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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Collage Obsession Challenge . . . 22 July 2013

This week's challenge is right up my alley. However, my alley may be a little on the quirky side.

Kaylene gave us the following:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Page in a Travel Journal

Hi Everyone, I am taking Sherry's turn this week as she is on vacation. So I thought it would be fun to create a page in a travel journal, maybe you have been away on a vacation and have lots of memories (real or fictitious).

My Travel Journal will take you on a ride in the Time Machine Back to the Future. The journey starts in 1912 at my grandfather's house in Los Angeles. Then with the use of the Time Machine we will go back to the future 100 years to 2012. I had recently watched the episode of the TV show, The Big Bang Theory, in which they buy the Time Machine from the classic science fiction movie, The Time Machine. I didn't have the DVD of The Time Machine, so I bought it and really enjoyed watching it. I must have seen it many years ago, because I remembered certain things as the movie progressed. I also have the DVDs of the Back to the Future series. So, in my quirky mind, I will take you on a journey back to the future from 1912 to 2012.

Our journey starts with the central black and white photo of my grandfather's house taken the year 1912 when he bought this just built house. My grandparents lived in this house from then until their death. My parents built a house at the other end of the same street in 1922. That is where I lived until my grandfather died. After he died, we moved into that house in 1940. And that is where I lived until 1952. So this was a street that was very familiar to me. My parent's house is now gone. It was taken out and in its place is an off-ramp of the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles. I haven't been on that street for about 50 years. 

So, we start our journey in 1912 and with the aid of the Time Machine set to 100 years in the future, we will go back to the future to 2012. With the assistance of Google Street View, we will see what the street, and area around it, look like in 2012.

Here is my Travel Journal page.

The black and white photo was taken in 1912 when the house was brand new. The color image of the house is from Google Street View, as are all the other views of the houses and buildings, and were taken in 2012, 100 years later. The Time Machine image is from the Internet. I have no idea who lives there now. When I was growing up in that house, there were no fences anywhere on the street. Now they all have a fence. And, now most of the doors and windows have guard bars over them.

Going counter-clockwise from the 1:00 o'clock position, we have the last house on the street before what is now the freeway off-ramp. The tree in front has grown considerably. I have a vivid memory of that tree. One evening I was riding my bicycle up the sidewalk. When I got under the tree, a friend of mine jumped out of the tree and knocked me off my bike. Boy, was my hair standing on end. Talk about being scared.

The house at the 12 o'clock position is what we called the new house. We called it that because it was the last house to be built on the street and was built many years after the other houses. It is the only one to have a red tile roof. It looks about the same except for now having a fence.

The tree at the 11:00 o'clock is a monkey puzzle tree. It was only about 10-feet tall when I was growing up. Now it is about 50-feet tall. You can just see a fireplug by the tree. When I was small, I would climb up on the fireplug and get on my father's back.  He would carry me home from there on his back.

The house at the 9:00 o'clock position, mostly covered by the Time Machine, has purple trim on the house. They owners in about 1950 painted it that way. It seems like the current owners like the purple, too.

The building at the 7:00 o'clock position was a small apartment building. One of the people who lived there when I was growing up was a stage entertainer who rode trick bicycles on the stage. He would practice in the parking area behind the building. Us kids would watch him practice. Occasionally, he would like us try to ride some of this trick bikes. The bikes were really difficult to ride. But, fun to try.

The brick building at the 6:00 o'clock position looks almost like it did when I was growing up. Us kids would go into the building sometimes and knock on a apartment door and then run and hide. It didn't have to be Halloween for us to do this. This was about as daring as we would get in our pranks.

When I was growing up, the building at the 7:00 o'clock position was a bank on the bottom. The window that is sealed up was my dentist's office. And, really, his name was Doctor Payne.

At the 3:00 o'clock position is the building at which I would stand near and sell the evening newspaper to the cars that drove by and were stopped at the signal at the corner. There is a bus there now. In my youth, there was a street car line instead. 

And, that is my journey back to the future with the Time Machine and Google Street Map.

I hope you enjoyed my journey.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Collage Obsession Challenge . . . 16 July 2013

We have a marvelous theme for this week's Collage Obsession Challenge. This is what Linda gave us:


The theme for this week is INCONGRUOUS--the addition of an element or elements that have no business being part of your collage piece.  Here's how the dictionary defines it:

incongruous  [in-kong-groo-uhs] Part of Speech: adjective


out of place; absurd


alien, bizarre, conflicting, contradictory, disconsonant, discordant, disparate, distorted, divergent, extraneous, fantastic, fitful, foreign, illogical, improper, inappropriate, inapropos, inapt, incoherent, incompatible, incongruent, inconsistent, irreconcilable, irregular, jumbled, lopsided, mismatched, out of keeping, rambling, shifting, twisted, unavailing, unbalanced, unbecoming, unconnected, uncoordinated, uneven, unintelligible, unpredictable, unrelated, unsuitable, unsuited.

What, oh what, to do for this?

My thought process really went to high gear for this and seemed to slip and skip around a bit. I ended up with the creative process going along in spurts and letting my mind wander as the layout was being created.

For some reason I had recently been thinking about New Mexico. So I decided to use as the main background for the layout a photo of the entry road to the Ghost Ranch Conference Center, Abiquiu, New Mexico. This photo shows a dirt road going off toward the entry of Ghost Ranch and the wide open spaces in the area.

Notice what layers have the visibility on to see where I am in the layer stack.

The next thing I thought about was to use all the synonyms of incongruous as a brush and stamp it over the background photo. I made the brush from the words, made the brush large and stamped it over the whole photo. I gave the words a slight Bevel & Emboss and a slight Drop Shadow. Then I reduced the Fill, not the Opacity, to zero. This keeps the effects showing and takes away the color of the letters, so I have the ghost-like words. Great for Ghost Ranch, right?

My mind wandered around a bit and then came up with the idea of putting in an elephant crossing the road. Why did the elephant (chicken) cross the road? Especially in the middle of a New Mexico dirt road. Incongruous. The elephant image came from the Internet. I added a Gradient Fill layer to just the elephant and made it look like lower part was dustier than the upper part from walking around in the desert. Then I give the elephant sort of a tattoo by using a Pattern Fill layer of a pattern I made from one of my digital wood stamps I had made.

Now I needed to have an incongruous rider on the elephant's back. I used a photo of my sofa and an image of a child with a dog. The child with the dog came from one of the freebie Dover images that I get on Wednesdays.

Next, I wanted the elephant stepping on a sunflower with its foot. Who know why? So I put one of my ish flowers under its foot.

As a final touch, I put one of my watercolor papers just above my original image and set its blend mode to Color Burn with Opacity 100%. This gives the whole image a little more surrealistic look.

And I ended with this INCONGRUOUS image.

A funny thing happened today while I was talking to a person who lives in 
Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the phone. I told her about this page layout that I made with the elephant crossing the road. And she commented back that, "Oh, yeah! You see that all the time in New Mexico." Maybe that is one of the reasons they call the State the Land of Enchantment.

Be sure to go to Collage Obsession Challenge to see the other entries.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Collage Obsession Challenge . . . 9 July 2013

This week's Collage Obsession Challenge was given to us by Kaylene. Here is what she gave us:

It is my turn to host this weeks challenge, so I have chosen "Clowns" as our theme.
Clowns can be happy, sad, mischievous or downright wicked. I would love to see your interpretation which can be in any medium.

In thinking about clowns, I thought back to when I was growing up in Los Angeles. One of my friends lived down the street from me. He had an older sister who was in the circus. We seldom saw her as she lived with the circus and traveled where they went. She was a bareback rider. She would perform riding on the back of a horse. When the Ringling Bros.- Barnum Bailey Circus was in Los Angeles, we would go to the circus. These days in the late 1930s and early 1940s were fun days. The clowns always did a lot of fun things during the performances.

Here is my Clowns entry for this week's challenge.

All the images are from the Internet.

Be sure to go to Collage Obsession to see the other Clown collages.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pixel Dimension vs Document Size


Here is short video ( 7 1/2 minutes) on the comparison of Pixel Dimension vs Document Size. It can be sort of confusing with all the cameras and phones and Internet giving various pixels per inch. The thing to remember is how many pixels does the image have. And go from there.

The video starts with my having opened a document that is 8 x 8-inch at 300 ppi. We normally want to print our images with 300 ppi. And it goes on to show images with 96 ppi, 72 ppi, and 180 ppi.

I hope that this will help you understand this a little better. Wouldn't it be nice if it was all given at the same ppi from the beginning?

PixelDimensionVsDocumentSize from Earl Kreins on Vimeo.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Collage Obsession Challenge . . . 1 July 2013

Here is what we were given for this week's challenge.

Next Thursday is 4th of July, the big celebration day in USA.  But challenge is not just the independence day. The challenge is USA - create anything you like. Use the inspirational image/s or any images you wish.

I thought about this for a while and decided to do something that helped the USA during the period of the Great Depression. My collage is about the WPA and how it helped millions of people in a period of need. 

Here is my collage.

The images all all internet images.

That's all for now.

Live life fully.