How Did You Do That?!

It has recently come to my attention that there really aren't a lot of PS Elements tutorials or tips out there.  So, I have decided to provide some tips, tutorials or inspiration using PSE when I can.  Please note that I use PSE 8, but these tips should be applicable to most Elements.  I also apologize in advance that I will not have any tutorials or tips using any other software.  I only use PSE and Cs5 to create my designs and do my digital scrap layouts.  I also apologize that I do not have a video...I have a horrible voice :).

I will also post periodic tutorials that are unrelated to PSE in this section :).

Tip 1:  Blending a Photo
Tip 2:  Spot Healing Brush
Tip 3:  Adjusting Hue/Saturation
Tip 4:  Using Colorization in PSE Tutorial
Tip 5:  Art Journaling
Tip 6:  Using Clipping Masks (Photo Masks)
Tip 7:  Using Basic Shadows
Tip 8:  Extracting from a Photo


Sooo sorry it has taken me so long to write another tutorial. Life just gets away from you sometimes lol. My next PSE tutorial is about extracting an object from a photo. I'm first going to mention right off the bat that there is NO real simple way to extract an object. Depending on  how good you want it to look, it does take a bit of time. But, with practice, you can extract like a pro! And, it does take patience!

You see all those scrap layouts where there is a little child dancing on top of flowers or sitting in an imaginary garden. Those children had to be extracted from the original photograph. When extracted in PSE using the "Magic Extractor" under "Image" tool, it can be a great and quick extraction. But, it's MESSY.  Really messy. You can lose "white" or "bright" parts of your image, part of the background is still there and the edges are a disaster. Then you have to go back with the eraser tool to clean it all up. This will actually show up when you add that type of extracted object in your layout and print it out. It doesn't look good. This is where I come in :).

My method does take practice, but once you get the hang of it, it looks amazing and clean.The downside to this type of extraction is extracting things like hair. It's nearly impossible and unless you have Photoshop, you won't be able to do it easily. But, for PSE users, this is a great method.

1.  First you will chose your image.  Here I chose a photo of my youngest son. I like him sitting down like this because you can place him almost any where on your layout.

2.  Next, you will zoom your image to 100%. In the image below, you will see the magnifying tool on the left. Click that to zoom or reduce the size of your image. At the top left, you will see % on how much to zoom. You can highlight that number with your mouse and type in 100 for 100%, and hit enter. For a shortcut to zoom, you can just type in 'Z'. It's all the same :).

3.  Next, you are going to have to unlock your layer. This is necessary to give you that transparent background. Simply go to your layers on the right, make sure your image is highlighted, and double click on the little lock image on the far right of your layer. It will open a box called "New Layer". Just click "OK". This will unlock the flattened image.

4.  Now we have to add a stroke. What is a stroke you ask? It's a colored line that will surround the object you are extracting. What is the purpose of the stroke? It is used as a great tool to make sure you are extracting exactly what you need to extract and leave what you need to leave in the object. It shows you if an angle is too sharp, object isn't rounded enough and if there are any stray bits from the background left so you can easily see them to remove them.

First, you will have to right click on your image. This will open a little box. Click on "Edit Layer Style".  

This will open another box called "Style Settings". You will see options such as, drop shadow, bevel, etc. At the bottom of your options is "Stroke". Click the check box to open the stroke options. Here I make sure my level for "Size" is 3 px and "Opacity" is 100%. But, I want to change the color of my stroke. I don't want black as it doesn't stand out very well. I click on the little black colored box next to the "Size" level.  

Once you click on the colored box, you can change your colors. It will open another box called "Select Stroke Color". It automatically is set on reds. I just move my mouse over to the top right corner for the brightest red. I like red because it really stands out. Then click OK and click OK for the "Style Settings". Of course, you can change the color to anything you wish. For example, if you are extracting a red object, I would chose something like a light green.

5.  After selecting your stroke, you will now need to select your extraction tool. What I use to extract is the "Polygonal Lasso Tool". On the left hand side of your PSE are all your tools. If your extraction tool isn't already set up to Polygonal Lasso Tool, then you right click whatever lasso tool is set up and it will bring you a little window with three options to choose from.  Click on "Polygonal Lasso Tool". 

6.  Here is where things get tricky. Pick a spot on the edge of your object you wish to extract, click your mouse and the polygonal tool is activated. You are going to click around your object with your mouse. You will see the line starting to appear around your object. I suggest you use the tool around your object to remove the background sections at a time. 

NOTE: The Polygonal Lasso Tool can be tricky in that if you click your mouse too fast, the lasso line will connect before you are ready. If you wait too long between clicks, the lasso line will connect together too. So, you need to chose a speed of mouse clicks right for you. If it does connect itself before you are ready, you will have to start over that section.

The more clicks you do, the shorter the line around the object, and the more rounded you can get your corners. Longer clicks of the mouse between each line are good for more straight lines. Does that make sense?

In the image above, you can see where I have started to extract the background. I click my mouse around his little hat, then I start mouse clicking in the background until I have come back to my starting point. Once you get back to your starting point, you will double click your mouse and you will see that section you lassoed has been selected. In other words, you will see 'marching ants' around that section. 

Once you have connected the lines and that is what you want removed, then hit your delete button on your keyboard. You should now see a gray and white checker board. That means that part of the background has been removed and the background will now be transparent.

So, keep working section by section until you have removed all your background and are only left with your extracted object.

In the image below, you see that little yellow circle on his hat? That is to show you some sharp edges that I want to smooth out. Now, if you don't care about such things, then I don't do it, but I'm very picky lol. So, I go back in with my polygonal lasso tool and do tiny little extractions to remove those sharp corners. Without my red stroke, I wouldn't have been able to notice any of these. Again, all this takes practice.

7. Now I am all done and you will see below a fully extracted child. I zoom back out until I can see the full object. 

8.  Right click on the image, click on "Clear Layer Style". This will remove your red stroke.

9.  As you can see now he has no red stroke around him and he's ready for a layout! But, before you do anything else, you need to save this extraction for future use. You don't want all that hard work lost, do you?! Click at the top left of your screen "File", click "Save as" on your drop down menu, choose your destination where you want to save your image. 

BEFORE clicking save in your file folder, you must chose what type of format you are saving it as. At the bottom of the file window, you will see PSE is already trying to format your image as a PSD, PDD. You can certainly keep it as that, but you can also change that format. Click on "Format" drop down and click on PNG. This will ensure your object retains a transparent background. But, it takes up more file space than saving it as a PSD. The downside to a PSD is you can't tell what image is what without opening it in PSE unless you very specifically name your object.

10. Now my little guy is ready for a layout and I have quickly done just that to give you an idea of what it looks like.  It's a very clean object with no lose pixels and pieces of background, so when I print this, it will look as clean as it does on the computer.

Now that you are done and have fully extracted an object, so give yourself a pat on the back for your patience and persistence!! Again, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the quicker it goes and not only that, eventually you will be able to extract the whole object without removing section by section.  

I hope you found this extracting tip useful!

When I first started digital scrapbooking, I had this software that couldn't do shadows.  My layouts always seemed so flat to me, even though I was completely inexperienced at the time with digital scrapbooking.  It just seemed the natural thing to have when doing layouts to me.

So, we are going to go over how to create basic drop shadows for your elements in your layouts.  This is going to be the most simple way to cast some shadows.  Shadows really add depth to your layout, making elements and photos just pop off the page.  You really just don't have an amazing layout without shadows.  Every element should have a shadow with a couple of exceptions; brushes and overlays.

Just take some papers from your desk and stack them different ways and you will see slivers of shadows between the papers.  This is the effect you should be creating when doing a layout.

Sometimes you just want an image to just completely jump off the page.  While it may not be 'realistic' in the true sense, it still makes for a very interesting layout.  Sometimes you just have to be 'unrealistic' and have some fun!

Here are some sample layouts using my Boys and Noise kit.  The first one you can see just slight shadows among the layering.  The second layout you will see my son almost literally jumping off the page!

First, you will need to open up your PSE and select a paper and an element.  I have chosen a few elements here, the same extracted photo of my son (can you see a resemblance to the silhouette and my son?) and one paper so you can see the two types of shadows.

Next, you will need to drag the element from the 'project bin' onto your paper in the main screen.  Then place your element where you want it.

Next I am going to start shadowing this element.  There is one thing I should point out here when creating shadows and that is consistency.  All your elements should have the same shadow and going in the same direction.  You don't want one shadow going left and one going right.  The only time I change up my shadow is when I am popping my son off the page, for example.  The next thing I want to point out is if you have several elements in your layout and you move the shadow around on one element, it changes it for the rest, which is great so you don't have to change each element.

1.  Click on your element to highlight it in the layers section on the right, if it's not already highlighted. 
2.  Take your mouse on your element and right click it.  You should see a menu with "edit layer style" highlighted.  It should be the only thing highlighted because it's the only element on the page.
2.  Click "edit layer style" and this brings up a pop up window called "style settings."
3.  Click the box next to "drop shadow"

You can see a very slight shadow has appeared on your element.  This is the default setting.  To me, this isn't enough.  If you like the direction of the shadow you can leave that part alone.  But, if you are like me, I like my shadows going left for some odd reason lol.  Don't ask me why because I don't even know lol.  If you want to change the direction, you will need to move around the "lighting angle" at the top of the pop up window.  The default here is 120 degrees.  I tend to go more 30 degrees.  Again, this is just a preference.  You can move around your shadow any where you want.

Here you can see I have changed the degree and my shadow has moved to the left bottom corner...just where I like it :).  The next task is to expand on the shadow to make it a bit more visible.  I tend to expand probably more than necessary, but just play around with it to see what you like.  I will start with my size at 30, distance at 20 and opacity at 50.  The bigger your size, the more fuzzy the shadows edges get.  The higher the distance, the farther away the shadow appears from the element.  The default setting of 75 opacity is always too dark for me, so I reduce it to 50.  Again, this is your preference.

Now you see my shadow is more visible but not jumping off the page.  This is the way I want "paper" looking elements to appear.  Now to add other elements.  To reiterate, you want to keep the same direction, size, distance, etc. with all elements.  But, that's with one layout.  Change it up per layout if you wish.  You will note while playing with shadows that they appear stronger using white or lighter papers.  So, your shadows won't need to be so strong.

I have added all my elements here with the same shadow going in the same direction.  Next is to make my son pop off the page using the shadow tool.  Remember the distance slider in the shadow tool window?  That is the one you are going to be using the most here.  So, you are going to follow the above steps to create your shadow and now you are going to play with the distance and size.  I keep the opacity at 50.  This is just about tinkering the numbers to get it the way you want.  I ended up with size at 75, distance at 200 and opacity at 50.

So you can see now that my son looks like he's just jumping off the page.  

I hope you found my tutorial useful and have fun playing with drop shadows!


There have been some requests to do a little PSE tutorial using clipping masks, or as I call them photo masks.  I love photo masks!  They really add quite a bit of interest to layouts and they are easier than you probably thought to use!  Check out an example below using one of these clipping masks from Silver Winter:

To use a photo mask in PSE, first you need to open up your photo of choice and the photo mask you wish to use.

Here I have chosen a photo of my youngest son when we were in Paris and a photo mask I created using my When In Paris kit.

Once you have chosen your photo and mask, you simply drag the photo with your mouse from the Project Bin below (note the small thumbnails at the bottom of screen) onto your photo mask.

You will note that the photo doesn't match the size of the photo mask.  Here is where you will need to adjust the photo to fit:

  • Reduce the transparency of the photo just so you can still see the photo and see the photo mask so you can see how much you need to move your photo around and adjust the size. I would reduce it to about 60%.  The transparency slider is on the left under "Layers" marked "Opacity".  Just move the slider to the left to reduce.

  • Now you will need to adjust the photo size and/or move your photo around the way you want it. To adjust the size of the photo, just take the edges of your photo corners and pull with your mouse.  Make sure your tool is set to "Move Tool" at the top left of your tool bar that looks like an arrow.

  • Click the check mark on the photo to set the photo where you have placed it.  
  • Go back to the Opacity tool slider and adjust the transparency back to 100%.  
  • Now move your mouse on the line in between the two images in the layers section on the right (circled).

  • Next you will need to merge the photo to the mask.  To do that simply click "alt+mouse click" at the same time on the line between the two images in layers.  This will adjust the photo to the exact same shape as the photo mask.
  • Then go to "Layers" at the top of your tool bar, click "Merge Visible".  Do NOT click "Merge All" as that will convert your image to a .jpg flat file.  It will lose it's transparency.  Short Cut:  Click on top image in layers on left to high light, then click "Ctrl+E" to merge the two layers.

That's it!  Save your mask or put it on your digital scrap layout.  And, have fun!  I hope you have found this helpful and informative.


My friend Robyn said to me on my Facebook fan page about my Big Ideas collaboration, "WOW! This looks fantastic; it's so vibrant and full of energy. I just wish I could get my head around art journaling; I can't seem to 'get it' at all."  That got me to really think, "You know I create all these artsy/art journal kits, but I haven't really explained anything about what IS art journaling."  I just seem to create a kit and have left it at that.  Not everyone is familiar with Art Journaling or if they are, comfortable with it, even if they think it's beautiful and amazing.

I called the title of this article a "non-lesson" because it's almost impossible to teach what art journaling is.  Many people do, but each person sees something different. But, one common denominator in what everyone teaches is...anyone CAN do it.  By explaining what it is, or better yet, what it is not, maybe you can feel more comfortable experimenting with art journaling.

The best way I can explain to go about art journaling is to it.  There are no rules.  There is no perfection.  There isn't always beauty.  Sometimes they are filled with thoughts, prayers...words that have meaning.  Sometimes it is just a picture that conveys a thought or mood.  Sometimes it doesn't have any meaning at all and it's all about artistry.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  This is why I called it a "non-lesson."

The beauty of art journaling is ANYONE can be an artist...ANYONE can do this.  Even children.  In fact, I highly encourage children to try this.  Even boys.  It's a wonderful creative outlet.  My oldest son Stewart does it.  He writes silly stories or poems and has silly pictures and characters on the page.  That is his way of art journaling.  You don't have to be a good artist to produce awesome art journal pages.  I tell Stewart over and over when he complains that he can't draw like I do.  I tell him he doesn't have to.  His work is amazing, funny and super creative.  Art is ingrained in all of us.  It is a part of what makes us human.

Let me tell you a story.  When I was in high school, I started art classes and started to major in the fine arts in college.  I gave up on it.  Not only did I change my major, but I gave up art all together...up until a couple of years ago.  Why?  I can draw.  I can paint.  But, art class pushes you to create a certain way, usually least back when I was learning.  I know you have to start somewhere and I'm thankful that art classes have taught me the basics of art.  But, in reality, all it did was make me lose my confidence in my creations.  Between studying these fantastic artists to watching the person next to me in class draw more realistically than I could and more easily just left me frustrated.  I told myself, "why bother.  I will never make any money doing this anyway."  So, I gave it all up.  Boy, how wrong I was!  Now I am painting, drawing, etc. for my digital scrap kits and art journal kits.

The moral of the story is you don't have to be perfect.  Just create!  Come up with an idea, a word, a visual and put it down to paper.  Then wreck it!  Paint on it, smear it, put paint drops and splats all over it.  Draw a face, cut out images out of magazines, modge podge!  In other words, do whatever you want to do.  This is for you!

Don't have time or money to buy all those art supplies?  Do it digitally, which is what I do!  It conveys the same message you want to create without getting your hands dirty :).  But, most importantly...just have FUN!

Here are some digital samples I have created:

Hide & Seek

Using Creative Inspirations

Using The Call

Claudine & Fifi

Big Ideas


In my last PSE tutorial, we went over the Hue/Saturation tool.  Now, I know I said I don't use colorization in the Hue/Saturation tool, but I'm going to show you how anyway using the Eyedropper Tool.  As I stated before, I generally don't use this to change colors of elements, but it does come in handy changing colors of papers or objects with less depth.  It especially comes in handy for changing colors like brushes and overlays.

Sometimes you may just love a paper and want to use it again, but the color just doesn't work for your layout.  The Eyedropper Tool and Colorize work perfectly for this.

While this changes the color of your paper or element, it doesn't change it perfectly.  You will have to do some adjustments to get to where you want it.  Will will get into that shortly.

Here I have circled for you on the left where the Eyedropper tool is.

As you can see in the image above I have a gray cardboard paper that I want to change the color.  I want to change it to a more turquoise blue in a color palette I have (Note:  for this tutorial, I'm using a color palette, but in another tutorial, I will show you how to work your color swatches).  

Here you can see my color palette.

To change the color of the paper to turquoise blue, I must select my Eyedropper Tool.  I move the eye dropper tool to the color of choice and click on the color.  You will see on the bottom left of your tool bar that your color has been selected in the foreground.

See blue circled at bottom left.

Your next step after your color has been selected is to change the color of the paper.

  • Click 'Enhance' at the top of your menu bar
  • Click 'Adjust Color'
  • Click 'Hue/Saturation'
  • Shortcut:  'Ctrl+U'
Once your pop up window appears to change the colors, you will first need to click "colorize" at the bottom right of your window.

You will see the paper color has changed.

Ok, here is the downside.  You will note that the color isn't exactly the same as what is in the palette.  Primarily because the paper itself is lighter or lacks saturation.  So, those are the things you will have to change manually by adjusting your Hue, Saturation and Lightness slider bars.  I generally don't use the 'Lightness' bar, but if I want to make something darker or light only a little bit, I will use it.  If it requires me to make things even more dark or more light, I will use a different tool for that.  But, for this case we will only use the slider bars in Hue/Saturation.

With additional adjustments using the slider bars, you can see my paper is now very close to the color I want, putting the two colors next to each other.  That's pretty much it.  Now you see why I don't use colorize very often LOL!  But, I do use it for things that are flat, especially for overlays because they are generally black and this is the only way in PSE I could figure out how to change the color from black.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tutorial and you found it helpful!


I finally have another little PSE tutorial for you.  Sorry I am late with usual, life and work just gets in the way sometimes :). This time I thought we would discuss a little bit about the Hue/Saturation tool.  This is a wonderful tool for changing the color of an element or paper.  While there are several ways to use this tool, I am going to stick with the basics first and move on to more advanced methods in another post.

First you want to open your PSE and select the element or paper you wish to change colors.  I here I have selected a craft flower that is just one color.  That is the easiest to show for now.  Multiple colors will be in another post.  Sometimes it's good to know the basics before getting in to more complicated methods.

My flower here is a deep burgundy color.  I want to change the color to blue instead.  This is really handy when you want to take an old element and make it new again.

  • At the top of your menu bar, click on "Enhance" and a drop down menu will appear.
  • Scroll down until you see "Adjust Color".  Hover your mouse there and another drop down menu will appear on the right.  Click on "Adjust Hue/Saturation"
  • SHORTCUT:  Click 'Ctrl+U'
  • You will then see a little window appear with three slider bars.

Now here comes the easy part!  The top slider changes your Hue aka color.  (NOTE:  I stay away from the button box on the bottom right that says "colorize".  While it does change the color to what you want, it makes the element look weird and flat.)

Here you can just move your Hue slider around until you find the color you are looking for.

Using Hue Slider (right)

Using "Colorize" (wrong)

You may be scratching your head thinking what's the difference lol?  If you look closely, you will see in the first image there are flecks of different colors still there. It's not all one flat blue.  So, the first image looks like it has more depth.  If you have multiple elements to change to the same color, I make a note of the hue/saturation numbers right above the slider bars so, you just type in the numbers instead for each element to get the exact same color.

You can also change the saturation using the second bar.  You slide it to the right, it will become brighter and more vivid.  If you slide it to the left it adds more gray to the element.  See below:

High Saturation

Low Saturation

I never use the bottom slider "Lightness" at all.  I use a completely different tool for that.

Hope you find this useful!



Spot Healing Brush:

Do you know one of the things that help make a great scrap layout?  A great photograph.  I spend a long time editing my photos for my digi scrap layouts.  There is one little oldest son.  I love him and all his boo boos, but he has the worst case of childhood eczema.  It has been the bane of our existence LOL.  Honestly, it is almost impossible to control...he scratches and scratches leaving these horrible scabs, scars and bleeding boo boos.  So, if I want to scrap him when he's not wearing pants or long sleeves, like the photograph below, I have edit out all those boo boos.

You maybe be able to see here on his arm all his boo boos.  This is actually not as bad as it normally is.  But, I want to show you a little tool I use in Photoshop Elements that really helps me get rid of most of these boo boos so his skin appears to be smooth and clean.  I believe this tool is available in all versions of is in my PSE 8.

1.  Open the photo in Elements you wish to edit.
2.  Click on the band aid looking tool on your tool bar, or just click "J".  Either will open up your Spot Healing Brush.

3.  Now what I do is zoom the photo to 100% .  I want to make sure I can see all the boo boos to "erase".
  • Click the magnifying glass on your tool bar, or click "Z" for a short cut.
  • At the top of the screen on menu bar, you will see a + or -, you can click the + several times to bring you to 100% or, next to them is a % option.  What I normally do is just type in 100% and enter.  That will zoom in 100%.

As you can see my photo is a bit blurry, focusing in on the plant, but this was the only photo I had that wasn't already edited.  But, you can still see his poor arm and how scratched up it is.  

3.  Click "J" again to bring you back to your spot healing brush.  
  • You are going to have to size your brush to match the size of the object you wish to brush over.
  • Move your mouse around, you will see a little circle that defines your brush and brush size.
  • If it is too small or too big, go to the top of your screen on the menu bar and define the size of your brush and which brush you wish to use.
  • You will see a brush image and next to it and size option.  For my case, I am choosing a soft brush at brush size 27.  You can use the sizes they give you or you can type in the size number you wish to use.
  • Next to the brush size, make sure "proximity match" button is clicked.

4.  Start 'spot healing'.
  • It's simple.  All you have to is just place your brush (circle) right over your spot you wish to remove and click your mouse.  That's it.  Simple right?  It should just remove that spot.  If it doesn't remove it fully, go back and adjust your brush size as needed.
  • For long scratches, you can move your mouse holding down the left mouse button and move down the length of the scratch.
  • PLEASE NOTE that shadows and different shades can cause problems in removing scratches.  Adjust your brush as needed and work around the spot instead.

Now you can see all his boo boos are gone.  There isn't much I can do about the scaring.  That requires smoothing the skin and I will save that for another tutorial, my friends!  But, this is a great tool for really getting rid of spots on skin.  I have even used it on dark fabric that has lots of lint on it LOL! If there is a lot to remove, it can get a bit tedious and maybe there is a quicker way to do thing.  But, this way has worked great for me.

Hope you found my little tutorial helpful and if you need additional help with this, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Blending a Photo:

I love blending photos.  If you want to create a layout that is non-traditional and without frames, this is a good way to go.  I especially love blending photos for more art journal layouts.  It adds lots of interest and drama to a layout.  

In my above layout, I also added a filter to a photo, but I will save that tip for another day.  I would like to explain how I blended this photo onto my background paper.  Note:  In this tutorial, I am assuming you all know how to open a file into your Elements.

1.  Open your PSE.
2.  Choose and open your photo you wish to blend.
3.  Choose and open your background paper you wish to use.

4.  Converting your photo to black and white:  There are several options of converting a photo to black and white, but I will stick with the most simple version.
  • Click the top of your menu bar 'enhance'
  • This will open a menu list
  • Click 'convert to black and white'
  • Shortcut:  Or you can click 'alt+ctrl+B' at the same time
  • You should now see a new window that shows your photo in color and it in black and white.

  • If you like what you see, you can click 'OK'.
  • There are also below, different black and white options and on the right you can adjust the colors and contrast.  Just adjust your photo until you get your desired result.  But, for blending purposes, it's not that important.
4.  Now that your photo is black and white, go ahead and drag your photo from the bottom in your 'project bin' onto your scrapbook paper in the main window.

5.  Move around and/or resize your photo to how you want it (as you can see in my example at top, I have expanded my photo to the full size of the paper and moved it towards the left).
6.  Now comes the blending part:
  • On the right of your screen, go to 'layers' and make sure your photo is high lighted and not the paper.  If your paper is highlighted in layers, click on the photo to highlight.
  • You will then see at the top of layers, a drop down menu that says 'normal'.
  • Click on the drop down menu and you will see a large list of blending options.  

  • Click on 'multiply'.  I like multiply for this type of blending because it eliminates everything that is white and light and keeps all that is dark gray and black.  You will see the paper coming through all the areas that was white.

  • You will see there are sharp edges where the photo ends.  We want to make the photo look like it's part of the paper, so we need to eliminate the edges.  You will need to select an eraser brush to soften the edges of the photo. 
  • Click 'E' for eraser or you can go to your toolbar and click on the eraser icon.  Then at the top left of your window, you have a selection of brushes to choose from.  I chose a soft brush, size 300 at 100% opacity.

  • Now work your way around the edges to achieve the look you want and to eliminate the sharp edges.

  • But, wait we are not done yet!  Now go ahead and reduce the opacity of the eraser brush to 30%.  Go around the edges again to make sure the photo looks really blended into the paper.  I went ahead and moved my photo here on the left because I liked it better :) and I went around the whole photo slowly and softly so it looks like the transparency slowly merges into the photo.

Once you get the image just the way you want it, you can now add your elements and/or journaling.  Now go ahead and merge your layers by clicking the top of the menu under 'layers' and when the drop down menu appears, click 'merge down' or 'flatten image'.  You can use shortcut 'ctrl+E' instead.

That's it!  It may seem harder than it really is and maybe there is an easier way, But, this is the way I have done it and it really gets the look I want.  The eraser brush takes some practice, so just play with it...even using different brushes with different textures is loads of fun too!  We will save that tip for another day :).

No comments: