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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Wishing you Happiness in the Holiday Season and upcoming New Year.

And, here is how I did it.

Background Layer.  I started with a 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document.

Layer 1.  I brought in my photograph of the snowy edge of the woods outside my house. I used the Free Transform to size it how I wanted it on my layout.

Then, I wanted a star design that I could use over the photo. I opened a new document that was 2 x 2-inches, 300 ppi, RGB, with a transparent background. I used the Polygon Tool with the star option and six sides. And also made smaller stars inside the large star. I used Define Pattern to create this star as a pattern.

Layer 2.  Layer 2 will be brought in later and be inserted between Layer 1 and Layer 3.

Layer 3.  While Layer 1 was active, I clicked on the Add new Fill or Adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Pattern. This opened up the Pattern Fill dialog. I made sure the star design I just created was the selected pattern and left the Scale at 100%.  Since the pattern was black when I made the pattern, the stars are now black in the pattern created on the page. The stars are actually vectors not pixels, so I rasterized the layer so that I now have pixels and can work with the layer. I then cropped out a group of four rows and five columns. I used the Free Transform to resize the group of stars to fit over the photo area.

I didn't want black stars, I wanted white stars. I decided that the easiest way to make them white was to Invert them ( Command / Control - I, or Image / Adjustments / Invert ).  Now I have the white stars over the photo. And, I have Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.  Remember, this is really Layer 3, as Layer 2 will be inserted below it later.

Layer 4.  For Layer 4, I duplicated Layer 3. I wanted to keep Layer 3 incase I goofed on the next thing I did. I turned off the visibility of Layer 3 and worked on Layer 4. I selected the Rectangular Marquee Tool and selected a few of the individual stars on the layer and hit Delete/Backspace to delete the star from the layer. 

And, for two of the stars, I used Command / Control - Shift - J, to cut two stars to their own individual layers, Layer 5 and Layer 6. 

Layers 5 and 6.  This is how the layout looks now with some stars cut out and one star colored on Layer 5 and one star colored on Layer 6.

Layer 7.  For Layer 7 I used Kim Klassen's kk_zuzu texture. It is one of Kim's 12 Days of Texture 2011 textures. This is what it looks like at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Layer 8.  I duplicated Layer 3, which is the star field layer and placed this duplicate over Layer 7. I used the Free Transform to resize the star field to fit the whole layout.

Back to Layer 7.  I made Layer 7 the active layer. Then I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 8 to put selections around all the stars.

Then I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the area of the stars. What you see now are the items below this layer through the stars. I also deselected the selections, Command / Control - D.

What still looks like the white stars is the white background layer showing through the transparent star areas. If I turn off the visibility of the background layer, you see the transparency below.

I turned the visibility of the Background Layer back on. With Layer 7 still the active layer, I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 1, the photo layer, to put a selection around the photo area. Then, on Layer 7 I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the area of the photo from the texture layer. Then I deselected the selection. We now have the texture only around the photo area with the stars cut out of it, even though the stars show as white because of the background layer being white. The Mode is still Normal and Opacity 100%.

Layer 2.  Now, for Layer 2 which is inserted between Layer 1 and Layer 3, we again use the kk_zuzu texture from Kim Klassen. I will summarize what I did here. I brought the texture in at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity. Then I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 8, the large stars. On Layer 2 I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the stars from the texture. I deselected the star selections. I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 1, the photo. I am still on Layer 2. The selection is around the photo, but I want the rest of the area outside the photo to be selected. So, I used Shift - Command / Control - I ( Select / Inverse ) to selected the inverse area. Then I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the area outside the photo. Now the texture with the stars cut out is only over the photo area. Then I set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity 100%. You can see the ghostly large stars over the photo where there is no texture showing.

Back to the Background Layer.  With the Background Layer the active layer, click on the Create new Fill or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Gradient. The Gradient Fill dialog will open. Click on the gradient image to open the Gradient Editor. I selected the Linear Red, Green gradient that is already there for a choice. I clicked OK and OK again to get this result for the layout. I won't show this just yet, as all that is left is to add the title on two layers, Layers 9 and 10. My signature on Layer 11 and the date on Layer 12.

And we have the final layout now.

Again, Wishing You All A Most Happy Holiday Season And Best Wishes For The New Year.



Kia said...

Lovely work of art! :)
Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!

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