Gelli Arts Print Rescues a Sketch

August 24, 2014 in Mixed Media Posts, Photoshop Posts

For those who know me, you know that I have been trying to learn to draw, especially faces, for the past couple of years. It is my goal to be able to one day draw my Grandchildren, so I have some time to get better :-) . There have been a few times when I have drawn something that actually resembles someone –



That sketch took me probably an hour in total. Lately I have trying to do faster sketches in conjunction with some of the online Art classes I have been taking. I sketched this in about 5 minutes…

Fast sketch

Fast sketch

As you can tell, I am even worse at bodies than I am at faces, ;-) . I decided to try to do something with this girl though, and so I brought her into Photoshop along with this cool Gelli Arts print that I made. If anything can salvage a sketch, it’s a Gelli Arts print, right? :-)

Gelli Arts Leaf Over Print

Gelli Arts Leaf Over Print

I played around with some blend modes and such, and my sketch started looking even freakier still-

Gelli-Arts Photoshop Face

Gelli-Arts Photoshop Face


My husband was walking by the computer at the time, and I asked, “Can you look at this?”. He looked at the image, then he looked at me with this quizzical look. It was akin to when your Mother puts her hand on your forehead when you were a kid to check whether you were feeling ok :-) . So, clearly he was not a fan!  I was just about to give up, close the window and move on to something else for this week’s project when I stopped. The window was zoomed in and just one of the corners caught my eye. A crop and a cut and paste later, and here is the result..

Gelli Arts Leaf  Print

Gelli Arts Leaf Print

This one got a nod from my husband, and an almost audible sigh of relief that I wan’t going mad! So, remember even a crop of a Gelli Arts print can save the day!!


Gelli Arts Print Photoshop Composite Frame

June 27, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

Hi Everyone! Today I wanted to walk you through a long-ish session for manipulating a couple of prints made with the Gelli Arts Printing plate, and compositing them in Photoshop. I started with a print made from one of my stencils. I was just printing with earth colors in this session, so I ended up with a gray-toned print. I really liked this one, which was a second print- that is, I printed once, and then used another piece of paper to pull another print without refreshing the paint in between. I had enough paint to get a decent second print, so I was very happy with this result.

However, I wanted the frame to be a little more defined. And because I don’t have the larger Gelli Arts Printing Plate (yet ;-) ), I wanted to expand the print to fill a bit more of an 8.5×11 inch piece of paper for printing.

Here is the Original…

Grunge Circle Frame Original

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Original

Because this image is not super detailed, and because it was pretty close in size to begin with, I could scan the image in at a larger resolution than my printer. Then I could scale the image to 8.5×11 inches without losing much detail. So that was step number one.

The next thing I wanted to address was the fact that there was not a lot of background on the top of the frame. I wanted the frame to sit in a bit more. So I needed to basically add more of the background to the top.

As usual there are multiple ways to do such a thing in Photoshop, but I decided to use the patch tool. I could select the top of the image and then use the patch tool to pick an area from the bottom to fill that section. With the top selected, I created a new layer, then I switched to the patch tool on the left hand side. I made sure that Content Aware was set under the patch type up at the top tool properties bar. I also checked off the “Sample All Layers” checkbox.

Then I dragged the selection down to the bottom of the image. Because Content Aware was chosen,  the selection was filled in with what can be thought of as a merge of the surrounding areas. When using  Content Aware fill, Photoshop chooses the areas close to the selected area. But, the patch tool allows you to determine what the selected are should be filled with, based on where you drag the selected area. Then Content Aware tries to merge and blend the areas to look seamless. Sometimes it works, as in this case. Sometimes it doesn’t, but I always try it because it is a lot quicker and easier than cloning in (or out) big sections of an image.

Also, even though the layer I was on was empty, it took the patch from the entire image because of the  “Sample All Layers” checkbox. This lets you have an empty layer to clone and patch, which will not add as much to your file size as duplicating a layer and then  doing cloning and patching. Be aware though- if you change too much of the original layer, your clone/patch layer may not match any more.

Grunge Circle Frame Selection tool

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Frame Top Selected


After I patched the top to add a bit more, I decided I really wanted to get rid of the discolored area surrounding the frame. Again there are several ways to do this. This time I decided to use Content Aware Fill.

I selected the general area of the frame making sure to include most of the edge of the frame that I didn’t like. Because I wanted to use the frame and not just get rid of the entire thing,  I copied the frame from the layer (Edit->Copy or CTRL-C) and pasted it so it became a new layer. Then I turned off the visibility of that new layer with the frame on it (click on the eyeball to the left of the layer).

To reselect the frame, I used the Photoshop trick of holding down the CTRL key (command on a MAC) and clicked on the frame layer. That will select the non-transparent pixels on that layer, so I ended up with the same selection of the frame that I had made before. Note that I also could have saved the selection and re-loaded it if I wanted to make sure I could get the same selection, but this shortcut works fine in this particular case.

Then I clicked on the original layer and chose Edit->Fill as shown below…

Grunge Circle Frame Content Aware

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Content Aware Fill


I made sure the popup used Content Aware as the type of fill, and clicked OK. The selected area of the frame was now filled with other areas surrounding the background. It wasn’t a perfect fill, especially if I planned on using it as is, because of the repeating patterns. However, since I was going to cover most of it back up anyway, it was good enough. Sometimes if you do Content Aware Fill a couple of times (each time tends to be a bit different) you can get a better result. Here is what I ended up with…

Content Aware Fill Results

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Content Aware Fill Results


The next step was to turn the layer with the frame back on. I still needed to get rid of the darkish outline, so I used a combination of selection tools (mostly the quick selection tool) in order to select that border, as shown below…

Grunge Circle Frame

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Frame Outline Selected


I decided to use a mask to hide that edge. With the border of the frame selected, I clicked on the mask button at the bottom of the layers panel (it looks like a square with a hole in it). A mask is created  in the shape of the selection, and this mask will show that selected area, and hide everything else.

This is actually the opposite of what I wanted. If you remember one of my other posts where we talked about masks, then hopefully your remember that white will allow you to see those portions of the layer, as if it were vellum or even better-acetate. Black on a mask will hide those parts of the layer, as if it is a black piece of paper. So, I really needed to have the white of the mask be on the rest of the image, and I needed black  on the frame border so I could hide it.

There are 2 ways to accomplish this. Back when I made my initial selection, when I knew that I wanted to hide that selected area, I could have chosen Select->Inverse and then clicked on the mask button. Or if I forgot, and created the mask, and then I realized that I have the opposite portion of my image masked, I could click on the mask (the thumbnail to the right of the image thumbnail for that layer), and then click CTRL-I (Command-I on a MAC) to invert. In this case the mask the mask will be inverted. So the white parts become black and the black parts become white. Voila!

Note that if you have never played with Invert (CTRL-I) you should. You can use Invert (CTRL-I) on layer images, masks, after you apply blend modes, etc to get lots of different looks to your images.

Now, because I had filled in the background in the previous step, the fact that I am hiding the border in this step works, so that I don’t have a hole in my overall image where the border used to be.  Here is what the image looked like with the mask applied…

Photoshop Mask

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Frame Outline Mask

At this point, you could choose to merge this layer back down to the layer below, so it becomes a single layer again (and saves a little bit in terms of size of the Photoshop file), which is what I did.

I still had some areas that I wanted to clean up around the frame. For this step I used the Clone Stamp tool.

I created a new, empty layer above and clicked on the Clone Stamp tool. If you remember from a previous post, I click on the “Sample All Layers” checkbox at the top and now I can paint with the Clone Stamp brush on the empty layer using  portions of the entire image.

To get the selection to paint with, hold down the Alt key and click on an area that you would like to choose to paint with. The larger the brush size the more of that area you clicked on will be used. You can also play with the brush opacity and edge softness to blur the effects of the cloning, and make it blend in a bit better.

The images below show the edges where I used the Clone Stamp tool to do a bit of clean up. I worked my way around the image doing spot cleaning hear and there.


Clone Tool In Photoshop Before

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Before Content Aware Clone


Clone Tool In Photoshop After

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- After Content Aware Clone


As the final step I wanted to punch up the image just a touch. I loved the background, but the frame was a little obliterated during the print. So I also pulled in the image of the stencil and used a blend mode of  difference to pull out a smidge of color, and sharpen up the line. I use this trick a lot to sharpen up details lost when using stencils with my prints. I also scan in the used, stencils ( not cleaned) after the paint dries, to have that image to play with in Photohop, with all its fun multicolored paint remnants.

I also used the effect Bevel and Emboss on the stencil image to give it a bit more “pop”. I discuss a lot of these tips in other posts- just use the search tool on the blog and search for “Photoshop” to see more posts where I discuss different tools in more detail.

My final step was to rotate the whole image counter clockwise. Here is the final (for now) image…


Grunge Circle Gelli Arts Print Final

Gelli Arts Circle Frame Print- Finished
I plan on tweaking this a bit more, so stay tuned ;-).

Gelli Arts Print Composite

June 13, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts

I love taking my Gelli Arts prints and manipulating them In Photoshop.  In this lesson I am going to walk you through a very simple Photoshop composite. I will take  a print that I made with a stencil, and then a print that I made with basically the inverse, and merge them together in Photoshop. The two prints came out pretty well, with colors and saturations, and a full print that I liked, so there was not a lot of photo manipulation that I needed to do. I am working on another image that required a lot more work, and I will post that at some point when I get the writeup finished.

Here was the original image of the Gelli Arts print using my Mask stencil.

Gelli Arts Print from Mask Stencil


I took the stencil with all the paint from printing on the Gelli Arts plate and printed on another piece of paper- so it was basically the inverse of the background print. It came out pretty well defined, but I wanted a bit more. So I waited until the stencil dried, and then scanned that in, so I could use it within Photoshop. Here is that image…

Gelli Arts  Stencil

Within Photoshop, I used the select tool to delete the white background around the image of the scanned stencil. I brought that image into the same Photoshop image window as a layer above the background image. Then I used the Free Transform tool to turn and re-size the mask until it fit over the mask in the background.

At the bottom of the layers palette, there is a pulldown (Fx) that allows you to apply speciall effects to the layer. I used Bevel and Emboss on the layer with the scanned mask. So it makes the mask pop a bit. And here is the result of that composite…

Gelli Arts Print Mask

And that was it! Not too hard! If you have any questions on the Photoshop tools I used, you can read through my other Photoshop posts (use the search tool to find them). There are other posts that go into further details.

Then I decided to play around with coloring. I used an Adjustment Layer called Gradient Map, and chose one of the Gradients that had blue tones in it. I used a blend mode of color, and lowered the opacity. I liked the way this looked as well…


 Gelli Arts Print from Mask Stencil in Photoshop


Finally, I chose one of the Black and White Gradient masks (and I chose reverse the gradient for this one), and I liked the way this looked as well…

Gelli Arts Mask composite


I could go on and on, but you get the idea ;-). Enjoy!

Halloween is around the corner

September 28, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts

I am in the middle of working on some ATC’s for the next swap I am participating in, and I got distracted. I started making the ATCs, but then I screwed one up. It still looked kind of cool though, so I decided to bring it into Photoshop and play around with it. I wanted to combine it with a vintage image I got from an old Puck magazine. Here are the steps I did and where the image is now. I need to play around with it more, to integrate her a little bit better, but I need to get a move on on my errands and things ;-)


First I started with my screwed up stamped ATC. The technique I was using was the one I posted about a while ago with using Graphite and VersaMark. You can see that post  here- Graphite and VersaMark Resist Technique.

Halloween Graveyard Rubber Stamp

Then I scanned in the image of the magazine front cover and here she is…
Halloween Graveyard Girl
Isn’t she cool? She just screamed Halloween to me, altho I believe it was an Easter issue :-)
I brought both images into Photoshop in order to make a composite image. I had to play with hue/saturation, blending modes, pull her apart and then back together, adjust opacity settings and finally build up the bottom of the card because the pumpkins were cut off, but here is the final image…