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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's make some flower-ish flowers

Let's make some flower-ish flowers. They are very quick and easy to make. You can make a garden full in no time at all. No special skills needed. All you need are your computer, Photoshop, and your computer mouse.

This is what they look like.

Here is a 15-minute video showing you how to make your own flower-ish flowers.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing how to make your own ish flowers. They can be a lot of fun to make and can add just that special element that your layout might need.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.


Collage Obsession Challenge . . . 29 May 2013

For the week of 27 May 2013, itKuPiLLi  gave us :

We have now open challenge - you can create what every you like. Let you creativity flow. :))

In my father's old photo album their is one photo that I just have to use for this collage. It is a photo of four pigs in a pen at the Los Angeles County Fair on opening day of the first fair on 17 October 1922. And this is the only photo from the Fair. Why only a photo of pigs and no other photos?

Here is my collage.

Here is a screen shot showing my layers that were used.

I opened a new 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document. On a new empty layer above the background, I used the Pattern Stamp Tool to cover the whole layer with one of my watercolors that I had made into a pattern. Then I added in two more watercolor layers that I painted in over portions of the layout with the Pattern Stamp Tool.

Then I brought in the photo of the Ferris Wheel at the Fair that was many years after the opening day. I gave kit some adjustments and blended it into the background layers.

I brought in the photo of the pigs and put a white mat behind it. Using Hue / Saturation adjustment layer, I gave the photo a little sepia coloring.

I brought in the airplane with the wing walker . . . made it a silhouette . . . colored it with another watercolor paper using the Pattern Stamp Tool.

Then I made two of my flower-ish flowers for the next layers. I will soon have posted a video on how to make your own flower-ish flowers (very quick and easy to do).

Then I brought in the sign over one entry to the Fair.

Next I put in my journaling.

That's it.

The Ferris Wheel, entry sign, and the wing walker all came from internet images. 

Live life fully.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen ... 4 June 2013

[This post for Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen is for 4 June 2013 eDition. I had posted it in anticipation of the TT for May 28. But, life happened. So this is now for both weeks.]

Another week has gone by and it's time for another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. For our guideline, Kim gave us:

Tuesday, May 28ths theme is Mini May.....

What does this mean?

Your photos must contain at least one texture from today's Mini-May set.

That's it....


Welcome to TT.... the Free & Easy eDition.

This week's TT challenge details are...

Your photo must be layered with at least one of my textures. That's it.....that's all.

I am still in the mode of using photos from my father's old photo album. I am still using my young sister as my main focus. She is 10 years older than me so many of these photos were taken before I was born. The photo that I am using for this Texture Tuesday was taken when she was about three years old. Her grandfather would frequently take her to a portrait studio in downtown Los Angeles to have her picture taken. Here is the portrait.

I talked to my sister today, 27 May 2013, on the phone, and she said that the beads she is wearing are red in color.

And here is my finished layout.

To see how I got there, you can follow along from here. Since I have shown how some of the things are done in previous blog entries, I may not show some of the techniques again here. To see where I am, notice which layers have their visibility on or off.

The first thing I did was to open a new 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document. Then using the Pattern Stamp Tool (As I have shown in previous blog entries), I stamped over the whole image one of my watercolor papers that I had previously made into a pattern. It is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Then for the next layer, I used the Pattern Stamp Tool to paint a different watercolor over parts of the layer. I changed the Blend Mode to Pin Light at 60% Opacity.

Next I added in a Pattern Fill adjustment layer, using a pattern that I had created before. They are tiny little flowers. Here is the pattern at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

I rasterized (simplified) the layer and then deleted the layer mask. Then changed the layer blend mode to Overlay with Opacity 15%. This gave a nice little overall texture from the flowers in the pattern.

Then I brought in an image of a woman from a Dover Book. Here she is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the layer blend mode to Soft Light with 50% Opacity.

Then, each on its own layer, I brought in the two bottom corner flowers and the top left corner bird element. All three are from Dover Books. They are all at Overlay mode and between 40% and 90% Opacity.

Next I brought in two of my flower-ish flowers that I made by drawing them with the mouse and a hard round black brush. Then I colored the flowers. Here they are at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

I changed the blend mode to Overlay at 50% Opacity.

Next I brought in the photo of my sister. I placed her on a scalloped mat and gave both the image and the mat a slight Bevel & Emboss and drop shadow.

Next I brought in two layers of Kim's kk_grungeframed texture from her Mini-May set. The lower layer is at Multiply mode and 40% Opacity and the upper layer is at Multiply and 30% Opacity. That gives a very nice border to the page.

And for the last layer, I added in my journaling. I used Palatino Bold font for the text.

And that is how I created my page.

I hope that you found it interesting to see how this was done. I really like using the Pattern Stamp Tool to create backgrounds from my watercolor papers. In case you may not have noticed many of my watercolor papers are available as freebie downloads in earlier blog entries.

Live life fully.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Collage Obsession Challenge ... 23 May 2013

For the week of 20 May 2013 there is a new challenge from Collage Obsession.

Use ONE word as a focal point or as an element in your art. You may choose the word yourself.

There are so many words to choose from! Here are some to get your creative juices flowing: faith, hope, grace, peace, freedom, believe, and play. You are free to choose a word that isn't listed here. It's best to go with whatever inspires you!

Remember: Your piece may be as “light” or “serious” as you like!

I have sort of fallen into a rut here with my layouts. I am going through the images that I have scanned from my parent's old, around 1920, photo albums. I was fortunate that my mother like to take photos. I can still, when I was a kid in the 1930s, remember my mother taking photos with her old Kodak box camera. Most of the photos in the albums were taken with this camera.

I have been looking at some photos of my sister taken before I was born. She is ten years older than I am. So I have been using photos of her for some of my current layouts. I have used this photo of her posing at the State Line line between California and Arizona on the old Route 66 Highway in 1926. It was still an unpaved road at that time. It didn't become officially U. S. Route 66 until 1927. And not completely paved until 1938. I talked to my sister last night. She remembers taking the trip with our mom and dad and posing at the sign. The main thing she remembers is how very hot it was in the desert getting to the sign. They lived in Los Angeles, so crossing part of the Mojave Desert was along the way. Here is my final collage. My word is VACATION.

If you would like to see how I constructed this collage, follow along with me. I used Photoshop CS6. To follow along, notice which layers in the layers panel have their visibility on or off.

I opened a new 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document. Then I brought in for the next layer a screen shot of a Google satellite map image of the region where the photo of my sister was taken. Of course, the photo was taken in 1926 and the satellite image in 2013, so the satellite image does not look like it did back in 1926. However, I just want to use the satellite image for a background. Look at all those wonderful colors that Mother Nature, plus human modification, has to offer.

Since this was a screen shot, when I look at it at 100% size of my document, it is a little pixelated.

What I did was to duplicate the layer, give the duplicate layer a small Gaussian blur, and reduce the duplicate layer Opacity to 80%. This gave me a nice smoothing of the pixels.

I'll have to show you something I like to do when building textures and collages.

I like to use the Pattern Stamp Tool. It is located in the same place as the Clone Stamp 

However, you need to have made the pattern you want to use before you use the Pattern Stamp Tool. What I have done is to open up one of my 12 x 12-inch watercolor papers and make the whole page a pattern by going to Edit / Define Pattern. I have actually done this with many of my watercolor papers. So with the Pattern Stamp Tool selected, go into its Option Bar and select the pattern you want to use. I also selected a soft round brush, Normal Mode, 100% Opacity and Aligned.

Then on a new layer I painted over part of the image. Here is what it looks like at Normal and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the Layer Bend Mode to Pin Light with 70% Opacity.

Then on another new layer I used the Pattern Stamp Tool with another of my watercolors, a greenish one, and painted in over the central region of the image. I set the Layer blend mode to Overlay with 50% Opacity.

Now I have built my initial background for my layout. Next I brought in the photo of my sister at the State Line sign. I had the photo at the size I wanted it to be in the layout, so I didn't bother with a clipping mask and clipping the photo to it. I put the photo where I wanted it.

Next, I duplicated the photo layer and added a layer mask to the layer. Then I did another of my little weird things. I used a scrubbing (distressing) brush that I made from just a block of text. What I did was open a new 6 x 6-inch, 300 ppi, RGB with transparent background. Then using the Horizontal Type Tool, I made a text box that was about 5-inches square and filled it with Zapfino Lorem Ipsum text. You can make your scrubbing brush as heavy or light as you want by using different fonts. I wanted a light scrubbing brush so I used Zapfino. Of course, you can use whatever text you want.

Then I made this into a brush and using the Brush Tool with black with this text selected as the brush I scrubbed on the layer mask (make sure mask is selected) to eliminate the outer edges of the photo and have it blend into the background. I also turned off the visibility of the original photo layer. I left the layer mode at Normal but reduced Opacity to 65%.

If you zoom to 100% image size, you can see some of the text at the edges. This can look rather neat sometimes.

Next I brought in the 1926 California license plate image (Layer Blend Mode Soft Light, 100% Opacity), the image of the car (Layer Blend Mode Luminosity, Opacity 30%), and the Route 66 sign (Layer Blend Mode Normal, Opacity 30%), each on their own layer.

Then using the Vertical Type Tool I typed in the title, VACATION. The font is used is not available. It is one I made; it is Earl-Neuland. I used black for its color. It doesn't matter what color you use. 

Then I jumped a copy ( Command / Control - J ) of the text layer to copy it to the layer above. Then I rasterized (simplified) the copy layer. I then sampled a dark green color from the image and colored the text that color. I also added in a slight Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow.

Then I jumped a duplicate layer to the next layer. On this layer I sampled a yellow color from the image and colored the letters that yellow color. It also has the same Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow. Then I used another scrubbing brush and scrubbed a little of the yellow off the letters to let a little of the green from below show.

Then I put in the year under the car. I used Papyrus font, the green I used for VACATION, and Layer Blend Mode of Divide and Opacity 50%.

Next I wanted to darken the edges of the page a little. I used Kim Klassen's texture kk_chamomile. Here it is at Normal mode 100% Opacity.

I changed the layer blend mode to Darken and Opacity 50%. I then added a layer mask and with a black soft round brush removed the texture from the photo area.

For the top layer of the layer stack I added in my journaling. I used the same green color with Myriad Pro Bold font.

And that is how it was done to give me this.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I did and maybe a few of my methods may help you in your scrapbooking and collaging.

Live life fully.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen ... 21 May 2013

Another Tuesday has arrived and we have the fun of playing Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. For this Texture Tuesday, Kim gave us the following guideline:

Tuesday, May 21st theme is free & easy....

What does this mean?

Your photo must contain one layer of any of my textures... that's it...that's all.

I am still going through some of my old photo treasures from my parent's photo albums. Since this is the month of May, I selected a photo of my sister taken in 1926. She is all ready to participate in the May Day festivities at her school. She was in the First Grade. At this time it was s fun filled day of celebration at school. The students dressed up in bright Spring clothes and decorated their wagons, tricycles, bicycles, and doll buggies with garlands and flowers. There were parades, dancing around the May Pole, and just general fun.

Here is my final textured layout.

This is how I did this. If you are interested, follow along. In the layers panel, notice which layers have the visibility turned on to see where I am in the layer stack.

I opened a new 12 x 12-inch,300 ppi, RGB, white background document. Then above the background layer I brought in one of my watercolor papers to start me out. The watercolor is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Then, I used a brush with one of my little flowers to scatter some flowers mainly around the edges of the page. After placing the flowers, I changed the Mode to Color Dodge with 40% Opacity. This blended the flowers into the background.

Next, I brought in an image I obtained from the Library of Congress archives showing school children dancing around a May Pole. 

I put a selection around a part of the image, refined the edge to give me a fuzzy edge, and jumped the selection to its own layer above the photo. I turned off the visibility of the original image. I changed the Mode to Color Burn at 50% Opacity.

Then I brought in many layers of elements at various blend modes and opacities. I have them all in a group layer. I am not going to show you all the steps. I'll just show you the end result of the elements in the group.

Next I brought in a layer of Kim's texture kk_cora. Here it is at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the blend mode to Linear Burn at 100% Opacity.

Now I brought in my photo of my sister with her dolls, baby buggy, and herself all decked out for the May Day festivities at school. I actually made a selection of the photo and then put a layer mask on the layer. This was not needed after all. So I didn't need to make it. Then I put a slight Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow around the photo.

Then I wanted to make the photo a little more sepia and color the whole background area the same color. I set the background color to the color I wanted and then brought in a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer. I clicked on the Colorize button to colorize the layer with the color I have in the Background Color. It came in at the right hue and I left the saturation and lightness at the default values.

Using the Brush Tool, with a small hard edge brush and a darker brown color, I drew some lines around the photo to set it off a little more. I changed the blend mode to Overlay at 100%.

Next, I used a brush of one of my flowers that I call flowers on sticks. I put the flowers on the left side of the page. I changed the blend mode to Screen at 30% Opacity. Then I clicked on the flower layer thumbnail while holding down the Command / Control key to put a selection around the flowers. I added a gradient adjustment layer and used a noise gradient to add a little color to the flowers. I reduced the Opacity to 20%; left mode Normal on the adjustment layer.

Then I put a smaller version of flowers on sticks at bottom right. I set blend mode to Linear Burn with 40% Opacity.

Then I put in the title, year, and text layers . . . each on their own layer. 

Next I brought in Kim's texture kk_chamomile to add some more texture and darkening to the edges. I clicked on the photo thumbnail while holding down the 
Command  /  Control key to put a selection around the photo area. On the texture layer, I put a layer mask so that the texture did not show on the photo. I changed the texture blend mode to 
Soft Light at 100% Opacity.

Then I remembered that I had some music score from the Library of Congress that went with traditional May Pole dances. So I brought that in at my top layer. I set the blend mode to Linear Burn at 60% Opacity.

And that is how I got to my final composition.

I hope you found it interesting how I went about doing this week's Texture Tuesday.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.