Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fun with Photoshop

I have been having so much fun lately playing with Photoshop.  It seems as though everything is finally starting to click into place for me now.  Besides the papers I created awhile back,  I have been playing around with some other ideas and learning new things.  Most of the tutorials I have been following have been from but I have also found links to other tutorials in the forum over there.
I have learned it is easy to create a brush, or a pattern, and how to use them on my papers. Plus, I learned how to create my own set of brushes or patterns, so I can open them any time I want to go back to them.  I finally figured out how to take a vector image from Inkscape or Illustrator, and use it as a brush, so I can add my creations from Inkscape to my papers easily.  I also learned how to use masks, and have been having a great time playing with those.

I also understand just how important it is to work with layers.  I always thought it was a waste of time to keep adding new layers, but now I know it actually saves time, when you want to change how something looks or remove it altogether from your design.  And it really doesn't take much time to add a new layer for each element you add to your creation.  I think the hardest part for me is remembering to name them, so if I get a lot of layers, I can easily see which layer I want to get to by name, instead of  "Layer 10" or "Layer 35" or what ever the case my be.  It also makes it a lot easier to remove something from your creation, by just closing the eye, or deleting the layer altogether if you don't like it.  And moving the things that are on the layer, if you don't like where it is, is so much easier if it is on it's own layer.  I also try to name my layers by the element I used, so when I'm ready to save, I can use my keywords in Bridge to tag it so  I can remember what elements I used.

Since I decided to start using Bridge again,  I'm using it to tag my files, so it will be easier to find things when I want to use them. It does take some time to get everything tagged and keyworded, but I think it will help save time in the long run, as long as I remember to keep doing it.
Okay enough talking.... now I will show you a few things I have been creating over the last few weeks. 
First up is a scrapbook paper.  I actually took an image of some fabric, and used it for the texture of  the main background, then added some elements from the GraphicsFairy.  I used some brushes to create the paint splatters and came up with this:

Next up is something I may use for a Christmas card this year.  Even if I don't use it, I had a lot of fun creating this next project.  I started with a picture I took on my recent vacation of some pine cones.

Then I turned it Black and White, and added a layer mask and brought out the colors of just the pinecones.  This took a bit of time, but I realized that I love doing some of that detail work, and getting in close to get just the pixels I want.  That Wacom tablet I bought ages ago, is starting to come in handy.  I find the detail work is much easier with the pen than with the mouse.
After that, I used a new plug in have that works with Photoshop called AKVIS, that turns your photo into a pencil sketch. It is a bit pricey, but it does an amazing job.

After all that work, I decided that I preferred the look of the sketch with all the colors, instead of just Black and White.  And this is what I got when I put it through the filter.

After I saved my image, I  added some text and then used Craft Artist Pro 2 to see what it would look like as a card.  I have to admit that I don't use CAP2 to actually print things out, I use it more to give me an idea of what something will look like as a finished project, and help in selecting colors I want to use.  And this is what I came up with.  

One of the things I love about doing things digitally, I can create something, "live with it" for awhile, and if I don't like it, I can go back and change things around some.  If I decide I don't like the font I used, I can change the font easily, but still keep the formatting as I have it.  So I don't have to redo everything.  If I don't like where my text is, I can move it, make it larger or smaller, but keep the font and formatting... digital is so forgiving... you can change your mind to your hearts content (like I usually do.. I have to see what EVERYTHING would look like before I make a decision, hummmm  maybe that is why I can never seem to get anything finished).

Anyway, that is enough chatter for now... I hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been creating.  Until next time.... enjoy the journey.


  1. I love your card and thanks for the tip about the PS filter, Akvis and for the introduction to Craft Artist Pro 2 , I will check it out. I love scrap booking and would love to create special books for my immediate family digitally. I will will starting from scratch except that I do know my way around Photoshop and Illustrator

  2. I have Photoshop, but I only use it to edit my photos. I have always found it too frustrating to try to learn all that it can do. I have CraftArtist 2 and I'm really enjoying learning how to use its features. It is easier than Photoshop for me. I also have Corel Painter Essentials 4, which I think came with my Wacom Tablet. (It was a package deal from Costco, I believe) I've had a lot of fun with those two tools as well. I admire your patience and ability to learn to use Photoshop as it should be used, and I think the pages that you created are fabulous! Thanks for sharing this. :)