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wombat146 01-31-2018 10:58 PM

February Challenge #7 - Creative Technique

Hi everyone and welcome to February's Creative Technique challenge.

Remember: There are now 7 challenges each month but you still only need to do 6 in order to qualify for your points. It just means that you can now choose which six challenges you would like to do. :)

This month's challenge is focused on using brushes to create a photo mask but I have thrown some other techniques into the mix as well! :)

Here is a sample of using the brush/mask technique on a photo of my eldest granddaughter, Grace. While I used the same basic technique on each photo, the different brushes along with using different blend modes, colours and filters give each photo an unique look.
Credits: Various brushes from the internet were used plus various brushes from NBK Designs at Oscraps. Make sure to check out the huge range of BRUSHES and BRUSHTOOLS designed by Nicole! They are awesome!

Basic brush/mask technique (used on each photo):

1. On photo layer create a Hide All (black) mask. To do this hold down the ALT key while clicking on the Layer Mask button.
2. Use a white brush to slowly 'reveal' just those parts of the photo that you want to focus on.

That is all there is to this technique!

Now let's look at the different techniques I used for each example:

Example 1:
A. Using the Basic brush/mask technique, I used various free SMOKE brushes from the internet - love the soft wispy feel.
* Pay special attention to the opacity of your white brush as you start to reveal your photo, I like to start off with a low opacity and slowly build up the reveal.
* Remember to keep changing the size and angle of your brush so you don't get the same repetitive pattern all over your photo.
B. I then duplicated the entire layer and changed the blend mode to Soft Light to darken the colour just a bit.

Example 2:
A. Using the Basic brush/mask technique I used GEOMETRIC shaped brushes from the internet to give the mask a nice edgy outline.
B. Applied a Cut-Out Filter on the photo to give it a comic-book look.
C. I duplicated this layer twice and applied various blending modes as per the screen shot shown below.
D. I also created a new layer underneath the photo and used a white geometric brush to stamp a shape, just to add some balance to the entire piece.
E. Then I created another layer and used the Grunge Checkered brush in the Brushtool Set No 1 from NBK Ddesign, using a black brush. This added a bit more interest to the background.
Note: Using a brush on a new layer beneath the photo layer allows you to balance out the photo against the background, in some cases getting rid of any unwanted mask outlines. You could even use a contrasting colour to really highlight the photo if you wanted to.

Example 3:
A. Using the Basic brush/mask technique I used a variety of brushes by NBK Design and did it in two parts, in the screen shot below I have indicated both parts. I started out with the original photo but as I played I decided to apply a filter to it and used the Half Tone pattern filter. This also desaturated the colours for that layer as well.
B. On each of the masks for these three original layers I used a variety of brushes from NBK Design so you can see that each mask looks a bit different.
C. I decided that the background to my piece needed a bit more depth so I duplicated one of the coloured photo layers, returned the blend mode to Normal and got rid of the mask. I then used brushes from NBK Design to create a Clipping Mask on its own layer, a mask that I could clip this particular photo to.
D. Once I was happy with it I clipped the duplicated photo to it. On the photo layer I then went into the Hue/Saturation feature and just played with the slider until I found a colour I liked.
Note: I created this clipping mask and changed the colour during the second part, AFTER I applied the blend modes to the original photo layers. In this way the colour tones are varied depending on what blend modes have been applied.
E. To finish it off, I duplicated the colored photo layer and moved it to top of my layers and clipped it to the photo layer below it as I wanted the colour to only be applied to those areas that I had revealed.

Example 4:
A. Using the Basic brush/mask technique I used WATERCOLOUR and PAINT SPLAT shaped brushes from the internet which gave the mask edge a lovely soft outline.
B. I changed the photo to black and white and applied a sketch effect to it first and then duplicated the photo 4 times, clipping them all to the original layer. By clipping them to the original layer, any other filters or blending features I apply will only work on the parts of the photo that has been revealed by the original photo layer's mask.
C. The original layer is the most important one here as I only wanted certain parts of the photo to come through. I used various brushes with low opacity to give me a general idea of what I wanted to reveal and then I increased the opacity of the brush as I got to those parts I wanted to really stand out. On the other layer masks I did something similar, revealing and hiding the blend modes that I had applied to those layers.
Note: You really need to play around with your photo and change the blend modes and in some cases duplicate the layer to get a stronger effect on your photo. I think I ended up with around 10 layers for this example but then I just went through an elimination process, hiding the layer and then turning it back on, just to see it that particular layer actually added anything to the overall feel or not. If it didn't then I just deleted it. So while I said that I duplicated it 4 times, you could end up duplicating it more or less, it just depends on the type of photo it is and the type of effect you are after.

EXPERIMENT!! and I mean experiment! Allow yourself an hour, get a photo that has some nice contrasting tones in it, play with your levels first if need be. Just play around with some of the techniques I have outlined above. The more you play the more adventurous you become! If you end up with a mess, delete it and start again! :)

For my layout I ended up using the Example 4 photo along with various products by Jopke Designs. Please see layout in the gallery for the credits. :)

Your challenge is to use ONE of the examples above for your page, and let me know here in the challenge thread which example you are going with! :) If you do not have PS or PSE let me know if there is a similar technique you could use in your own program.

If you have any questions then please ask away!!! :)

Here are the rules:
1. Make a layout with at least 80% Oscraps products, using ONE of the examples explained above.
2. You may or may not have photos.
3. Your page must be placed in the Challenge 7 Gallery by midnight PST February 28, 2018 and linked back to this thread.
4. You must also link your page to the monthly challenge thread for challenge credit.

ViVre 02-01-2018 09:00 AM

I'm so happy your back to teach us those fabulous techniques!

faerywings 02-01-2018 09:18 AM

me too!!
I am really bad withLayer Masks so this is going to be a really good challenge for me to try.

wombat146 02-01-2018 03:22 PM


Originally Posted by ViVre (Post 567074)
I'm so happy your back to teach us those fabulous techniques!


Originally Posted by faerywings (Post 567076)
me too!!
I am really bad withLayer Masks so this is going to be a really good challenge for me to try.

awww thank you girls, I am happy to be back as well!! ::grouphug

faerywings 02-03-2018 02:25 PM

I am not to the part where I am scrapping yet, just going through the process of the different examples.
Got a question about #4. I am using CS5 and i used the Charcoal Filter under Sketch but I don't think I did it right because all I have is a black blob. What filter would be a good one to try?

Pups_r_Paps 02-03-2018 04:42 PM

Following example #1 of the Creative Techniques challenge, I substituted a flourish brush for the smoke brush in the sample to reveal most of Cocoa Bean’s face. I then duplicated the layer, applied a Hard Mix blend mode and lowered the opacity way down to get the desired effect.

clindoeil 02-04-2018 03:52 AM


Originally Posted by ViVre (Post 567074)
I'm so happy your back to teach us those fabulous techniques!

+ 1 :peace:

Madi 02-04-2018 06:42 AM

Here's mine,

I went for look #4.
I used blending modes, levels/masks

faerywings 02-04-2018 01:44 PM

I tried out all 4 techniques, but No 1 was best for this photo and page. Tech 2 was really cool with the blocky brush I had used so i am going to have to use that tech for a different photo and page someday.

ETA: for anyone wondering, yes, this is my cat that passed away after a short but brutal episode of liver failure. She was only 8 and died in my arms 2 weeks ago. Using her photo for this technique for all four examples really helped me in the grieving process. One more reason that I love scrapping.

AnikA68 02-05-2018 04:20 AM

since I discovered blend if....I make my masks most of the time with this technique

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