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, January 29, 2013

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen . . . 29 January 2013

We have another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen for today. For today, Kim told us that our image must contain at least one layer of her texture kk_minus43. The reason she named the texture that is because it was -43º outside when she was making the texture. Brrrrrrrrr . . . . . . that is cold.

I needed to have an image that had some warmth to it. This is the image that I selected to work with.

Step 1.  I opened the image in Photoshop.

Step 2.  I brought in Kim's texture kk_minus43. I resized it to fit my image. This is the texture at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Step 3. I changed the layer blend mode to Pin Light, Opacity still at 100%, and added a layer mask. With a soft black round brush, at 30% opacity, I painted with black on the mask to hide some of the texture from the flower area. 

Step 4. I duplicated the flower layer and brought it up to the top of the layer stack. I also reduced the Opacity to 30%.

Step 5.  Then I changed the layer blend mode to Dissolve and kept Opacity 30%.

I seldom use the Dissolve blend mode, but this time I think it adds considerably to the image. It gives the image an appearance that it sort of has a burnished gold metallic finish. I like this result and it where I stopped.

Here is how the image now appears.

This is much warmer than -43º.

I hope you enjoyed see what I did with Kim's kk-minus43 texture.

Live life fully.

Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery; but today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen . . . 22 January 2013

Brrrrrrrrrrr . . . minus 43 degrees is cold. That is what Kim said it was at her home in Canada last Sunday. In Omaha, Nebraska, today it is 14 degrees with a little snow. That sounds a lot warmer than minus 43.

As given to us by Kim, our Texture Tuesday for today was . . .

Our theme this week is...you guessed it.... Free & Easy.... 
the only requirement...your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures. That's it... 

I have been playing around with making some postcard style images, especially the sort of old hand colored looking images. Since this is a Free & Easy eDition, that is sort of what I did for the challenge. Also, I was playing around with Black & White.

Step 1.  I selected a flower image to use for my photo. This is the original photo.

I opened the photo in Photoshop CS6.

Step 2. Next, I wanted to change to a black and white image. I used the Create Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Black & White. It opened the Black & White panel. I did not like any of the presets in the preset drop down. I used Auto, and liked the results. The settings shown are what Auto gave me. Here the Opacity of the layer is 100%.

I then changed the layer Opacity to 50% to let some of the color show through.

Step 3.  Next I clicked on the Create new adjustment  button and selected Color Balance. This opened the Color Balance Panel. It opened with Tone: Midtones. 

I set Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows as shown. And, I had Preserve Luminosity checked. 

Step 4. Next I added a Curves Adjustment Layer. I adjusted the curve into a somewhat S-shape to add a little more contrast to the image.

Step 5. Next, I thought I would change what I already have into a black & white image again.  You can just use a Black & White Adjustment Layer for this step. However, I have NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 software that I can use inside Photoshop CS6 to convert to Black & White. That is what I did. Use whatever method you like to convert to Black and White. Here it is at Opacity 100%.

Then I reduced the Opacity to 70% to see a little of the color below.

Step 6.  Next I brought in the Color Balance adjustment layer, as I did before. And, I adjusted the Highlights, Midtones and Shadows as shown. I left the layer Opacity = 100%.

Step 7.  Next, I added a Curves Adjustment Layer, as I did earlier. And,  adjusted the curve into the slight S-shape to give a little more contrast in the image.

 I thought this was like a somewhat faded hand-colored image on a postcard.

Step 8.  Next I wanted to use one of Kim's textures. I brought in kk_flourish. Here it is at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity. I like the rough plaster look and the flourish in the upper left corner.

Then I changed the Blend Mode to Multiply and kept Opacity = 100%.

Step 9.  But the texture was too much over the flower. I added a Layer Mask by clicking on the Add a Mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Then using a soft black brush at fairly
low opacity of 30%, I made sure the mask was selected by clicking on it, I painted over the flower area to decrease the amount of the texture showed over the flower.

To me, this now looks like it could be on an old 
postcard, or maybe on an old seed package. I like it.


 is how it looks.

Thank you Kim for this Texture Tuesday Challenge. And, thank you for seeing what I did.

Live life with fun and 


Friday, January 18, 2013

Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen . . . Day 103

For today, Kim had us use the same tulips from Day 102. The photo was taken from  different viewpoint and with a light background. Kim gave us the following challenge.

Today's Challenge
Well, we played with the black background.... now let's play with the light background... Same tulips, different POV and lots of light..... 
Show me what you've got lovelies.... 

Here is the original tulip photo.

Step 1.  I opened the image in Photoshop CS6. It came in as a Background layer.

Step 2.  I converted the Background layer into a Smart Object by right clicking on the layer to open the context dialog menu and selected Convert to Smart Object.

And the layer becomes a Smart Object. You can see that it is by the small icon in the lower right corner of the layer thumbnail.

Step 3.  With the layer now being a Smart Object, I can use Smart Filters on the layer. The filter will show under the layer. I want to use the Crosshatch filter. I went up to the Filter menu and selected Filter Gallery.

This opens the Filter Gallery. I selected Brush Strokes and Crosshatch. In the Crosshatch dialog, I selected Stroke Length = 13, Sharpness = 9, and Strength = 3. This gave me a nice crosshatch over the image.

Then I clicked OK to have the crosshatch applied to my image. Since the layer is a Smart Object, the filter shows up under the layer and the filter is editable if I want to go back and change it.

Step 4.  Next I wanted to bring in one of Kim's textures. I used kk-red. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity. I thought that the texture's color would blend in nicely with the color of the tulip. And I like the lighter border around it.

Then I changed the blend mode to Linear Burn and decreased the Opacity to 80%.

I am very pleased with this result and it is what I ended with. Here it is.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I did with this image.

Live life joyously and have as much fun as you can.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen . . . Day 102

In Day 102, Kim Klassen gave us an image of tulips in a vase that she had photographed against a black background. And she said, "Go forth and play....... anything goes lovely friends....." So that is what I did. I have gone forth and played. I really like to play in Photoshop. 

Here is the image that Kim gave us to play with.

Step 1.  I opened the flower image in Photoshop in a new document. I thought I might want to do something to the Background layer at some point. So I double clicked on the Background name in the layer and changed it to a regular unlocked layer with the name Layer 0.

Step 2.  As I was working on this document, for background music, through iTunes, I was playing some of my music by the group ABBA. The song S.O.S. was playing. Since I was just playing in Photoshop, I thought that maybe the Visualizer in iTunes might give me an interesting background for the tulips. I turned on the Visualizer in iTunes and saw that I did get some interesting imagery. So I decided to record a part of the Visualizer imagery as a movie and then use an image from the movie to use for a background for the tulips. I used the QuickTime Player to record the iTunes Visualizer as it was playing S.O.S. I selected a potion of an image in the movie, saved it as a jpg file, and brought that into my Photoshop tulip document as the next layer. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Step 3.  I changed the Mode to Screen and reduced the Opacity to 30%.

Step 4.  I wanted to add a color from the tulips to the Visualizer image. I sampled a color from the tulips and made it my Foreground Color. Then I clicked on the Create New Fill layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and selected Solid Color. Since I have the color I wanted in the Foreground Color box, the Solid Color layer opened with that color. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Step 5.  Then I clipped this layer to the Visualizer image layer below it. And, changed the Mode to Color and left the Opacity 100%.

Step 6.  Next I duplicated the tulip layer, Layer 0, and brought that layer to the top of the layer stack. I changed the Mode to Color Dodge and Opacity at 100%. I like the sort of surreal look that the flowers now have.

Step 7.  But, I did not like the lines going through the upper tulips. So, I again duplicated the tulip layer, Layer 0, and brought it up to the top of the layer stack. I turned off the visibility of the layers below this layer, and used the Quick Selection Tool to  select the black areas around the tulips. I hit delete / backspace to delete the black areas.

Then I turned on the visibility of the layers below. The flowers alone are at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

Step 8.  Then I changed the Layer Mode to Luminosity with Opacity 100%. Again the flowers have a surreal look about them.

And, this is how the image now looks.

Step 9.  I like this image very much. But, I thought that it might also look very nice with one of Kim's textures on it. The Visualizer image, to me, has a rather space look to it. Like maybe it could be part of a galaxy image. So I thought that maybe Kim's texture KK_reentry would do well, especially with a name like that. So, I brought it in as my top layer. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Step 10. I changed the Mode to Color and Opacity 50%, for this result. I like this, also. It subdues the tulips a little, but still with a little surreal look.

This is how it now looks.

As an aside, here is how I used QuickTime Player and iTunes, on my iMac. I opened the application QuickTime Player. In its menu, I went to File and New Screen  Recording.

This opens the Screen Recording dialog. Click on the Red dot.

This opens up the dialog that lets you record the whole screen or drag out an area for recording. I dragged out an area. And then clicked on Start Recording.

QuickTime is now recording what is in the area that I created. 

I now opened the iTunes application. (Remember Quicktime is recording this.)

In the iTunes menu go to View / Visualizer and I selected iTunes Classic Visualizer. I personally like it better than the new one (but your choice).

Then I selected the music I wanted to be playing in iTunes. And then, I turned on the Visualizer by going to the menu and selected View / Show Visualizer. 

And the visualizer begins to play along with the music.

Remember, QuickTime is still recording all that is going on in the area I selected to record. 

When you have had the Visualizer in iTunes play enough for you. Quit iTunes. And turn of the recording in QuickTime by clicking on the stop record button.

You now have a QuickTime movie of all that you did. Play the movie until you get to a part of the Visualizer that you like, stop the movie, and take a screen shot of the part of the image that you want.

This isn't what I used for my tulips, it just shows you an example.

Sounds like a lot of work, but it does work. And even if you don't want to play around with the Visualizer, you now know how to use QuickTime Player to record.

Hope you enjoy all this playing around.

Live life fully.