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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Setting the Mood

I'm going to share some coloring "secrets" today to help you make a color cohesive layout. So strap your seat belts on, hang on tight and awayyyy we go! Heh

~ DreamCatcher ~
If you are anything like me, you are probably using a variety of kits to create one layout. The major drawback to using various elements in different kits, is that sometimes the colors don’t match up as well as one would like.
No matter how good and sound your design is, if the colors are off, it will look somewhat disjointed and not cohesive.

Pre-Operative Un-Colored
As you can see, the design is sound but it just doesn’t look right. We have blue skies, green shrubbery, neutral grass, red berries … it just doesn’t “match”.
I’m going to show you how to bring it all together so that everything in the layout looks cohesive and like it all belongs together instead of a hodge-podge, mix & match mess.
Once I have everything where I want it and am happy with the design, I first save the image and then duplicate it just in case I don’t like where it’s going, that way I don’t lose all of the hard work. Oy! Once I’m sure it’s safe, I merge all of the layers and flatten the image.
Go to the bottom right hand corner of your work space and click on the “Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer” button.

Create a New Fill/Adjustment
Choose Black and White

Black & White Adjustment Layer
This will bring up the Black and White dialog box.
I chose the default, “None”.

Default Settings
Change the Blending mode to “Color” and the Fill to 60%.

Color @ 60%
I want to darken it now with some drama. Repeat the B/W steps.
Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer button.

Create a New Fill/Adjustment
Choose Black & White

Black & White Adjustment Layer
Default “None”.

Default Settings
However, this time … change the Blending Mode to “Overlay” and the Fill to 50%.

“Overlay” and Fill @ 50%
Already, it’s looking much better.

Post B/W Adjustment Layers
Now it’s time to start working on color cohesiveness.
Click on the “Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer” button.

Create a New Fill/Adjustment
This time, choose the Hue/Saturation option.

Hue/Saturation Option
This will bring up the Hue/Saturation Dialog box. I chose a saturation of -72.

Negativity ... not always bad
I left the settings as is. (Blending Mode “Normal” @ 100%).
Look at the changes already … Muy Dramtico!

I really like the changes so far, but I want to add some dramatic blue night time ambience.
Time for another Adjustment layer.
Click on the “Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer” button ... A G A I N.

Create a New Fill/Adjustment
This time choose “Solid Color”

Solid Color Adjustment Layer
This will bring up the Color dialog box.
I’ve chosen a the blue color #0592dd

Color #0592dd
I’ve changed the Blending mode to “Color” & lowered the Opacity to 50%.

Color @ 50%
Oooh La La!

I want to make it just a wee bit darker. So I duplicated the layer by hitting “Ctrl + J” for the PC users. “Cmd” + J” for the Macs.
Then set the Blending Mode to “Multiply” with an Opacity of 20%.

"Multiply" @ 20%
What a difference, huh?!?

Pre-Operative Un-Colored
Happy Creating!

Aging Gracefully

Hello my fellow scrappers!
This week we will explore the wonderful world of aging your photographs.
This first part of the tutorial will walk you through changing your photograph to both B/W and Sepia.
Let’s start off with the color.

Monkeys or Males?
You know, there just may be something to the Darwinism Theory.  Hmmmm.
To change your photo to black and white:
First and foremost, make a duplicate of your original photo.  We don't want to lose the original.  You never know when you may need it!
Duplicate Original Photograph
There are many ways to do this, but the most simple way is:  Go to Image>Desaturation

Instant Black and White.

Basic Black & White
To change your photo to a nice Sepia color:
Go to Image>Hue/Saturation
First check the “Colorize” box.
Change the Hue to 45.
Change the Saturation to 25.

Colorize: Hue 45/Saturation 25
Gorgeous Sepia coloring.

Sepia Coloring
Wait … we’re not done yet!  Now let’s start aging.  The fun part!  Never thought I would say aging was fun!  ;)
Most aged photographs have a “rough” quality to them.  To achieve this look, use a texture … or a background paper.
I’m using the Sepia toned photograph just because I like the colors better.  However, you can do the exact same techniques with the black and whites.
I’m going to show you the aging process achieving two results with two different background papers.
The first will be using this paper from the Impressions of Spring kit by the Studio Girls.

Impressions of Spring - Background Paper
Copy and paste the paper on top of your photograph.

BG Paper above Photograph
BG Paper above Photo
To get the texture, but not the color … Desaturate the colors.  Go to Image>Desaturate.

Change the Blending Mode to “Multiply”.

Blending Mode: Multiply @ 100%
I love the added texture, however now the I think the photograph looks too dark.

Nice but too Dark
Duplicate the photograph layer and place it above the texture.

Duplicate Sepia Layer
Change the Blending Mode to “Screen” and change the Fill to 35%.

Blending Mode - Screen @ 35%
Tada!  One fantastically aged photograph.

The second paper I will be using will be from Lorie Davison’s “Window to My Heart” kit.

Background - Window to my Heart - LDavison
I love the writing on it and the overall “grunge” look to it.
Copy and paste the background paper onto your original photograph.

Layer Palette
Again, I’ve desaturated the colors.

Here, because I want the words and grunge to come through on the photograph, I’ve changed the Blending Mode to “Hard Light”.

Blending Mode - Hard Light @ 100%
Too light!

Accck ... Need sunglasses!
Duplicate the photograph and place it on top of the background paper texture.

Duplicate Original Photo
Change the Blending Mode to “Multiply” and the Fill to 53%.

"Multiply" @ 53%
To make the colors more intense, duplicate the photograph again and change the Blending Mode to “Soft Light”.  I left the Fill at 53%.

"Soft Light" @ 53%
LOVE the results!

Results = LOVE
You can stop here if you want to, although you know I’m not going to.  Heh
To rough it up even more, I’m going to add some wonderful scratchy marks on the photo using Amanda Rockwell’s “Scratchy Brush Set”.
Amanda Rockwell - Scratchy Mess
*TIP*  Add your different brush strokes on separate layers.  That way, if you want to make changes, you don’t get a finger cramp from hitting the Undo button.  Just kidding!
I add my brushes on separate layers because what if I LOVE the brush stroke I made right after I decide the previous one doesn’t look right. This happens more often than I’d like to admit.
Knowing myself, I’ll never get it right again so having them on separate layers makes it easier to pick and choose which brush strokes I want to keep.

Brush Layers
My photograph looks so old and I LOVE it!

Almost there!
One final step … I want to add a vignette simply for aesthetic purposes.
Create a New Layer.

New Layer
Go to your Tool palette and choose the Rectangle Tool.

Rectangle Tool
Make sure to have the Paths Option selected.

Paths Option
Draw a rectangle around the outer perimeter of your photo.

Path (In Red)
Go to your Brush Tool and choose a larger sized Round brush with the Hardness set to 0%.

Round Brush - Zero Hardness
I used a smaller size round brush because my photo for this tutorial is small.
Choose the color you wish to use for the vignette.  Usually, I use the color #857a5e for Sepia photographs.

Vignette Color
Go back to the Tool Box and select the Rectangle Tool.

Rectangle Tool
Right-Click inside your photograph and Choose “Stroke Path”.

Stroke Path
In the drop-down menu, choose “Brush”.  Make sure the “Simulate Pressure” button is NOT checked.

Brush Option

Path Vignette Stroke
Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 100.

Gaussian Blur

Blur Radius @ 100
Final step, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Final Layer Palette

Aging Gracefully
Good luck and Happy scrapping.  :)