Don’t you just love grungy art papers? They’re so fun to play with on their own, but did you know that there is a very easy way to change the appearance of these papers to fit your needs for a particular page?
For example, take a look at this page that I created mainly with Nicole’s Heart Art: A Change is in the Air kit:
At first glance it might look like I used everything in the kit as is, but I actually altered the background paper by merging two different papers with the following technique.
Step by Step:
1. Use the Magic Wand tool to select the portion of the page you want to change.
If you want to select everything on the page in that color, make sure the Contiguous box is unchecked. If you are trying to select one specific area (but not other parts of the page in that color), then check the “Contiguous” box. If the paper has several tones of the same color, you can also adjust the Tolerance amount to get the selection you want. Lower tolerance numbers create more precise selections (only including the specific tone you click on with the Magic Wand tool); while higher numbers will include more tones within the selection. Play around with the magic wand tool and its settings until you have the desired selection.
2. Once you have the selection you want, copy it to a new layer by clicking Ctrl/Cmd + J. Now the selection is on a separate layer and ready for your adjustments.
3. At this point, there are several things you can do to change the appearance of the paper. You can adjust the opacity and/or blend mode of the selection itself, apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, or you can clip another paper to it entirely. This last option is generally my favorite.
4. If you clip another paper to the selection, you will likely want to make some opacity and/or blend mode adjustments to the selection layer to make it blend more seamlessly with the rest of the background paper. My favorite blending modes are Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light – but Multiply, Color Burn and Screen will produce bolder effects. Sometimes, a simple opacity adjustment does the trick.
Here are some examples with papers from Nicole’s Heart Art: A Change in the Air kit:
In the layout shown above, I changed the look of this paper…
…by making two different selections and clipping the yellow and orange papers to them, then placing the dark blue paper under the two clipped selection layers to create this paper:
Here is another example. I combined these two papers:
To make this one:
The only adjustment I made to the yellow paper was to lower the opacity to 75%.
The possibilities are really endless.
So the next time you’re searching for the perfect background paper, try playing with this technique and creating your own!
Until next time,