Anything Photoshop or Photography

Textures

Ghostly Dandelion

Image of a Dandelion with a soft focus effect
This is another in a series of Dandelion images I took of this humongous weed growing by my front door???? This time my old Lensbaby Composer was set it to F/4 with the +10 Macro Lens attached. In Photoshop all that was done was to add two free rust textures which can give an almost wintry feel to an image when the blend mode is changed. The first was called Texturez Rust Texture 3559 and set using Soft Light blend mode at 28% layer opacity – then a Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to the texture (ALT+click between the layers to clip) and the Saturation slider was set to -100 to remove all the color of the texture, just leaving the pattern. A layer mask was added to the texture layer and just the Dandelion was painted out so it was no texture covered it. Next another texture called Hrt Rust Metal 7 was added on top and set to Hard Light at 31% layer opacity. Another Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to it and the Saturation slider was also set to -100. A Layer Mask was also set on this texture layer. The last step was to use the now free Nik Viveza 2 plug-in to further drive the focal point to the dandelion. The flower was brightened and structure increased while the corners of the image were slightly darkened to give a gentle vignette effect and drive the eye to the dandelion. That was it. I really like the moody feel to the image…..Digital Lady Syd


Little White Convertible

Image of a Little White Car
This is just a pretty little white car next to an old British Phone Booth in downtown Savannah, Georgia. Don’t know why I took the picture, but the car was so cool looking. This image really need to have a lot of background clutter removed, so one of my favorite texture people, 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) had a texture from their Mosiac Set called darcy. I also created an Oak Tree in Photoshop using the Filter -> Render -> Trees command. The Dream lettering is from Kim Klassen’s Dreamy Brush set. On layers above some paint splatters were added. The last step was to open a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and applied Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle, one of my favorite Photoshop plug-ins! Wish I owned that car!…..Digital Lady Syd


Hogwarts at Halloween

Image of Hogswart at Universal Studios-Orlando
This image of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Universal Studios-Orlando was used to show how to get a bit of an illustrative look to an image using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust and Clarity and a Watercolor Texture for the sky. I actually just followed a really great tutorial by Leslie Nicole at French Kiss Textures (see sidebar for website link) that gave the exact steps and layers used. See her Before and After – Using a Watercolor Texture to see how it was done. (And check out her textures while visiting.) Both birds were by Midnights Touch – To the Bat Cave collection and Who Gives a Hoot collection to add a little holiday effect. I also added a watercolor border painted using my SJ WC Salt Brush set to 69 px to create. Lot of fun here and I really like the results!…..Digital Lady Syd


Some Texturing Fun!

Image of two layered public domain images.
This image started out being what I thought would be just simple little layering image and instead turned into this rather complicated final image. I basically got the idea from reading one of my favorite blogs, First Night Design, where Sarah shared where she gets some of her images for doing her marvelous texturing – Ida Rubinstein as Istar by L. Bakst from 1924 and Kai Outsuki no hara from 1858. Basically cut out the lovely lady and put her in the oriental image. Used 2 Lil Owls (see sidebar for website link) Mosaic Sets Darcel Grunge texture twice – one set to Linear Light using the Blend If sliders to get the effect I wanted, and the second time set to Linear Burn at 67% layer opacity using Blend If sliders again. The elegant lady (extracted from her image using Topaz ReMask 5) was set on top. On a stamped layer Topaz Lens Effects (see sidebar for website link) Generous Diffusion preset was applied, and then Flaming Pear’s Flood plugin was applied to give the reflection. On a New Layer a speckle regular brush was used to create the painterly snow look on the image. That was the major work done on this image. I really liked the feel in the image……Digital Lady Syd


First Signs of Winter

Painted image of a wintery scene
Totally enjoyed myself painting this little wintry scene. I think the recent hot weather in Florida has gotten to me! Used a very textured paper in Corel Painter 15 and mainly an Oil Brush and Blender that smeared some of the edges. In Photoshop used some of Grut’s brushes (these are a fabulous collection of brushes) to fill in where the trees did not look quite right.  A texture was applied with no color (used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer clipped to it and set Saturation slider to -100) to get even more texture. Last step was to add Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle Desaturated Warm III preset for the final color effect. It really is fun just to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd


Building a Home

Image of a Great Blue Heron painted
This beautiful Tri-Colored Heron was posing at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery, where he was actually building a nest as seen by the twig in his mouth. These birds are all over Florida and I probably see one at least once a day. This image used the same techniques from my recent blog called How to Get a Painterly Effect for Wildlife and Birds, especially as done with the Wood Stork image. This time two of my Painter textures were combined to get the sort of magical background effect. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust’s Summer preset was applied to a stamped (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) version on top and on another stamped version Topaz Lens Effects Toy Camera Memories preset was applied. The Saturation was actually reduced a little in this section. It was pretty much the same workflow, just trying different textures and painting the bird on several layers. I really love my birds!…..Digital Lady Syd


Still Life Fun

Still Life Image of flowers in a vase
This is just a still life image I took a while ago of some flowers. Added one of my painted textures underneath, then with a black mask added to the flower layer, painted back in the flowers. The texture was copied twice and placed on top – one was set to Multiply blend mode at 54% and the other set to Color blend mode at 76%. A table and shadow were added using Grut Oil Rooster Suit brush. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Nik Viveza 2 was used to further bring out the color of the flowers. Several clean up layers were used and a few adjustment layers were added to create some contrast. I really love flowers….Digital Lady Syd


A Little Birdie Told Me So!

Image of a small bird on a painted background
This was just a little bird I photographed near my home that was just walking around with a group of other little birds. He was placed under a couple painted textures, one I created in Painter and one by Jai Johnson called Clouds Over the Pasture. His eyes were brightened using the Exposure Adjustment Layer. Then on several different layers, the Mixer Brush was used to paint the bird. Finally on a stamped layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Smoke Gray Veil preset was used to give the different color effect. I love what this plug-in can do to an image! Next Nik Viveza 2 was used to direct the eye to the focal point. Another one of my textures was added on top and set to Overlay at 47% to add the really nice orange tones into the image. That was it – lot of fun here!…..Digital Lady syd


Jumping Whales

Image of Whales Jumping in Ocean
These Killer Whales were performing a few years ago at SeaWorld Orlando. I decided to place them in a water texture created in Corel Painter. I wanted them to look like they are in their natural environment. The biggest problem I had with this image was getting the lighting to look natural on the sharper whales. First the whales were painted through a black mask on top of my SJ Stormy Weather at Sea texture. Several adjustments layers were used to even out the tonal contrast and color. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was used on a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and the Vignette Selective using the Golden Halo preset was used. Nik Viveza 2 was used the get rid of the color cast and turn the spots on the whale white. The texture was copied twice and placed on top of the layers – first set to Multiply blend mode at 49% layer opacity, and then set to Hard Light at 21% layer opacity. Some water splatter layers were created to get the water splashing effect using Aaron Blaise Water Splatter Brushes (all his brushes are fabulous!). On yet another stamped layer, Topaz Lens Effects was opened up again and the Toy Camera effect was chosen – used the preset Awesomeness for starters and tweaked it to get the correct sunlight effect. The last step was a Levels Adjustment Layer to even out the contrast. This was really a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd


Horses Checking Me Out

Image of grazing horses with painted mountains
Created this image using a texture I painted in Corel Painter and a horse image from Belarus. This is basically just painting the horses into the texture by using a black layer mask on the horse image above. Then used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Toy Camera filter Awesomeness I preset as a start, then applied the Reflector filter to lighten up the whole image. On a stamped layer Topaz Restyle was used and just the bottom colors were changed to darker tones. Then mainly just some clean up – love the the results……Digital Lady Syd


A Tricolored Heron That Fell in a Painting!

Image of a painted Blue Heron
I seem to have an endless supply of these bird images from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. It is such an incredible place to get bird images in the Spring. This is just another example of one of the magnificent birds hanging out looking for a mate. This time I actually used a layer mask to separate most of the bird from the tree limbs behind him. Since I was going to paint him, it did not have to be perfect. The bird was painted using Fay Sirkis’s (from KelbyOne) Precious Diamond Blender brush (her Mixer brushes are wonderful), then changing to it to add color when needed. This is my favorite brush for painting birds and has been used on most of my bird paintings. The texture is made up of two textures I created in Corel Painter 2015. Both textures used Quick Fix Color Brushes from Karen Sperling’s Artistry Quick Fix Video (#4 in this case) Series (check them out-and inexpensive way to learn Painter and she provides some of the best Painter brushes!), and the second also used a blender I created, and the other used Karen’s . They were placed underneath the bird and on a New Layer on top, the edges of the bird were blended into the texture. An Exposure Adjustment Layer (see my How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening in Photoshop blog) was used to sharpen the eye. On a stamped layer on top, PS Camera Raw’s Radial Filter was used to add focus to the face and beak – painted out with the brush parts of body not to be emphasized. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer’s White Color was selected to make the white color behind the bird stand out just a little more – set Black slider to -37. That was it. I was pleased how the texture fits with the bird……Digital Lady Syd


Hiding Out in the Wetlands

Image of a Limpkin at Vierra Wetlands
Took this image of a Limpkin bird a while back when photographing at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Brevard, Florida (also known as the Viera Wetlands) with my photo club. This was not actually how the bird appeared – he was trying to hide from all the tourists taking his picture by standing in a batch of grass and reeds. That was the challenge. I had heard that CC2015 had updated their Spot Healing Brush and it worked nicely on this image. I tried it in CS6 first and got marginal results. I have heard that a lot of people are having trouble with the update Healing Brush and Adobe is looking into it. So do watch the results if you are using it. Like I said, I had no problems in this image. Otherwise on a New Layer just added in some of my favorite and free Frostbo Set 2 Grass brushes 009 and 005 strokes to fill in some grass – need to lock the layer and paint over with Color Dodge and Multiply to get the natural feel. Set layer opacity to Color Dodge, duplicated layer, and adjusted opacities of both layers. Jai Johnson’s beautiful Clouds Over the Pasture texture was used and Nik Viveza 2 to add sharpness to the birds eye and beak. That was it. Love playing in Photoshop!…..Digital Lady Syd


Adding Some Background Texture

Red Hibiscus bloom image with new texture in background
Just used my red hibiscus object image again to try out some texture effects with the background. I really liked the results. The flower was brought in and it was duplicated. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Cream and Plum preset was applied to the duplicated layer and set to Darken blend mode at 66% layer opacity. A texture that was made in Corel Painter using the Coarse Smear Blender Jitter brush (a FB friend used this brush quite effectively on an image) in a brownish beige color was added underneath the flower. It was also duplicated, Free Transformed (CTRL+T) where it was reduced and flipped horizontally, and lined up under the flower. A Levels Adjustment Layer and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer were clipped (ALT+click between the layers to clip) to the top texture layer to get the pinkish color. The last texture added just below the flower was made in Corel Painter using the Gravity Bristle Particle Brush (learned how to do this at the end of Commercial Packaging Illustration with Michael Bast Corel video where he shows the technique – I really liked it! Saved it as a PSD to open in Photoshop as a texture.) It was set to Multiply blend mode and an olive green Solid Color Adjustment Layer was clipped to this texture to make it a soft olive green. A stamped version was created on top and Blend If sliders applied before some clean up work was done. A final Levels Adjustment Layer was used to get the effect. Loved creating the textures for this!…..Digital Lady Syd


Young Warrior

Image of a Young Warrior from the Native American Festival
I loved how this image turned out. The original was taken at the Native American Festival in Ormond Beach, Florida. Not going to go into all the details as it was a huge process – 27 layers and lots of hours but I will say it was all done in Photoshop, mainly with a Flat Fan Oil Brush I created. Must give a shout out to Melissa Gallo, a Corel Master, for her wonderful textures and her techniques in teaching how to do this type of image, including creating your own brushes! Check out her website and get the Painting in Photoshop Workshop if you want to learn some fabulous techniques and tips. (She also has a new one being released shortly called Painter for Photographers that I am so looking forward to taking!) This texture is her April Pastel texture. Also used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle to get the color in the image exactly right. This plug-in is in my top three! Totally fabulous what it can do to an image!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz ReStyle


The Archaeologist

Image of a gift shop display at Universal Studios Orlando
This is part of a really interesting display in one of the gift shops at Universal Studios Orlando. I shot the image up at a rather life-like mannequin and really liked the results. Seims (see sidebar for website link) Power Workflow 4 Magic Flat Light Fixer preset was used in Lightroom. In Photoshop the Shake Reduction Filter and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was used to sharpen up the whole image. Kim Klassen‘s Autumn Burst was applied on top and a layer mask was added. Using my Chalk 60 brush in the mask at 30% brush opacity, the man and objects were lightly painted back so they show through the texture. Kim’s 1402 magic texture was placed on top and set to Soft Light at 32% layer opacity. Next 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Ultimate Texture Collection’s Jewel Chalks was set to Divide at 33% layer opacity – this gives the bluish colors in the image. Next a Text layer was added using the font called A Charming Font Superexpanded at 70 pt. On a New Layer the Sharpen Tool was used on the person’s face. Nik’s Viveza 2 was used to sharpen up the face even a little more and to add a slight vignette effect in the corners of the image. That was about it. It turned out to be a really different image and the Difference blend mode turned an ordinary image into something quite interesting……Digital Lady Sydf


Red Carnations on a Bright Sunny Texture

Image of painted red carnations in a purple vase
Just doing a little painting on some beautiful red carnations my daughter-in-law got for her birthday. Used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 to do an overall sharpening up of the image. Used Photoshop’s default brush Pastel Medium Tip as both a mixer and regular brush on this image and loved the brush strokes. Stacked two of Melissa Gallo of Painted Textures textures – August Copper set to Hard Light at 76% layer opacity and Spring Sky at Hard Light 78%. Last step was using Nik Viveza 2 to highlight the flowers in the center where I wanted the focus to be. It is a little bright, but I kind of like it – that is what is fun about stacking textures, you get some unexpected results! …..Digital Lady Syd


A Little More Painting with a Texture Brush from Your Image

Image of the rooftops at Harry Potter Land
Wanted to show you how I completed the image that I began in my You Tube Texture Video for my Fun Photoshop Blog How to Paint with a Texture Brush from Your Image. By creating a different brush and changing up my technique just a little, a totally different feel was given to the same image. So what did I do to get this totally different result from the same image?

The brush I created in the video I did save down as a “New with my settings” brush – I forgot to remind everyone of this rather vital step. You need to resave and rename your brush to keep the additional slider changes made from the initial brush created. A New Layer was added above and this time it was converted to a Mixer Brush – in the Options Bar turn off the “Load the brush after each stroke” icon and in the drop down, choose Very Wet, Heavy Mix. Now just make sure Sample All Layers is checked and you are ready to paint using this same brush as a Mixer “Blender” brush (see my Photoshop Blog How to Easily Create a Photoshop Brush for Painting for more info on this.) On a couple of layers, I just smoothed out edges and dabbed and then would go back to the regular brush with the same settings. Just went back and forth smoothing and adding a little texture and color. By doing that on this brush, the texture effect is not so over-the-top as it looked in the video and the rough edges were softened with the Mixer Brush. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to increase the brightness since the painting darkened it down some. If you look closely, the pattern is over the objects just like the background – by adding the Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer on top and choosing this same texture set to 60% Scale, it blended beautifully with the texture – the layer opacity was set to just 26% for the blend. Then a Levels Adjustment Layer was added and the in the Output Levels, set the first number to 24 to take out the total black pixels which often darkens an image too much in paintings. I thought I was done but I tried a layer style called BMU_SSStyles_UltArtist_Watercolor-Dark from Scrap Girls packet which added a Pattern Overlay that resulted in the rather foggy spooky feel on the whole image – it felt so Harry Potterish! (See my Fun Photoshop Blog How to Get Painting Effects from Actions-Part 2 for info on this.) I was thinking I could have just used a fog brush at a low opacity and painted on a New Layer to get the same effect. I really liked how this version turned out – love the triangular shapes and still like my owl! Anyway wanted to show you how using this different texture, crop, and brush gives a totally different result! Hope you give this a try!…..Digital Lady Syd


Texturizing at The Lost Continent

Image of the Delicious Kebabs sign at Universal Studios Orlando
This is an eatery sign at The Lost Continent in Universal Studios-Orlando. Since there was building scaffolding in the background, it looked like a great choice to try out my new textures from Denise Love at 2 Lil’ Owls Studio (see sidebar for website link). This one used is called Sublime 11, which I consider is one of her best textures and I have most of them, and The Grey Collection 11 set to Overlay at 11% opacity. Layer masks were added to both textures to bring back the detail I wanted to use and my Chalk Brush (Adobe Chalk Brush 60 with a Shape Dynamics Angle Jitter set to 19% in Brush Panel) was used to do this. I like the way it gives a more painterly edge to the strokes. Next her Delicate Paints 10 texture was added to warm up the image and was set to Vivid Light blend mode at 65% layer opacity. A Curves Adjustment Layer was used to add a little contrast back into the image since textures tend to remove contrast. On a stamped layer above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was used – not sure how I got the effect but just went through several of their presets until I found one that I liked –  then I adjust the sliders to make it work. On a New Layer on top, the focal area was sharpened up by adding a little white paint and painting in darker paint for distracting areas. Really loved the final result – this is so much fun and thank you 2 Lil’ Owls for these wonderful texture you have been selling!…..Digital Lady Syd


Where Am I?

Image of a spire on Flagler College and the cupola on the Flagler Presbyterian Church
This beautiful skyline image was taken from the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida. This is a spire from Flagler College (the old Ponce de Leon Hotel) and the cupola on the Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church. In Lightroom did just basic changes and sharpened up the spire and cupola slightly. In Photoshop the first thing I did, and do a lot, is go into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3- this time applied the Soft and Dreamy III preset to smooth out the leaves that were overly sharp and to reduce the detail in the close up roof. I changed the Cyan-Red, Magenta-Green and Yellow-Blue sliders (similar to the Color Balance Adjustment Layer) to get better colors. Some of my clouds (see my free Cloud Brushes) were added softly in the sky at 69% layer opacity. Kim Klassen Cloth & Paper Reign texture was used to add interest in the sky. Next Topaz ReStyle’s Warm Sand Dune Wash preset was applied to pop the colors a little. On a stamped layer (CTLR+ALT+SHIFT+E) the Camera Raw filter ‘s Radial Filter was applied to focus in on the spire and cupola. On another stamped layer OnOne (see sidebar for website link) Perfect Effects 8 was opened and a Blue-Yellow Split Tone set to a Balance of 81 was added, some detail painted back on the spire and cupola, and the Martha Border was the last step before saving back in Photoshop.  I love beautiful St. Augustine!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Dahlia Flowers Chatting with the New BLooms

Image of two light purple dahlias

Just a couple of pretty dahlias growing in my front yard. I really loved the nice spring colors. This time I created a selection of the flowers and added French Kiss Tableaux Madeleine texture behind them. French Kiss Tableaux Halcyon was added on top and the flowers painted back with a large soft brush so most of the image was revealed – just the edges and some of the stems were not completely revealed. A new layer was placed on top and the Mixer Brush was used to blend the flower petals to give a slightly painterly feel to them. French Kiss Studio 3 White Wash texture was added on top and set to 13% opacity. A layer mask was added and the darker flower was painted back very softly to help draw the eye there subtly. On a composite layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Cream and Plum preset (one of my favorites in the filter) was applied to give a little more purple color to the image. This filter can really give a better color palette and there are so many choices it was heard to choose one. A frame I had created in Corel Painter was placed on top as a last step. Lots of fun to created!…..Digital Lady Syd


Soft Pink Calla Lilies!

Image of beautiful pink calla lilies
Just wanted to play with this beautiful image of soft pink calla lilies – love their color! Took them with my Android phone in the grocery and loved the result. Did nothing special to them in Lightroom – just the basics, then did a little clean up on the image in Photoshop before adding 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Carnavale texture. Painted back the flowers in a layers mask attached to the texture and topped it off with Kim Klassen‘s Cloth & Paper Collection’s Magicfilm set to Soft Light blend mode at 45% layer opacity. This completed the vintage feel. The colors just did not look quite right to me and I had a hard time figuring out what to do to get the final look I liked. Then it hit me – go to my favorite plug-in – Nik’s Viveza 2 – and sure enough, with just two control points on the flower petals, I got just the color effect I wanted. Once again, lots of fun to do on boring Monday!…..Digital Lady Syd


Lantern at Stetson

Image of a large lantern at Stetson Univesity
This beautiful large lantern was sitting on top of a large brick wall introducing Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where my son goes to school. This was an easy image to post-process – just a little detail sharpening using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 so the glass etching could be seen better. Used a black layer mask and just painted back the glass areas. Next I used Mellisa Gallo (one of my favorite texture people) of Painted Textures November Twilight texture set to Linear Light blend mode at 100% layer opacity and April Impasto texture set to Multiply at 52% layer opacity – these were both from great deals she runs on her website each month. The lantern was painted back softly in a layer mask on each texture so the etchings still show up nicely. Now to get the lantern to light up just a little, I tried several different things and it just did not look right. My last attempt was using Nik’s Viveza 2 and setting a Control Point in the lantern. Then the Warmth was set to 44%, Brightness 36%, Contrast -32%, Saturation 52%, and Shadow Adjustments 100% to get the soft glow in the lantern. This filter never lets me down! Anyway, this image is just the way I wanted it!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Splash of Color

Image of an orange silk flower with texture applied
Love the texture on this flower. Lightroom basic changes, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 for sharpening the focal point, Mixer Brush painting on flower – Fays Signature Pastel Blender 02 on image above, Curves Adjust Layer for contrast, Painted Texture‘s Dark Naples Yellow texture twice using Linear Light and Multiply blend modes. A composite layer (CTRL+SHIFTS+ALT+E) was created and turned into a Smart Object. In the Smart Object the blend if This Layer dark tab was adjusted so I could let a little color through. A turquoise blue Color Fill Layer was added underneath the Smart Object so the color shows through. High Pass Sharpening was the last step. I love the colors in this texture!….Digital Lady Syd


Swan Fountain

Image of a Swan Fountain in Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia
Loved the Forsyth Fountain in Forsyth Park in historic Savannah, Georgia. The whole fountain is rather magnificent! This image is just of one of the little swans spewing water around the main fountain. Just the basic slider changes were done in Lightroom. Once brought into Photoshop, the image was processed using the modified Factory Setting from Snap Art 3 – for Snap Art 4 I created a matching preset so I could continue using it. There were three layers selecting different parts of the image in Snap Art. Some clean up and sharpening was done and a Curves Adjustment Layer was added for contrast. Kim Klassen’s Cloth & Paper Reign texture was set to Multiply blend mode at 100% and the old OnOne PhotoFrame grunge 13 was added as a last step. Very easy to do and very pretty result!…..Digital Lady Syd