Wednesday, 19 August 2009


In an email to me Barb said …

I would love to know how you get the backgrounds to look like they do in your ocean breeze QP's.

I promised to try and create a tutorial explaining what I do. I HAVE tried but the problem is that after the first few steps, the procedure is never the same. The best I can do is to explain how I start and what functions and tools in Paint Shop Pro I generally use.

Let’s assume I want to create a few Canadian winter scenic papers …

Step 1 … Find a photograph that will provide the image I have in mind and square-crop the bit I like.

Step 2 … Correct flaws. This photo was taken in February 1970 out back of the school where I was teaching and either because it was snowing slightly at the time I took the photo or because of it’s age there are a few marks in the sky that need to be fixed.

Step 3 … Resize and desaturate … I usually resize to 4” x 4” at 300 ppi

Step 4 … For this image there is a bit of a problem that is not always present. The dark shadows in the trees are too dark in comparison to the snow-covered tree branches. Since using the brightness/contrast function didn’t correct the problem to my satisfaction, I lightened the dark areas with the lighten/darken tool.

Once this was done, I clarified the image, enhanced the edges, added a texture, and applied a very pale blue overlay with the fill bucket set at about 40%. I also use blend modes by duplicating the image layer and then setting a blend mode. However, as I was satisfied with the image below, I just resized it to 12 x 12 and saved it as a jpg.

Creating this particular paper was very straight-forward but a couple of the papers for the Ocean Breeze series are extensively blended and two of them are blends of two photos. The paper with the wading birds used in PageKit 3 is a combination of two photos. It required a lot of feathering and contrast adjustments to hide the edge of the bird image. But as I said in the beginning, each one is different and what you do depends on the effect you want to create. AND, I would be very frustrated without the “UNDO” function. The best advice I can give is to try every effect until you achieve the results you want.


Bernadette1 (Bernie) said...

This was so interesting to read, I went over it a few times, and I could probably do the beginning part but can't do the coloring part. So I would have more of the natural color but it still would be fun to try. Thank you (now I have something else to play around with and try to learn)

Toucan Scraps said...

great tutorial. fabulous paper

Pumpy said...

Beautiful, absolutley wonderful, to start with the photo is wonderful, don't get now like that here. I will give this a try and show u !!!!!! Lovies xxx

Pumpy said...

I have done one, please come over to my blog Lilybelle and give me a crit.
I would xxx

Pumpy said...

Thank you my friend. Will take your advice.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely fabulous and has also turned out incredibly beautiful. It looks as if the limbs are literally 'reaching out'' from the background. You're brilliant!! Thank You SO MUCH for the little tut!! How wonderful this is!! (Although I don't know if *I* could do this either!!)