Create a Cute Pumpkin Cluster—Transform, Dodge, and Burn

with 16 Comments

Barb BrookbankSometimes I come across a cute little element that makes me want to play with it.

I want to grunge it up, or give it more depth, or even change the shape—gasp—is that even allowed? Well, yes it is. As long as proper credit is given to the designer, and maybe a comment about how you changed it.

Today I'm going to show you how to transform the shape of an element, then how to grunge it up and darken the edges.

If you ever scrapped with paper, it's called 'inking' the edges, and I used to have so much fun with it. I was always surprised at what a difference it made, because it gave an object much more depth. It got so that I practically had to 'ink' everything or it didn't look right to me.


Here's a "before and after" on a little pumpkin that I found in the kit Happy Harvest, by Susan Bartolini. You can download it here if want to follow along and make your own cute cluster!

OK, let's get to it!

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12in by 12in at 300ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: File > New)

Step Two: Transform the Pumpkin

  • Open the pumpkin that has been included with this tutorial.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Click on the pumpkin and drag it onto the new document.
  • In the Options Bar, make sure Show Bounding Box is checked and Auto Select Layer is unchecked.
    (Photoshop: check Show Transform Controls)
  • Click and drag the the top or bottom handle of the Bounding Box upwards or downwards just a tiny bit—you don't want to overstretch the pumpkin and make it look distorted to the point where it starts to look weird. Double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the changes.
  • Click and drag the left or right handle of the Bounding Box and drag outwards very slightly. Double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the changes.

Step Three: Use the Burn and Dodge Tools to Add Depth

  • Get the Burn tool.
  • In the Options Bar, choose a 200 pixel soft round brush from the Brush Picker. Set the Range to Shadows and the Exposure to around 26%.

Note: If you do not see a 200 pixel soft round brush, open the flyout menu and choose Reset Brushes.

  • Brush lightly along the sides, bottom, and top of the pumpkin to darken and add depth. A little goes a long way, so go gently.
  • Get the Dodge tool. You will find it nested with the Burn tool.
  • In the Options Bar, choose a 200 pixel soft round brush from the Brush Picker. Set the Range to Shadows and the Exposure to around 26%.
  • Brush around the center of the pumpkin to lighten it just a little bit and make it appear as if it is coming forward.

Tip: If you don't see anything happening, check to make sure that you have the pumpkin layer activated in the Layers panel.

Digi Scrap Tutorial: Create a Cute Pumpkin Cluster—Transform, Dodge and Burn by Barb Brookbank
Layout: Pumpkin Spice Bread by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Happy Harvest by Susan Bartolini
Font: Myriad Pro
Photo and Recipe by Jo @ A Pretty Life In the Suburbs

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

16 Responses

  1. lsattgast
    | Reply

    Barb, this is so cute! Love the pumpkin cluster, and the Pumpkin Spice Bread makes my mouth water! Thanks for a great tutorial!

  2. Lori
    | Reply

    So fun! Thanks for the great tips!

  3. Shirl
    | Reply

    What a lovely surprise to have these cute pumpkins in a mini cluster. Thank you doe the tip. 😉

  4. Bev
    | Reply

    Easy done …but how do I get the pumpkins to shine like yours…mine still look flat orange no shine Thanks Bev

    • Barb
      | Reply

      Hi Bev! After you burn the edges of the pumpkin, you might want to try burning along the lines of the sections of the pumpkins. Then when you use the dodge tool to lighten the center of a segment, it should stand out more. Please let me know how it goes.

  5. kaaren
    | Reply

    Who knew! How cute and can be used for so many things. Thanks.

  6. Doris
    | Reply

    Great tip. Off to find that wonderful kit!

  7. OuisieKelly
    | Reply

    What a great idea! I can see tons of uses for tutorial. I believe you may have started a trend 🙂
    Love that bread- I will try the recipe if I can manage to read it. Looks delicious!

  8. Nannette
    | Reply

    What a great idea I never thought of changing the look of some of the Elements I all ready have. I really love how the cluster turned out thanks Barb.

  9. scrappingramNancy Olson
    | Reply

    Awesome tutorial..thanks. To get the cluster, I guess you duplicate the first pumpkin and then re-size it for the other two? Do you save them as jpeg or png to
    move into the layout? I’m drawing a blank this morning. Duh.

    • Barb
      | Reply

      Hi Nancy! Yes duplicate the original pumpkin twice and make one a bit taller, and the other a bit wider. Simply select all three pumpkins and drag them onto your scrapbook page.

  10. scrappingramNancy Olson
    | Reply

    Thanks, Barb. You’re the best!

  11. Kristie
    | Reply

    I love the page with the recipe and a picture of prepared food! Thanks for sharing the technique to digitally “ink” and transform the little pumpkin to make a cute little cluster. A perfect addition for the page!

  12. Reni
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great tutorial – can’t wait to try the recipe! Happy Thanksgiving, early!

  13. Laraine Graham
    | Reply

    What fun! I had never used the burn or dodge tools before. I can understand the burn part but would never have guessed the dodge tool would do highlights from its name. It’s a lot like shading and highlighting in tole painting…this has opened up lots of possibilities. Thank you so much!

  14. Sharon Braswell
    | Reply

    Thanks for this super tutorial; I’m doing a series of pages on an Easter Egg Hunt and needed to make the egg embellishments look round instead of flat. I also loved the look of your Pumpkin Bread recipe so I “pinned” it to my scrapbook idea page. So, double thanks!

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