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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen July 26, 2011

Dream, dream, dream. Dream is the object of this weeks Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.  Kim said, "Your image must be centered around the word/verb DREAM.... and contain at least one layer of any of my textures. (don't over think it...just whatever comes to mind.... have fun with it.)" So, I thought about it for a few moments and what came to my mind was the warm, soft feeling of just about waking up in the morning and not yet having to get up. And, you are drowsily slipping in and out of a beautiful dream. That is what I wanted to try and capture. Great expectations! But, what do I have in front of me? I have a layer for the background of my creation that looks like this.

That's right, all I had was a blank white page sitting there looking blank and white. Well, anyway, that is my Layer 1.

Layer 2 arrived and it was much better. It was a totally black layer.

Layer 3. For this layer I added a Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer. The gradient went from white at the bottom to transparent at the top. I set the Blending Mode to Vivid Light and 100% Opacity. You see very, very little change in the image. So little that I won't show it here as it looks just like Layer 2 looks. I thought it might do some good later on. However, in the end, with these settings, you might just as well leave the layer out. But, for now, it is there.

Layer 4. Now this gets a little more exciting. For this layer, I used another Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer. The gradient went from transparent at the bottom to dark blue at the top. Normal Blending Mode and 100% Opacity.

It still looks like that morning dream is a long way off.

Layer 5. It was time to start waking up a little. I used my EK-CoffeeStains-01 texture for this layer. This is what the texture looks like.

This was added in as Layer 5 and then the Blending Mode was set to Saturation with 100% Opacity. And, you get this result that adds in a little of the texture and brightens the blue at the top of the layout. And, we get this result.

Layer 6. For this layer, I used Kim Klassen's kk_stainedLinen texture. Soft Light Blending Mode and 100% Opacity was used for this layer. This gives a very nice texture to the image and lightens it up, too.

Layer 7. Now it is time for dawn to burst into my dreamy state. I used Kim's kk_lifesgood texture and set the Blending Mode to Difference and 100% Opacity. And dawn was here.

Layer 8. It is time for the Dream to become more apparent. I used the Impact font, 129 pt., tracking was 400, and white color. I left the Blending Mode at Normal and decreased the Opacity to 30%.

While still on Layer 8, which is the word "DREAM," I put a selection around the letters of the word by holding down Command/Control and clicking on the thumbnail of Layer 8. 

Layer 9. I created a new layer above Layer 8. The selection is still around the letters and I filled the selection with white. So, on Layer 9 I have the word filled with white and a selection still around the letters. Next, I contract the selection by 10 pixels by going to Select/Modify/Contract. Then I added a layer mask to the layer. This masks out all of the layer outside the contracted selection area. Then, making sure the layer mask is active on the layer, I went to Filter/Filter Gallery and applied a Sprayed Strokes filter. And this put this neat sprayed strokes edge to the letters. Then I used the Free Transform (Command/Control-T) to resize the word and move it down. I left the Blending Mode at Normal and the Opacity 100%.

Layers 10 - 14.  For each of these layers, I would duplicate the previous layer (Command/Control-J). Then, on each of these layers I used the Free Transform command to resize and move the layers until they were arranged as shown here. All of these layers had Normal Blending Mode but the Opacity decreased from Layer 10 at 80%, to 70%, 60%, 50%, to Layer 14 at 40%.

Now I have to bring in my dream that keeps drifting in and out of my consciousness. On another page I created my sort of surrealistic dream. This is the dream.

Layer 15. This was brought into my dream as Layer 15. I set the Layer Blending Mode to  Soft Light with 50% Opacity.

Layer 16. The colors seemed a little too bright for early in the morning so I added a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and decreased the saturation a little.

Layer 17. For this layer I wanted a composite layer that was a composite of all the visible layers below it. While Layer 16 was the active layer, I used Command/Control - Option/Alt - Shift - E to create the composite Layer 17. This looks just like Layer 16, so I won't show it here.

While on Layer 17 I want to create the sprayed strokes effect to the edge of my page. I selected the Rectangular Marquee Tool and created a selection that was about 1/8th-inch in from all four sides of the page.  Then I turned off the visibilities of all the layers except for the White Background Layer 1 and the composite Layer 17 at the top of the layer stack. The selection is active and I am on Layer 17. I add a Layer Mask to Layer 17. And, with only Layer 1 and Layer 17 visible, we see that we have a white border around the layout that is about 1/8th-inch wide.

Make sure the layer mask is active on Layer 17 and go to Filter/Filter Gallery and apply a Sprayed Strokes filter. And this put this neat sprayed strokes edge to the layout with a white border below the fringe. And then I added in my logo at the bottom right corner. The logo is a brush. And, this is what I end up with for my dream layout.

I had a lot of fun with this dream episode. I hope that your dream gave you a lot of enjoyment, too.

That is all for this episode of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

Enjoy life and be creative.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen July 19, 2011

For this Episode of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen, we had to use at least one layer of her kk_aurora texture for our image. While I was thinking about this, I remembered about when I was an undergrad at UCLA, many years ago, I worked part time as a guide at the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles. During some of the Planetarium shows the Aurora would be shown in its beautiful colors. I have never seen the real Aurora in Mother Nature; it must be absolutely beautiful. However, I have seen images of the Aurora taken by satellites. So, somehow I had to create an image that combined the name of the texture layer and the one that Mother Nature creates for us.

I have a vase that is called "Snowberry." With a name like that, I thought of winter and the greater likelihood of the occurrence of the Aurora. I started with an image of this vase.

Layer 1. Snowberry vase. The original image that I worked on in Photoshop CS4 is approximately 10 X 10 inches at 300 ppi.

Layer 2. Layer 2 is a duplicate(Command/Control-J) of Layer 1. I won't show its image since it is the same as Layer 1. I then turned off the visibility of Layer 1. I like to make a copy of the beginning layer so if I make a goof I still have the original.

Layer 3. This is another duplicate (Command/Control-J) of Layer 1, or Layer 2 since they are the same. To this layer, I applied a High Pass filter with a radius of 3 pixels. Then I set the layers Blending Mode to Overlay with 100% Opacity. This makes the image appear a little sharper. You may not notice much difference in this image because of the low resolution for the internet.

Layer 4. While Layer 3 was selected as the active layer, I used Command/Control-Option/Alt-Shift-E, to create a Composite layer above the active layer. This gave me, for Layer 4, a composite image of all the visible layers below Layer 4. So, basically, the image looks just like the image of Layer 3.

Layer 5. I duplicated Layer 4 (Command/Control-J). Then I set the layer Blending Mode to Soft Light and 100% Opacity. This added a little contrast to the image. Soft Light will brighten the light colors and darken the dark colors. Thus giving more contrast to the image.

Layer 6. With Layer 5 active, I created a composite layer (Command/Control - Option/ Alt - Shift-E) for Layer 6. This looks just like Layer 5, so I won't show it here.

Layer 7.  I added in one of my textures, EK_CoffeeStains03. I set the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay with 100% Opacity. I made this texture while taking Kim Klassen's  Art of Texture class last February. It was a great class.

Layer 8. I turned off the visibility of Layer 7 and sampled a dark blue from the vase for my Foreground color and a lighter blue for the Background color. Then I turned on the Layer 7 visibility. On Layer 8, I made a linear gradient of the Foreground color to the Background color from the bottom of the page to the top of the page. I set the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay and 100% Opacity. And, so far this is what I have.

Layer 9. Now is where the texture KK_aurora comes into play. As Layer 9, I added Kim's KK_aurora texture. And...  changed the layer Blending Mode to Exclusion at 100% Opacity. Now you see the colors of Mother Nature's Aurora come in.

Layer 10. I added another layer of KK_aurora texture. For this layer, I set the Blending Mode to Saturation with 100% Opacity. This muted the colors in the image.

Layer 11. On another new page, I created a star field. I wanted my Snowberry vase to appear as if it were floating in space and was the Aurora itself. I brought the star field image onto this layout as Layer 11. Then I went back to Layer 4 composite, made it the active layer, and turned off the visibility of the layers above Layer 4. Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool, I made a selection of just the vase. I went to the Paths Panel and made a path of the selection of the vase. I named the path Path 1 to keep the path. With Path 1 selected, I made a selection of the path. This put a selection around the vase. I now turned on the visibility of the layers and made Layer 11 the active layer. I held down the Option/Alt key while clicking on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. This added the layer mask with the selection of the vase black so as to hide the star field over the vase. Now the star field shows only behind the vase. However, the star field was too bright for me, so I reduced the layer to 50% Opacity.

Layer 12. I wanted to bring back some more color to just the vase. I made Layer 4, an earlier composite layer, the active layer. In the Paths Panel I selected Path 1, which is the path around the vase I made before. I used Path 1 to make a selection around the vase on Layer 4. I copied the selection, Command/Control-J, to its own layer and then moved that copy of just the vase up to the top as Layer 12. I set the Layer Blending Mode to Saturation with 100% Opacity. And this brings back my nice Aurora colors to the vase.

Layer 13. My image is just about finished. It needs just a couple of touches. For this layer, I added  Kim's "februarymagicedges." I set the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay and 15% Opacity. This gives a nice edging to the image.

Layer 14. The last layer. I thought that the white of the vase opening was a little too bright. For Layer 14, I added a layer that was filled with 50% gray and the Blending Mode set to Overlay and 100% Opacity. I can use this layer as a faux burn and dodge tool. If I paint with white on the layer, it acts like a dodge tool and lightens the area I painted. If I paint with black, it darkens the area I paint. So, I set my Foreground/Background colors to the default Black/White. I selected a soft round Brush Tool with the Opacity set to 10% and black as my Foreground color. I then painted with black over the area of the vase opening to darken it slightly. And that was my final finishing touch to give me my Snowberry vase as the Aurora in the night sky. And, this is it.

I hope that you enjoyed my tour of how I created this image. I really had a lot of fun doing it. Kim's KK_aurora texture is great to use. And, remember, it is just one of her free textures that you get when you Join the Texture Lovin' List.

That's all for this time for EarlK Design.

Enjoy life!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Kaleidoscopic Fun in Photoshop

If you want to spend some time just having fun with Photoshop, check out Mark S. Johnson's site and watch the movie "Photoshop Workbench 288: The Lloyd Williams Kaleidoscope." Using Lloyd's templates to create kaleidoscopic images from your own images is a blast. And, very addictive. Here is my first result of doing it. My original image:

And my kaleidoscopic image:

What great fun!

I hope you like this as much as I do.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen July 12, 2011

For this week's Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen the magic word was was "Pink." That was the only guidance that was given. And, Kim said, "Let's get creative.... The possibilities are endless. Think outside the box..... have fun with it.... and when you post...share a little about your interpretation if you wish." So, that is what I did.

I started with this image, since I was thinking "Pink." Actually, I have already added a little white canvas area around the image area. I wanted a border around my image.

Then I made a duplicate of this Layer 1, and called it Duplicate Background. It is my Layer 2.

My Layer 3 is a High Pass Filter to sharpen the image a little. I frequently like to give my images a little more appearance of being sharper. After applying the High Pass Filter, set the layer's blending mode to Overlay. You may not notice much difference in the screen image, so I won't show this layer. If you are already happy with the sharpness of your image, you do not have to do this.

My Layer 4 is a composite of all the visible layers below it (Command/Control-Option/Alt-Shift-E). I frequently make this composite layer so if I want to copy it later, I can.

Layer 5. For this layer, I added an Invert Adjustment Layer with Normal Blend Mode and 100% Opacity. This gave me the complementary colors in the image.

Layer 6. For this layer I added Kim's kk_sweettart texture with Difference Blending Mode and 100% Opacity. Texture kk_sweettart has a pink coloring. And This is the result.

Layer 7. For this layer, I added Kim's kk_februarymagic texture with Overlay Blending Mode and 40% Opacity. The result of this is.

Layer 8. Layer 7 wasn't quite enough for me, so I duplicated Layer 7 for Layer 8 and kept the Overlay blending Mode and 40% Opacity. And that was then good for me.

Layer 9. I wanted to add an edge to the image area. I used Kim's kk_februarymagicedges with Overlay Blending Mode and 50% Opacity.

Layer 10. This layer is a duplicate of my Composite Layer 4. This puts a copy of the sharpened original image over all the previous layers. I kept the Normal Blending Mode, but reduced the Opacity to 30%. And, this is the result.

Layer 11. I started adding in my finishing touches. This layer is the white line around the image in the black area of the border.

Layer 12. This ts the EarlK Design signature.

 Layer 13. The final layer is the word "Pink."

This is the final result of thinking "Pink."

I was going to stop at this point, but...

On Lynda.com, I watched an episode of Deke McClelland's that showed how to make a pen sketch from an image. So...  I thought this image would be great as a pen sketch. I am not going to go through the steps how this is done. However, it is quite easy.

I started with the same image as before; however, without the added white border.

I then used Deke's method to convert the image to a pen drawing. Then I added in some textures. I used one of my own, EK_CoffeeStains01, that I created while taking Kim Klassen's "Art of Texture - The Secrets Revealed" class. That is the texture giving the brown tones in the final image. And, I used Kim's kk_aurora texture. Some of the image layers had the Blend If... section at the bottom of the Layer Style Blending Options dialog used to open up the image to some of the underlying colors.

And, this is the final result.

And, that is all for this episode of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

Enjoy what you are doing and enjoy life.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen July 5, 2011

For this week's Texture Tuesday the number three is all important. That is the only guideline. Think, think, think! It is much easier when you don't have as much freedom of choice of what to do. Several things bounced around in my head. Such as, I could make a decorative design element from the number 3. But, then what would I do with it? Oh, well! More thinking and I finally came up with the idea that I don't actually have to use the number "3." I can use three things to represent 3. I decided to make a three-panel triptych and have a few more three's included in the final result.

I decided to use these three photos of winter trees near my house as my beginning point. They are the full color shots out of my camera.

I did not want a vertical triptych; I wanted a horizontal one. The next step was to desaturate and crop each of these images. With the resulting images I made a horizontal triptych.

I then played around with different textures and different layer blend modes. I also moved the middle image to the left and the left image to the middle. I ended up with this result which really pleased me.

 If you click on the image, you can see a larger version of it.

Here is the recipe for what I did.

Left Image:

kk_golden texture; Exclusion Blending Mode; 100% Opacity.

Middle Image:

kk_chamomile texture; Exclusion Blending Mode; 100% Opacity.

Right Image:

kk_loveinlayers texture; Exclusion Blending Mode; 100% Opacity.

And, then I added a rounded rectangle line around each image.

So, for the number 3, I have used 3 photos, 3 different textures, 3 of the same Exclusion Blending Mode, 3 100% Opacity, and, for the purest among you, there is actually a number "3" in the middle photo. You may not be able to find it. It is sort of like "Where's Waldo?" It is small and not really hidden; it blends in, but it is there. (Edit: Sorry the "3" is too small to see on the screen image.)

And, that is my entry for this week's Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. I enjoyed making this creation from my winter trees. I hope that you enjoy seeing them.

That's all for now. Enjoy life and keep taking lots of photos to remember where you have been during your travel through your life.