Quick Pages the Easy Way with Photoshop

Do you like to design quick pages? But hate how much of a pain it can be?
Have you ever wanted to make quick pages easily by masking out the area of your photo without having to go through the pain of erasing all the below objects that should be hidden or masking out each layer of an object below? Or maybe you want to create a PSD layered template to use like a quick page but being able to edit where you have your photos?
There is a little known tool in Photoshop called Knockout that is easy to use. It’s in your Layer Styles!
After creating the area you want the photo to be (using a marque tool, or maybe a brush like I did here in gray.
Double click your layer to bring up your layer styles menu pop up.
Notice under Advanced Blending there are some options there.
Take your Fill Opacity all the way to 0 (zero) to hide the layer.
Use the pulldown next to Knockout and select Deep.
Then click OK
Now you can save as a PNG file for a Quick Page, OR you can change your mind about the location of your Knockout mask and move as you wish and save as a PNG file for a new quick page.  Great for making fast two pager layouts!
Here is mine created with my Kit Sometimes.  All the checkered background you see is where my photo will show up behind the page.
And here is the finished page I made last summer using this quickpage by easily placing the photos on the bottom layer.
Added my title and some journaling and was done.

Just want the Quick page and not have to do the work?
I put this one and a 2nd one in my shop at Digitals today for a great price of only $1.50 each.

Learning my Way Around the New CS6

Hi there everyone, Cilenia here!
So have you upgraded?!?!  I am in LOVE with the new CS6!  Well…. after I figured some things out that is. lol  The new crop tool is the one that really threw me for a loop.   It will be great for all the newbie CS users, but will take some getting used to for us old dogs! But this old dog WILL learn to do new tricks!  LOL

So in my travels and talking to other new CS6 users (Thanks Marcie and Renee!), here are some links I found very useful!

If you have some more, feel free to comment here and link us up!

Some great info from Prodesigntools.com
  • The long-rumored darker and modern user interface
  • Redesign and clean-up of all icons, buttons, dialogs – plus rich cursors
  • New Content-Aware Move, Extend, and Patch Tools
  • Terrific [DSLR] video editing in both Standard and Extended versions, for many formats*
  • Skin-Aware Masking with Face Detection – auto-generation of skin-tone masks
  • Complete overhaul of 3D in Photoshop CS6 Extended – 1 tool now does work of 14
  • Some great new (and realistic) brushes – Erodible Tips and Airbrush Tips
  • Brand new Camera Raw 7 technology like in Lightroom 4
  • White Balance and Noise Reduction as a selective Brush
  • Text/Character Type Styles and Paragraph Styles
  • Adaptive Wide Angle Lens Correction to fix distortion and straighten lines
  • PixelBender now built in to Photoshop CS6 for oil painting filter
  • Enhanced and more flexible Brush Pose, Brush Projection, and Color Dynamics
  • Rewritten vector engine, real vector strokes with Dashed and Dotted Lines
  • Mercury Graphics Engine gives 10-100X faster Liquify, Transform, Warp & more
  • Big gains in performance throughout due to much greater usage of the GPU
  • New Gradient Map “Photographic Toning” presets and Color Lookup adjustment layer
  • Blur Gallery for creating shallow depth of field, tilt-shift blur and graduated blur
  • Much smarter “Auto” for better starting points and one-click corrections
  • Lighting Effects is back and better than ever, with much improved controls and 3D
  • Completely reengineered and nondestructive Crop Tool, like Lightroom’s
  • Background Save, including tunable Auto-Save and Crash Recovery
  • Integrated Layer Search/Filtering – by name, effect, style, mode, or attribute
  • Easy migration tool that imports/exports custom presets and settings
  • New “Bicubic Automatic” default for Image Size always does the right thing
  • Path snapping & anti-aliasing improvements – critical for exacting work
  • Easy insert of Lorem Ipsum text from the Type Menu
  • The return of Contact Sheet II and PDF Presentations in Photoshop
  • A completely redesigned and enhanced Print dialog
  • Refined HDR tool with better quality including Edge Smoothness option and new presets
  • Ships with Bridge CS6, which now has native 64-bit support for faster performance
  • Mini Bridge taps the power of Bridge in a panel, and can now run in a filmstrip

And if all that is not enough for you and you prefer videos, I did a detailed search in google.  Here’s your EASY BUTTON for that to find all good things CS6!


How to recolor multiple colors on a single element tutorial

ok, I have given in to the world of video sharing! lol  I was just going to make a post with the how to do this, but thought, “Why not just record it as I do it?”  So I did. :)  I hope I did this right as I have never used YouTube before, so cross your fingers!

PSE can do this also. The only difference is you go to “Enhance” in the top menu and then to “Adjust Color” and then to “Replace Color”. Then work everything else the same way.

In case the video doesn’t embed correctly, here is a Link to it on my blog. And here is the YouTube link too.  Still learning how all this video stuff works so bear with me. lol

And as I said, don’t ever be afraid to ask me something if you don’t know it.

Oh, and the kit that I was making that this was from?  It’s called Lovely in Lilac and was inspired by Digitals Monthly challenges which I’m a part of and run the Art Journaling Challenge.  I like it so much, that I decided to make a whole kit instead of just a mini kit for the bonus.

This was just an impromptu whim of mine.  Promise, I will learn how to make these better quality as I learn the ins and outs of YouTube. :)

Have an awesome day!

Embellishing Ideas for your Pages for Visual Design and Focus

Thought since we are focusing on clustering and embellishments this month, we might want to take a look at how these relate to the whole design of a layout too for some basic design principals.

Creating a frame of elements around your photo.

By adding elements clustered at the corner like Aria did here, you are grounding your photo.  Using like colors or repeating elements found in the paper, you are grounding your photo to the background also visually.  Notice how all of these used this technique of creating a cluster of elements to frame and ground their photos.

By clustering your elements AND photo to a corner of the page, you are also creating what we call “white space”.  This “space” is a place for the eyes to rest while looking at a page but it also draws your eyes to photo on the photo itself.


Aidan by Aria


First Grady by Joyce de Jonge


Make a Wish by Jean Ann

You can do this also by filing the whole page like Angie did here.

She is still framing and clustering using embellishments, but by desaturating her photo, it will naturally draw the eye there first and the photo actually becomes the neutral “space”.  Everything added here is being used to “frame” this photo by matting and clustering around it.

She also played a with her title and journaling to create it within this space and this is again, drawing the eyes inward to where she wanted to draw the focus to.


Stand by Angie

In turn you can also try a more linear look and using repetition of photos or elements to ground your embellishments and/or photos to a page.

See how Judy used clustering of elements, note pieces and photo frames here in a vertical orientation.  By doing this, she is drawing the eye inward but grounding them at the same time.


Close to You by judyinsd

Another example of this is from two of my own pages.

Here is this first one we see the linear line creatd by the photos on the left with all the clustered elements and papers tucked under and around them.  The blended photo into the background becomes the resting space but the eyes still want to be led to the main photo and is drawn down to the journaling.


Sharing Curiosity by Cilenia

Again, linear clustering on the left, but now the page has more movement and is being drawn outward into the photos sitting in the “white space” and the bottom right corner with it’s brushwork and element is visually framing it all together.


What do You Want by Cilenia

Now look at another way Beth combined these design principles of using clusters to frame out your photo, clustering your photos and leaving some white space, and using repetition of elements also to frame the photos, and repeating the elements in the corners of the page too, for a whole other type of effect but still visually pleasing.

Make your own Music by mystampin

These are just some of the unique ways you use clustering and embellishments to draw focus and give some visual grounding to your layouts.

While doing your layouts and clustering, keep in mind the types of elements and the layering and don’t forget to adjust your shadows for the different depths created by the layering of embellishments and papers too.  That is what usually will make or break your layout from looking good to looking awesome!

Till next time,


Tutorial – Using digi art to print on fabric for home decor



Printing on Fabrics

Here is a new tutorial on using digital brushes and stamps to print on fabric for home decor prints. Click on the preview to download the full tutorial in pdf format.

If you try out this tutorial, be sure and post it our the gallery. We would love to see your art!

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