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.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen March 27, 2012

Another great Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. Come join us for the fun!

Here are this week's TT challenge details.
  • Share a pink-filled image, processed with any of my textures. That's it...that's all.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to give you all the details of how I went through the process of getting from here to there. 

Here is my final result. A lot of little things went into this from the making of the pattern to create the background to the use of Kim's kk_faved texture at Divide Mode and 30% Opacity.

Enjoy your week and live life to the fullest.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen March 20, 2012

I started in photography when there only was black and white commonly available to the average photographer. In 1935, Kodak introduced the first modern color film and called it Kodachrome. Initially, Kodachrome was available only as 16mm film for home movies, but in 1936 it was also introduced as 8mm home movie film and short lengths of 35mm film for still photography. In 1941, Kodak made it possible to order prints from Kodachrome slides. In the following year, Kodacolor film was introduced. Unlike Kodachrome, it was designed to be processed into a negative image which showed not only light and dark reversed but also complementary colors. The use of such a negative for making prints on paper simplified the processing of the prints, reducing their cost. The expense of color film as compared to black-and-white and the difficulty of using it with indoor lighting combined to delay its widespread adoption by amateurs. In 1950, black-and-white snapshots were still the norm. By 1960, color was much more common but still tended to be reserved for travel photos and special occasions. So you see, I am used to working with black and white.

I was very glad that this week's Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen was using black and white. Kim's guideline for us for this week was:

How 'bout a 'black & white eDition'...
Your image must be black & white and contain at least one layer of any of my textures.

The digital camera I use can take a Black and White image in the camera, but it doesn't necessarily give a good one. The best way is to shoot in color and then process the color into a black and white image in Photoshop. That way you can get the exact black and white image you want. And, that is what I did. I got to my black and white image in a different manner than in a straight forward way. Let me show you what I did for this challenge.

First, let me show you the color image as my camera took the photo. And, also show you what I did with it so you know where we are going.


Layer 0.  As I usually do, I opened a new document that was 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB and white background. The document opens with this as the Background layer. I won't show it since it is just a plain white layer.

Layer 1.  I brought in my color image and transformed it so that it fit my 11 x 8.5-inch layout, filling the page.

Layer 2.  I have been experimenting with making some of my own textures. Here I used a sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes Drawing Paper ( 8.5 x 11-inch) in an olive color and used some cray-pas oil pastels to color it to give me a texture.  This is what It looks like at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the Mode to Color and still kept 100% Opacity, to give me this.

Remember, at this point I am still aiming toward my black and white image that is the beginning point for the challenge. I am not there yet.

Layer 3.  I duplicated Layer 1, the flower layer, and made it Layer 3. I changed the blend mode to Soft Light with 100% Opacity. It may look like I'll never get to my beginning black and white image. But, I will.

Layer 4. I duplicated Layer 3 for layer 4. I left the mode at Soft Light but reduced the Opacity to 30%. This made the image just a little brighter.

Layer 5.  I clicked on the button to open a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer. All I did was to reduce the Saturation -30. 

And, this gave me this.

I bet you thought I was going to reduce the Saturation to -100 giving me a black and white image. 

Layer 6.  While Layer 5 was active, I made a composite layer for Layer 6 (Command / Control - Option / Alt - Shift - E). This gives me all the visible layers below it all on one layer. So Layer 6 will look just like what you were seeing while Layer 5 was the active layer.

This is the color image that I will now convert to my Black and White image.

Layer 7.  With Layer 6 the active layer, I clicked on the button in the Layers Panel to open up the Black & White Adjustment panel. I cycled through the Presets at the top of the panel. But, before I made my decision, I clicked on the little hand button and dragged my cursor in the image to make some adjustments. However, I really liked the Preset High Contrast Red Filter the best, so I selected it to use. 

And this gave me this for my Black and White image.

I really like this for my Black and White image.

I want to let a little of the color from the composite Layer 6 to show over the flowers in the central part of the image.  I clicked on the Layer 7 layer mask to make sure it was active. The mask is white letting all the Black & White adjustment show over the image. I selected the Brush Tool and Selected a grunge brush that I had made and used it with black to paint over the central area of the mask. I used a brush Opacity of 27% while brushing. This allowed a little of the color from the layer below, Layer 6, to show. And I now have this.

Layer 8.  Now I want to use Kim's texture kk_chamomile. However, I only want it around the edges of the image. I will use the Pattern Stamp Tool to do this. You can go to my previous entry in this blog to Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen March 6, 2012 to see how to do this. I had already made the  kk_chamomile into a whole page texture. I selected the Pattern Stamp Tool ( it is in with the Clone Stamp Tool) in  the Tool Bar. In the Option Bar, I set the Mode to Linear Burn, Opacity 30%, Flow 100%, and clicked on the little pattern icon to open the Patterns and I selected the kk_chamomile pattern.

I used a soft edge brush for the Pattern Stamp Tool and brushed around the edge of the image. This painted in the texture from  kk_chamomile around the edge of the image. This gave me my final image for this challenge.

Here is what my Layers Panel looks like.

It is really amazing what you can do with a black and white image. To me, this looks like a hand tinted black and white photograph. 

Here is an example of what was being done with hand coloring of black and white images in 1925. This is my grandmother at the beach. I was too young to remember her very much. But this portrait of her hung on the dining room wall all the years I was growing up. So, this is how I remember her.

I hope you enjoyed this tour with me including a little bit about the history of color photography. 

Enjoy life to the fullest. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen March 13, 2012

Another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. These are a lot of fun. If you are not already on her Texture Lovin' List, you should go there and sign up. Then you could join in on the fun, too. You then also get free textures from Kim.

Our guide for this week's Texture Tuesday is:

   Let's talk next week's TT theme.

How 'bout a kk_lifesgood eDition... Share your latest fav image, layered with any of my textures.

So, that is what I will do. I recently got a new macro lens for my Canon EOS 40D camera. I got the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. I took the following image at f5.0 1/200 ISO 400. This camera and lens gives me an image that is 12.96 x 8.64-inch at 300 ppi.

Layer 1.  I want to use a square format for this layout, so I opened a new document that was 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background. I won't show this layer as it is just a plain white layer.

Layer 2.  I brought in my image for this layer. Using free transform, I resized the image to fit my 12 x 12-inch layout.

Layer 3.  I used Kim's kk_lifesgood texture for this layer. This is what it looks like at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

I thought this might be a nice texture to use with an image of matches. To me this has a nice smoky quality. As I was cycling through the blend modes, I saw what Luminosity was like at 100% Opacity.

I thought that would be a great background for an art journaling page, so I saved a copy of this for that purpose. Then I reduced the opacity to 60% and got the feeling I was after for the image. 

Now, I have a really nice smoky feel about the matches. And I could stop here and be very happy.

However, since this was a 'free & easy' challenge and I had used Kim's kk_lifesgood texture already, I decided to try something a little different. I have been experimenting with making some of my own digital textures strictly with just my computer. So, I next used one of my experimental textures.

Layer 4.  This is what my computer generated texture looks at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity. Actually, I have Layer 1 visible below so you are seeing it over a white background. The white areas are actually transparent on my texture.

I then set the blend mode to Divide and the opacity 30%. And, this gives me some streaks of smoke within my image.

Now I am really happy with my result and am stopping at this point.

I hope that you enjoyed this tour.

Live your life wonderfully.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen March 6, 2012

Yeah! Another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. I really look forward to these challenges. Not only are they fun, but they also let me let my imagination loose to see what can come up out those little wrinkles in my head. 

Kim's guideline for the challenge was

Tuesday, March 6ths TT Challenge Details

Your image must contain one layer of the latest freebie, happy heart. That's it.
These guidelines for the challenge looked reasonably straight forward. I took off on my creation and got something that I liked. A strange thing happened on my way to my final image. I looked at Kim's guideline again. It said to ONE LAYER of happy heart. I looked at my Layers Panel and saw that I had used TWO LAYERS of happy heart. Oh, no! I liked what I had done. I was going to sneak it in, but then the wheels started turning and I thought of a way I could do it with only one layer of happy heart. Here is how I did it. (I am not sure, but I think you might have to use PSCS not PSElements to do all the things I did.)

This is the image I started with

And, this is my final version

Layer 1.  I opened a new document that is 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, white background. This is the size I usually work on. If you use 12 x 12-inch, make yours that way. I won't show it since it is just a white Background layer.

Layer 2.  I brought in my photo.  I took the photo with my Canon Powershot S90. I used f3.5  1/30 sec  ISO 160. My camera gives me an image that is a little larger than 9 x 12-inch at 300 ppi. I positioned the image as I wanted in on my page. This was actually covering the entire page area. But, you have already seen this since I showed it to you at the top of this blog entry.

Layer 3.  Now I want to make a mask with a feathery edge to it so that the image looks sort of like a watercolor painting. I made a new layer over Layer 2. I used the method of using a cloud field and Refine Edge to create this mask. I went to Filter / Render / Clouds.

And, had this cloud field generated for me.

Then I made a selection with the Rectangular Marquee Tool that was about 1.5 inch in from the edges of the layer. I wanted to give plenty of room around the selection.

Then, I clicked on the Refine Edge button in the Options bar. This opened the Refine Edge dialog. All I did was set the Radius to the maximum of 250 px.

And I got this refined edge selection.

Layer 4.  I made a new layer over Layer 3. With Layer 4 active, and the selection still showing, I filled the selection with black. I turned off the visibilities of Layer 3, the cloud layer, and Layer 2, the flower layer. And deselected the selection. This shows me my mask that I created.

I now move Layer 4, the mask, below Layer 2, the flower image. I turn the visibility of Layer 2 back on and clip the flower image to the mask. I now have this.

Layer 5.  I now make Layer 3. the cloud layer, the active layer. Click on the Create new Fill Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Black & White. This adds the adjustment layer over Layer 3, making it Layer 5 (Remember we moved Layer 4 to below Layer 2.) And the Black & White Adjustment Panel opens. I clicked on the little hand icon in the upper left and this allows me to place my cursor over the image and modify the image by moving the cursor back and forth to get the gray I want for that area. When I was through with this, I had the following settings.

And, my gray scale image was this.

I then clicked on the Add mask button at the bottom of the panel to add a mask to the Black & White adjustment. Using the Brush Tool with a soft edge brush, I painted over the the image (making sure the mask is active) with black. I used Normal Mode and 20% Opacity. I painted in a little color over the flowers.

Layer 6.  Layer 5 is the active layer. Now I made a composite layer of all the visible layers, Command / Control - Option / Alt - Shift - E. The composite becomes Layer 6. So Layer 6 looks just like what we had showing before. But, now its all on one layer.

Layer 7.  I bring in the texture kk_happyheart and resize it so that I have its edges at the edges of my layout. Here it is at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Since I can use only one layer of the texture, I will use it in a rather tricky way. With Layer 7 the active layer, I make the layer a texture. I go to Edit / Define Pattern and select that. You can name it or not. And it is now a pattern that is the size of the page. Now I turn off the visibility of Layer 7, kk_happyheart. I really do not need it any more since I made it a brush. And, I used only one layer of the texture.

Layer 6.  I make Layer 6, the composite layer, the active layer. While holding down the Command / Control key, I click on the Layer 4, the mask, thumbnail to put a selection around the mask area. With Layer 6, the composite, active, I select the Pattern Stamp Tool from the Tool Bar.

Then in the Option Bar I set the Mode to Linear Burn, Opacity 30%, Check Aligned, and in the little pattern box, I open it and make sure that my kk_happyheart pattern is selected.

Using the tool at a rather large size, I paint in the texture over the area enclosed my the selection.

On this same layer, the selection is still showing. But, I want what is outside the selection. I Inverse the selection, Select / Inverse or Command / Contreol - Shift - I. This puts the selection over the rest of the page. 

I get the Pattern Stamp Tool and in the Option Bar I set Mode Normal and Opacity 50% with the kk_happyheart selected as the pattern.

And I paint over the selected area with a large brush. This adds in the texture around the outside of the photo area and gives me the nice darker edges.

Layer 8 -Layer 16.  These are the text layers, the signature and the date. I used Zapfino for the title and Papyrus for the subtitle.

Back to Layer 6.  The last line of the text was a little light and hard to read. So I went back to the composite layer, Layer 6, and used the Burn Tool set for mid tones 30% Opacity and darkened the area under a couple of the words so that they are more readable.

And, I end up with this.

Here is what my Layers Panel looked like at the end.

I hope you enjoyed this Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. I did.

Enjoy life to the fullest.