Category: Photoshop Tips and Tools
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 12
In this tutorial, I am going to share with you another quick and easy way to add some color to your brushwork or your ScrapSimple products. It draws on skills you already have, but just uses them a little differently. Intrigued? Good!
Let’s have a quick refresher… the Gradient tool. We have used the Gradient tool before when we blended a photo into the background: Blend Your Photos into Your Background Using the Gradient Tool. Key points we learned were to draw our gradient on a blank layer and to clip the layer above the gradient layer to it. This keeps it customizable.
The Gradient tool is located in the Tools palette under the Draw category.
I started my layout using this fun photo of some ducks which I snapped a few weeks ago. I wanted to keep the focus on the photo but add a little something… something light and airy that didn’t weigh down my page. I decided to use the Bokeh Blur brush from Dynamic Brush Set: Bokeh Blur 6401.
On a new layer, I added my brushwork. Knowing I was using a light-colored gradient, I opted for a light color when doing my brushwork. You could use a dark color if you knew you were adding a dark gradient.
This is the layer I will add my gradient to. It is entirely separate from my brushwork layer.
Selecting the Gradient Tool presents this menu. In PSE 12, it is at the bottom, but it may be at the top in earlier versions of PSE.
To adjust the color of the gradient, you have a range of choices.
Using the sliders available, I double-clicked on the colored square and selected a brown that suited my page. I wanted it to fade to white, so I used white as my right-hand slider. Picking a good mid-range color allowed the transition to be subtle. My gradient will blend from brown through to a creamy color to white. There will not be a sudden change of color as seen in some of the presets because I chose harmonious tones. Also, my gradient will fade away as I chose Foreground to Transparent. This is where using a light color for my brushwork is helpful.
Then I drew this gradient across my blank layer and clipped it to my brush layer beneath.
This is such a quick and easy way to add some color, maybe subtle and gradual like mine or dramatic and abrupt like the presets. Keep in mind that you can easily edit the presets simply by clicking the little square of color on the sliders. This entire technique is customizable. This technique will also work when recoloring ScrapSimple products.
For a bit of fun and to highlight the shift in color on my brushwork, I also added a gradient to my photo using a gradient on a blank layer and clipping my photo to it. It’s the exact same technique – draw the gradient on a blank layer. Then depending on what you want to do with your gradient, either clip it to a layer below and use it to color or clip a layer to your gradient and use it to blend.
Don’t you just love when you discover something you didn’t realize you already knew? This technique is so quick and easy, and you can give it a try right away! Be sure to post your gradient creations to the Scrap Girls Gallery for us all to admire and to be inspired!