Stenciled Paint Effect

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sara-horton-xsmI’ve always loved arts and crafts. My very creative mother allowed us to do all kinds of projects with paint and crayons and homemade modeling clay. My love for scrapbooking is equally strong, so when the two combine, I find the process really interesting.

Lately, I’ve noticed a new artsy trend in scrapbooking. Traditional scrapbookers are laying die cuts and punched shapes on background paper before splattering the canvas with a contrasting color of ink or paint. When the page is dry, they remove the shapes to reveal the clean solid image against the speckled background. As a digital scrapbooker, I immediately thought about how easy this would be to recreate in Photoshop Elements. The results are equally beautiful, with a lot less mess.

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For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Create a background

Begin by creating a new blank document the size and shape of your choice. For this tutorial, I created a 12×12-inch canvas at 300 pixels/inch in RGB color mode.

To choose a canvas color, click on the Foreground Color Chip at the bottom of the Tool Bar and select a color from the Color Picker window. Click OK to confirm the choice. Select the Paint Bucket tool and click once on the background to fill it with the color.

2009-01-18-tip01-el

Step 2: Arrange cut-outs

Select a contrasting color by changing the Foreground color as described above. Don’t spend a lot of time choosing the perfect color for this. It doesn’t matter which color you choose, since this color will not be part of the finished design.

Choose the Custom Shape tool by clicking and holding the Rectangle tool. Scroll down the flyout menu to select the Custom Shape tool. In the Options Bar, choose the shape from the Shape Picker. Click the Create a New Shape Layer icon. Click, press the Shift key and then drag out the shape on your scrapbook page.

To rotate the shape, get the Move tool and make sure Show Bounding Box is checked in the Options Bar. Click on the shape layer to select it. Move your cursor outside the bounding box until you see a double headed arrow. Click and drag in the direction you want the shape to move. Click the Green check mark to confirm the tilt. Add and tilt several more Custom Shapes in varying sizes and positions until you are satisfied with the overall design scheme.

2009-01-18-tip02-el

Select all of the shape layers and choose Merge Layers from the Layers panel flyout menu.

Step 3: Select the area around the cut-outs

Next, select the shapes on the merged shape layer by Ctrl Clicking (Mac: Cmd Clicking) the thumbnail of the shape layer in the Layers panel. Your selection will look like marching ants surrounding all of the Custom shapes. Finally, select everything BUT the shapes by choosing Select > Inverse to invert the selection. Now everything you do in the following step will be applied to the areas outside of the custom shapes. Click the Layer Visibility icon on the left side of the shapes layer in the Layers panel. This hides the shapes, but the selection stays intact.

2009-01-18-tip03-el

Step 4: Splatter a contrasting color

Make a new transparent layer by clicking the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel. Click on the Foreground Color Chip at the bottom of the Tool Bar and select a color from the Color Picker window that contrasts with the background color. Click OK to confirm the choice.

Select the Brush tool and click the Brush Picker drop-down menu from the Options Bar. Select Natural Brushes and select a Stipple Brush, such as Stipple 54 px. For the sample, I increased the size to 500 pixels. Next, click the Brush Options icon. Increase Spacing by dragging the slider to the right to 75%. Brush over your canvas using random strokes in various directions. Open Brush Options again and change the angle of your brush by clicking on the arrow in the circle at the bottom and dragging it to a new location. Continue to paint until you have good coverage.

2009-01-18-tip04-el-2

When you are satisfied with the coverage, press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.

2009-01-18-tip05-el

Create splattered backgrounds for any theme. Fall leaves with warm colors, snow covered trees, festive stars, or circles and squares with confetti colors are all good choices.

layout

Credits:

Scrapbook page by Sara Horton
Snow Pushers Kit by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
Snow Fun Kit by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
Roughed Up Krafty Paper by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals

Download a PDF version of this “Stenciled Paint Effect” 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: Create a background

Begin by creating a new blank document the size and shape of your choice. For this tutorial, I created a 12×12-inch canvas at 300 pixels/inch in RGB color mode.

To choose a canvas color, click on the Foreground Color Chip at the bottom of the Tool Bar and select a color from the Color Picker window. Click OK to confirm the choice. Select the Paint Bucket tool and click once on the background to fill it with the color.

2009-01-18-tip01-ps

Step 2: Arrange cut-outs

Select a contrasting color by changing the Foreground color as described above. Don’t spend a lot of time choosing the perfect color for this. It doesn’t matter which color you choose, since this color will not be part of the finished design.

Choose the Custom Shape tool by clicking and holding the Rectangle tool. Scroll down the flyout menu to select the Custom Shape tool. In the Options Bar, click the Shape Layers icon. Choose a shape from the Shape Picker and click the Create a New Shape Layer icon. Click, press the Shift key and then drag out the shape on your scrapbook page.

To rotate the shape, get the Move tool and check Show Transform Controls in the Options Bar. Click on the shape layer to select it. Move your cursor outside the bounding box until you see a double headed arrow. Click and drag in the direction you want the shape to move. Click the check mark in the Options Bar to confirm the tilt. Add and tilt several more Custom Shapes in varying sizes and positions until you are satisfied with the overall design scheme.

2009-01-18-tip02-ps

Select all of the shape layers and choose Merge Layers from the Layers panel flyout menu.

Step 3: Select the area around the cut-outs

Next, select the shapes on the merged shape layer by Ctrl Clicking (Mac: Cmd Clicking) the thumbnail of the shape layer in the Layers panel. Your selection will look like marching ants surrounding all of the custom shapes. Finally, select everything BUT the shapes by choosing Select > Inverse. Now everything you do in the following step will be applied to the areas outside of the custom shapes. Click the Layer Visibility icon on the left side of the shapes layer in the Layers panel. This hides the shapes, but the selection stays intact.

2009-01-18-tip03-ps

Step 4: Splatter a contrasting color

Make a new transparent layer by clicking the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel. Click on the Foreground Color Chip at the bottom of the Tool Bar and select a color from the Color Picker window that contrasts with the background color. Click OK to confirm the choice.

Select the Brush tool and click the Brush Picker drop-down menu from the Options Bar. Click the right-facing arrow at the top right of the Brush Picker box and select Natural Brushes. From the Brush Picker, select a Stipple Brush, such as Stipple 54 px. For the sample, I increased the size to 500 pixels. Next, open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes). Check Scattering in the list on the left, and change the settings to your liking. For the sample, I used the following settings:

Uncheck Both Axes
Scatter: 400%
Control: Off
Count: 1
Count Jitter: 50%

Move your cursor to the center of the canvas. Click and make several sweeping passes over the scrapbook page until you have good coverage.

2009-01-18-tip04-ps

When you are satisfied with the coverage, press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.

2009-01-18-tip05-el

Create splattered backgrounds for any theme. Fall leaves with warm colors, snow covered trees, festive stars, or circles and squares with confetti colors are all good choices.

layout

Credits:

Scrapbook page by Sara Horton
Snow Pushers Kit by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
Snow Fun Kit by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
Roughed Up Krafty Paper by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals

Download a PDF version of this “Stenciled Paint Effect” 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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