For this webinar, we were joined by Anna Aspnes of Anna Aspnes Designs!

Anna demonstrated 8 ways to 'artsify' your digital scrapbooking layouts:

1. Select DigitalART supplies based on photos.
2. Create an artsy foundation using Transfers.
3. Blend your photos with FotoBlendz clipping masks.
4. Edit your photos with Blending Modes.
5. Add color and lighting effects using FotoGlows.
6. Use brushes to support color/theme and distress elements.
7. Use embellishments to add visual interest via dimension and angles.
8. Add context with WordART.

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Work on the Foundation

The ArtPlay Palette consists of custom brushes with artsy transfers, photo blends, clipping masks, word art, and multimedia elements which are clustered elements.

Create a foundational piece and select the colors to match the photos. Identify the prominent, neutral, and bold colors. Pick prominent green and blue with neutral accents to work on. Use the colors in the photo to accentuate the neutral colors. Choose a scenic image to begin with.

Pro tip: The images are delivered in PNG and ABR format and the elements are delivered in PSD and PNG format.

Closely match the colors of your photo with the Artsy Papers. Go back into Photoshop. Open the file and navigate to digital art supplies to access the ArtPlay Palette. Add an Artsy Paper and a solid paper by clicking on command or control and double-tapping them.

With the Move tool selected from the tools panel, hold down the left mouse button to drag and then release the images to the canvas. Minimize the reference layer and create a new layout to get started. Choose a 12 x 12-inch format canvas and set it at 300 pixels to ensure good quality print when you upload it. Bring the images together.

Add Transfers and Overlays

Move the artsy paper onto the background. Pick 3 transfers and overlays from the Transfers and Overlays folder and drag them on the canvas using the Move tool. Click on the checkmark on top of the screen to accept it.

Select the layers and ensure that the auto-select option is turned off. Move the artsy papers around to create a background above the solid paper. An alternative way to create a custom artsy background is to use the same background. Mix and match the digital art supplies by clicking on the elements to see a preview.

Open it in the workspace and go over the latest panel to see that the transfer is made of different layers. Turn off the visibility of the layers by clicking on the icon next to each layer. Change the colors by clicking on Image Adjustments, Hue and Saturation in Photoshop elements. Resize the transfers as required by clicking on the Move tool. Adjust by dragging the corners of the layers independently.

Select all the layers from the layers panel, hold down shift and choose the Move tool. Ensuring that the auto selection is off, drag it on the canvas.

Add a Blended Photo

Pick a blending element from the multi-layer file and drag it into Photoshop. Resize the blend, adjust the image and then drag it onto the canvas.

Place it over the most interesting part of the design and that will be the focal point of the layout. Drag the photo on the canvas and check the box to accept the transformation. Make sure that the photo completely covers the mask.

Create a clipping mask and snap the photo down to the mask. Increase the size of the photo to extend it over the edges of that mask.

Add Blending Modes 

Enhance your artistry by adding blending modes into the mix. Apply a mask to the clipping set and select the mask layer in the latest panel. Click on the downward-facing arrow on default blending mode and hover over the options to choose from different blending modes.

The first set of blending modes are dark blending modes. The second set is the lightened blending modes and the third set is the contrast blending modes. Change the color of the mask. Select the mask layer and turn off the photo visibility. Edit, fill and ensure that the transparency box option is checked. Change the color by modifying the hue from the settings. Pick a blue color and tap to transform the color.

Similarly, add color to the layer mask. Pick a yellow color and apply it to the masked layer. Simultaneously, you can play with the artistry and add any other color to think outside the box. Add a Linear Burn to the photo. To do this, keep the photo on Normal and duplicate the photo layers. Add different blending modes to the photo layer and lighten the photo by using lightened blending modes.

Additionally, you can use Opacity to manipulate the contrast of the photo.

Pro tip: Add different transfers to the mix by adding them on top of the photo. Add blending modes to the transfers and play with them.

Add Effects

Drag and drop the light element on the workspace.

Drag it in the middle of the clipping set and reclip the layers. Move the photo glow right on top of the image, making it look like a glowing sun in the sky. Play around with blending modes.

Enhance the image adjustments, color, hue, and saturation. Move the hue slider to add a glow on top of the image. Add shadow. Use the shadow slider to introduce highlights. Play with the elements and move things around.

Pro tip: Photoshop is an extremely flat medium, so if you can bring as much texture as possible into your digital pages, it will help elevate them and create visual interest.

Use the Brushes

Select the Paintbrush Tool from the tools panel. Navigate to the top of your screen and select the brush options. Click on the small wheel on Photoshop elements and import all the brushes. Add brush strokes by adding them on separate layers so that they can be edited later.

Select a brush and click on the foreground color. Click on the layer to sample a color and click Ok. Create a new layout stamp brush in the center of the page and rotate the size to move into position. This gives you more flexibility for being able to move that brush around the canvas. The blue color spreads on the right-hand side and continues to lead the eye to the left-hand side of the page.

You can also reorder your layers at any time by clicking and dragging them down the latest panel. Revisit the color picker and pick a brown to add to the layout. Go back to the paintbrush tool and navigate to brush options. Select the Bird Brush and add it over the top of the design.

Apply a blending mode and play around with different options. Select the photo layers by holding down the shift key and bring the opacity down to modify. Select the Eraser tool, navigate to the brushes and select the Anna Blends Artsy Blending Brush. You can resize the brush by bringing down the size and rotate the brush.

Add Texture

Select the Paintbrush Tool and select the texture. Choose a gray color for the foreground and click on the background. Play around with the blending modes. Add Multiply or a Linear Burn blending mode to the texture brushes. Give intensity and contrast to the design. Move and align the elements.

Add Embellishments

Add embellishment to add a traditional component to the design. This also adds visual interest through dimension and texture. Play with angles when moving the elements into position. Navigate back to the ArtPlay Palette and bring in some elements to create your element groupings.

To retain the layers, add a leaf element and drag the PSD file into the background of the design. Select both of those layers in the latest panel and then drag them onto the canvas. Rotate, resize and recolor. Play with the Image Adjustments, Hue and Saturation, to complement them with the photo. Change the saturation and manipulate the shadows.

Add the elements in a cluster, giving it a trio effect. Group the elements together to create a relationship, creating an organized design. Drag and reorder the layers as required. Place the flatter embellishments below the ones that have a protrusion off the page and change the size.

Add a realistic shadow by going to Layer Style. Add a drop shadow. Play with the style settings, drop shadow and then bring up the Style Box. Set the blending mode to Linear Burn and bring the shadow from the bottom right.

The distance is dependent on the element, meaning the drop shadow on the button or the leaf can be reduced. Bring it down and repeat the action to reassess the drop shadow layer. Bring up the shadow, increase the distance and the size. Change the opacity to make it dimensional. Finish it by creating a new layer, returning to the brushes and stitching the elements together. Make element clusters and create a visual triangle.

Turn off the visibility. Change the color of the layers independently. Change the size of the rotation and manipulate them. Use the eraser and remove areas. Make sure that the auto select option is unchecked and then drag this onto the canvas. Use the premade element cluster to finish the design with an embellishment.

Add Word Art

Select one of the beaded threads, the WordArt and one of the transfers from the WordArt folder. Hold the control or command key to select the words. Drag them in and place them directly onto the canvas. Accept the transformation to place the layers on the canvas. Blend the transfers into the background and apply blending modes.

Drag the elements up to the top of the layer stack and create a cluster of elements, keeping the integrity of this visual triangle. Make sure that it draws your eye into the focal point of the page. Move these pieces around and make them fit. Add another drop shadow layer style to make it pop off the page. Bring the distance down slightly and change the opacity to make it stronger.

Select the Text tool from the tools panel. Click down the left mouse button, drag and release to automatically paste 'lorem ipsum'. Then copy and paste your favorite quote into that text box. Go to the tools and change the font that you want to use on your page. Change the size to 12 points for the text boxes.

That’s it! That's 8 different ways to artsify your scrapbooking.