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, February 28, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen February 28, 2012

Here is my entry for this week's Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

The original photo is a close-up of some form packing bubbles. I used one layer of Kim's kk_stainedlinen texture at Divide mode and Opacity of 100%. The font is Impact with some distressing on it. That's it.

That's all for now.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen February 18, 2012

I am currently taking the Beyond Layers class with Kim Klassen. In Day 10, Kim showed how to achieve a painterly look by using heavy texturing. I recently got a new lens for my Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera. I got the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. Using this lens I took some photos of a set of pastels. I used one of these photos for this example. Here is my original image. It has been cropped to fit into my 11 x 8.5-inch landscape page.

Then, after following along with Kim in her demo video, I ended up with the following.

Personally, I prefer the original brighter image. I do not think this was a particularly good image on which to try the technique. But, I wanted to use my new lens, so this is what I used. I guess it really depends on what the image would be used for. This heavily textured image may be just the right thing for some layout.

That's all for today from me, Earl.

Enjoy what you do! It is important that you do.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen February 14, 2012

Again, another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

Kim's guideline for this TT was

  • your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures and be centered around the theme, Happiness.
  • that's it. :)
Here is what my image looked like at the beginning.

And this is my final result.

Here is what I did.

Layer 1.  I Opened a new document that was my image. I cropped and resized it to fit in an 8.5 x 11 - inch, 300 ppi, RGB, document. Layer 1 is my bottom layer in the Layers Panel and it is my image.

Layer 2.  For this layer, I made a selection only of the vase, and then used a technique I saw on the Russell Brown Show for doing Clone Painting to give a painterly effect to just the vase. I changed the Blend Mode to Luminosity and Opacity 60%. That gave a slightly hand painted look to just the vase.

Layer 3.  I used Kim's kk_felicity texture for this layer. At Normal Mode and 100% Opacity, it looks like this.

Then I changed the Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity 30%.

Layer 4.  I then used the Pen Tool to make an open curved path that sort of followed the bottom and right side of the vase. I used the Text Tool to place the text on the path. And typed in the word Happiness. I used black for the text and set the Blending Mode to Soft Light with 100% Opacity.

Layer 5.  I added a new layer and filled it with 50% gray and set the Blend Mode to Soft Light. Then I used the Burn Tool to darken the edges of the page.

Layers 6 and 7.  Layer 6 is my signature stamp and Layer 7 is the date. Both used Papyrus font. I used Black color and set the Blending Mode to Soft Light at 100% Opacity. And it was now done.

Here is what my Layers Panel looks like.

That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed this tour.

Live life!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen February 7, 2012

Welcome to my eDition of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. For this week, Kim's suggestion was:

Let's make it free & easy....shall we?
Your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures.

That's it... nice and easy.

Last week I wasn't able to show you the steps I took to go from my original image to my final creation. Well, I make up for that in this eDition. There are 17 layers in this creation. That may sound like a lot, but each later adds in its own touch to the final. For the previous Texture Tuesday, we used "Simplicity." I guess I am usually not a simplistic type person in my photographic creations. Mother Nature does a fantastic job by herself, but I like to create something from her efforts into what my mind sees. And, you never can tell what my mind wants to visualize from what is really out there in Nature.

Something wicked has come to Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha's Botanical Center. This year's spring flower show is, Wicked Plants: Colorful Characters from the Dark Side of the Plant World. This show will run January 14 through May 13, 2012. I saw the exhibit on January 31, 2012. It is fantastic.

The plant kingdom has many interesting characters. Over eons of evolution, they have developed a dizzying arsenal of defenses against insects, animals, and yes, humans. The show displays the plants in a tropical jungle with vines hanging overhead and dark pools of waterfalls The show displays plants that can paralyze, strangulate, cause derangement and death as highlighted in Amy Stewart's book "Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities". And now, something wicked has come to Lauritzen Gardens. It's mayhem under glass, as the Floral Display Hall will feature many of nature's worst. Those brave enough to wander into the show will find planting beds, and other nooks and crannies crammed with botanical bad guys.

Here is my original photograph I took of the Angel's Trumpet plant.

And, this is how it looks when I have let my mind loose on it. You really need
to look at it at 100% size to see the beautiful texture that is there. I used four
of Kim Klassen's textures during the process of creating this image.  

Let me tell you a little about the Angel's Trumpet. Brugmansia is a genus of seven 
species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae with large, fragrant flowers.
They are known as Angel's Trumpet. The name Angel's Trumpet refers to the
large, pendulous, trumpet-shaped flowers. They come in shades of white, yellow,
pink, orange, green, or red. Most have a strong, pleasing fragrance that is most
noticeable in the evening. Flowers may be single, double, or more. Brugmansia
are large shrubs or small trees, with semi-woody, often many-branched trunks.
They can reach heights of up to 3–11 m (10–36 ft). All parts of the plant are
poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous. Brugmansia are
native to tropical regions of South America, along the Andes Mountains from
Venezuela to northern Chile, and also in south-eastern Brazil. They are grown as
ornamental container plants world-wide, and have become naturalized in isolated
tropical areas around the globe, including within North America, Africa, Australia,
and Asia. Brugmansia are rich in Scopolomine (hyoscine), hyoscyamine, and
several other tropane alkaloids. Effects of ingestion can include paralysis of
smooth muscles, confusion, tachycardia, dry mouth, diarrhea, migraine headaches,
visual and auditory hallucinations, mydriasis, rapid onset cycloplegia, and death.
They are indeed a Wicked Plant.

Here is what I did for this Texture Tuesday.

Layer 0.  I opened a new document that is 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB,
and white background. The layer opens as a Background layer that is locked. I
double clicked on the layer in the Layers Panel to open the New Layer dialog and
accepted the default Layer 0 name. The layer is now unlocked and I can modify it
if I decide to do something to it later. I usually do this with my Background layer
just in case I do want to do something to it later. I won't show this layer since it is
just a white layer with nothing on it.

Layer 1.  I brought in my photo of the Angel's Trumpet. Using the Free Transform
I fit the image to my page size.

Layer 2.  I duplicated (Command / Control - J) Layer 1 for this layer. I wanted
to posterize this image into four colors. I used a method I learned from Julieanne
Kost. You can see her description of how to do this by clicking HERE. So, at this
point, Layer 2 looks just like Layer 1 since it is a duplicate of it.

Layer 3.  I added in a Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer by clicking on the Add
Adjustment Layer button at bottom of the Layers Panel. In the dialog, I just
checked on Monochrome to select it and create this black and white image.
I clipped this Adjustment Layer to Layer 2. Thus it only applies to Layer 2.

Layer 4.  The next step in posterizing the image is to add in a Posterize
Adjustment Layer by clicking on the Add Adjustment Layer button at bottom of
the Layers Panel and selecting Posterize. In the dialog I selected 4 levels. And the
image now has just four shades of black in it from black to white. I clipped this
Adjustment Layer to Layer 2. Thus it only applies to Layer 2.

Layer 5.  But, I want color in the posterized image, not just shades of black
and white. The next step is to add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer by clicking on
the Add Adjustment Layer button at bottom of the Layers Panel and selecting
Gradient Map. When the Gradient Map dialog first opened, it showed a black to
white gradient since those were my Foreground / Background colors. So I click on 
he image of the gradient to open the Gradient Editor dialog. I selected colors from
the Angel's Trumpet image and changed the gradient to have four colors in it.
I clipped this Adjustment Layer to Layer 2. Thus it only applies to Layer 2.

If you do not know how to change your gradient, you may want to look here in
my blog at Other Days with Earl, Episode 5 (Click here to go there).

The image now looks like this. It is posterized to these four colors only.

Layer 2, back to this layer.  I made Layer 2 the active layer.
I changed the layer blending mode to Divide and left the Opacity 100%. And, now
to me, it looks more like it is in a jungle setting.  The posterized image of Layer 2
is now blending with the original image of Layer 1.

Layer 6.  For Layer 6, at the top of the current layer stack, I brought in Kim's
texture kk_providence. This is what kk_providence looks like at Normal mode and
100% Opacity.

I then set the layer blend mode to Linear Burn with Opacity 100%, for this.

Layer 7.  I brought in Kim's texture kk_plastersquared. Here it is at Normal
Mode, 100% Opacity. I cycled through the various blending modes, but it didn't do
much for me at this point. So, I left the layer there, but turned off its visibility so
it is acting like its not there.

Layer 8.  I brought in Kim's texture kk_123. Here it is at Normal Mode and
100% Opacity. Again, I cycled through the various blending modes, but it didn't
do much for me at this point. So, I left the layer there, but turned off its visibility
so it is acting like its not there.

Layer 9.  Now, I brought in Kim's texture kk_paper2.  Here it is at Normal
Mode and 100% Opacity.

When I set the layer blending mode to Color Burn and the Opacity 50%, I got this.
I really liked the way it darkened the edges of the layout.

Layer 10.  I now used the font "Papyrus" to create the title for the page.
I used white for the color of the type. When I looked at the title on the page, the
spacing between the letter L and the apostrophe and the apostrophe and the S,
were too much for me. I needed to kern the spacing between them to make them
closer together. I could have used the kerning in the Character Panel, but I
decided to use a keyboard shortcut. With the Horizontal Type Tool selected, I put
the cursor between the L and the apostrophe. Then I held down the Option / Alt
key and pressed the left arrow key a few times until the L and apostrophe were
close enough together for me. I then placed the cursor between the apostrophe
and S and did the same thing. Tip: if you want to make the distance between two
characters larger, hold down the Option / Alt key and press the right arrow key
until they are far enough apart for you. My title now looks like this.

Layer 12 (Layer 11 comes next).  I now want an area over which
I can put my journaling about the Angel's Trumpet. Using the Rectangular Marquee
Tool I made a selection in the lower left area of the page and filled it with white.
I really doesn't matter what color you use here.

Then I clicked on the ƒx button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a layer
style. I selected Color Overlay. I selected a blue color from within the image
using the Eyedropper Tool that comes up when I clicked on the Foreground Color
box. My rectangle is now colored that blue. If I don't like that color later, I can
double click on the Color Overlay in the Layers Panel to open up the Layer Style
dialog and change the color. I now have my blue rectangle.

Now, I wanted to have a distressed edge to the blue background on which my
journaling will be on. With the Rectangular Marquee Tool I created a selection
that just a little in from the edges of blue rectangle.

Layer 11 (added below Layer 12).  I added a new layer below
Layer 12. I did this by holding down Command / Control and clicking on the
Create a New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. This creates a
new layer below the layer that is active. I turned off the visibility of Layer 12.
Then I filled the selection with black. Remember that this black area is a little
smaller than the blue rectangle. This will become the clipping mask to which I
will clip Layer 12.

I will use a displacement filter to create the distressed edge to this black
rectangle. If you want to see more detail on how to do this, CLICK HERE to go
to my blog Other Days with Earl Episode 13. I went to Filter / Distort / Displace
and the dialog opened.

I set both the Horizontal and Vertical Scales to 20, Checked Stretch to Fit, and
Repeat Edge Pixels. Clicked OK. This takes me to my files and has me select the
.psd image that I want to use for the displacement. It can be any, repeat any,
.psd file that you have. I used one that was a photo I took of some tree bark.

I clicked Open and the displacement did its thing and gave me this distressing
around my black rectangle.

Layer 12.  I went back to Layer 12, turned its visibility on, and clipped it
to Layer 11. This gave me the distressed edge around my blue journaling area.

Layer 13.  Using the Horizontal Type Tool I made a text box inside my
blue journaling area. Then, using all capitals for Papyrus font, I entered my
text in black.

Layers 14 and 15.  I entered the subtitle in black using Impact font. To both
layers I added a Bevel and Emboss layer style by clicking on the ƒx button and
choosing Bevel and Emboss. It is very subtle but there.

At this point, the image seemed to have too much of a blue color cast to my eye.

Layer 7 (back to it). I was glad that I left this texture in the layers
panel. I turned its visibility back on and changed the Blend Mode to Hue and
Opacity 40%. Kim's kk_plastersquared texture really gives a nice glow overall.

Layer 8 (back to it).  Then I turned the visibility of Layer 8, Kim's
kk_123 texture, back on and set its blend mode to Hue and Opacity 30%. What
a difference this makes. I am really happy with this result. Now, to me, it looks
like it is in the jungle somewhere exotic.

Layer 17 (Layer 16 will come later under Layer 17)
Since I had used a distressed border around the journaling block, I decided
I would put one around the page, also. While Layer 15 was still the active layer,
I made a composite layer for Layer 17. I used Command / Control - Option / Alt -
Shift - E to create the composite of all the visible layers below it. This
composite becomes Layer 17. On Layer 17, using the Rectangular Marquee Tool,
I made a selection that is a little inside the edges of the image. 

Layer 16.  I made a new layer under Layer 17 and filled the selection with
black. Then, as I did before I used the Displacement Filter to distress the edges
on the black rectangle. If fact, I used the same tree bark .psd file for the
displacement file. And, I turned off the visibility of all the layers except for
Layer 0 and Layer 16. And the clipping mask looks like this.

Layer 17.  I turned on the visibility of Layer 17 and clipped the layer to
Layer 16.

Layer 0.  I now wanted a non-white outside border for the page. I went back
to the bottom layer, Layer 0, and added a layer style by clicking on the ƒx button
and selecting Color Overlay. In the Color Overlay dialog, I selected a golden color
from the image to use.

And, now I have my completed layout for my Angel's Trumpet. Anything but
simple! Just do not go nibbling on the plant. Yet, all the steps getting there are
relatively straight forward. Well, maybe if you have read my Other Days with
Earl episodes.

This is what my Layers Panel looks like at the end.

I hope you enjoyed this tour through this wicked plant.

Enjoy your life.