Thursday, August 2, 2012

Technique Thursday V.3 Making an Artsy Background

I thought I'd share how to make a multi-layered artsy background, just like the one I did for my "Life Is Brighter With You In It" page. This type of background, where it transitions from b&w to a bold, burst of bright color can be used for so many themes, and so many types of photos.

I started with a 12" x 12" file in Photoshop using Nancie Rowe Janitz's Art Journal Pages.

I filled the 12 x 12 layout (LO) with a few of her pages like so:

Here is what my layers palette looks like.

I used Nancie's Polaroid Transfer Masks to mask each Art Journal page onto my 12 x 12 layout to give it a more blended edge where the various Art Journal Pages meet, rather than having a hard edge.

Once my background was set the way I like it, I saved it as a JPG and dragged it onto a new 12" x 12" file.

Here I knew I was only going to have parts of this "background" paper visible, so I needed a neutral paper to be my absolute background. I chose a lovely paper from Nancie's Hopeful Art Paper pack. (I used the one on the top row all the way to the right.)

So there is my background paper, and on top of that you can see a mask that I added from liv.e design's EZPZ 08 Template: And Then. (Love this mask!)  I just dragged a couple of copies of the mask onto my LO and placed them along the edges, merging each of the masks on the right side together, and then the left side together.

Here are my layers palette again. (My layers also show the background that we created in the previous step with the Art Journal Pages. There is a background copy clipped to each mask, at the moment those layers are turned off so they are not visible. See next step to see them turned on.)

And here is the page with a copy of the background that we made earlier clipped to each mask. The one on the right side, I simply removed the color by desaturating it.

But I realized I wanted it to go black and white ... to color, so I flipped it.

Ahhh! Much better.
That's the look I was going for.

And then I realized that I really liked the background paper (The Hopeful Art paper) with its bits of scruffy text and wanted more of that to show through, but I didn't want to compromise the masks with the Art Journal Pages. So I duplicated that Hopeful Art background paper and dragged that copy up to the top of the layer stack. I turned it on its corners, like so:

I used the Multiply Blending Mode and added a Layer Mask and painted with Black on a low opacity to hide much of the paper (especially the ugly hard edges), but blending in some of that nice scruffy text. Here are my layers again:

 And here is my final background.

It's a small change ... adding that duplicate copy of the Hopeful Art Paper. Blending it into the image wasn't necessary, but I felt it was worth it and just gives that little extra bit of depth to the overall background.

And here is my layout with photo, and all the little details.

Hope you enjoyed today's Photoshop technique. Would love to see a link to a page you create using this tutorial, so feel free to share!

thanks for checking in. xoxo -jenn


Barbara said...

Wow Jenn. Awesome tutorial. I remember that page in the galleries (and loved it). I had no idea how you created that paper. Fabulous!

Jenn/PrettyinPosies said...

Thank you Barbara! :)


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