Photo Filled Layouts - Chalk Painting a Photo onto the Page

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JenWhiteTOTW_shadowEvery once in a while I take a photo that really speaks to my heart.
It is typically just an ordinary snapshot, but something sets it apart from the others to me.

In my opinion, photos like these should not have to share the spotlight.
They should be big.
They should be bold.
They should be bossy! (hmmm — sounds like someone I know.)

Join me for a series of tutorials, called Photo Filled Layouts, where I share ideas of how to design scrapbook pages that are filled with a photo. Here’s the second in the series — Chalk Painting.

In this tutorial we'll get out our chalk brush and paint on a photo. The results will knock your socks off — and leave you feeling like an accomplished artist!

Tutorial:

Step 1: Open Photo

  • Open (File > Open) a scrapbook page with a background paper and a high quality photo.
    I am using paper 'sp1-63-athome' from Paislee Press' At Home kit.
  • Maximize or doc the page so you can clearly see the boundaries.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the photo layer is active and above the background paper layer.
  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transformation options.
  • Click on a corner handle of the bounding box and re-size the photo to fill most of the scrapbook page.
  • Commit to the changes by clicking the check mark at the bottom of the bounding box.

Step 2: Add a Mask

  • At the bottom of the Layers panel, choose the Layer Mask icon. (If your version of Photoshop Elements doesn't have a layer mask you can download the video Layer Mask Workaround.)

  • In the Layers panel, activate the Layer Mask by clicking on it.
  • Press the letter D to get the mask default Color Chip colors of white over black.
  • Press Ctrl Delete (Mac: Cmd Delete) to fill the Layer Mask with black.
    The photo should now be hidden behind the mask and you should only see the background paper on your scrapbook page.

Step 3: Get Chalk

  • Get the Brush tool.
  • In the Options Bar, open the Brush Picker.
    • Open the fly-out menu and choose Reset Brushes. Click OK.
    • Open the fly-out menu and choose Large List.
    • Scroll down the list of brushes till you see a 36px brush named 'Chalk'. Click once on it.
      (This is not the same brush as the other chalk brushes farther up in the list.)
    • Click on the Brush Picker again to close it.

  • In the Options Bar, make sure Mode is Normal and Opacity is 100%.
  • In the Options Bar, enter 500 px for the size.

Step 4: Chalk Photo On

  • Make sure white is still the Foreground color.
  • Keep in mind where the boundaries of the photo are and stay away from them.
  • Click on the background paper on your scrapbook page where the photo should be and paint it on.
  • Try to make short painting strokes.
  • If you go too far, press Ctrl Z (Mac: Cmd Z) to undo your steps.
  • If you'd like to start over, press Ctrl Delete (Mac: Cmd Delete) to fill the mask with black again.

Step 5: Finish and Save

I wanted the texture in my plain background paper to show through the photo. To do that:

  • In the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode of the photo layer to Overlay.

And then I finished up my page by:

  • Adding more elements from the At Home kit.
  • Save (File > Save As) the scrapbook page as a PSD file.

Here is my finished scrapbook page. I hope to see your pages using this tutorial in the Tip of the Week Gallery.
Have a great week!

Credits:
Tutorial of the Week: Photo Filled Layouts - Chalk Painting by Jen White
Photo and Scrapbook Page: Jen White
Paper and Elements: At Home by Paislee Press
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0

Download a PDF version of this "Photo Filled Layouts - Chalk Painting" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step 1: Open Photo

  • Open (File > Open) a scrapbook page with a background paper and a high quality photo.
    I am using paper 'sp1-63-athome' from Paislee Press' At Home kit.
  • Maximize or doc the page so you can clearly see the boundaries.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the photo layer is active and above the background paper layer.
  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transformation options.
  • Pressing the Shift key, click on a corner handle of the bounding box and re-size the photo to fill most of the scrapbook page.
  • Commit to the changes by pressing the check mark in the Options Bar.

Step 2: Add a Mask

  • At the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the Layer Mask icon.

  • Activate the Layer Mask by clicking on it.
  • Press the letter D to get the mask default colors of white over black.
  • Press Ctrl Delete (Mac: Cmd Delete) to fill the Layer Mask with black. The photo should now be hidden behind the mask and you should only see the background paper.

Step 3: Get Chalk

  • Get the Brush tool.
  • In the Options Bar, choose the following settings:
    • Mode: Normal
    • Opacity: 100%
    • Flow: 100%
  • In the Options Bar, open the Brush Picker.
    • Open the fly-out menu and choose Reset Brushes. Click OK.
    • Open the fly-out menu and choose Large List.
    • Scroll down the list of brushes till you see a 36px brush named 'Chalk.' Click once on it.
      (This is not the same brush as the other chalk brushes farther up in the list.)
    • Move the Size slider to around 250 px.
    • Click on the Brush Picker again to close it.

Step 4: Chalk Photo On

  • Keep in mind where the boundaries of the photo are and stay away from them.
  • Click on the background paper on your scrapbook page where the photo should be and paint it on.
  • Try to make short painting strokes.
  • If you go too far, press Ctrl Alt Z (Mac: Cmd Opt Z) to undo your steps.
  • If you'd like to start over, press Ctrl Delete (Mac: Cmd Delete) to fill the mask with black again.

Step 5: Finish and Save

I wanted the texture in my plain background paper to show through the photo. To do that:

  • In the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode of the photo layer to Overlay.

And then I finished up the rest of my page by:

  • Adding more elements from the At Home kit.
  • Save (File > Save As) the scrapbook page as a PSD file.

Here is my finished scrapbook page. I hope to see your pages using this tutorial in the Tip of the Week Gallery.
Have a great week!

Credits:
Tutorial of the Week: Photo Filled Layouts - Chalk Painting, by Jen White
Photo and Scrapbook Page: Jen White
Paper and Elements: At Home by Paislee Press
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5

Download a PDF version of this "Photo Filled Layouts - Chalk Painting" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

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