Sunday, July 26, 2015


Everything by Anna Aspnes

ArtPlay Downtown
Artsy Layered Template #202 (used some of the paint and textures)
Downtown Wordart No 1
ArtistEdge Overlay No 9

Process: I knew that I wanted the photo I found on the internet to be the focus of this layout, I placed it on the bottom of my page, applied a reverse mask and used a brush to bring in the areas I wanted to show. I then tried several of the artsy papers below it and chose #2. I added some transfers to the left of the page and masked it and used my gradient brush to delete the right edge to help it blend onto my page. I then took some of the paint and textures from Layered Template #202, as well as wordart and some of the brush strokes.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Line Sketch

Tutorial created using Photoshop C6


1.       Choose the photo you want to work with.  For this tutorial I choose the photo I used for my avatar. Start by duplicating the photo twice by pressing Ctrl-J two times.


2.       With the top layer (Layer 1 copy) active in the layers panel, go to Filter>Blur>Smart Blur.   We’re not really creating a blur here but rather creating the line-drawing effect.  Go to the Mode drop down menu at the bottom of the Smart Blur dialog and choose Edge Only.  Set the Quality drop-down menu to High.  Then, move the Radius and Threshold sliders to refine how much line detail you want.  For this photo I set the Radius to 2.5 and the Threshold to 25.  Click OK

Note: What you want to achieve is the amount of outline you want, you can go more by decreasing the Threshold and Increasing the Radius.  Just play around with it until you get the look you want.


3.      Now we need to extract the line drawing from the layer so we can change the line color.  Go to the Channels panel (Window>Channels), hold down the Ctrl key, and click on the RGB channel thumbnail.  This will load the luminosity of the image as a selection.  Since the image is black and white, it will ignore black and load just the white area.

  • Photoshop Element users don’t have The Channels function so replace step 3 with these instructions.
  •  Layer1 copy Ctrl I to inverse (you should have a white background with black outlines. Go to  Select>Color Range
  • Select: Highlights
  • Selection Preview: White Matte
  • Click okay
  • You should have the marching ants on the line work, click on the delete button and you white background should be removed.

4.       With the selection active, go back to the layer panel and click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to create a new blank layer (Layer2).  Click the Eye icon to the left of the original line drawing layer (Layer 1 copy) to hide it.   Then press Shift –Backspace to bring up the Fill Dialog.  Choose Black from the Use drop-down menu, and click OK.  Press Ctrl-D to deselect.  The line-drawing effect over the original photo creates an interesting result.


5.       Click on the original Background in the Layers panel to make it active. And go to Filter>Blur>Average.  It will look at the overall image and generate a color fill based on the average color tone of the entire image.  Usually the result will look good, but experiment with other colors to what works best for your image.


6.       Activate the duplicate layer (Layer 1) that still contains the original image.  Hold down the Alt key and click the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel.  This will create a layer mask filled with black, hiding the entire layer.


7.       Select the Gradient tool (G).  Press D to set the Foreground color to white.  Click the down-facing arrow next to the gradient preview in the Options Bar to open the Gradient Picker and choose the Foreground to Transparent gradient. To the right of the gradient preview in the Options Bar, choose the Radial Gradient icon.


8.       Click to start the gradient in the area of the image where the main subject is, then drag toward the bottom of the image.  (I started my selection at the now base of my glasses and ended just below my hand.) This will reveal the image in the where you started dragging and fade away the edges to reveal a portion of the original photo.


9.       Since we want the image to transition from a photo to a line drawing, we need to mask the line drawing area in the middle.  Select the layer containing the line drawing (Layer 2) and click the Add Layer Mask icon again (but this time without holding down Alt).  This will add a layer mask filled with white, revealing the entire layer.

Press X until the Foreground color is set to black.  Using the Gradient tool again, draw the gradient in the same area and distance as you did in the previous step.  Now as the photo fades out, the line drawing fades in.

10.   Let’s slightly change the color of the outline.  Click the layer thumbnail for the line drawing layer (Layer 2) to make the layer active and not the mask.  Click the Lock Transparent Pixels icon (checkerboard) at the top of the Layers panel.  Click the foreground color swatch at the bottom of the toolbox, select a color in the Color Picker (I went with a brown shade) and click OK.  Press Alt-Backspace to fill the lines with your chosen color.

To finish the effect, I added some texture to the background color.  Activate the Background layer and go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Texturizer.  Set the Texture drop-down menu to Sandstone, Scaling to 149, Relief to 6, and click OK.

Click on layer one photo (not the mask), go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Texturizer keep the same settings as you had with background texture click okay, go back into Filter Gallery to add some additional texture, this time instead of Texturizer in the drop down, choose Rough Pastel.  For this photo I used Stroke Length 28, Stroke Detail 20, Texture Canvas, Scaling 76, Relief 12.  Again each photo may use different settings, just play around with them until you get the desired results.

11.   For the final step – do some clean-up on the line work. Go to Layer 2, click on the mask, using a soft brush start cleaning up some of the more erratic lines to make it more realistic, or use your gradient tool once again to fade out certain areas.  For this photo I wanted to fade the bottom portion a bit more, so I started the gradient from the bottom of the photo and went upward.


You can also turn off the line layer and get a soft portrait effect.  Have fun with this and try out different filters.  Make this your own.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Plant Smiles

Everything by Anna Aspnes

Artsy Template MultiPack 5 no 3
ArtPlay Grow Fresh
MultiMedia Summer2
Grow Fresh Wordart 1
Grow Fresh 1

Process: Use ArtPlay Grow Fresh Papier as my base layer in Artsy Template MuliPack 5.  Clipped images to framed clipping mask.  Turned off all of the Artsy Template layers and starting at the bottom turned them on and either clipped a transfer, papier or recolored them.  Some I left off on this layout.  Added cluster of elements and various other items to finish this off.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Let The Music Soar

Everything by Anna Aspnes

ArtPlay Take Flight
Artsy Transfers Take Flight
Gold Paint 3

Process:  Extract photo, used some hair brushes I had to add some flowing hair back to make it a bit more realistic. Placed it on Solid Paper 1, duplicated paper and Blend Mode Multiply to darken it, bring out the pink.  I added transfer6 to the upper end of the page.  I love the pinks and laces that Anna added to this weeks Artsy Transfers Take Flight, they were perfect to add to my page.  Once all my elements were in place I created a composite by holding down the CTRL+Shift+ALT+E on my PC.  I added some texture by going to my filter / add Texture / Sandstone.  I then finished off my adjustment filter gradient map and choosing a purple/greenish gradient, used blend mode Overlay and reduced the Opacity to 36%.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Little Birdie Told Me

My granddaughter Sydney when she was a little toddler.  Her nickname back then was Birdie.

Everything by Anna Aspnes

ArtPlay Take Flight
Artsy Blendz No 5

Process: I used Artsy Paper 1 for my background, placed my photo were I wanted and used a reverse mask.  After loading the Artsy Blendz brushz, I used No 8 to erase some of the mask to allow the photo to show.  I added the frame, used the number 2 transfer so part of the birds was over the frame.  I erased some of the other elements in that transfer.  I added the rest of my elements to finish up the layout.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Old World Art

Everything by Anna Aspnes

ArtPlay Pallette Old World
Taped Textures3
Gold Paint Overlays1
Hipster Plumes 31

Process: Used Old World solid paper3 as my background paper, place photo of sketch as second layer enlarged it to cover page.  Used Multiply mode so it would take on the color of the background paper, set Opacity to 72%, copy layer, Multiply mode and Opacity to 46%.  This was still a bit strong so I masked the copy and used my gradient brush to take out some of the stronger lines of the sketch to tone it down a bit.  I added another photo that had a dark background and some gauges and lights, set to screen so only the brightest areas shown through.  Added mask and erased some of the stronger lights.  I used the tape texture in the upper right corner, it really added a bit of depth there.  Used various transfers and brushes to add interest, framed my photo added some clusters.  The flower I changed the color tone a bit by using the Hue and Saturation adjustments, added a gradient map as well to tone the color down a bit.  I wanted to also add a bit of depth and used the burn and dodge tool.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fun at the Waterpark

Risa playing at the water park

Everything by Anna Aspnes

Tutorial on using Camera Raw settings for editing
Artplay Oasis
Oasis No 1
Vacation Wordart No 1
Urban Threadz No 9
Summery Edge Overlay
Sparkle Edge Overlays 1

Process: Placed Artsy Paper 4B as my background.  Chose my photo, used my Camera Raw settings to adjust exposure and color.  See Tutorial on Anna's Blog.  Added reverse mask to photo and brushed out what I wanted to see, I did this because there were a lot of distractions behind Risa.  Clipped photo to one of the Oasis transfers, also added mask to transfer and erased some areas.  Next I added some brush work and erased some of the areas, added wordart and recolored as well as adding a white stroke.  Copied wordart and added it below the original wordart, colored it black and moved it one point down and to the left.  Worked on cluster to the left, added frame and decided to add a photo under it.  Clipped photo to one of the brush 10.  Duplicated photo and used blend mode linear dodge.  Added edges and recolored.