Monday, May 28, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 8 : Start to Finish

Today's lesson was about setting up still lifes.  As you would expect, good lighting is key.  
This can be a challenge on a cloudy day.

Here's my original photo.  Flowers from the garden and just a white foam board from Hobby Lobby as a background.  The white board acts like a clean pallet to add textures later.  

Here's what I did layer by layer :
Layer 1 :  Background Copy
Layer 2 : Kim Klassen's Golden Texture; Soft Light blend mode at 64% opacity
Layer 3 : Kim Klassen's Golden Texture ; Multiply blend mode at 59% opacity
Layer 4 : Kim Klassen's Yesteryear Texture; Multiply blend mode at 88% with Vintage gradation
Layer 5 : Duplicate Layer 4 at 67% opacity
Layer 6 : Hue Saturation Adjustments
Layer 7 : Text for quote. Zapfino at 48% opacity.  Color chosen from flower.
Layer 8 : Text for Quote Attribution. Left-Handed Cursive. Color chosen from background and darkened.
Layer 9 : Spot Healing for  sunlight in lower left corner.

I know--I went a little crazy with all the layers in this one. I guess it means I'm getting more comfortable with the techniques.  

Fans of ABC's Once Upon a Time will recognize Rumplestiltskin's immortal quote.  It's going to be long summer until the series comes back in the fall!

This would also be a good time to point out Kim Klassen's FREE Textures in Ten Minutes eCourse video tutorials.  I use these techniques a lot now.  I love Texture, and know I'm learning what to do with them!

The second video has a good explanation of layer masks.  That allows you to remove texture from some areas.  This is akin to erasing texture.  The terms are not exactly intuitive, but I'm finally getting the hang of it--after making myself a handy pocket reference card that I can whip out in the time of need.  Or just go back and watch Kim's video above.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 5-6 : Storyboard : Dinner at Genevieve's

I wanted to try another Storyboard, so I chose pictures from our last trip to France.

The storyboard template is a modified "3 Squares and 3 Rectangles" from Ginger Pixels.
Once I had all the pictures placed and sized as I wanted, I went to the Background layer and "merged visible."  From what I can tell that makes all these disparate pictures act like 1 image.

Then I added a new layer with Kim Klassen's paper stained light texture on Multiply blend mode set at 58% opacity.  That helped to tie it all together, and make it look cohesive. 


If you want to read more about the pictures an our trip, go here


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lemon Pie Storyboard : Beyond Layers Days 5-6

The lesson for Beyond Layers Days 5-6 was about capturing the simple moments in our lives, and laying it out in a storyboard template.  My husband was making Lemon Pie, so I snapped some pics.

I may try a few more of these -- another night.  The hardest part was fitting the pictures into the boxes.  I'm sure there's a way to put a texture (or something) over the whole storyboard composition, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.


Monday, May 21, 2012

2 More Color Wheels : Candied Fabrics Dye Class

I finished the color wheels from the Earth and Sky Triads.  It took a week to dye the swatches, and another day to whip up the color wheels.  It was a worthwhile exercise, that forced me to really look at the Candiotic Table.  I feel like I have a whole new relationship with the Tables now that I've looked at them so closely in order to decide what colors to include on the wheels.

Here's they Sky Triad in 2 configurations  (on paper) :

Here's the Earth Triad.  These came out so dark on the blue end, that it might be worth doing this one on the Tints Lesson.  The shades would just be black, black and more black.

I took a common garden variety glue stick and glued the swatches to a piece of creme-colored card stock (because that's what I had on hand).  It occurs to me that a color wheel should probably be on plain white, not cream so as not to distort the colors.   Oh well ....

If you're interested in learning how to do this, Sign up here for the online class with Candy G. at Candied Fabrics.  This is from the Controlling Color 101 Class.   I still have 1 more lesson to do, covering tints and shades. 

See the Color Wheels for the Naturals and Brights Triads.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 3 : My Life in 6 Words


 Today's lesson was about telling your story in just 6 words.  Sounds easy enough!  But how do you distill a life down to just 6 words?  Then again--you can do more than one!   I finally settled on :

Late Bloomer.  Worth the wait.    

In this class, I expected to get better with visual arts and Photo Shop Elements, but I never expected this class to be such an introspective and reflective journey.  That extra spirit adds such depth and power to the images.    I am enjoying the ride!

Read more 6-word Memoirs at Smith Magazine.

As for the visual PSE challenge, Kim asked us to simply add the text of our 6 words to a photo.
That task is getting easier.  Baby steps!

PSE Processing on this photo :
Text Layer : Pea Marsha Font at 112 pt.  Color for text is pulled from the shadow of the flower.
Texture Layer : Kim's Wonderful Magic Stars Texture added at Soft Light Blend Mode at 43% Opacity.  This is a mostly black layer.  I wanted to see what it would do to my photo.  To my surprise, it darkens and sharpens, rather than turning everything pitch black.  Nice effect.  I see why Kim calls it "magic."

Here's the original photo taken in my garden this week. ;-)
I love the stone texture of the foundation behind it the Clematis.  Yum!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 4 : Compassion

 Here's the third round.  [Read from the bottom up, if you want to see this image deconstructed.]  I added another layer of Kim's "Oh My" Texture with Multiply as the blend mode.    Getting a little more nostalgic, and not so ghostly and dreamy ....

 Here's the first run with a layer of Kim's "Oh My" Texture on soft light blend mode.
A layer for the text,  with Apple Chancery font.  I picked a color from the berries to color the text.  I absolutely LOVE that tool because you always get something that matches!  Then I created another layer and "burned" the edges to let more of the texture come through, creating a frame.    Didn't quite seem like it was enough, though ...   or maybe I'm just not used to that blurry effect.

Here's the original photo.   I borrowed one of Oliver's Potions bottles, and adorned it with some winter berries.  This lesson forced me to get out the manual for my camera and fiddle with the exposure compensation setting.  We wanted lots of light here to get a blurry background.  And now I know what some of those numbers mean!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 2 : Simplicity

I signed up for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class.  52 weeks of Inspiration! I thought this would really make me practice using PhotoShop Elements.   The Lesson for Day 2 was about saying more with less.  Simplicity.

I started with a photo taken in April in Toto's kitchen in Mailly, France.  The lilacs were in bloom, and smelling of so fragrant!
>  Cropped it
>  Added a Layer with Kim's Bestill Texture on Multiply Blend Mode at 85% Opacity
> Added the word Simplicity as another layer, choosing a color from the bouquet. Zapfino font.

Here's the original photo (after the initial cropping) :

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Splash of Color Makes All the Difference!

Still trying to improve my skills with PhotoShop Elements.  This is a Zentangle Doodle I did last year.  Tonight I added the background layer for some color.  Set the the Darken Blend Mode to 100% opacity.

Robin, do you recognize the background?  It's one of yours!  ;-)
You can download this background from Robin's blog, Life in Color.

Here is the same Zentangle with another one of Robin's backgrounds.  This time I added the background layer with the Multiply Blend Mode at 100%, then I duplicated this layer to get some richer.deeper colors.  Now it has a Southwest feel to it just due to the background color. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Color Wheels : Candied Fabrics Lesson 7

 Here is the 25-inch square Color Wheel from the Brights triad.  
The Big Circles are the Primary Colors.
The Big Squares are the Secondaries.
The smaller Trapezoids are Tertiary colors.

In this recommended layout, each color should be an even step-wise gradation.  This layout makes it easier to see those steps.  The big lesson here is that an even step to the eye is not always the same as an even step gradation with the mixing formulas.  You'd think you'd be able to use the Candiotic Table and pick the Primaries in the corners, then halfway between for Secondairies, then halfway between those for tertiaries.  It doesn't quite work out that way visually speaking.  Some colors overpower the others.

Here's an example of the 7-inch swatches dyed for the color wheel, and where they live on the Candiotic Table.  There's a noticeable concentration in the Yellow corner because just a little red or Turquoise goes a long way to changing Lemon Yellow.  

 Here's the smaller 8-1/2 x 11-inch color wheel on paper.  This makes it more portable.  If I make the other wheels, I think I'll just go with the paper, since it's a lot easier to simply write the color recipe next to the color swatch.

 I decided to try a couple other layouts for color wheels.  I know why Candy chose the configuration she did (to show the even steps between Primary - Secondary - and Tertiary colors).  I think these layouts show the relationships between Primary-Secondary-Tertiary, but it's harder to see the even step-wise gradations between them :

Here's a photo of my 7-inch swatches fresh from the rinse bucket.  
They caught the sun so nicely, I had to take a photo!