Art Journal Inspiration #4

Hello peeps!!  We are back with some new AJ inspiration. Today I wanted to share with you a technique I love to use on photos that are quite contrasty. Works wonderful on photos of objects, buildings or flowers, as I have chosen here. Yes, you could also use it on a portrait, providing the lines are sharp and contrasty.

Last weekend I went to photograph a field of these wonderful blue flowers that pop up at this time of year not far away from us. I am clueless about flower names, so please have me excused. I know they photograph well and despite the chilly early morning, I spent a wonderful hour in “photographic meditation”, as I think of it. To complete the mediation, it is even better when I get to create a page using one of the photos, let the inspiration continue to flow and call it an Art Journal page.

I started out pulling the photo into Photoshop and made a copy of the layer with the photo.

Turn off the visibility of the top photo.

Then you go to your bottom visible photo layer, go to Filter>Stylize>Find Edges. This will make the photo into a sketch. If the photo is a little soft, you can prior to this perform Filter>Sharpen Filter>Sharpen Edges.

I then apply a layer mask to the photo layer by pressing the ALT key and clicking the Layer Mask icon in the layers palette. Your sketchy image then disappears, but don’t worry – we will bring it back. Click on the Brush tool and load some pretty painterly brushes. I love Katie’s Touch Up Paint brushes. You need to make sure your color is white and start with a low opacity, 20-30% would be good. Click on the layer mask and start painting the sketch back. Recall that you can always click on X and thus switch the color to black and you can remove what you already painted in, until you are happy with the “painting”. Make you switch the brushes frequently (I click on the shortcut < and > to go back and  forth between the brushes).

The next thing I did was to go to the top photo layer. In CS6 (I am not sure about earlier versions) you have Filter>Oil Paint which I applied on the top photo. I wasn’t sure about this, but tried it out and liked the effect. This is not necessary however, you can easily skip this step and the technique turns out just as nice.

I added a layer mask to the top photo layer  (which in my case looks like it was oil painted) as described above. Then I started to paint back this layer, on top of the sketchy layer. I was playing around with different opacities on the brushes.

I then lowered the opacity of the top photo layer so that I could see some of the sketchy effect peep through.  In this layout, I let it barely peep through.  You can also play with the Blending Modes in each of these layers to see what effect you get.

When I was happy with the painting effect of both layers, I added a background paper. I chose one of Katie’s Classic Cardstock in this example because it has a slight texture. I then added some scribbles, some dribbles (I love paint dribble!) and a short text I felt was appropriate.

Below is another page I created using the same technique, but I left the sketchy effect more visible. I hope you could follow my directions. Don’t hesitate to ask in the forum, should you not understand anything. Don’t forget to post your lovely creations in our AJ Gallery .    Until next time – stay safe, warm and be creative.   ~Aino.


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3 Responses to Art Journal Inspiration #4

  1. debby todd says:

    I saw your page in the “ideas” section and instantly fell in love with it. I can’t believe me luck that you are going to explain how you did it. Can’t wait to try it. Let me know what you think if you see it posted. Thanks, so much. Debby

  2. Aino says:

    Of course I will! Can’t wait to see it!

  3. Pam says:

    Your project is beautiful – I love the end result! Thank you for sharing the steps of how you created this effect.

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