Before & After: Textures Using Various Layer Masks

Using Adobe Photoshop

This image is a good example of various ways you can create layer masks. In one layer mask I’ve used the paint brush, in the next a gradient fill and in another, I’ve used a channel to apply textured color. Ok, let’s get to it.

Original Image

Dried Rose photographed in front of a small sheet of tan-colored art paper.

Dried Rose

Layer Panel

Here’s a visual overview of the textures in the Layer Panel. There is a Levels Adjustment layer over the original image.

Layer Panel for dried rose image

Third Layer From The Bottom

I wanted the stem of the rose to be partly covered and blend into the background. As the background to the dried rose is tan colored, I’ve used a slightly darker tan color to cover the rose and add a little dimension. To achieve this, I filled the entire layer with this color. I then used a channel to create a layer mask. The channel was from a photograph of an old, grungy metallic surface. Using this as a layer mask created a textured color overlay. I could have used various brushes to create the same effect, but this is an easy way to create “brushwork!”

I’ll cover using channels more in another post, but basically, in the channels window, click on the main channel to load it, go back to your layers, select the texture you want to use and then click the add layer mask icon.

Blend Mode: Normal / Opacity: 100%

Textured Tan Color

Top Layer

The main effect in this image comes from my texture Tourangelle, which is in the French Kiss Texture Collection I
If you look above in the Layer Panel graphic, you’ll see I’ve painted over the dried petals in the layer mask to take away the texture effect in that area. Remember, black in the layer mask will reveal the layers beneath.

Blend Mode: Multiply / Opacity: 100%

Tourangel texture

Second Layer Down

Although this layer is beneath the top texture, it was my last addition. This delicate pink texture is called Wild Rose, (currently not published—I’ll update when it is.)
This texture was used to add more depth and a tinge of color to the corners. As you can see in the Layer Panel, I’ve used a circular gradient in the layer mask.
Blend Mode: Multiply / Opacity: 28%

Wild Rose Texture

Final Image

Dried Rose Final

So there you have it. To recap, remember, each texture layer can have a different type of layer mask.

Images and Textures © Leslie Nicole


6 Responses to Before & After: Textures Using Various Layer Masks

  1. Jan Bickerton October 21, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Thank you Leslie, there’s a lot to learn. You should set homework!

    • Leslie Nicole October 21, 2010 at 11:50 am #

      Jan, I’ve been thinking about that. Figuring out the logistics. Perhaps results and conversations could be on the Flickr group? The Flickr group is still pretty small. We could have Workshop Wednesdays? I could break things down into smaller steps.

  2. Lorraine October 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Wow!! Great information!!! I have only used layer masks a means of “brushing off’ what I don’t want in a layer. love the circular gradient effect! the channel — well — will be looking forward to your more detailed explanation! 🙂

  3. Celeste October 29, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    HI Leslie!
    Thanks for sharing! this is really great, even though I use Corel, the general idea is there and i’ll be able to put it to good use. Thanks a stack!

  4. susan August 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I see that this was done on 2010 but did you ever get the Flicker group going to explain in more detail the steps to get this beautiful image and the others that you create?

    • Leslie Nicole August 7, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Hi, yes the Flickr group is active. Hmm. this just showed me that for some reason my Flickr button is no longer linked. Thanks! I’ll get that fixed. Probably when I upgraded my theme recently – oh, yes, that’s it. I remember now I have to go in and manually change some css code for the group link to work. You know, I didn’t go into great detail on this one. Frankly, I don’t use this method much any more. Photoshop brushes are easier for the same effect.

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