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Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Using a gradient fill

A gradient fill can be used on just part of a photo (to beef up a wimpy sky, for example) or on the entire image. It can be used to correct or change lighting, and can also add a great stylized look to the colors. Changing the colors is not a technique that I’d recommend using on every shot just because it looks cool, however. It’s like every other trick with Photoshop that can become very boring very fast. I like to play around with it only when I’ve got a shot with great lines but not much else!


1. Open your image file, size it, and save it under a new name. Make copy of background layer.

2. Up the contrast and desaturate slightly if needed. You want a high-contrast, dull colored image to work with.

3. Using an adjustment layer, add the gradient fill of your choice in an orientation that suits the light of your image. Choose the color blending mode and adjust the opacity to suit.

4. Merge all visible layers into a new layer, and use this layer to add any filter effects you desire, such as brush strokes or palette knife.

5. Create an embossed layer and add it in overlay mode, adjusting the opacity. I wrote a short tutorial on adding an embossed layer here.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Using tissue paper as a guide


In this tutorial today, I’m going to show you how to use tissue paper as a tool rather than as an actual art material. Using plain white tissue paper as a guide, you can create really fun found poetry pieces in your altered books and collages.


1. Gather together a picture that you would like to use, a sheet of text, a sheet of tissue paper, a pencil, and an exacto knife.


2. Find some words on the sheet of text that make an interesting found-word poem, or somehow relate to your picture. Lay the sheet of tissue paper over the text and draw a box around the words with your pencil.


3. Now lay the tissue paper over the image, and move it around until the word boxes are in a good location. Using your exacto knife, carefully cut through both the tissue paper and the image below.


4. Carefully line up the text sheet behind the image so that the words show through the cut holes, and use acrylic medium to glue them together. Trim them even with each other if needed.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stamped tissue paper

White tissue paper can be a really helpful material when you want the paper surrounding a stamped item to almost disappear into the background. By stamping onto white tissue, you can make it look like the image (or text) was stamped directly on the substrate. Why not just stamp it that way to begin with? Well, sometimes your background is too textured to take a stamp impression well. Experiment with these…I’m sure you’ll come up with lots more uses for them!


1. Prepare your background paper with as many layers as you want. Set it aside to dry, and stamp your desired image onto white tissue paper while you wait. Tear each piece out to use separately, or use the entire sheet, whichever you prefer. I tore each star out.


2. Apply a light layer of acrylic medium, the liquid kind, in either matte or gloss, your choice. Smooth down each stamped image, letting the medium soak through it. You can also apply another layer of medium over top of everything when you’re finished if you want to seal the pieces in really well. Choose matte medium for this final coat unless you like a shine.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Creating a digital mixed media collage

Today we’re going to look at the mixed media techniques used to create the digital collage, Stone Lily.



This digital collage was made with steps very similar to a technique that I shared before. Previously, though, most of my work was done using either the overlay or the hardlight blending mode of Photoshop. Each digital collage presents its own unique set of challenges, and this time I found that using the multiply mode and adding an embossed layer was just what was needed. As I explained before, you’ll have to just take these steps and tweak them for each new piece that you work with.

1. Create background paper, using one of the crinkled tissue techniques. Scan the finished paper at 300 dpi.

2. Open your collage image and make sure that it is also 300 dpi. Choose a color from this image with the color picker tool, and use it to colorize the background paper.

3. Drag and drop your image on top of the background paper. Change the blending mode to multiply, and tweak the colors and levels as needed. Consider lowering the saturation if the colors are too bright.

4. Merge the two layers into a new one at the top of the Photoshop layers stack. Copy this layer and create an overlay embossed layer. I kept the embossing up at 70% opacity in order to really emphasize the wrinkled rock-like texture.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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