Hello, everyone! Those who know me know well that one of my favorite tools in digital scrapbooking is digital brushes. Truly, they are hands down one of the most versatile elements that a digital artist bears in her little bag of digital tricks. And they are hands down my go to first whenever I’m creating anything digitally.
This month I’ve been given the go ahead here on The Hybrid Chick blog to share a digital stamping tutorial that I had written a short time back. Now, because this is a hybrid venue, I’ve taken the tutorial and spun it in a hybrid direction, a direction that has me literally squealing with excitement!
Please realize that because of the length of the digital side of this project and the length of the hybrid side combined, I’ve separated the post into two parts. The digital stamping technique will be Part One and is what follows and the hybrid, Part Two . . . translating our digital artwork onto canvas . . . will publish next month! Can you see why I’m squirming in my chair with excitement over this project?!
Let’s get started!
Tools and supplies used: (Part One) Computer (iMac), software (Adobe PS CS6) and various digital brushes in text and/or script, grunge-y, grid, and splatter format.
Please note that though the following tutorial was created in Adobe Photoshop CS6 it should easily translate to older platforms of PS and even Photoshop Elements. If you should have any questions, need additional clarification or just want to chat, ;D ;D either comment on this post or send me a private message here at The Hybrid Chick. I’d be glad to answer questions and help in any way that I can.
Start by creating a new canvas in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (I typically create using the presets detailed below):
Import your image and place it on your canvas. Once your image has been imported, adjust its size if necessary and position it on your canvas (I re-sized my image so that it fit the entire span of my canvas). Next, remove the color from your image by desaturating it (make sure your image is targeted in your layers palette and select IMAGE, ADJUSTMENTS, DESATURATE).
Image after being desaturated.
Using the sliders in the properties fly-out begin making adjustments so that the blacks and whites in the image become over saturated or rather, SUPER saturated while retaining as much detail in the image as possible.
I typically start with the mid-tones slider (slider in the middle sliding it to the left) and then tweak the blacks (slider furthest on the left) and whites (slider furthest on the right), respectively.
Once you are satisfied with your image, merge the levels adjustment layer with the image/photo layer (select both layers in the layers palette, right click, merge).
At this point I recommend duplicating your image layer by right clicking the image layer in the layers palette and selecting Duplicate Layer. Place the duplicated layer on TOP and turn the visibility off (this COPY is used for reference only and will be deleted once we’re finished).
With the ACTIVE image layer targeted (this should be the BOTTOM image in your layers palette), add a layer mask (Layer, Layer Mask, HIDE ALL).
At this point your image will disappear (it is “hidden” by the layer mask) and only the white canvas will be visible.
Turn the visibility of the image COPY (TOP layer in your layers palette) back on and reduce the opacity to a point where it’s only just barely visible, somewhere around 20% or so (remember, this layer will only be used as a reference so that we aren’t stamping blindly on our canvas and will be deleted once we have completed our art work).
Once you’ve reduced the opacity of the COPY, select a brush from your brushes palette and begin stamping on your image making sure that when you stamp you have the LAYER MASK targeted and NOT the image itself (you can tell that the layer mask is targeted by the white border surrounding it).
I typically use a variety of brushes (text, grunge-y, grid, splatter, etc.) using separate layers for certain brushes so that I have maximum control over them individually (you can choose to stamp only on the mask layer but, by doing so you make it more difficult to manipulate the brushes if manipulation is desired).
Make sure if you choose to stamp on layers separate from the image mask that you use BLACK to stamp (has to do with color conflict when we go to apply our gradient).
Image after stamping with reference image visibility off.
Stamping. stamping. Lots and LOTS of stamping.
Image after stamping with reference image (COPY) visibility off (below).
Also, in order to bring out more of the facial features I used one of the default soft round brushes, reduced its opacity (reducing the opacity of the brush allows for greater control over the amount of definition added back to the image) and simply brushed over the eyes, nose, and mouth until I was satisfied with the result.
Notice that the number of layers in my layers palette has significantly increased from the screen shot above compared to the screen shot below.
Once I was satisfied with the stamping on the mask layer I began adding additional digital brushes to my image (butterflies, word art, etc.) ABOVE and BELOW my mask layer (again, this is done so that I have maximum control over size, placement, and orientation while stamping with these particular brushes). * * I’m kind of a control freak that way * * ;D ;D
Image after more stamping with reference image visibility off.
When you are satisfied with your image and have completely finished stamping, create a gradient fill adjustment layer ABOVE all of your brush layers (LAYER, NEW FILL LAYER, GRADIENT and click OK). Don’t worry about the gradient properties at this point, we’ll be going back and making adjustments to the gradient just as soon as we change the blending mode.
With the gradient layer targeted in your layers palette, set the blending mode for the gradient to OVERLAY.
Now, click on the gradient in your layers palette so that the gradient properties dialog appears and begin making adjustments to your gradient (select your gradient, style, and angle making sure that “align with layer” is checked).
If you want to add any additional elements or more color but don’t want them to be affected by the gradient simply add them ABOVE the gradient fill layer. Also, you can at this point, delete the image layer COPY if you are done using it as a reference for your digital stamping.
Completed canvas . . . [believe]:
Gradient: Steel Blue. Style: Diamond. Angle: 90 Degrees. Scale: 100%. Aligned with Layer.
Gradient: Sunrise. Style: Linear. Angle: 90 Degrees. Scale: 100%. Aligned with Layer.
Image with additional gradients applied:
Simple Orange and Copper.
And just so you can see the versatility of this technique across different image types, Stamping with Digital Brushes applied to another image . . . [dream]:
Gradient: Orange Blue. Style: Linear. Angle: 90 Degrees. Scale: 100%. Aligned with Border.
* * A gray border has been added to the above images for viewing purposes only and does not exist in the actual art work * *
I hope that you have enjoyed my tutorial and will give it a try! If you do give it a go I would so LOVE to see your masterpiece! Please provide a link to it in the gallery here in the comments section. And don’t forget to stop back next month on or about Wednesday July 24, 2013 for Part Two where I will walk you through printing your work of art and then mounting it on canvas!
Supplies that you may want to have by then include but may not be limited to: INK JET printer, canvas cloths, (stretched) canvas mounting boards (both of which YOU determine the size based upon your preferences and your printer capabilities), Mod Podge (I prefer matte), and a variety of paint, ink, stamps, and scrapbooking papers and embellishments. As the time nears for Part Two to publish I will post a thread in The Digichick Forum with a more detailed list of supplies.
Hoping to see you next month! Blessings!
Other Articles by Katherine Bley:
- Hybrid Trinket Gift Boxes - May 31st, 2013