Welcome to EarlK Design!

The EarlK Design blog consists mainly of entries that show how to do things using Adobe Photoshop that I hope you will find helpful and give your creative mind more tools to work with.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes Adobe Illustrator CS5, Lightroom 5, and Corel Painter X. However, I believe that much of what I show can be done using Photoshop Elements.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick Tips with Earl - Number 1

Noreen left a comment  asking if I could help a little in blending a photo into the background. This has led me to creating a new series called, Quick Tips with Earl. QTWE will be for shorter articles than would be in the Other Days with Earl series of articles.

Quick Tips with Earl - Number 1, is about blending a photo into its background. I show a method in which I use layer masks and gradients. I start with this image for the background.

And, this image to blend into the background so that only the person is seen.

I show you my method. I end up with this.

You can download the PDF file for this Quick Tips with Earl Number 1 from box.com by clicking on DOWNLOAD  PDF under the episode number for this Quick Tip in the Quick Tips page.

I hope this helps you in creating your scrapbook pages.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Other Days with Earl Episode 6-Gradient Tool, Part 3-Noise Gradient

Well, here is finally the final part of my taking you through what you can do with the Gradient Tool. When I first started telling you about the Gradient Tool, I didn't realize how much there was to tell and how much you can do with it. I have posted Other Days with Earl Episode 6-Gradient Tool, Part 3-Noise Gradient to box dot com as a PDF file that you can download from them. CLICK HERE to download the PDF file.

In this Episode 6 Other Days with Earl, I show you about the Noise type of gradient. It is a fun one to play around with. And, you can create many interesting papers to use in your scrapbooking. You get to the Noise type gradient through the Gradient Editor.

I take you through what I know about how to use the settings that available to you to get what you want out of the gradient. As I said, it is a lot of fun in this area of Photoshop.

These are some of the papers that I have created using Noise gradients. I show you how to make them.

If you would like to have these nine papers for your use, you can download them from box dot com. They are freebies for you. You can download them by CLICKING HERE. They are all 12 x 12-inch. 300 ppi, RGB, JPG papers.

I hope that you enjoyed going through gradients with me, or at least enjoyed the freebie papers.

I am looking for new ideas for future episodes of Other Days with Earl. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment and I will see what I can do. If no comments, you will be at my mercy about what I think might be of interest to you.

That's all for now. Enjoy life and scrapbooking!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Other Days with Earl Episode 5-Gradient Tool, Part 2

In Episode 5 (Getting to Know Your Gradient Tool, Part 1) of Thursdays with Earl that is on jessicasprague.com, I showed what the Gradient Tool does and what the five different types of gradients did and how to use them. You may remember that the Gradient Tool creates a blending of colors in a transition from the beginning color to the ending color. At the end of that episode I said that I would show you more about the Gradient Picker and the Gradient Editor in a future episode. That would be Part 2. It is considerably later than I thought it would be, but now that I have a blog, here is Part 2. It is in this Other Days with Earl Episode 5, Gradient Tool, Part 2.

In Episode 5 Other Days with Earl, I show you all about the Gradient Editor and how you can make just about any gradient you want. Once you see what the editor is all about, it is rather easy to come up with your specific gradient that you want to use. Here is what the Gradient Editor looks like when you have adjusted it to your desires.

I explain what you need to know and how to go about creating your own gradients. Then I show you how to use this information to make background papers. This is an example of a background paper that was made using the gradient showing above. I used some gradient modes and some layer blending modes to come up with this paper.

Then I show you how to change the color of this paper so that it matches a color that you want to coordinate from a photo that will be placed on the paper. For example

If you want Other Days with Earl Episode 5 Gradient Tool-Part 2-Gradient Editor, you can download it from box dot com. It is a .pdf file of about 17MB size. To download it, Click here.

There will be a follow-on episode of Other Days with Earl, Gradients Part 3, in which I will show you the Noise Type of gradient. They can be fun, but not as controllable as the Solid Type of gradient. That's for the future. 

Here are six freebie papers for you.

These papers are from my Bold Dots collection. If you haven't see my tutorial on Bold Dots, scroll down until you come to it. These freebie papers are all 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB papers in .jpg format ready for you to use. This is what they look like.
You can download these freebie papers from box dot com by clicking here.
The papers are in a zip file and you will have to unzip the file to use the papers. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful.

That is all for now. More later.

Enjoy life and have fun with your scrapbooking!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursdays with Earl retires; Other Days with Earl Continues

Thursdays with Earl! After thinking about this for several weeks, I have decided that since the original series of episodes of Thursdays with Earl was written for Jessica Sprague's scrapbooking web site that they will be the only episodes. I had thought to continue the series here in my blog, but, that name really belongs where it was created. So long live Thursdays with Earl with Jessica. There will not be a continuation of the series here. The new series of episodes, Other Days with Earl, will continue on my blog. Since I didn't want to use Thursdays I decided that Other Days fits the bill for the name of the new series. I hope you are enjoying them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Other Days with Earl Episode 4 Bold Dots

While writing the Other Days with Earl episodes that have to do with creating argyle patterns I found I like dots. My imagination started going around with ideas with dots and out of this came what I call my Bold Dots. I have created a tutorial that you can download from box dot com. It is Episode 4 of Other days with Earl-Bold Dots. As usual, I have some digressions along the way to show you how you can do certain things in Photoshop. The main digression in this episode is to introduce you to the Brush Painting Modes Behind and Clear. If you haven't used them with your brushes yet, you might find them interesting and useful for your scrapbooking layouts.

The following papers are some example of what you can do with the Bold Dots. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Your imagination, plus serendipity, will leave you amazed with what you will be able to create.

If you are interested in getting Other Days with Earl Episode 4 Bold Dots, you can download the .pdf file from box dot com by clicking here.

I hope that you are enjoying my ramblings on how to use Photoshop.

Remember, enjoy life!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Addendum for Other Days with Earl Episode 3

Here is the addendum for Other Days with Earl Episode 3 Argyle Designing, Part 2. In this addendum I show you how to create the diagonal dotted lines for the argyle pattern without using the Pen Tool to create paths. Instead, you just use the Brush Tool to create straight dotted lines. You can download this .pdf file from box dot com by clicking here.

I hope that this helps.

Enjoy life!


My Argyle Pattern for Elements Users

You can do the argyle tutorial if don't have the Pen Tool, such as Photoshop Elements users. Use the second tutorial using the Polygonal Lasso Tool for most of it. Then instead of using the Pen Tool to create paths to stroke with the brush, just use the Brush Tool to create the dotted diagonals. Set up the Brush Tool just as I show you in the tutorial and then using the Brush Tool, click in one of the corners, hold the Shift key down, and then click it the other end corner. This gives you the dotted diagonal right away. You don't need to have a path to stroke. If you think you might want to change the colors of the dotted diagonals put each diagonal on its on layer. This is the only difference. I believe everything else works the same in Elements.

I will create an addendum for Episode 3 Other Days with Earl, Argyle Designing, Part 2, that will show how this is done. However, you should be able to just follow the above instructions. I'll get the addendum done right away.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Freebies! Ten Papers for You to Use!

While taking Jessica Sprague's class The Art of Digital Design I realized that I really like making digital background papers more that elements for pages. I make my own background papers whenever I am creating a page layout. My backgrounds are tailored to what I think the background should be for the page and its contents. I really need to see what is to go on a page before I start to create in my mind's eye what the background paper will be. However, I create a lot of papers that never go anywhere except into the trash. However, I realize that many people buy their papers and sometimes have trouble finding just what they want that is for sale. Fortunately, there are many places with many designers that are creating almost anything you can think of that you need. One of my purposes with my blog is to show you what you can do with Adobe Photoshop CS4 to help you create just the background paper that you might need that you can't find anywhere.

When I was writing Other Days With Earl Episodes 2 and 3, Argyle Designing Parts 1 and 2, my mind would wander and think about other things to do with what I was doing for argyles. That is when I thought about what I could do with circles, or dots. So I started playing around with the pattern for the argyle with the circles instead of the diamonds or squares. This playing around led me to what I call my Bold Dots.

I start out with a similar design for an argyle using circles. You can download my .pdf files on how to make the argyle patterns from previous entries to my blog.

But, now instead of coloring the circles different colors to make up the colored argyle pattern, I cut out the circles leaving hole through which you see behind the pattern. I used this to create the pattern. And I go from there. Imagination is fun!

Here are a couple of samples that I have made.

A 5-petal flower brush that I created was used and also various layer blending modes. Also, the Behind and Clear Painting Modes for the Brush Tool were used. If you haven't used these before they can be very useful and fun to use.

For your enjoyment, at least I hope so, you can download for your use 10 different papers that I created for you. These are freebies for you to have and use; the only restriction is your own good common sense in what you use them for. In addition, if you have Photoshop CS4 (or similar) you can also download another file that contains the two .psd files that were used in the creation of these papers and the .pat pattern files that you can load into your patterns to use. The downloads are through 4shared.

The papers are all 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, .jpg format.

To download the 10 freebie papers, Click Here.

To download the .psd and pattern files, Click Here.

The downloads are .zip files. You will have to unzip them to use what is inside the .zip files.

I am in the process of writing Other Days with Earl Episode 4 Bold Dots. It will be in a .pdf format and available for you to download soon. I will post a blog entry when it is available.

I hope that you are enjoying these ramblings with me, Earl. If you are, I would appreciate your leaving a comment so that I know someone is looking at it.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Other Days with Earl Argyle Designing Part 2

Here is the next part of Other Days with Earl Argyle Designing, Part 2. In this episode I show you how to create the argyle pattern using the Polygonal Lasso Tool to draw the shapes, but you still need the Pen Tool to draw the paths that you stroke to put in the dotted diagonal lines. Then I showed you how to change the colors and create your new colored patterns. This page layout I made using a pattern that we made in this tutorial. It is posted in the Challenge Gallery at jessicasprague.com.
I then showed you how you could use an interesting tool from the Tool Bar. If you have never used the Pattern Stamp Tool (in the same box as the Clone Stamp Tool), you may find it a handy tool in have in your arsenal of tools for creating your own papers or pages. This example is not in the tutorial, but would be easy for you to do once you see how. Here I created the pattern without diagonal dotted lines. I used the same pattern with different colored backgrounds. Then using the Pattern Stamp Tool, I added the design only over areas that I wanted. I put each design with a different color on its own layer. Then I used different blending modes to see what came up that I liked. And, then I put a gradient layer over the whole thing and used a noise gradient and blended it into the rest. This is what I came up with. I know, it's my kind of thing; but, you can apply your own imagination and get your kind of thing from using these techniques.

If you are interested in downloading the .pdf file so you can see how to do what I have just showed you, you can get it by going to box dot com and downloading it. The .pdf file is about 25MB in size and takes a couple of minutes to download. Click here to download the file.

I hope you have fun with this!

Until next time! Enjoy life and grow!