Monday, 14 April 2014

A Pretty Easter Egg

This egg is one that you can make your own :)
My example is using a fairly small image about 400 X 600 pixels but the general principal can be followed for other sizes and values scaled up/down to suit.
Download My egg preset shape.HERE..Place this in your Preset Shapes folder.
Select a source image which you would like to use ..It can be a pattern, painting , photograph ..or whatever :)

I chose a pretty floral painting by Australian artist Ellis Rowan.

New Vector Layer and reduce opacity to 40%
Select Preset shape tool and locate your egg shape.

With foreground null and background white hold down the shift key to maintain your shape and draw it out over your background image, placing it as attractively as you can.
With the Object selector [Pick tool] make any fine adjustments.

Selections > Selections from Vector Object

Select your background layer and Selections> promote selection to layer .
Layers> Arrang and bring this layer to the top and remove or obscure background layer.

Keep selected.
Effects > Geometric Effects spherize and choose ellipse.
The strength that you use will depend on your image .
I used 80%

Adjust> Sharpening > Unsharp mask
My settings:

Now for some shaping:
Keep selected.
New raster layer Blend mode multiply
Effects > Cut out
I used a darker colour from my image and these settings.

New raster layer, blend mode dodge
Effects> cutout
I chose a light colour from my image and positive settings:

Now for a highlight:
New raster layer blend mode dodge
Select soft paint brush with opacity 30% and fill #c0c0c0

Apply to top area of your image:

Make any adjustments to the opacity of your cutout and highlight layers and deselect.
I added a little embossing to my image and boosted the saturation before merging my layers.

...and another example [vintage style]:

You can download a .pdf file of this tutorial HERE

Some Further Tips:
Don't be afraid to experiment with the opacity of your cut-out or highlight layers.
Lighter colours may require lower opacity.
Whilst still selected blur these layers if you think it is necessary.
With some images I found that using the softening brush around the outline of the egg in my merged image, gave better perspective


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Creative Black and White Images

Whether it be text or another element, I love playing with this negative / positive effect in an image. 
I think it works best with a clean looking image but it is worth trying even with a black and white photograph.

Here is an ultra easy method.
Demonstrated in PSP 9.

Select your image and size as you wish ..whether black on white or white on black.

Select the area which you wish to colour I used the circular selection tool.
Make sure you have NO feather and anti alias is checked.

Promote selection to layer [not absolutely necessary but I like having it on a separate layer.]

Now go to Adjust>Colour Balance> negative image.
[In later versions of PSP you will find it under Image>negative image]

Select none and save your image. :)
If you don't like the effect on the area that you have selected it is a simple matter of deleting that top layer and starting again.

Frame it if you wish and stand back and admire your handiwork!


Comments welcome :)


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

An Interesting Watercolour Effect

I really liked this easy and attractive effect :)
An image of your choice
Some Watercolour brushes ...of a good size. { if you can't find any for PSP there are plenty of free ones available for Photoshop which you can convert...try Deviant art 
Photoshop brushes can be imported into later versions of PSP ..otherwise use a 3rd party application to create .png files from your PS brushes such as ABRviewer. These can then be saved as brushes.
 I started with an image downloaded from Morgue File [free images] 

Copy your image noting its size and close original .
Create a new canvas somewhat larger than your image.
Paste your image as a new layer.

Flood fill your background [raster1] 
I created the background by simply using a lighter colour of my image but you can easily use a more interesting canvas.
A good source of background textures is Shadowhouse

Now for the brush work :)
Select your image layer and apply a mask "hide All} Layer>New Mask layer>hide all.
Lower the opacity of your mask a little so you can just see your image.

If you place your cursor on the mask you will see that it is black..i.e. blocking the whole of your image.
Now select a watercolour brush from your collection and using a white colour foreground material #ffffff make sure your brush is no larger than your image apply to the focal area.

If your brush is a bit light, you may have to apply it a couple more times in the same area, without shifting it.

Select another brush [or more] and rotating it as you wish apply it to the edges and bring your mask opacity up to 100%.

Now to add some splashes of colour [yes I'm messy with water colours :) ]
Go to raster 1 and add a new raster layer.
Change your foreground material to a bright or interesting colour or gradient and using a brush from your collection, apply to this layer.
[I chose colours from my image]
Add a couple more layers with different coloured brush work on each. These will all be below your Group raster layer.

As you can see I've also adjusted the opacity of these layers but you could also change the blend mode if you wished.
Make any final adjustments to your background [I lightened mine a bit] before merging layers and applying a subtle texture to your image.
Effects> texture effects> texture. I chose a canvas type texture.
Add a frame if you wish ..and of course your signature :)

Collect a variety of suitable brushes large as you can depending on the version of PSP that you have.
Don't be afraid to boost the saturation of your original image or recolour to suit your project.
Experiment with different background canvases and final textures.