEx stamps, check the Redheadstock Brushes also at Deviant Art. I created the above stamp image using a tutorial from 123RF’s website called Cloudy Text Effect.  They should have included the vintage look in the title as it is a great effect and the Cloud Text Brush was easy to create.   To make it easy for you to try, I created a Photoshop Action called SJ-Vintage Effect Action to use.  You can adjust the Hue/Sat Adjustment Layer and Layer Style to taste.  Run this action on your original image background layer.  I also created the Cloud Text & Smoke Brush to download and add to top layer of action.  It can create nice good looking white heavy smoke or clouds.

Finally I created this Valentine Stamp using the same template from the tutorial above.  The center hearts are My Valentine Shapes from Brusheezy.  The really cute cupid brushes can be downloaded for free.  I put each stroke on its own layer and then copied the layer a couple of time to get the pure white look I was after.   The little hearts are just one really nice scatter brush from digitalTouch on Deviant Art. I used my old standby font from Cosmi that I used in previous valentine blogs.  So here is my final stamp.

Well that about does it for this blog.  Hope you get a chance to try Gavin’s tutorial or at least download the template, brushes and action in Method Two.  (Check out pshero’s website for other great tutorials while there.) It is fun to give your images a different look sometimes…..Digital Lady Syd