Category Archives: Tech Tuesday #1

iPad Studio 2012

I really cannot tell you how excited I am to make this announcement. I have struggled long and hard with just how I could share what I have learned about creating on my iPad in the past year. I wanted to do it in just the right way, in the right sequence, format, etc. I want us all to experience this joy together.

I have learned how the iPad can contain my WHOLE studio – how I can do almost everything I do in my studio on my iPad and not tell the difference in the end result. (I haven’t figured out how to bind a handmade book yet, but who knows – grin). But I can do everything else – including my beloved Art Journaling!

I have finally hit on the most fun, most user friendly, most exciting workshop format there could be – outside of us running away to Hawaii together and doing all of it on the beach!

The best way to explain it to you is the way I have already explained it on the Workshop description page:

Come and spend 2012 with me becoming an iPad artist/artisan!

At least read all about it!

Tech Tuesday #2 – Texture

Every Tuesday will not contain a Photoshop/Elements lesson because I could not put that kind of obligation on myself, but I was fooling around with this today and I thought I may as well share.

I found a website where a Brazilian designer gives away a texture each Tuesday.

I thought that was nicely coincidental.

Here is the link:

There are quite a few Textures on that page to choose from, and she has many more in the archives.

What do you do with textures?

That is a good question, and I can give you a couple of answers. Your own creative instincts will give you plenty more, I am sure.

I downloaded this Texture from the site.

Although the Textures offered are 300ppi, the size is only about 2 inches wide. So, you must Resample the image to match the size of the photo you want to use it with. Both the Resolution and the width must match.

The best photos for this effect are ones that already have some personality going on – personality that will be enhanced by the texture.

I took this Sun Face photo in Indiana back in 2010. The lighting was not ideal but I like the color and the concept of a “sun” in shade, and the crescent moon shape of the shadow spoke to me as well.

This photo is approximately 8 inches wide so I sized the Paper Texture image to match.

The next step is to drag one file into the other.

(If you do not know how to drag images into each other or to deal with Layers, you need my Photoshop Elements Kindergarten Workshop).

When you drag one file into the other, it will come in on a Layer of its own – above the original.

So, there are a couple of choices to make that will yield different results.

I first dragged the Paper Texture to the Sun Face file. I selected the Paper Texture Layer and changed the Normal Mode to Multiply. This results in only the parts of the Paper Texture that are darker than the photo to show.

I really liked what happened here. You can fine-tune the effect with the Opacity Slider for the Paper Texture Layer.  I used Save As to save this image without affecting my two original files.

Then, for a different look, I opened my original photo again and dragged it over to the Paper Texture file (which was still open). This time the photo is on top of the texture.

I played with the Opacity Slider for the photo Layer to allow some of the texture to show through (about 70% Opacity for the photo in this case). This creates a much softer and muted version . . .

And, it’s a little too muted for me, so I used the Unsharp Mask Filter at 165 (Radius of 2.3) to create this version which I like a lot better.


Here is a comparison of the original and the two textured versions, so you can see the very different reults of the two methods . . .

With the variety of Textures provided by Tuesday Total Textures, and all the images in your own stash, it could be awhile before you run out of interesting art images!! You can create your own textures by taking photos or scanning things too.

A Gift for You . . .

Recent versions of Photoshop and Elements have maddening workspaces which lock your photos up in a framework of clutter – making it VERY difficult to work with more than one file open and see what you are doing. I can’t stand it, so I put together a little PDF on how to slap that workspace into shape. You can always put it back the way it was, but I don’t think you will want to.

Hang on to this PDF. Next time I will show you how to read PDF files as iBooks on your iPad and maybe your Kindle or Kindle App (if my sources are correct, you can do that now. You could not do it before, so that would be a happy addition).

Have fun!

Introducing Tech Tuesday . . .

Yes, actually, I do know it’s Thursday, but odd time-warp things are not unusual around here.

Why not call it Tech Thursday? Just doesn’t sound as good. So, the fact that our first Tech Tuesday is a Thursday will just go down as one of those interesting things.

I started Sunday Morning Coffee seven weeks ago, and it has been very well-loved. I thought an additional theme might be fun, and I know that these days *everyone* is connected in some way to technology. You can’t get away from it, and you shouldn’t try. The gifts abound – especially the gifts for artists and artisans.

So, every Tuesday, I will talk about things that connect our creative lives to technology. It may be something about the iPad or iPhone, or digital photography, or reading Kindle Books, or Photoshop/Elements things, or . . . well. you get the idea.

Don’t think you will be left out of these conversations because you are not tech-savvy, because the point of this is to help you increase your “savvy” and comfort level with all of this new magic.

Creating with Elements/Photoshop is now a WHENEVER Workshop.

When I created this workshop as the last scheduled workshop for 2011, I got lots of emails from folks who wanted to take it, but had scheduling problems. Those who did take it REALLY loved it, so I decided to move it to the WHENEVER line-up so you could take it when it does fit your schedule.

The photo above is a Cyanotype created by Photoshop/Elements techniques instead of the usual coated paper, sun, and water method of real life Cyanoptypes. There is a beauty and mystery to this look that turn any photo into an intriguing art image. This one is from a line of greeting cards I created with Cyanotypes, which I call Southwest Blue. They pretty much stop traffic in the gallery.

The workshop also teaches you how to make fake Polaroid Transfers which look just like the real ones, and “distressed” photos created with an additive rather than destructive approach.

The other three lessons teach you how to create projects – original art pieces that I make for my gallery. I don’t publish them outside the workshop, because I don’t want the world copying the ideas, but take my word for it, they are cool.

Here is the link to the Workshop Description page, or you can click Whenever Workshops in the sidebar.

Creating with Photoshop/Elements

Reading Kindle Books . . .

Do you need to own a Kindle? No.

I have an iPad, but all my ebooks are Kindle. That is because there is a Kindle App for the iPad. With it, you can Sample, Purchase, and Read any books from the Kindle Store.

But, you don’t need to own an iPad either.

You can download the Kindle Reading App for any of the devices shown above, and you effectively have a “Kindle” embedded in your device. Get your apps at this link . . .

Get Your Kindle APP

While iBooks does a better job with illustrated books, I prefer Kindle for the specials offered, the Samples sent instantly, and the prices – which are much better than iBook prices.

And don’t forget the great link I gave you last Sunday for keeping up with the Kindle specials.


How to Pull a Perfect Color Scheme from Photoshop or Elements . . .

Lots of times, it is not easy to come up with a color scheme for a project. Maybe we are challenged choosing colors that go together, or more often, we just run dry thinking of a new, fresh palette.

Here is a trick to solve that problem.

1. Open a photo in Photoshop or Elements

2.Crop a small area of pleasing color . . .

3. Choose Mosaic Tiles from the Filter Menu . . .

4. In the Filter Gallery that opens, choose Stained Glass and a cell size of 20 . . .

5. The result is a harmonious color scheme . . .

Any color here will harmonize with your photo, obviously, in case you wanted to add borders or layers of color behind it. And all these colors will work together in any art piece.

Print this out and find or mix matching paint colors or find similar colored pencil or pastel colors etc. You may have to enlarge before printing if you picked a very small area in step 2.

Or, to use the scheme in a digital artwork, Save As this file with a name (maybe like “Desert Rock” for this one), and have it open as an alternative Swatch collection while working on your piece. You need only click on a color to make it the foreground color and use it in your artwork window.

For even more fun, and a number of additional, harmonious color schemes, use the Hue Slider (Command or Control-U) to change things up a bit. All the colors will change and all will still harmonize with each other. (Not with your photo any longer, however!)

Big fun – and happy harmony!