Category Archives: Uncategorized

Feb 14: 366-38 Combining Textures

Today’s textures are three more from Jerry at Shadowhouse Creations.  He has so many to choose from, it’s easy to go wild with his collections!  I chose to use Beneath the Surface #1, Beneath the Surface #2 and Bluetopia  (note:  If you’d rather use Matt’s textures, he offers a set of 37 for sale on his web site).  And then I followed along (mostly) with this super video tutorial from Matt Nicolosi who is generous enough to share some of his knowledge with others.  Sit back, watch, and likely learn a new trick or two, right along with me:

I learned so many things – big and little – thanks to Matt!  I hadn’t even noticed the check box for “Show Transform Controls” – and yet I had been wishing for a quicker way to get to Edit/Transform/Scale.  Bingo!  The Opacity Slider – I didn’t realize it would come right up just by clicking on the word “opacity” – nice shortcut!  And his neat trick for erasing/masking a texture without losing the color/saturation of the texture … loving it!

Here is what I did with the tools on hand today:  Opened my original of Salsa the Border Terrier.  She was strutting the cat-walk (dog-walk?) recently in her Valentine Bling – diamonds and pearls, anyone?  The original image of her had the color saturation lowered, to give just a hint of color to the final photo;  I was aiming for more of a nostalgic look.  Maybe she was channeling her great-great-aunt Ida for this portrait?  With today’s tools, I think I came much closer to my intended feel!  I first used Beneath the Surface #2 and used the layer style of Lighter Color, with opacity set (cool slider – whee!) at 64%.  I used the mask/painting with black version to bring Salsa back into the image without texture over her smiling dog face.  Here’s a masking tip for you:  I start by using the black with broader strokes, and paint over the edges.  Then I go back with the white paint and a smaller brush and use more control in bringing the mask TO the edges fro a more finished look.  I also be sure to use short strokes, releasing the mouse often.  This way if I have to go in for a do-over (undo), then my last step is just a little fix, instead of the whole enchilada.  My second texture applied was Beneath the Surface #1, but I rotated it 180 degrees first – since it is a variation on the first texture used, I wanted the images to be more different from one another.  This one I used as an Overlay style and only lowered to 82%.  Salsa the dog was brought back with my regular masking method.  The look is almost complete for me!  BUT … the pearls are too crisp and white and new looking, compared to the rest of the portrait.  So, on to my final layer – Bluetopia.  I masked it out of all the image except for over the pearls.  Then I made sure I clicked on the Bluetopia layer (and not the Bluetopia mask) and I used the new technique introduced by Matt to remove the texture but not the colors/saturation.  Everything is ALMOST perfect for me now!  I went back to BTS#1 and BTS#2 and added a 10Radius Gaussian Blur to both textures.  Then I went back to the Bluetopia layer mask, picked up my white paint brush (a nice large soft-edged brush, at 25% opacity) and added back some of that texture to the corners and edges of the image.  Whew – that sounds like a lot – but what a great image I ended up with!

Please do post links to projects where you have used this texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All of my textures are available for personal or commercial use – check licensing for textures of other artists featured here. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 10: 366-37 Shadowhouse Jan #1-8

Last month I introduced you to Jerry Jones of Shadowhouse Creations.  While I was there, I downloaded his January Texture Sets (set 1 and set 2). For today’s texture use example I chose his texure #8 from set #1.  This looked like it would give a pretty nice effect to finish off a romantic soft look to Bridgette’s Valentine portrait.  You can download Jerry’s January Sets here.

I used the texture as a straight overlay, masking off the area of the Labrador Retriever (except for the edge details).  I am enjoying the embossed look it gives!  The slight detail in the center of the texture give just a hint of attraction to the otherwise plain backdrop behind the dog.  Here is a side-by-side before/after comparison for you:

Please do post links to projects where you have used this texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All of my textures are available for personal or commercial use – check licensing for textures of other artists featured here. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 9: 366-36 Jaded Reality #13

I’ve been a regular visitor to Deviant Art for a few years now, but haven’t really dove in deep until recently.  There is a lot of talent there, and inspiration abounds.  Each artist is amazing in his/her own right.  I make a point to read all TOU (terms of use) as some of the creative minds allow full spectrum at no charge, others are particular about private vs commercial use and still others require a small fee for commercial usage.  I appreciate each and every one, and honor their individual terms.  And when I can, I send a small (monetary) thank you to the ones that don’t require it – a donation here and there honoring the generosity of terms is very appreciated by anyone who puts themselves out there artistically.

Today’s texture is from an artist at Deviant Art:  Jaded Reality (aka Ashley) with an additional overlay of my personal favorite, The Wall (January 1, 2012).  I used Ashley’s Texture #13 as an overlay at 40% opacity (and used my new resizing/centering tricks learned earlier this week) and my The Wall texture at 100% opacity as a texture overlay, lightening the level to +80.  Of course, a layer mask, painting with black, was used to keep the texture from hiding the beautiful cat model, Beth (remember, if any of these steps don’t make sense to you, go back to January 1, 2012 and start reading thru the posts  – each one builds a little more on steps learned in previous posts.  This is a year of learning our Textures and all the ways to use them).  The double layers, the lowered opacity and the lighter top texture layer add to richness of the photo for me.  In spite of ALL the textures going on in the image itself, I don’t feel this overpowers the final product.  What do you think?

Please do post links to projects where you have used this texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All of my textures are available for personal or commercial use – check licensing for textures of other artists featured here. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 7: 366-34 Worn Love

Back in January, I introduced you to the Valentine Grunge Texture Set from Rita at The Coffee Shop Blog.  I revisited the set for today’s texture tutorial and this time I used Worn Love.  It seemed like the perfect finishing touch for this portrait of Bennett the Cocker Spaniel, waiting to give you his heart for Valentine’s Day.  And yes, I’m practicing what I preach and now using a layer mask to erase the texture from parts of the image … I am digging the extra control it gives – if I “erase” too much by painting with black, I can “unerase” places by painting with white – nice!

Please do post links to projects where YOU have used a SmokoStock texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All of my textures are available for personal or commercial use – check licensing for textures of other artists featured here. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 6: 366-33 Wicked Game You Play

I keep going back to SmokoStock’s texture gallery – they are so beautiful, and the final results can be so varied.  Love that!  Here’s a hint for you – sign up for a free Deviant Art account and you will see Smoko’s FULL gallery, not just the teasers you saw yesterday.  I could play here all month!  For today, I used his “Wicked Game You Play” texture (I am not linking to it here, as it is one of the ones that you have to sign up to see, and I am respecting how he has it set up).

Yesterday was a photo shoot at Best In Show, a popular grooming shop in San Diego, California.  It was a fundraiser for the National Canine Cancer Foundation, through the Smile For A Cure program.  I am honored to be a participating photographer for this great cause.  Daphne the Chihuahua was one of our hostesses’ (her parents own the shop) and she was nice enough to pose for me while I double checked my exposures and light setups before the clients were due to show up.  She had such an inquisitive look on her face, almost like she was studying what I was doing so she could run the next fundraiser!  Here are my before/after looks at Daphne, using “Wicked Game You Play”  from SmokoStock.

Please do post links to projects where YOU have used a SmokoStock texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All of my textures are available for personal or commercial use – check licensing for textures of other artists featured here. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 4: 366-32 How Deep is Your Love

Welcome back!  Yesterday I introduced you to pet photographer Melissa McCabe who in turn had turned us on to some nifty texture resources.  For today I visited SmokoStock at Deviant Art and found some wonderful textures  (broken record reminder:  read his terms of use and abide by them, please – honoring an artists requests for what is free and what should be paid for ensures that many will continue to be so very generous with their free usages)!  You can find all of SmokoStock’s textures here:  http://smoko-stock.deviantart.com/gallery/ .  My eyes were immediately drawn to his “How Deep Is Your Love” texture.  The colors, the texture, all of it!  Since my own fur-kids have musical names, I decided to make a poster celebrating my baby boy Bennett, playing with all that we’ve learned so far on this blog in 2012.

I hope you’ll share what you come up with!  Please do post links to projects where YOU have used a SmokoStock texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All of my textures are available for personal or commercial use – check licensing for textures of other artists featured here. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 3: 366-32 Saffron Fields

I am very excited about this texture and tutorial!  Melissa McCabe is an accomplished pet photographer and digital artist located in Victoria, British Columbia.  You can visit her web site by clicking HERE.  You won’t be disappointed by her offerings!  She participates in a Friday blog roll project (Project 52) of which I am also a member.  With her blog post today, she pointed her readers to some great resources, including a site called French Kiss Textures … chock full of textures, tutorials and inspirations.  I feel like a kid in a candy store!  I decided to begin at French Kiss at … The Beginning.  Leslie Nicole is the artist/designer behind all the goodies at French Kiss Textures, and she points her new subscribers to her Quick Start Texture Tutorial.  It looked like a good place to start.  Leslie’s tutorial is another artist’s take on the first tutorial I offered my blog readers (check out my About 366 Textures tab at the top of this blog).  It never hurts to revisit basics, and I have a feeling that I’ll be visiting French Kiss – A LOT – and knowing how Leslie suggests we start our explorations might help me (and us) get the most out of what we learn over there.  For me, this just reinforces that I have GOT to stop being lazy and start using layer masks (instead of my eraser tool)!!

Since we are following Leslie’s Quick Start Texture Tutorial, I won’t duplicate her files here (it’s redundant and it’s rude to not direct you directly to her Tutorial).  She offers both her Texture and the floral image full size for you to download.  Be sure to read her copyright info at the bottom of the tute page … the floral has some basic restrictions on it, but the texture – the MEAT of the downloads – is available for you to use personally and commercially with standard restrictions.  Read, use, and enjoy!

After practicing on the files Leslie offers in her French Kiss Texture Quick Start Tutorial, I applied her texture (and her methods) to a photo of Ghen Ghen the Pug, who had a Valentine sitting with me.  I think this Saffron Fields Texture works wonderfully with Ghennie’s smile  – and her pink pearls!

Please do post links to projects where YOU have used this provided texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All textures are available for personal or commercial use. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Feb 3: 366-31 Stone Wall

One of the things I appreciate about learning a new skill in my photo editing program is the “spill-over” into other skills.  I haven’t yet gotten uber-creative and used a texture ON a subject I’m photographing (something to aspire to!).  So far I’ve been using them to enhance backgrounds or to turn a photo into a digital art rendering.  Today’s texture is no different – but as I was using it, I realized that I am learning skills that could easily be used to drop a digital background into an image – that is essentially what I’ve been doing with my texturizing of backgrounds.  Neat!  That is something I’ve been curious about … so when I do start looking at that, I’ll have some strong skills and some working knowledge to help me out.  On to today … when in San Bernardino recently for a dog show, I found a perfect bridge for another project I’m working on (Project 52 … check it out on my photo blog!).  Before I added the dog to the photo I took quite a few pix of the setting itself to play with lighting, angles, possibilities (it’s all about taking advantage of the possibilities – in photography and in life – and doing something wonderful with them!).  The stone pillar on the bridge held an attraction for me, so I thought I’d share it with you as a daily texture.

Texture 366-31 Stone Wall

In using this one, I opened a photo of Norman the Border Terrier who sat for me at the English Springer Spaniel Rescue portrait booth in Pleasanton, CA last October.  He is very regal, serious about portraying the breed in his photos.  Of course, once the serious shots were done, he gave us his best goofy faces, too.  I chose one of his classic portraits for this example.  The Stone Wall texture was added as a layer, with the layer style set at luminosity (remember I use a large soft-edged brush to erase the texture from over my subject, allowing it to show thru clearly).  I played a bit with the hue /saturation/lightness of the texture layer, to make it a little deeper and darker, more of a background look and not such a fight for the eye with Norman.  The lighting on the texture was flatter than the lighting on the dog, so I added a spotlight light effect and liked it.  There was still just *something* missing for me, and then I realized what it was:  I wanted a bit more of a depth of field look to the final image, so I put a slight gaussian blur on the texture layer (radius 5) and here is the result:

Do you have a favorite resource for textures or tutorials on using textures that you’d care to share?  As you can see, there are SO many ways to use them – I could put the same texture in the hands of 5 different graphic artists, with the same starting image, and we’d get 5 completely different end results.  So share away!

Please do post links to projects where YOU have used this provided texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All textures are available for personal or commercial use. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Jan 27: 366-27 Divine Grunge DBz

Oh the things I am learning as I search for more to bring to YOU!  Royanna at Divine Digital has a video about creating a digital scrap-booking paper from scratch.  Take a look for yourself at what she does:

I’m willing to bet you will have so much fun following along and creating your own!  But just in case you aren’t quite ready yet to start completely from scratch yourself, here’s the texture that I created, using Royanna for inspiration.  I’m calling this one “Divine Grunge DBz”

Texture 366-27 Divine Grunge DBz

I started this with a royal blue base and my first overlay was a photo I took a couple of days ago, of a water about to boil on my stove top.  Then I popped over to Graphic Mania and took a look through 15 Old Paper Textures that are being offered up by Rafiq Elmansy (thank you, Rafiq!).  I used numbers 00, 07, 12 (and duplicated 12) and 13 (for Old Paper Texture #13, I burned in on the edges a bit first for more edge definition before applying it).  I followed Royanna’s lead and just started PLAYING with each texture layer – and I’m pretty pleased with my result – what do you think?

For my before/after example, I was inspired by my anger to create this poster.  In Iowa this week, a woman was arrested for hoarding MY breed (Cocker Spaniels).  In 2009 something similar happened in Texas.  I have had the honor of being able to photograph some of the dogs adopted after the Texas incident, and Buddy is the perfect poster child, I think you’ll agree.  I applied the Divine Grunge DBz texture as a color dodge for this striking effect.

If the message is one that you’d like to share, please feel free to take the following image – post it, share it, print it – spread the word!  I only ask that you leave my (c) info intact and that you don’t sell the image.

Please do post links to projects where YOU have used this provided texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All textures are available for personal or commercial use. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

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Jan 26: 366-26 Grunge Love from the Coffee Shop Blog

Rita is the mastermind behind The Coffee Shop Blog.  She and I have never met, but I hope someday to be able to let her know just how influential she has been in my growth as a designer.  I stumbled upon her blog one day a few years ago, and a whole new world popped open right in front of me!  For today’s texture I spent some time playing on her site and came across just the thing to share with you folks:  her set of 5 Valentine Textures, free for the taking.  Instead of showing a preview here of the actual texture, I’ll just do the friendly thing and direct you over to her Blog Post from January 2009 so you can read about this fab set from her point of view.  I’ve never been disappointed with my goodies from Rita (and her sister Heather) and this set is as stellar as everything else!

I decided to pull up a recent image of Spenser the Cocker Spaniel (an American Cocker Spaniel, for all my readers who live outside the USA).  This isn’t Spenser’s first visit to my set, he’s a regular poser for me.  In fact, I first met him when he was only 6 months old and being relinquished to the local Cocker Spaniel Rescue when his human dad lost his job and had to move back home.  Spense found a great new home, has since become a Therapy Dog, and is still the lovable goofball I first met all those years back!  I chose this image because of the pristine blown out background behind the dog – I was curious to know what Grunge Love would look like.  I used an overlay mode at full opacity, and changed the light level to noticeably bring out the texture.  Here’s my before (left) and after (right).  Spenser is now ready to steal your heart away this Thanksgiving!

Please do post links to projects where YOU have used this provided texture and tell us how you tweaked it to fit your needs.  Feedback is welcomed – leave comments and questions and I’ll see if I can come up with some answers! All textures are available for personal or commercial use. They are NOT allowed to be resold or to be claimed as your own.  Just click through for the larger size file, right-click that one and save the texture to your own computer.  My sample uses of the texture are not available for any use.

Now – if you’ve gone wild with a texture and just LOVE it … a small donation showing that love sure would be appreciated (but is not mandatory).   Just go to PayPal.com and send your donation to DogBreedz (at) yahoo.com.

Happy Texturing!

Peggy at DogBreedz.net and the DogBreedz Blog

 

 

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