Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 18 : Black and White Shell


The assignment this week was about black and white.  The secret is starting with a decent picture to begin with, especially one with good contrast.  Sometimes the color is overload, but turning it black and white makes it timeless and elegant.    The black and white treatment made this shell positively luminous!

Someone suggested in the comments that I turn the picture from the Whisper post into black and white.  It worked marvelously!

I added a line of text to this version.  But it also stands quite well on its own with no text, too. 

Here's the image I started with from 2 weeks ago.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beyond Layers Days 15-16 : Whisper

This week, Kim's lesson began with a simple prompt : the word Whisper.  Instead of a dreamy still-life of flowers, I went with a shell and the idea of the ocean waves whispering amid the many curves of the shell.

Here are the layers step by step :
Layer 1 : Copy the background layer
Layer 2 : Clean up the background (I erased a piece of stained glass on the upper edge.  You can still see the lead, though.)
Layer 3 : Levels Adjustment
Layer 4 : Added Kim Klassen's Wonderful Magic Texture normal blend mode at 33% opacity
Then I added a Layer Mask, used the Quick Select Tool to outline the shell, then used Command I to invert the layer mask.  This took the texture out of the shell so it didn't look like an ash tray.
Layer 5 : Text   "The Ocean" in Zapfino font    "Whispers" in Italiano font on Multiply blend mode at 75%.  Font colors chosen from other parts of the image.


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 14 : Black and White with a Touch of Color

The Frog Prince

I am really pleased with this image!
 I followed Kim's recipe for this one and it worked out marvelously!
I used Pioneer Woman's PW BW Action to turn the image black and white.  It worked like 2 charms!  So easy (once I figured out how to install Actions.)   In the end, though, I turned off the Light Layer because it seemed a little too washed out.  Then I used the layer mask and the brush tool to erase the black & white treatment from a few choice areas of the image.  It's a little difficult to see the emerald jewel on the frog prince's crown, but it's there. 

Here's the original photo straight from my camera.  The little pewter frog prince, a blossom from the garden, and a tea cup behind him, sitting on a gold table runner.   This particular photo caught a nice little sun flare (like a light rainbow) off the top of the cup.   A nice surprise!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 13 : 10 Truths about Me

Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class is 52 weeks of Inspiration.  This week's assignment is to share 10 truths about myself.  I don't usually do that here on Sweet Leaf Notebook, but here it goes ...

1)  I love big, black furry dogs of the Newfie variety.  Meet Maggie, my 2nd-Chance Newf.  She is the sweetest dog you'd ever want to meet.
2) I lived in a housing coop in Madison, WI, for 7 years. I can hardly believe I stayed so long!
3) I met my sweet and wonderful husband at that Coop.   We left together.  ;-)  I guess I had to stay there long enough for him to move in!
4) I'm not much of a housekeeper.  I'd much rather spend my time making stuff, than cleaning up.
5) I am an INFJ which means I recharge my batteries at home, being quiet--making stuff and being creative.  Or just reading. Or blogging. Or working on PhotoShop pics.  Or Sewing. Or Dyeing ...
6) I love a good cuppa tea, and sitting by the fire in Winter.
7) I am trained as a Hospice Volunteer.  This is one of the most important jobs I do.

The road to Faery Glen, Isle of Skye.
8) My favorite country is Scotland.  Love the green!  Love the accents!  Love Robert Carlyle!  Give me those ever-changing, moody skies any day over a burning, hot sun.   This feels like home!
9) I won a bronze medal for figure skating in the Badger State Games in 1996.   For many years, skating was my absolute JOY!  I didn't get to take lessons until I went to college, so no--I wasn't one of those 6-year olds dreaming of winning the Olympics.  I skated because I loved the way it felt--smoooth and fluid.  I felt Beautiful on the ice.
10) I do NOT have a cell phone, and I get along just fine without one.   :-)

About the top image :
I used one of the Ginger Pixel Storyboard templates.
Picked 4 family pictures.
Used Kim Klassen's "Dear Dreamer" Texture as the background.
Added a layer for text, using Caflisch Script Pro font.


Sunday, June 03, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 12 : Brush Lovin' Bliss

Whew!  This lesson went much better than the Painterly Effect!
We learned about brushes in PSE, which are essentially more like digital stamps.
It can be another way to add text, or a watermark, or --wait for it -- digital stamps.

Follow Your Bliss is one of my favorite sentiments.  I discovered Joesph Campbell on PBS when Bill Moyers did the Power of Myth conversations with him back in 1988 (or so).  Listening to their conversations opened up the world to me that summer.  Everything made sense!  Religion, Myth, Science, Poetry, Literature -- It all came together in Joseph Campbell's world view. 

Follow your bliss, and the Universe will open doors where there were only walls.
--Joseph Campbell

Here's the PSE recipe for this image layer-by-layer :
Layer 1 : Duplicate background
Layer 2 : Kim Klassen's Follow Your Bliss Brush Stamp - Normal Blend Mode at 100% opacity
Text color chosen from the golden leaf.
Layer 3 : Duplicate Layer 2
Layer 4 : Kim Klassen's Happy Heart Texture - Multiply Blend Mode at 46%

Part 2 of this class was to create a watermark that can be added to our images as a brush, or more intuitively known as a digital stamp.  Who-hooh! I did it!  Actually, I made up 3 of them, but I'll only trouble you with this one now.


Beyond Layers Day 10 : Painterly Effect

This was my first attempt at this Painterly effect treatment.  The colors are toned down, but I'm not convinced it's painterly ...  Maybe I have a different impression of painterly?  I guess I want to see strokes of paint and canvas texture.  It does look like it has a varnish applied over the top.

Here's what I did Layer-by-Layer :
Layer 1 : Background Copy
Layer 2 : Sharpen (Kim says over-sharpen for a painterly effect)
Layer 3 : Underfainting (not sure what this does, but it sounded good)
Layer 4 : Kim Klassen's Finale Texture Multiply blend mode at 100%
Layer 5 : Jerry Jones' Used Canvas4 Overlay blend mode at 59%

In the video, Kim used a lot of color adjustments, but didn't explain they why.    Not understanding what I was doing, I didn't mess with them--maybe if I had, I'd have gotten more of a painterly effect?

  Here's the original photo, the impressionist-type image I wanted to start with.  This is from our trip to France in April, a walk around the village of Mazilly.   
This Magnolia tree was in bloom and the fence was a nice touch. 

In Picassa, I used the Lomo-ish filter.  Just wanted to try the new filters ...  Quick and easy treatment!