I was recently inspired by Pat's Life365 Paint It products: Paint It! Papers
and Paint It! Embellishments
. Just seeing all those painted canvases and paint brush elements prompted me to take the painted-on-canvas look and incorporate it into my photos. One of the layouts I created was this:
If you like this look, then keep reading, and I'll tell you about the three techniques I used to make this layout:
1. Using Filters in Photoshop Elements to "turn" your picture into a painting.
2. Using a textured paper to apply texture to your photo.
3. Using a photo mask to give your photo a brush-stroked edge.
It occurred to me that #2 and #3 fall under the category of "getting more out of your digi supplies" by using your papers and elements in a new way - not just as traditional papers and elements, but as tools to create new things. So if you are interested in that kind of thing, then this tutorial is for you, too!
Let's get started. I'm working with Photoshop Elements 7. First, we'll look at the Filters technique. Below, I have my photo open, on a layer above the background. I played around with a lot of different photos, and I thought that pictures of scenery worked the best for this technique, but it can certainly be used on pictures of people as well. (By the way, that background paper is from Jolly Holiday.)
The types of filters that create a painted look are the Brush Strokes and Artistic Filters. My photo layer is the active layer, and I select the menu option Filters -> Artistic -> Dry Brush Filter. You can see the menu choice here:
The figure below shows the Dry Brush settings screen with all the options you can adjust.
I chose to use the following settings: a Brush Size of 10, Brush Detail of 5, and Texture of 1. You can actually access any of the available filters from this screen, so you can try several of them. When you're happy with what you've got, hit the OK button, and you will be brought back to the work space.
Now I want to give my "painting" some texture, as if it was painted onto a canvas, so I'm going to open up Paper 16 from Life365 Paint It Papers. I'm choosing this paper because it is mostly white, so the colors of my photo will come through clearly. You can use a colored paper to add texture to your photo as well, but the colors of your photo will blend with the colors in the texture paper. Using a white texture paper will preserve the colors of the photo the best.
In the figure below I have placed the texture paper in a layer above my photo. I want to "trim off" the extra that I don't need, so with the Texture layer active, I'll group the Texture layer to the Photo layer below it with the menu choice Layer -> Group with Previous (Or use Ctrl-G):
This is exactly what you do when you use templates (at least, this is how I use templates)! So this may be old-hat for all of you Life365-ers.
Now, to make the texture paper "see-through," I set its Blending Mode to Multiply:
And the result is this (close up on photo):
Now, I feel like the texture is over-powering the Dry Brush filter on my photo, so I'm going to drop down the Opacity on my Texture layer to about 20%. This gives me just a hint of texture (noticeable mostly in the clouds), and allows the Dry Brush filter to really shine I think. Here is my final photo:
If you want a more dramatic texturing of your photo (like I did in my A Fall Day layout), then you can duplicate the texture layer to emphasize the texturing. To do this you would right-click over the Texture layer and choose Duplicate Layer. Here's a figure of that:
And here would be the result:
Of course, if that is too much texture, then you can bring down the opacity on the 2nd Texture layer.
Now, for this layout I plan to frame my photo with a frame from Kicking Up the Leaves, and you can see that layout in my gallery HERE
. But here I will show you how to give it a brush-stroke edge using a photo mask. And you already know how to do this, because we will use the same steps that we used when we "trimmed" the texture paper to the size of the photo.
But first, since I'm happy with the texturing, I'm going to merge the texture layer down onto the photo: With the Texture layer active, I right-click on that layer in the Layers palette and select Merge Down (or just hit Ctrl-E while the texture layer is active). Here's a shot of that:
Once you do this, you can no longer make adjustments to the texturing. You should now have only two layers: Background and (textured) Photo.
Now, to crop your photo with a rough, brush-stroke edge. You can use an actual photo mask product to do this next step, but since I want to show you how to get more out of your scrapping supplies, I'm going to use an element from Paint It Elements as a photo mask. As you see below, I've opened the element Paint Block 1. I have it in a layer above my photo, and have rotated it, and made it roughly as large as my photo.
But we need it to go under the photo layer, so drag the Photo layer up above the Mask layer in the Layers Palette; then select the Photo layer as active, then group the Photo to the Mask by hitting Ctrl-G or the menu option Layer -> Group with Previous. This is the same thing we did when we "trimmed" the white Texture layer to be the same size as the Photo. The result looks like this:
You may need to resize the Photo and/or the Mask to get them to overlap correctly and the photo cropped within the mask as you want it. Now you have a textured "painting" with a rough brush-stroke-like edge. I think it looks amazing. It has a great painted aesthetic. And we cleverly re-used an element as a photomask! Actually, ANY element can be used as a mask. Let me show you. Here I have used a flower from Life 365 Hodge Podge 3:
Well, there you have it. I hope you learned something new from this tutorial. If the paint-inspired techniques were not up your alley, then I hope you learned something about re-using your papers and elements in new ways to get more out of your digi supplies. I would love to see YOUR layouts using Photoshop filters, blending modes, photo masks, and re-used digi elements! Post your layouts using these techniques in the gallery, and I will leave you some praise!