Blended Background – Technique Tuesday

Do you like the look of blended backgrounds? Not sure how to use papers to create a blended look that can be completely customized to your own creativity?

We have a tutorial with two separate programs for you!

Diane is going to help by walking us through using PSE 11 (The steps should be similar for most Photoshop and Photoshop Elements versions):
First, enlarge a photo with a LOT of white space to fill the 12 x 12 document or whatever size page you are creating. Duplicate the photo so there are two layers of the photo.
Change the top photo layer to black & white. In her example below, Diane used B/W; Blend Mode: Lighten; Opacity 44%.  Leave the color version of the photo alone. Diane left hers at Normal Mode and 100% opacity.
Pick one of the photos, depending on your photo one might have better contrast for you for the next step. Using one of the photos, pick the Magic Wand Tool and select the white space section of the photo. Duplicate the section (ctrl + J) or Right Click and Select Create Layer via Copy. Move this new layer above both the photo layers in the layers palette. Pick a patterned paper of choice and clip it to the “white space” selection mask.

Diane choose Danyale’s journal card with the text she wanted, enlarged it and placed it over the paper layer. She chose the Blend Mode: Darken so all except the text on the journal card blended into the background paper. Add any additional text and elements. Viola! A unique background with text.

Here’s the layout!


Lori adds information below on using masks which can also be done in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, but as an extra treat – we have a tutorial for Artisian!

Accomplishing blending in Artisan is very easy, and can be accomplished by using either the gradient tool or masks. These are general directions for blending that will work in Artisan 4 or 5. There are also additional tools available in Artisan 5.

Using the gradient tool:

When on a page bring in the photo you want to blend into the background, and also bring over the paper to blend the photo into. Place the photo on top of the background in the approximate place it will be. With the photo selected, choose Cut&Fill>Straight>Blended edge.

Change the width of the blend as needed by pulling the outer lines in or out. Use the green dot handles to move change the angle for the blend and cut. Use the yellow arrows to move the center point of the blend and cut.

It’s easiest to have the shaded area over what you want to remove.

If doing it this way, after the positioning, choose “Keep the unshaded area”,  and Cut.



Using masks:

Another very basic way to blend is to use masks. This works especially well to create interesting, textured background papers. To blend papers together, have the background in place. Pull one or multiple masks onto the layout. Many masks are mostly black, but they can be any color or pattern.


Fill the mask with different papers, moving it over the background paper, changing the size, changing the orientation, to get the desired look. step 4


step 5

The above background is this one same mask, three times, one turned horizontally, all filled with different papers.

If you need any more help with a blended background, let us know! We will be happy to help you out.

Diane                                  Lori


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