I love taking my Gelli Arts prints and manipulating them In Photoshop. In this lesson I am going to walk you through a very simple Photoshop composite. I will take a print that I made with a stencil, and then a print that I made with basically the inverse, and merge them together in Photoshop. The two prints came out pretty well, with colors and saturations, and a full print that I liked, so there was not a lot of photo manipulation that I needed to do. I am working on another image that required a lot more work, and I will post that at some point when I get the writeup finished.
Here was the original image of the Gelli Arts print using my Mask stencil.
I took the stencil with all the paint from printing on the Gelli Arts plate and printed on another piece of paper- so it was basically the inverse of the background print. It came out pretty well defined, but I wanted a bit more. So I waited until the stencil dried, and then scanned that in, so I could use it within Photoshop. Here is that image...
Within Photoshop, I used the select tool to delete the white background around the image of the scanned stencil. I brought that image into the same Photoshop image window as a layer above the background image. Then I used the Free Transform tool to turn and re-size the mask until it fit over the mask in the background.
At the bottom of the layers palette, there is a pulldown (Fx) that allows you to apply speciall effects to the layer. I used Bevel and Emboss on the layer with the scanned mask. So it makes the mask pop a bit. And here is the result of that composite...
And that was it! Not too hard! If you have any questions on the Photoshop tools I used, you can read through my other Photoshop posts (use the search tool to find them). There are other posts that go into further details.
Then I decided to play around with coloring. I used an Adjustment Layer called Gradient Map, and chose one of the Gradients that had blue tones in it. I used a blend mode of color, and lowered the opacity. I liked the way this looked as well...
Finally, I chose one of the Black and White Gradient masks (and I chose reverse the gradient for this one), and I liked the way this looked as well...
I could go on and on, but you get the idea . Enjoy!
This was a Gelli Arts print that I had done a few weeks ago, when I was experimenting with paint and water. This print didn't end up with a lot of water interaction, but I loved the aged brown color. When I scanned it in and looked at it on the computer, my mind's eye started filling in the shapes, and I saw birds in the image. So I decided to go for it, and help them along. Photoshop can sometimes be like a magic hat- you can pull things out of it that may start out hidden, but end up magical just the same .
Here is what the original looked like...
I brought the print into Photoshop and used the Clone Stamp tool, in order to flesh out the shapes a little bit more. I chose the Clone tool from the left hand side. I clicked on the checkbox at the top that says "Sample All Layers". Then I created a new layer above the print layer. Now I can clone on the new empty layer, and it will look the same as cloning on the original layer, but it doesn't actually change the original print layer. If I turn off the new layer, the cloning will disappear and the original will look untouched.
In order to clone, hold down the Alt key (option on Mac), and click on the area where you would like to grab a piece of the image. I clicked on the blobs that looked like birds to me. I started to paint on the new layer in the shape of a bird. Sometimes, you may need to re-sample the image again, by holding down Alt and clicking on an area of the image that you would like to clone from.If you are using "Sample All Layers", you can do all of this on the new empty layer and it will show up as if you were painting on the original layer. Most of the time I lower the opacity of the Clone Stamp tool, and I use a soft edge brush. Find the brush shapes, sizes and hardness up at the top. Also the opacity slide for the Clone Stamp tool itself is at the top near the brush selection pull down.
I used the Clone Stamp again to add a bit more to the "nest". Then I added just a hint of a branch, and I also framed the picture. Here is the image after working on it in Photoshop...
So look a bit more closely at your Gelli Arts prints and see if you can pull something out of it!
I don't usually post twice in one week. Mostly, because I usually don't have the time. But this post is for me. I an getting to the stage where the kids are starting to grow up and they are getting ready to fly the nest. And so I guess I am paying closer attention to the things that happen, and the moments I am experiencing with them still around.
This weekend I had a memorable moment kind of day. It happened at my son's soccer game. This team has been together in some form or another for several years. I even coached some of the guys for a few seasons. When I coached them, I remember one of the guys, ran kind of weird, and we had to work on his running to get his speed up. We also had to work with quite a few of them on footwork and strategy, and passing- you know, the normal soccer stuff. One of the things we generally didn't have to work on was heart. These guys always tried hard. They didn't always remember their foot work, or strategy, or where to pass, but they always gave 110 percent. We even had a special award each week for the team players that played outside of themselves during the game. They were the guys that went above and beyond, the ones that pushed harder, fought through fatigue, played a position they weren't used to or didn't like, and played it well for the good of the team. There was not a single guy on the team that didn't win that award. On any given day, they all had a chance to take themself to a higher plane, and shine. All of them took that opportunity at some point, and most of the boys acheived star status several times over the course of the season.
Flash forward a couple of years. Those young boys are now growing up. They are strong, and fast, and really good soccer players. They also lose just about every game.
Nobody can quite figure it out. They have flashes of absolute brilliance. And then they all fall apart, always at the same time, and their defenses go down, they let a couple of goals through, and that is all she wrote. Another loss.
This weekend, we arrived to play another game. Against the best team in the league. In 94 degree heat. On a completely sunlit turf field. Smack in the middle of the day. I, for one, just assumed the guys would get crushed. I didn't have even a single glimmer of hope for this game. Oh, ye of little faith! This team played their hearts out, as they always do, but they didn't falter this time. And that kid that couldn't run? He is now almost a man, a blazingly fast guy, with a singular thought of scoring for his team. Which he did- 3 times!! The whole team made great decisions, they remembered their strategy, they made good passes, and of course they never lost their heart. They ended up coming back to tie 3-3. I won't go into the details of the goal that was called back on a bogus referee call. It didn't matter. These guys showed their true spirit and a tie against the best team in the league was as good as a win, in my mind.
So while I was fully expecting a crushing defeat, I was treated to watching a fabulous soccer game. And my respect for these guys, which had always been great, grew even higher. Not because of their mad soccer skills, or because they are freaking, fast runners. But during that game, I was reminded that on any given day, despite all odds, it can be your day to shine, if you don't give up!
Are you ready to go for it?
I had picked up a big powerful water spray bottle from Target, for use with painting and stamping. I wanted to try to use it, but I also wanted to test out some stencil and stamp designs I have been working on. Of course, I love using stencils and stamps with Gelli Arts, so I veered that way. I pulled out my paints and Gelli Arts Printing Plate, and started making some prints with my stencils. But then I decided to give that water bottle a try too.
The results were pretty fun, and I merrily played for the better part of an hour going through quite a bundle of paper .
Here are some of the prints I made...
I like the way the paint diffused when spritzed with water....
Here the background is a Gelli Arts print using the water bottle, and I added the bird shadow in Photoshop...
I have a few more that I would like to play with in Photoshop, so I will work on those over the next few weeks. Enjoy!
Well now that we have the shape of the drawing looking a bit better, it is time to have some fun! The drawing is still in black and white, but I wanted some color. And texture. So I took one of the prints from one of my Gelli Art Printing Plate sessions and brought that into Photoshop as another layer. Since that layer at this point would be sitting on top of the drawing, in the stack of layers, you can't see the drawing now. However, we can fix that with something called "Blend Modes".
If you look to the top right of your layer's palette, you could change the Opacity of the texture layer and you would then be able to see through the top layer to the image of the drawing below. This can sometimes work depending on the look you are going for. It is the equivalent of using vellum, or tracing paper, or tissue paper on a collaged piece. If that top paper is translucent enough, you can see the layers underneath. However there is a better way.
If you look to the top left of the layer's palette, you will see a pulldown, that by default is set to "Normal". This is a list of blending modes, and they determine how that layer, that you have selected at the time, will interact with the layer(s) underneath. There a lots of folks who understand the mathematical calculations of how black, white and colors will interact, but I am not one of them (sorry, Dad!). I usually just scroll through the different choices to see what things look like in the different modes. As I have mentioned in another post, if I know I want to lighten something, I will usually use lighten or screen mode, and I will use darken or multiply for a darkening effect. However, there are lots of other modes including ones that reverse colors, and so you can get some surprising and cool effects as you wander through the list of blend mode choices. It is especially interesting when you have 2 layers that both have colors and patterns.
In this case, I used a blend mode of Overlay. Actually, I used a my Gelli Art prints a couple of times, and some used other blend modes like lighten and darken, and some of these layers were masked to only interact with certain portions of the drawing. See more about this later.
I then decided that I wanted to black out some of the space behind the girl. A quick way to do this is to use the Ctrl key (command on a Mac), and click on the layer with the subject, in my case the girl. NOTE: I had no background around the girl's head at this point so this trick will work: when you control click on a layer, it will select the non-transparent areas of your layer. In this case, it selected the girl's head. Since I really wanted to select the background, I used Select->Inverse (shortcut is Ctrl-I) to change the selection to the opposite, which is the space surrounding the girl's head.
Then, I used an adjustment layer of Solid Color, and chose black as the color. The Solid Color adjustment layer will create a new layer filled with the color black, but in this case, the girl, which is not selected, will be masked out. So, only the background is covered with black- the girl is left looking like she did before the adjustment. Remember that Adjustment layers are found at the bottom of the layers palette, and the icon looks like a half black/ half white circle.
When you choose an adjustment layer, a layer mask is automatically created for you in that adjustment layer. It will show up as a rectangular thumbnail, next to the thumbnail of the actual layer image, in the layers palette. Usually it is all white, allowing the adjustment to be seen/applied through to the layers below it. However, if you have a selection at the time, when you choose to create an adjustment layer, only the area that is selected at the time will be filled with white. The rest will be filled with black, and just like black paper, you can't see through it, so the adjustment will not show in the non-selected portion.
You can also use layer masks directly on a "normal" layer (as opposed to an adjustment layer), in order to hide some of that layer. If you choose a layer in the layer's palette, and select a portion of that layer, you can then choose the button to create a layer mask. The layer mask will show up as a rectangular thumbnail, next to the thumbnail of the actual layer image, in the layers palette. The "Create Layer Mask" button is down at the bottom of the layers palette, and it looks like a square with circle in the middle of it. Now when you click on the "Create Layer Mask" button, only the area that is selected at the time will be filled with white in the mask. The rest will be filled with black, and just like black paper, you can't see through it. So the portion of the layer that was not selected, and has the mask filled with black, will not be visible. Unless you delete the layer mask, or paint with white over the black portions of the mask. Then those portions of the layer will be visible again. This is a nice way of "removing" a portion of an image in a layer, without actually deleting the pixels. So if you want some or all of that image back, you can either paint with white on the mask, and that will reveal the hidden portion or remove the mask entirely to show that entire layer again. Just make sure that you have clicked on the layer mask thumbnail in the layers pallete, if you want to paint on the mask.
I played with several copies of the Gelli Art print and sometimes I used layer masks to only show portions of that particular layer. I used different blending modes to lighten the texture over the girl's face, and overlay or multiply in other areas.
Then I added color to her lips and eyes, just like I added black to the background, and just masked off everything in the image except for her lips and eyes respectively. I used some cool eyelash paint brushes to paint on eyelashes.
Finally I applied some more textures and colors using more of the darkening blending modes to darken the area surrounding the girl. And I added a photo that I had taken of some Holiday lights to give that sort of "Bokeh" effect. In order to get that shot, I took the picture at night and first focused on a tissue held in front of the camera. Then I took the tissue away and snapped the picture and it blurred what it thought was the background, which was actually the lights.
More blending, and she was finished. For now .
I love playing with Photoshop with my drawings. I can get some cool effects by combining drawings with Gelli Art prints and photos. The sky is the limit!! Enjoy!
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