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, September 27, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen September 27, 2011

Kim Klassen gave us a lovely challenge for this week's Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

Tuesday, September 27th TT Challenge Details:
Let's go with a theme! Hmmm, spin, spin... let me think....
How about LOVE! Just let your imagination go ....  
There's just so much to love about LOVE!
So to clarify.... your image must contain one layer of any of my textures...and in some way be about LOVE.  

Are you ready to follow me through the paths my mind makes while creating a layout to meet Kim's challenge? Going through some of the old photographs that I have been scanning into my computer from albums that my sister has sent to me to do the scanning. Some of the photographs are over 100 years old. Most are in remarkably good condition. To mind, for LOVE, came the photos of my Grandparents' (my Father's parents) and my parents' wedding portraits. They were married and lived happily ever after. So, I will use these two portraits in my layout to represent love.

Layer 1.  As usual, for me, I start with Layer 1 being landscape 11 x 8.5-inch, 300 ppi, RGB Color, White Background. I won't show you my blank layer that I stare at when I am beginning a layout.

Layer 2.  This is a photograph of a blooming Bougainvillea that I took at the Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, Nebraska. This will sort of be the background for my portraits. The layer Blending Mode is Normal and Opacity 100%.

Layer 3.  For this layer, I need to make a brush of Sonnet 18 By William Shakespeare. I want to use Shakespeare's words about love as a texture over the blossoms. On a new document, I wrote the sonnet using the Papyrus Font. I put the text on a layer above the background layer so that I could turn off the visibility of the background layer and have the text on transparency.

On this document, I cropped down to just a little larger than the block of text. Then I went to Edit / Define Brush Preset and made the text into a brush. 

Back now to the layout document. On this new Layer, Layer 3, I selected the Brush Tool and selected the brush I just made of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. I opened the Brush Panel and made similar adjustments as I did in my blog entry, Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen September 13, 2011. Then, using the brush with black as my Foreground Color, on Layer 3, I ended up with my layout looking like this.

If I turn off the visibility of Layer 2, the flowers, the text looks like this.

I turned on the visibility of Layer 2 and then set Layer 3 Blending Mode to Divide with 100% Opacity.

Layer 4.  I brought into my layout the wedding portrait of my Grandparents, my father's parents. They were married the day after Christmas, 1880.

I then used the method of feathering that I showed in my blog entry of Monday, August 8, 2011, Control your Feathering to blend the image into the background. The Layer Blend Mode is Normal and Opacity 100%.

Layer 5.  And, then brought in the photo of my parents' wedding portrait.

And, then using the feathering method I mentioned above, I blended this image into the background.

I did not like the difference in color between the two portraits. My grandparents' portrait looks almost like it is a black and white image, but it really does have some color in it. And, my parents' portrait is sepia tone. I want to bring them together in appearance. So, on Layer 4, my grandparents. I added a Black & White Adjustment Layer. I used the Default adjustment. And then I did the same with Layer 5, my parents portrait, also using the Default adjustment.  Now the two images are Black & White. And they are at Normal Blending Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then, I added a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to both portrait layers, Layer 4 and Layer 5. I checked Colorize and used Hue: 37, Saturation: 14 and Lightness: 0. Now both images have a slight sepia tone to them and they are similar in appearance. The images are still Normal Blending Mode and Opacity 100%.

Layer 3a.  This layer is just above Layer 3, which is the brushing layer of the Sonnet 18. For Layer 3a I used Kim's kk_ugglove texture. Here is the kk_ugglove texture at Normal Mode and 80% Opacity to let in a little of the below layers. kk_ugglove is 12 x 12-inches in size. So I used the Free Transform and pulled the edges in so that it all fit on my 11 x 8.5-inches layout. This way I kept all the texture around the edges for my texture.

I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Exclusion and left Opacity 80%.

Layer 3c.  At the moment, Layer 3c is just above Layer 3a. However, I will be putting in later a Layer 3b that will go between Layer 3a and Layer 3c. So this is Layer 3c. This layer is Kim's kk_warmsun texture. Here it is at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Hue with Opacity 90%.

Layers 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Layer 6 is the Title. Layer 7 is the year of my grandparents' marriage. Layer 8 is the year of my parents' marriage. Layer 9 is my signature in the lower right corner of the layout. And Layer 10 is the date, along the lower left edge of the layout. I sampled a dark and a light color from the image for these text layers.

This looked pretty good to me, but it was a little too somber for wedding portraits to my mind. It needed a little more spark of color. This is where Layer 3b comes in.

Layer 3b.  I duplicated Layer 2, the Bougainvilleas, and placed the copied layer between the two texture layers, Layer 3a and Layer 3c. I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Vivid Light with 66% Opacity. And this brought in just the right amount of color for me.

Back to Layer 5.  I did not like the dark area in the upper left of my feathered parents layer. I went back to Layer 5. I clicked on the link between the layer thumbnail and the mask thumbnail to unlink them. I clicked on the mask thumbnail to make it active and then used Free Transform (Command/Control-T) to active the Free Transform. Then in the Options bar at the top I selected to Warp the transform. (If you haven't looked at my blog entry I mentioned above about feathering, you might want to see it.) Then I warped the upper left corner area of the feathering to get rid of the dark area. 

But, now, looking at the layout I notice that the signature and date are almost invisible. They are too dark for where they are placed. 

Layer 9. I added a Layer Style (Fx) of Color Overlay to my signature layer and sampled a lighter color from the image for the color to overlay on the signature. 

Layer 10. I did the same thing for the date layer.

And they did live happily ever after.

And, that is the way of LOVE. My grandparents and my parents were married for the rest of their lives. And as it says,"To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'till death do us part." As in most lives, they had some ups and downs over the course of many years. Some of these are represented by the texture and cracks that show in the image from the kk_ugglove texture. And the kk_warmsun texture brings out all the tender goodness that was there, too.

I hope you enjoyed your trip through my mind as this image was being created.

And, that is my Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen for this week.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen September 20, 2011

This week we have a Free & Easy eDition for our Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. (Click on the red text to go to Kim's site.) Our guideline for this week, according to Kim, is:

Tuesday, September 20th TT Challenge Details are:
The Free & Easy eDition is back! That means.... your image must contain one layer of any of my textures... That's that... no other requirements..... 

I have to give you a little background about what I am about to do for my challenge for this week. On Tuesday, 13 September 2011, my daughter and I went to the Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, Nebraska, to see the Outside Kaneko Sculpture Exhibit. Jun Kaneko has been based in Omaha since 1986 and established his current studio here since 1990. He was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1942. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue his art studies that he had started in Japan. He creates the world's largest free-standing ceramic sculptures. Many of them are 6-8 feet or more in height. There are 31 pieces of Jun Kaneko's work in the exhibit. Here are a couple of his pieces in the garden setting. Both of these are called Dangos, which means dumplings or rounded shape in Japanese. They are both 6-8 feet tall.

One reason I am telling you about this exhibit is that some of the photographs I took are close-ups of the texture from the colors and glazes on the ceramics. In addition to Kim Klassen's textures, I will also use some of my photos as textures to create my final image.

Layer 1.  As my usual starting point, Layer 1 is an 11 x 8.5-inch landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, white background new document.

Layer 2. This is a close-up image of a few of the flowers that are in the bed around the Keneko Dango that I will use for Layer 3. Layer 2 is Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Layer 3.  This is a photograph of one of the Dangos that I use during this creation. The layer is at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I made a rectangular selection around the Dango area and I want to feather the selection to merge this image into the Layer 2 flowers. The method I used to feather the selection is the one I show in my blog entry of August 8, 2011, Control Your Feathering. (Click on the red text to go to this entry in my blog.) This method uses the Mask Panel and gives excellent control over your feathering. I also moved the image on the layer a little to put it a little more into upper left corner. This is how Layer 3 looks after the feathering of my selection has been done.

Layer 4.  For this layer, I use Kim's kk_Silence texture. Here is how the texture looks at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Hue, and left the Opacity 100%. What a wonderful golden hue is cast over the entire image! The flower looks almost like it is made out of metal. Or, it looks, except for the center, like an artichoke that has been opened.

Layer 5.  I have to show you where Layer 5 comes from before I use it. Inside the Visitor Center of the Lauritzen Gardens is a display area. There were several Kaneko Dangos in there. This one is on its own stand inside the Koi Fish Pond.

I took several close-up photos of this Dango to use as textures. Every square inch of the surface of the Dango is just wonderful. This close-up shot is the one I use as Layer 5. Here the Blending Mode is Normal and Opacity 100%.

Now I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Vivid Light and kept the Opacity 100%.

Layer 6.  For this layer I used a close-up photo from the Dango that is shown in Layer 3. Here is what this texture looks like at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Saturation and kept the Opacity 100%. Look at the wonderful stripes.

Layer 7.  Serendipity plays a large part in my creations, so next I used Kim's kk_serendipity texture.  This is kk_serendipity at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Exclusion and left the Opacity 100%. And, Mother Nature's Serendipity plus Kim's kk_serendipity texture really came through for me. I knew I was finished with this image. I gave it a name, "Moody Blue Dango."

The colors are just beautiful and the touches of red throughout really make it sparkle. At least that is the way I see it through my eyes and into my mind.

I hope you have enjoyed this Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen  (Click on the red text to go to Kim's site) tour through my mind at work in trying to create with Photoshop what I visualize I want. But, serendipity plays a major part as I go along. Something may happen and the direction of the image may go in a completely different direction than I originally was planning on going. That is a major part for me for the enjoyment I get from these creations. 

Enjoy your creating and doing what you like to do.

That is all for now.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen September 13, 2011

Do. What do I do with do? 

This is what Kim Klassen gave us for guidance for this episode of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

Tuesday, September 13th TT Challenge Details are:
How bout a verb? Let's go with the verb 'do'.....
What do you say? I think it'll be cool to see the different interpretations.

I thought and thought. Not much came to mind. So, the next thing was to Google the word "do." A lot of things come up that I never would have thought about. But, I needed the word as a verb. I had recently watched a video by Mark S. Johnson on Masking a Photo with Words. I thought this technique could be applied using textures and the word "do." That is what I finally decided on doing. I would use the indicative conjugation of the verb do.

I needed to make some brushes for the words I was going to use. I needed a brush for each of:

  • I DO
  • I DID
I opened a new document that was 11 x 8.5-inches, 300 ppi, white background. Then on separate layers for each of the conjugations, I typed the words in black, using Impact font. For a good 100% opaque brush you should use black on white. The white will be 100% transparent when this is made into a brush.

You do not have to have them on separate layers. They can all be on one layer. I did it on separate layers since I like to be able to move or modify my text when I want to without changing any of the other text in the document. I want to make a brush out of each of these lines of text. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I made a selection around I DO.

Then I went to Edit/Define Brush Preset. I gave it a name and clicked OK. I DO was now a brush in my Brush Preset Picker. I did the same thing for the other five lines of text. I now have all six lines of text as separate brushes. I do not need this document any longer, so I just closed it without saving.

I opened a new document that is 11 x 8.5-inches. 300 ppi, white background.

Layer 1.  This is my white background layer.

Layer 2.  I do a lot of things with my chrysanthemum images, so I thought a mum would be good for this challenge.

Layer 3.  For this layer, I used Kim's kk_autumnBurst texture. The texture is at 12 x 12-inches, so I Free Transformed the layer so that the edges of the texture were at my 11 x 8.5-inch edges. At this point, the Blending Mode of the layer is Normal with 100% Opacity.

With a little experimentation with the blending modes for this layer, I decided I liked the Lighten Blending mode at 100% Opacity. This gave me this image.

Layer 4.  I used Kim's kk_dream texture for this layer. This is the layer at Normal Blend Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I reduced the Opacity of this layer to 80% to let a little of layers below to show.

And, then I changed the layer Blending Mode to Difference. I really like this mode; it gives me interesting results.

Now I want to use the text brushes that I created on this layer. So, I will add a layer mask to the layer by clicking on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel.  This gives me a white layer mask that allows me to see all of the layer. If I now use one of my brushes with black color on the layer mask, the words will hide the part of this layer that is beneath the text and allow Layer 3 to show through.  But, before I use the text brushes, I want to adjust some of the brush parameters in the Brush Panel. Open the Brush Panel.

In the Brush Tip Shape section, I selected my I DO brush, and set the Spacing to around 200%. What spacing you use will depend on the words you are using. Look in the box at the bottom to get an idea of what is happening with your settings. In the Shape Dynamics section, I set the Size Jitter to 100% and I set the Control to Off. I set Control to Off since I am using a mouse. If you are using a pen and tablet, you would set the Control to Pen Pressure. In the Scattering section, I checked Both Axes and set Scatter to 200%. Again, what value you use for Scatter depends on the words you are using. In the Transfer section, I set Opacity Jitter to 100%. This allows the words to vary in opacity from being invisible to completely black with shades of gray in between.

Now I make sure that my layer mask is selected on Layer 4 by clicking on the mask thumbnail in the Layer 4 layer in the Layers Panel. I make sure my Brush Tool is selected and that my brush of I DO is still selected and the Foreground color is Black so that I will be painting black on my white layer mask. I now make a few swipes  around the page with I DO. Remember you can resize the brush before you begin if you want to. And I get this result.

You may remember that if you hold down the Shift key and click on the layer mask thumbnail that it turns off the mask so that you see the image as if the mask were not there. If you hold down the Option/Alt key and click on the mask thumbnail, you see what is on the mask. Here is what the mask looks like at this point where I have used the I DO brush.

Again hold down the Option/Alt key and click on the mask thumbnail to bring back the regular image.

I used all six of the word brushes on the layer mask and painting with black with similar brush settings in the Brush Panel. This is what I now have.

And, by holding down the Option/Alt key and clicking on the mask thumbnail I see that the mask looks like this.

I held down the Option/Alt key and clicked on the mask thumbnail to return to the regular image.

Layer 3A.  This is a copy of Layer 2, the image of the chrysanthemum, which is placed between Layer 3, the kk_autumnBurst texture, and Layer 4, the  kk_dream texture layer. I left the Blend Mode at Normal, but reduced the Opacity to 80%.

I played around a little with the various layer blending modes for the two texture layers. But this was the way it was created and I liked it best.

Layer 5.  The next thing I did was create a new layer and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to create a selection and then went to Edit/Stroke and made a 10 pixel black stroke. I then click on the Fx button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Color Overlay. I sampled an orange color from the image of the mum that was showing in the document and used that to color the 10 pixel stroke.

Layers 6, 7 and 8.  These are the layers for the signature, date, and title.

And, that is my effort for this week's Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. I hope you enjoyed the tour through how my mind works when creating a layout. I hope that maybe you may have seen a few things that may have been new to you and may be useful to you in your scrapbooking.

Kim Klassen tossed in a change after I had finished my layout. This is what she said:

Which brings me to this week's Texture Tuesday theme.

I have decided to make a slight change. I can do that, right? :)
For tomorrow's TT, I'd like to add an and/or to the 'DO' THEME.

So tomorrow's TT theme is as follows: 

  • As always, your image must contain one layer of any of my textures.
  • Your image must contain one layer of Autumn Burst and/or center around the verb DO. 


This change did not bother me at all. I had already used Autumn Burst and centered around the verb DO and also had used Dream. So all was fine with me with this change.

Enjoy what you do and keep on scraping.