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, March 31, 2014

Collage Obsession . . . Silhouette . . . 31 March 2014

For this week's Collage Obsession, Tiffany gave us:


This week's challenge is to incorporate a silhouette into your artwork. 

I was looking through some of my photos trying to come up with an idea of what to use to make a silhouette. I tried several images, but they didn't do it for me. I wanted something different. I finally came across some images of my granddaughter riding her horse. I thought this might be what I wanted to use. This is the image I started with, cropped to 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi.

And, this is what I had at the end of my creation of a ride in a fanciful forest.

If you would like to see how I did this, click on the READ MORE>>>

I started by opening up my image in a new 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, document. I am using Photoshop CS6.

Then I used the Quick Selection Tool to make a selection of the horse and rider. I also used the Lasso Tool to add and subtract from the selection to make it a better selection. However since this is to be a silhouette, it really doesn't have to be too accurate.

Then I jumped ( Command / Control - J ) the selection to a new layer.

Then with the selection layer selected, I held down the command / control key and clicked on the thumbnail of the selection. This put a selection around the horse and rider. I put a new layer above the horse and rider layer that has the selection. In the new layer with the selection, I filled the selection with black to create a 
silhouette of the horse and rider.

With the selection still on, I added a layer mask by clicking the button at the bottom of the layer panel. This lets only the silhouette be visible. I then used a black brush and painted on the mask (make sure mask is selected) to hide the part of the mask over the horse's tail. This allows the tail of the horse to be visible from the layer below. I thought the horse has such a beautiful tail that it should be seen.

What I was after started to slowly form in my mind. I wanted a fanciful forest scene. I added a new blank layer. So, next I added in some Fall colored leaves. I selected the Brush Tool. I opened the Brush Panel. I selected the oak leaf brush. I set it to a size of 700 px with a scattering of 25%. The 700 px for the size gave me a leaf that was the right size for my scene. Then 25% scattering gave me about the amount I wanted . . . as seen in the rectangle at the bottom of the panel.

Then I opened the Shape Dynamics section . . . set Size jitter to 100% (this allows the leaves to be up to the 700 px size) . . . Control to Off (
I have set the Controls to Off since I  am using my mouse not a pen tablet) . . . Minimum Diameter to 50% (this lets the leaves get as small as 350 px) . . . Angle jitter to 50% ( this lets the brush vary in position by as much as plus or minus 90 degrees from its normal position)  . . . Control Off . . . Roundness jitter to 50% . . . Control Off . . . Minimum roundness 25%. 

Then I went to the Scattering portion . . . Checked Both Axes . . . Scatter 460% . . . Control Off . . . Count 1 . . . Count jitter 100% . . . Control Off.

Then I went to the Color Dynamics section. I set my Foreground Color to red and my Background Color to orange. I want my colors to vary between these two colors. I set the Foreground / Background jitter to 100% . . . Control Off . . . Hue jitter to 15%.

And, then I clicked on the check mark for Transfer to turn Transfer off.

On my blank layer at the top of the layer stack, I painted in a few leaves. And, I changed the layer blend mode to Lighter Color with Opacity 100%.

The next thing I wanted to do was to color the grass. I wanted to make the start of my fanciful forest. I needed a selection of the grass. I used Color Range. In the Photoshop Menu click on Select and click on Color Range to open the Color Range dialog. I checked Localized Color Clusters . . . ended up with a fuzziness of 29 . . . a Range of 100%. At the bottom of the dialog, I choose Selection. Then using the left eye dropper, in the image i clicked on the grass area. This made a selection of some of the grass. I held down the Shift key and this changed the eye dropper to a plus eye dropper and I sampled more of the grass. In the black box, you can see in white the selection I have made of the grass. You can see the horse's feet in black as they are not selected.

I clicked OK. On the new empty layer above the leaves, with the selection of the grass showing, I added a layer mask so only the grasses show. Then I filled the grass with a hot pink color.

I made another selection of grass using the Color Range . . . on another empty layer with this second selection of the grass I added a layer mask and colored this grass a not quite as hot a hot pink. This gives me a little variation in the grass color. My fanciful forest is getting a little more fanciful.

Now to make the forest more fanciful. I again used the Color Range method of selecting the trees in the background. But, you notice that some of the horse is also selected. 

But, that's OK as I put the layer for the forest coloring below the silhouette layer. I filled in the forest selection with a purple. Then I held down the command / control key and clicked on the thumbnail in the selection layer to give me selection around the horse and rider. I then held down the option / alt key and clicked on the add layer mask button to add a mask to the layer that allows the forest to be seen but hides the horse and rider. 

I changed the forest color layer to Linear Dodge blend mode, Opacity 100%.

Now, I want to use the Filter > Lens Correction to add a vignette to the layout to darken the corners and sides a little. But first I need to make a composite layer at the top of the layer stack on which I can use the Lens Correction filter. You can make the composite layer by going to Layer > Merge Visible and hold down the option / alt key when you click on Merge Visible (or you can use the key board shortcut command / control + option / alt + shift + E).

Now I have the composite layer at the top of the stack.

Next, I selected Filter > Lens Correction.

Thos opens the Lens Correction dialog. Click on the Custom Tab to get to the Vignette section in the middle of the panel. 

I set the Amount to -40 and left the Midpoint at 50. Then clicked OK. This gave me my final image of the ride in a fanciful forest.

Here is the final image of the Ride in a Fanciful Forest.

I hope you liked seeing how I did this.

Go over to Collage Obsession and see what others have created for their silhouette.

That's all for now.

Live life fully and enjoy.



Tiffany said...

Absolutely Delightful, Earl!
Thank you for being so generous and sharing how you made this whimsical creation featuring your granddaughter! xo

indybev said...

Lovely scene, Earl. I smile that the horse's tail is in the light! Having a bit of fun with us perhaps? Nice work!

Deann said...

Fabulous work Earl the background is so pretty and I love that you left the tail out...well done.

sillarit said...

The background contrast colors look great against the silhouette. / Ritva / using my photograph blogd address it won't take my artpage link

CATHY said...

a great solution Earl - I struggled with this theme. I bet your grand daughter would love this.

Diane said...

Fabulous transformation! Clever use of the theme too.

Paper rainbow said...

You are very clever Earl, and so helpful to share your process, I really like the magical effect of the coloured leaves against the black and white.

lauren bergold said...

ooooooooooooh! i *LOVE* your fanciful forest collage with that gorgeous hand-made (or mouse-made, lol?) silhouette! & i really really love that you "show your work" as they used to say in school! seeing it step-by-step makes me think, "well, i could TRY that!" :) (ps your granddaughter is lovely!)

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