Art Journal Inspiration #5 (April 2014)

Hello again!  I have to apologize for last month’s inadvertent absence. I made a mistake and accidentally erased the blogpost I had planned to post. But here I am back with some new inspiration for you all. First of all I want to thank you  all for sharing your wonderful artful pages in our very own Art Journal gallery. It’s always fun to come and see what you share with the rest of us.  You may have noticed this page in the gallery a while back.

I was inspired to create an effect as if I had placed flowers on a paper and then painted over with gesso or paint to create an embossed effect.  I won’t describe how I made this particular page, but I will briefly show you a few steps you might want to try in your own pages – with the same technique I used in the above page. Remember, this is all about letting loose and playing with the tool you have at hand. As digital artists, we are lucky to have our Ctrl+Z to go back and erase what we don’t like. Have you ever wished you had a Ctrl+Z in real life? 🙂

1. This time I am trying out something that I haven’t done for ages. This is an interesting technique that can easily be combined with all sorts of photos and other techniques we have discussed. (I use Photoshop CS6 on a windows machine. I apologize, but I do not know Mac shortcuts.)

I opened a photo of some flowers I shot from my garden. I then clicked on the Magic Wand Tool (W) and started clicking on the flowers to select various areas. Hold down Shift at the same time while clicking on the photo to select areas. You want to select as many interesting lines as possible. Should too many lines be selected, or the whole outer perimeter of the photo, then switch to holding down Alt key to “deselect”  what you already selected.

2. Then create an empty new layer and click on Edit> Stroke. I chose a color from the photo and used a width of 5 pixels. You can chose thinner or thicker if you please. Play with it. It doesn’t matter if you choose  inside, center or outside. I chose center. Then I did the same all over, in a separate layer. You want to chose different lines every time. I also changed the color of the stroke line each time. You don’t have to do several layers, I just did to create some variety. I like variety. 🙂

3. I had already found an amazing background paper that I wanted to use and dragged into my new 12×12 document file I opened. I dragged the two layers with my flower strokes onto the 12×12 file. I then created a new empty layer and pulled up my brush tool, brought in Katie’s touch up brushes and proceeded to paint in white paint over the flower strokes. I did several layers of this white paint. I then changed the opacities of these layers with white paint so that I could see the flower strokes beneath.

4.  I now needed to emboss the flower strokes by right clicking on the stroke layer and choosing the upper-most choice called Blending Options. I clicked on  the Emboss  tab and played with the various Emboss options.

 5. The next step is interesting. While staying on this layer, right click again and choose Blending options again. While staying on the Default tab, find the bottom bars and start dragging them slowly back and forth while holding down the ALT key. This will split the arrows and you can change the blending properties until you see something you like.


6. I then added some of Katie’s Edge overlays. I wanted them in white and I changed the color like this. I first right clicked and chose to rasterize the layer. I then clicked on the Image>Adjustment>Curves  (or Ctrl + M) and you get this curve. Drag the bottom corner of the slanted line straight up and this changes the color to white. OK out. I ended up using several edge overlays on this page. One of them I changed the color to dark pink by rasterizing, then Edit>Fill.

7. Then, as usually happens to me, the creative process takes over and I forget to printscreen what I do. 😀    My main point of this article was to show you the above stroke>emboss and using the blending properties tab. Here is my final page.

I hope you might have been inspired to try something new or retry something you have already done. Don’t let you wonderful photos and embellishments dust down on your hardrive – find them and spend a few minutes playing with colors and textures. Trust me, it will do you good. Don’t forget to upload to our Art Journal Gallery.

Until next time – take care and enjoy your special moments.  ~ Aino.


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One Response to Art Journal Inspiration #5 (April 2014)

  1. Lois says:

    Step 5 – the image does not show up – something about permission to see it seems to be the problem

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