Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freebies & A Giveaway!



My friend and the very talented Nancy at A Rural Journal, is the host of the weekly photo challenge, Your Sunday Best.  This week she has generously extended the giveaway she is sponsoring of my Pixel Dust Texture Collection 1.  Thank you Nancy!  Nancy's giveaway is a collection of 36 of my fine art textures that I know you will love.  You can see the collection on my sidebar, or inspect the 36 textures more closely in my Texture Shoppe.  To visit Your Sunday Best, click on the icon beside this paragraph.    

Before you rush over to A Rural Journal to learn how to participate in the giveaway, scroll down to pick up two new free textures I have designed for you this week.

The first is Mirror, Mirror 1, a texture designed using a copyright free image from The Graphics Fairy.

This is the type of texture you may not use every day, but it is fun to have in your archive of textures when you want to add a little 'je ne sais quoi' whimsy to a piece of photo art. 



Download this free texture, 'Mirror, Mirror 1' by clicking HERE.



To demonstrate effects you can achieve with this texture, I added 'Mirror, Mirror 1' to this photo of Cranesbill Geranium (see below).





Editing workflow to achieve the above piece of photo art:

Placed texture on image.
Used Difference Blend Mode, reducing Opacity to 80%
Flattened image.
Duplicated image.
Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush
Reduced effect of Dry Brush filter to 59% opacity
Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges
Adjusted opacity of Poster Edge effect to 65% opacity
Made a Levels Adjustment to adjust white balance.
Created a new layer.
Signed piece with my initials using a brush previously made and loaded into PSE.

And that's all it took to make a sweet, little piece of art!



Also added the texture to this beautiful Oriental Poppy from my
daughter's garden in Ontario.



Yes, you do have to ignore the "rule of thirds" to use this texture, but rules are made to be broken - now and then - right?

Steps I took to achieve the above look:

Adjusted texture so that 'mirror' frame fits around flower in the image.
Used Overlay Blend Mode at 85% Opacity
Used a Layer Mask and soft brush to remove texture from petals and stem.
Created a new layer for addition of signature/initials.
Adjusted opacity of signature to get a soft, pale effect.
Easy Peasy!

Here's the second freebie texture entitled "Gauze Sheers".  Today you get two for the price of one!  :-) 

(If you don't want the border on this second texture on your final piece of photo art, simply drag the border off the edges of your image using the bounding boxes that come with your Move Tool.) 

I'd love to see how you employ either of these textures in your photo art, so do send me a link!



To download "Gauze Sheers" click HERE.


Now scoot right on over to A Rural Journal's "Your Sunday Best" and enter her draw for my collection of 36 fine art textures.  Good luck to all!






Terms for Free Downloads:  You are free to use these textures to enhance your personal or commercial artwork.  Please do not claim them as your own work, regift them or sell them as is.  I also ask that you do not use these textures with the addition of slight adjustments to make your own textures.   Copyright still applies after download.  I am only agreeing to forgo copyright once they are incorporated into your own art or photo editing work.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Golden Texture Tuesday




Kim Klassen's texture "Golden" was added to this photo and blended in "Pin Light", Opaciity 70%.
There is still time if you would like to participate in Kim's Texture Tuesday.


~~~~~~~


If you use textures in your digital photo editing,
 check out Your Sunday Best, a photo challenge
 hosted by my friend, the talented Nancy at A Rural Journal.
There is still plenty of time to link up one of your favorite images,
and while there, you can enter her giveaway
where you will have the chance to win a
collection of 36 of my favorite textures!






Monday, June 27, 2011

Joining in The Creative Exchange



Photograph of daisies processed with one of my yet to be released textures. 




It's not too late for you to join in The Creative Exchange.  Just click on the image.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~






If you use textures in your digital photo editing,
 check out Your Sunday Best, a photo challenge
 hosted by my friend, the talented Nancy at A Rural Journal.
There is still plenty of time to link up one of your favorite images,
and while there, you can enter her giveaway
where you will have the chance to win a
collection of 36 of my favorite textures!





Mosaic Monday Peonies





Linking up with Mosaic Monday.

~~~~~~~


If you use textures in your digital photo editing,
 check out Your Sunday Best, a photo challenge
 hosted by my friend, the talented Nancy at A Rural Journal.
There is still plenty of time to link up one of your favorite images,
and while there, you can enter her giveaway
where you will have the chance to win a
collection of 36 of my favorite textures! 




Saturday, June 25, 2011

Almost time for Your Sunday Best!




The creative Nancy, of A Rural Journal hosts Your Sunday Best photo challenge each week.  She invites us to post our favorite photo from our posts of the past week.  I have decided to feature a photo from this post.  Scroll down to check it out.






I have to admit I photographed this flower at the garden center and I am not sure what it is!
A camellia is what comes to mind.
(The comments kindly inform us it is a hibuscus.  Thank you!) 
Whatever it is, it is lush and lovely even though a little worse for the wear around the edges. 
I have added one of my textures (one not yet released), and I love the effect achieved.



Here's the "before" photograph, shot with a point and shoot.



Here's the "after".  To my eye it looks a bit like an old Dutch master painting.
I hope you like it too.
Isn't it amazing what one can do with a little photo-editing and a fabulous texture?!!

Speaking of textures, Nancy is doing a little more than hosting Your Sunday Best this week. 
I have it on good authority that she is also hosting a great giveaway. 
So prepare Your Sunday Best and go check out her giveaway -
(published Saturday evening). 

If you have never featured one of your photographs in Nancy's photo challenge, don't worry - she is very welcoming and has a Your Sunday Best button under her header explaining how easy it is to link up one of your photographs with all the others.  Then the party begins - with a lot of commenting back and forth!

Enough said.  Scoot right on over in "your Sunday best" to Nancy's A Rural Journal.  She always has a visual treat, an opportunity for sweet, creative connections and, occasionally, a delightful surprise in store.  Nancy opens up her linky tool Saturday evening for those of us who can't wait until Sunday!  See you there!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Mid-Week Gift for You

Sometimes you just need a new texture to add to your collection - right?  Well, your wish is my command.  I call this texture Dappled Dawn 1.  Although it works well on skies or any photograph with a horizon, you can apply it to almost anything.  I hope you download it and enjoy using it. 

If you like to experiment with Filters after the application of a texture, you can produce a nice painterly effect with this one.  As always, I love to see how you use the textures, so if you have the time and inclination, send me a link so that I can applaud your creativity.


To download this free texture, "Dappled Dawn 1", click HERE.



Although I titled the texture Dappled Dawn, I applied it to this sunset.



Dappled Dawn 1 applied and blended in Overlay, Opacity 85%.



Dappled Dawn 1 applied and blended in Color Burn, Opacity 85%.


Terms for Download:  You are free to use these textures to enhance your personal or commercial artwork.  Please do not claim them as your own work, regift them or sell them as is.  I also ask that you do not use these textures with the addition of slight adjustments to make your own textures.   Copyright still applies after download.  I am only agreeing to forgo copyright once they are incorporated into your own art or editing work.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Textured Street Scenes


These photographs were taken while driving (my DH was driving) in "The Plateau" area of Montreal.  This area hosts many different immigrant groups and is loved for its diversity of restaurants and ethnic food shops.  While Montreal has such interesting architecture to photograph, I could not resist snapping a few shots of the even more fascinating people.


These two women (friends?  friendly strangers?) chatting at a bus stop.  With the addition of my "Vintage Blues 1" texture and Kim Klassen's "Mayzee" texture the storefronts behind the women now look a bit like abstract art.  What do you read in this woman's eyes?  Curiosity?  Doubt?  Interest?  Surprise? 


As we waited at a red light, I could not resist taking a shot of this bicycler's colorful jacket.  The colors have been ratcheted up a bit with my "Vintage Blues 1" texture and Kim Klassen's "Silence" texture. 
(Click HERE to download your free copy of my Vintage Blues 1 texture.)


Again, sitting at a red light I noticed a lonely figure of a man limping along on the sidewalk.  Not far from, and to the left of him, a young woman with iridescent red/orange hair sits strumming her guitar and singing on her front porch.  I used Kim Klassen's "Mayzee" texture on this image.  It was applied twice to produce the tones desired. 

You can click on any of the images above to enlarge.

Visit Texture Tuesdays to see more textured images of people.


kimklassencafe




Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mosaics For You














The above collages are offered up as my participation in Mary's Mosaic Monday,
at the "little red house".
To view other mosaics or participate yourself, click HERE.

Oh yes, the pink flowers are macros of a cleome.
The green leaves are eucalyptus.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Your Sunday Best: Wk. 11

Nancy, at A Rural Journal hosts "Your Sunday Best" where participants get to share a photograph they feel proud of from the last week.  I am joining in with the photograph below.  If you would like to feature one of your photographs at Your Sunday Best  simply click HERE.  (Nancy provides instructions in her post on how to proceed if you are not familiar with linking-up.)  Hope to see you there!


A peony from my garden edited with one of my textures. 





If you would like to see more peonies from my garden and more edits with my textures check out THIS post on my other blog, Original Art Studio.

If you use textures in your photo edits scroll down to my last post for a free texture download.




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Your Friday Freebie


Here is this Friday's free texture.  It is called "Vintage Blues 1" (300 ppi).  The addition of dark blue, burgundy and, of course, sepia tones are sure ways to add a vintage look to any photograph.  Add in a bit of crackled texture and some old calligraphy and you have a winner.  I hope you like it as much as I do. 

Remember, no texture looks good on every photograph and part of the artistry we are developing as digital editors is knowing what texture to pair with what photo.   Sometimes it is a question of choosing the correct blending mode, adjust the opacity to the right degree, removing parts of the texture that interfere with the look you are trying to attain, etc. etc. 

Also, don't forget to look at your finished product to see if the level of light balance is correct.  Check the histogram of the texturized image by clicking the Levels Adjustment Tool, and you will see if it needs a light, dark or mid-tones adjustment. 


For your free download of PDPA "Vintage Blues 1" Texture, just click HERE.

Don't forget to scroll down to see the effects you can achieve with this texture
 and to read the Terms for Free Download.



This is the SOOC photo to which I applied the "Vintage Blues 1" texture.  Before applying the texture, I made a levels adjustment to bring in some much needed light.



With the levels adjustment made, I added the texture and in the above image chose Vivid Light Blend Mode Opacity was left at 100%.  A Layers Mask was used to remove script in the texture from the flowers.  Finding that the image now had a bit of a painterly feel, I ramped up the painted effect by using Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush.  White/dark balance was tweeked with another Levels Adjustment.  Click on the above image for an even larger view.



Same image, same texture applied after a levels adjustment to bring in some light.  This time the above image and texture were blended in Screen mode, leaving the Opacity at 100%.  A Layers Mask was used to remove script from the texture off of the flowers.  Pioneer Woman's action "Edge Burn" was used to slightly darken the edges of the image, and the Opacity of it lowered to 20%.  Click on the above image for an even larger view.


Terms for Download:  You are free to use these textures to enhance your personal or commercial artwork.  Please do not claim them as your own work, regift them or sell them as is.  I also ask that you do not use these textures with the addition of slight adjustments to make your own textures.   Copyright still applies after download.  I am only agreeing to forgo copyright once they are incorporated into your own art or editing work.

As mentionned in previous posts I love seeing the work in which you incorporate my textures - so please (pretty please!) send me a link to your creations.  If you take the free texture, a thank you (while not essential) is always appreciated.  :)

To see more pics of peonies with my textures, visit my other blog Original Art Studio.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Free & Easy Texture Tuesday


Well, what could be more 'free and easy' than humming The Beatles "She Loves You" (also the name of one of Kim Klassen's great textures!) while enhancing photographs and photo art in Photoshop?  I still can't get the tune out of my head!  But I'm not complaining - look at what the texture and the tune did for my images:



Kim Klassen's texture "She Loves You" added to an intentionally ghostly composite of five stock images from Web.  I did not have to adjust the texture to make the words "...loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah..." appear on fiddler's body!  The texture was merged with the composite using Luminosity Blend Mode with an Opacity of 71%  A Layer Mask was used to remove some of the text from faces, etc.  Editing was finished with a Levels Adjustment.



Again, I used the same great texture blended with Pin Light at 80% Opacity.  A Layers Mask was used to remove text from flower petals.  A Levels Adjustment was used to desaturate the image a bit by moving Output slider to70%.

You can check out many more of today's 'Free & Easy' Texture Tuesday edits at Kim Klassen Cafe

Oh, and if you are a texture junkie like myself, why not check all the free downloads you can access right here on my blog.  Enjoy, and why not follow so that you won't miss the next free textures - coming soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mosaic Monday








This is my first time participating in Mosaic Monday, sponsored by Mary from "Little Red House".  Can't wait to check out all the beautiful mosaics that will be shared there today!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Examples of Texture Play


If you haven't downloaded the two free textures from my last post  ... what are you waiting for?  Maybe you were waiting for a few examples of what the "je me souviens" texture can do.  Well, wait no longer! 
 (For those who don't read French, je me souviens means "I remember".)

I have posted images of  'before' the application of the je me souviens texture - and the same images 'after' the application of the texture.  As well, details of my editing process accompany the first textured image.  I hope the 'afters' will demonstrate the different effects you can achieve with one texture.



Here is a reminder of what the "je me souviens" texture looks like.



A photograph taken of a peony in my garden this week.



Same photograph with the addition of the "je me souviens" texture and a couple of other tweaks in PSE.  Click on the image for a larger and better view.


Here are the editing steps I took in PSE to produce above image:

open photograph in PSE workspace
open texture file into PSE workspace
sharpen texture before applying it to photograph, (not usually necessary, just did it as I really want to emphasize script on dark background of photograph)
drag and fit texture onto photograph
Blend texture in Soft Light at an Opacity of 100%
*  Add a Layer Mask to active layer and with soft brush and black as foreground color, remove script on the focal flower and its leaves
Levels Adjustment to adjust mid-tones with middle slider (to the left to add a bit of light)
*  Layer>Flatten ....  Layer>Duplicate image  (this step is required to use Filters)
Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush (to add some painterly strokes)
*  Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges - reduce Opacity of Poster Edges to 25%
New Layer>Text - add personal 'watermark' using Text Tool



This is a composite piece using stock images available on the Web.  It's okay as is, already having a bit of mystery.  But look what the application of the "je me souviens" texture does ...



The texture adds even more visual interest and intrigue.  The texture and image were blended together using the mode Soft Light at 100% Opacity. Our minds now set about trying to figure out the story behind the components in the image.  (The only story that matters is the one you give to it!  :)  The script in the texture really adds to the final version, don't you think?



Another composite image crafted with three stock photos from the Web.



The same image with the addition of the "je me souviens" texture.  Blending in Screen mode gives a more dreamy effect.  A layer mask was used to remove the effects of the texture from the cat's eyes.  It could be debated whether the script on the texture goes well here, but I left most of it in because it suited my eye.  The texture and blend mode had accomplished the desaturated, dreamy effect I was going for.


I hope this post contained some ideas or inspiration that will prove helpful to you.  Just experiment and have fun.  Don't worry if you produce some edits that you don't like - happens to me all the time! 

To download the free texture "je me souviens", just scroll down to my previous post, or click HERE.  (Please read the Terms for a free download in that post.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Free Textures!!

Just noticed that the week is almost over and I haven't posted a free texture.  Well, I still haven't.  I've posted two free textures!  I hope you will love them as much as I do. 

The first texture "je me souviens", is in honor of vivacious Gwynnie of "Gwynnie B Designs".  She just returned from a week in Paris and is probably full-to-bursting with memories and stories of all things French.  So Gwynnie, the first texture with French script is dedicated to you - and free for everyone!

The second texture is just that -  texture plus, plus, plus.  Check it out, download it and experiment with it on your images.  I really hope you don't just apply the texture and use Soft Light and leave it there.  Experiment with different blend modes and different levels of opacity.  After some experimentation, you will begin to get a feel for what kind of texture will work well with different images.   


For your free download of  "je me souviens", click HERE.

"je me souviens" ('I remember') is a fabulous texture in most blend modes.  I love it in Hard Light and Overlay.  If you like your images to have just a faint appearance of texture, use Soft Light.  If you love a dreamy, desaturated look try Screen.  If you are more daring and like more intensity try Color Burn or Linear Light and adjust the opacity.  Remember though, as you adjust the opacity you are making the texture more and more transparent and losing many of its more subtle effects. 

A Layer Mask or your Erasure Tool can be used to eliminate any of the texture (e.g. the flower) or script that you do not want on specific areas of your image.   

If I have time, I try all the Blend Modes for you never know what delightful surprise the different blends of pixels and contrast might give you.  The results are different with different photographs, so if you don't like what any texture does on one photograph - try it on another!  



For your free download of "Cherish 1" texture, click HERE.


"Cherish 1" has great depth of texture.  It makes for wonderful skies and gives a rather painterly feel to trees and shrubs in a landscape shot.  It gives you a soft, irregular vignette (darker edge) that will really make your focal point stand out. 

Remember if you think it is too strong in certain blend modes, use a layer mask to remove degrees of texture from different areas on your image by adjusting the opacity of your Brush Tool.  I usually take the opacity of my Brush Tool, when removing texture from an image, down to about 25% to start.   Adjusting your Blend Mode Opacity slider will reduce the opacity on the entire image.

I love to see how you use the textures, so if you have time drop me a link to wherever you post them.  I will do my best to visit and comment.

P. S.   A little "thank you" is always appreciated.  There are a couple of ways to do that:  leave a comment or Follow.  :)

Terms for Download:  You are free to use these textures to enhance your personal or commercial work.  Please do not claim them as your own work, regift them or sell them as is.   Copyright still applies after download.  I am only agreeing to forgo copyright once they are incorporated into your own work.




Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Texture Tuesday - "The Word Edition"




This is my submission for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.  I used KK's Love Texture and added my adaptation of the oft-used KISS acronym - Keep It Simple Sweetheart.




If you would like to download a fabulous free texture, from Pixel Dust Photo Art, click HERE.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Playing With Pixels ...




This abstract image was created with the merger of two different photographs and the addition of last week's free texture "Medieval Magic".  Layer Masks and Levels Adjustments were used to get the look I wanted.





Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Free Texture!

I have a special (free) fine art texture for you today!  It is capable of producing magical effects in several different Blend Modes. 

There is a lot of time and effort invested in producing textures such as these, so I would really appreciate feedback after you incorporate it in your artistic endeavors.  A link to your work with the texture (for me), and a link to this site if you post your work would make my day!



Don't be afraid of the depth and intensity of this texture.  Blend Modes such as Overlay and Soft Light tone it down in color while leaving some texture.  If you are like me and more interested in producing art than simply enhancing a photograph, then Blend Modes such as Hard Light and Linear Light will give you more of an artistic feel to work with. 

While the texture has magical possibilities, the real magic lies with you and the artistry you bring to the application of this, or any texture.  Layer Masks are crucial to the exercise of such artistry.  If you are working in PSE 8 (or earlier versions) you can learn more about how to add a Layer Mask to your editing program by clicking HERE.



This is the photograph I have selected on which I will apply the texture and whatever artistry I can muster!  :)  It is a photograph of part of a church in the harbor of Old Montreal.  The religious statues are positionned to greet weary sailors arriving in port after crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  My plan, with this texture, is to give the image an older and more dramatic appearance.



Eh voila - the transformation.  Here are the steps I took in PSE 8: 

  • Applied texture to photograph, adjusting it to fit with bounding boxes which become visible when using the Move Tool.
  • Tried different Blend Modes and settled on Linear Light, reducing the Opacity to 80%.
  • Added a Layer Mask Action to remove some texture from the sky  Those who work with PS or PSE 9 have a layer mask available in the program and do not need an action. 
  • Used a Soft Brush (foreground color black) at Opacity of 20% to remove some texture.
  • Did a Levels Adjustment bringing white slider in to meet Histogram (to add a bit more light).
  • Sharpened the image once.  Felt it needed more, so Sharpened again.
  • Added my signature initials. 

To download this free texture, click HERE.  Oh, and "thank yous" are much appreciated!  :)