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Making a layered digital collage

I truly hope that no one finds this offensive! Around Christmas this past year, I was really missing my son. He was my first born, and his birthday is December 29. Now that he’s a married man, we can’t expect to see him every Christmas anymore, but this was our first time without him.

As I was reading some of the traditional scripture passages for Christmas, I came across Isaiah 9:6. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…” It struck a chord with me in a new way this year, as it most likely did the year he was born. Maybe not, maybe I was too busy at that time!

Anyway, I decided to make a simple layered digital collage using a picture of my newborn in my arms. It helped :-)

I’ve previously shared my technique for creating digital collage using scanned background papers. For this specific collage, I used four layers:

1. The background layer is a piece of watercolor paper textured with gel medium and cheesecloth that I painted and scanned. I altered the colors in Photoshop to suit this particular piece.

2. The middle two layers are the same shot of the Rocky Mountains, applied in overlay mode and merged into a single layer. I erased and faded the edges to merge the image into the background.

3. The top layer is a very faded oval selection with feathered edges from a photo of me holding my newborn son. When I placed it on top of the layer stack in Photoshop, there was too much light under some spots on our faces. So I went back into the middle layer, darkening and blurring those spots.

Copyright 2008 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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