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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

29 April 2012 Speed Scrap in Slow Motion

Last night's Speed Scrap at Jessica Sprague's site went at a fast clip. I thought that I would slow down what I did for my entry. That way you can see what I did along the way. The speed scrap gave us seven instructions over the period of one hour. We got a new instruction every 10 minutes. Nisa Fiin led the Speed Scrap. Our instructions were:

step 1- PHOTO BACKGROUND: Choose a photo for your background- your WHOLE background will be a photo. Letter size or 12x12- it’s up to you...Leave as is, blend it with a paper, reduce opacity- whatever you want. (Feel free to snag additional photos now if you want them)

step 2 MAKE A MESS: use a paint swash, ink splatter, scribble something- get messy (well, digi messy...)

step 3-YIKES STRIPES: add something with stripes- this can be on a patterned paper, ribbon, embellishment- even baker’s twine could count!

step 4- STARS: I’m a little obsessed with stars- so humor me and add a star or two...or more...

step 5- THREE!: choose an embellishment and use it three times

step 6- OFFICE SUPPLIES: add something office-y- staples, paperclip, post-it, tape. ledger...

step 7- SAY YES!: somewhere on your layout- add the word “yes” - in the title, journaling, on a little tag...whatever.

Here is what I did.

Step 1.  Here is my original background image. It shows a Jun Keneko Dango at the Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, Nebraska. I took the photo during the exhibit Summer 2011.

Then I thought I would modify the image by posterizing the image and using the colors from some coffee beans for the posterized areas. My first step was to use the Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer to change the color image into a black and white image. This way I can keep the color info if I want it later. All I did was check Monochrome and I now have a black and white image. 

Then I used the Posterize Adjustment and set levels to 4. I now have 4 areas of different shades of black and white.

But, I really want to have color in my posterized layer. An easy way to put color back in is to use a Gradient Map Adjustment layer. I wanted to use the colors I had selected from a photo of some coffee beans I had taken. I am taking the Building Color Confidence class that Cilenia Curtis is giving at Renee Pearson. Here is my Color Inspiration Card that I made for that class.

I opened the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer, clicked on the gradient bar that is showing to open the Gradient Editor. In the Gradient Editor I used the 4 coffee colors from the coffee beans to adjust my gradient colors. And I now have my background image in fours shades of coffee color.

Step 2.  Making a mess. At this same exhibit at the Gardens, I took some close-up images of some of the Dangos and I used this to make a brush.

I used this brush to provide my mess on my image. I used a blue color that was in the original color photo shown at the top. It is the blue that shows brightly on the blue Dango. I used a Vivid Light mode and 50 % Opacity on the brush layer.

Step 3.  Stripes. I used a flower element of mine and then clipped one of my stripes to the flower element.

Step 4.  Stars. I thought about making some regular stars and putting them in. But, they looked too obvious and really did not seem to fit. So, I decided on essentially invisible stars. I used the Custom Shape Tool with the Star Shape and made a star. It does't matter what color you use. I will show you how here. I used a brown color so you can see it better. I added a Drop Shadow to the star. 

Then I reduced the Fill, NOT the Opacity, to 0%. This keeps the drop shadow and eliminates the inside of the star. So I have an invisible star. All you see is the drop shadow.

I put 5 of my invisible stars in the image. They are all the same size. They are hard to find, but they are there.

Step 5.  Three! Use an embellishment three times. I used a gear that I had made. Using the Magic Wand Tool, I selected parts of the gear and colored them with the coffee and the blue color.

And, then I put two on the railing of the pool and the third on the wall in the background. 

Step 6.  Office Supplies. I used a label of mine for this. I colored the tag paper to be one of the coffee colors.

Step 7.  Yes. I put YES on the tag. 

And, then I put my signature and the date and was done. Each new step became available every 10 minutes. So you had 10 minutes to wait before you knew what the next instruction would be. You never know what will be coming sat you. Great fun!

Here is my final production.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my Speed Scrap.