Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Walkthrough Wednesday: Awesome Afternoon

Welcome to Walkthrough Wednesday, where each Hump Day I'll be sharing the process of creating a digital art journal page. I include every time I change my mind or flub-up on something so that you can really get a sense of the whole process. You can follow along step-by-step or just read through for a little mid-week technique inspiration.

I'm working in Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1. Most of my techniques are do-able in PS Elements and GIMP as well. Here's what I'm creating:

Resources used:
I started my layout with this fun freebie paper from Jopked Designs.

Although I love the colors in this paper, I knew they wouldn't go with the colors I wanted to use, so I did as I often do with backgrounds and desaturated the page (ctrl/cmnd D).

I placed in a photo from my Instagram account. I don't normally use photos in my art journal pages, because then it becomes some art journal/scrapbook hybrid thing, and I have some weird imaginary rules in my head about that. But, today I'm breaking the rules.

I like a white border on my square photos, so I created one by making a white square and placing it on a layer underneath the photo. If you hold down the shift key while using the rectangle tool, it will keep it a perfect square. I then merged the photo and border layers together.

I wanted the photo to look bent, so I selected an area around it with the rectangular selection tool, and then applied the shear filter. A tiny tug on the point in the middle of the diagram on the adjustment menu makes a nice natural curve.

To get a realistic shadow on this curved photo, I ctrl/cmnd-clicked the thumbnail of the layer to select it, created a new layer underneath it, and filled the selection with black. Then, with the new layer selected, I flipped the black shape horizontally (edit>transform>flip horizontally), and applied a gaussian blur to it. Then I lowered the opacity of the shadow layer to 50% and linked the 2 layers so that they'd move together for future steps.

I then angled my photo into the lower left corner and placed a staple element along the edge to visually explain how that photo is attached to the page. I don't know where I got this staple element. It was in a misc. image folder, so it either found it's way out of a kit or was from some other non-scrapbooky project. Sorry about that. But, if you need some digi staples, I found a freebie here.

How it's time to get painty. Using my abstract grunge brush set I added color splotches on a new layer just above the background layer so that the paint would be mostly peeking out from behind my photo. I also added some brush marks in the opposite corner. The colors are selected straight out of my photo with the eyedropper tool.

Next I placed in this "How I Roll" graphic, which I made a few months back for t-shirts and jackets. I don't have this graphic available for sale on it's own, but here are some public domain bicycle images you could use.

I wanted this image to look more like a stamp, so I double clicked the layer thumbnail to open the smart object psb document, and then I ran the Presto! vintage action.

I saved the psb file and returned to my main document where I turned my new stamp burgundy and changed the layer's blend mode to multiply to enhance the stamped effect.

Next I typed a title for my page and applied the same effects that I just did with the "How I Roll" graphic.

Finally, I wrote my journaling, and my page was complete.

Thanks for joining me, and I hope you learned something useful!


  1. wow, very impressive! I'm trying to learn more about digital artjournaling but lots of these things are still a bit over my head .... Thanks so much for sharing. I love how you did that photo ....

  2. Love the stamp effect and the photo bending. Thanks for sharing


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