In this session, we were joined by Leslie Nicole, an American photographer and designer living in France and the founder of French Kiss Collections, a digital design resource specialising in Fine Art textures.

Many of Leslie's inspiration comes from her love of photographing details of French walls and stone, and combing flea markets to find materials to put into the textures and brushes, as well as the natural environment. And, with a fine art background, Leslie creates textures, brushes and papers from acrylic and oil paint, watercolor, monoprinting and pastels.

Join us on a journey through photography, textures, elements and layers, mixed with an essentially classical practice of fine art, leading to the creation of the most exquisite and sophisticated packaging designs.

Love the idea of having art in all parts of your life? This is how you can enjoy art in clothing, at home and stationery. Think beyond just putting art in a frame. It's always great to visualize how your it might look on something. 

To go beyond the picture frame, create a multi-layered design, play with textures and create artistic packaging designs with the amazing Leslie Nicole. With a background in both photography anddDesign, Leslie likes to work in a way that combines both her passions. 

Pick an Image

For the base, we’re going to be using some flower photographs and build textures and overlays on it. You could click and pick any flowers from your backyard or garden and get started, by removing the background and cutting out the flowers from the image. Make sure the flowers are bright and crisp. For this step you can even use Light Pads, to photograph the flower photos. 

Choose a texture from your collection or go in the Bliss Texture Collection by Leslie Nicole which is watercolor based with some pigment spray as well.

This texture has a vintage French script from the Bliss Texture Collection. It’s a cropped-in watercolor texture.

Hold down the shift key as you drag so that it enters the texture and then change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Add a Layer Mask. Select a soft brush and paint black in your foreground.

On the Layer Mask, blend over some of the texture to bring back the original vibrancy of the flowers. Also, make sure not to be super precise so that the flowers blend in a little bit to the background and textured photography.

Clipping Mask Technique - Combine with another texture

Start a new document by picking a new watercolor texture. Drag this over and hold down the shift key to the new document. Resize it so your edges can be seen. Press ‘Command + T’ for the Transform Tool and then ‘Command + 0’ to fit the Bounding Box within the frame. 

To drag over a Merge version of this, select your top layer and press Command + Option + Shift + E. Now, temporarily turn that off to get a mask. Go to the 29 Clipping Mask Collection. It has 5 embellished masks, with some fancy patterns, scripts, watercolor spatters and some vintage music notes. Hold the shift key to centre it and drag it beneath the floral layer. 

With the outermost floral layer selected, apply a Clipping Mask. By pressing Command + Option + G, this clips it to the Layer Mask.

By using this technique, you can see the details from the Clipping Mask, that the flowers blend with the background and the design seems more integrated. These flowers don't just look plopped onto a design, but rather blend in the background. Using a Clipping Mask technique is more fun than using another texture, as it gives personality to the edges.

Select the watercolor background. Pick another overlay that has a vintage script and is transparent.

Hold down shift to get back into the document and put it up as a background layer on the colored layer. 

To colorize the overlay, use the same method as before, by using a Clipping Mask and adding a solid color fill layer. 

On the Layers Panel, open a solid color layer. Pick a yellow. Hold down Option and hover between the two layers. Clip it by using Alt and change the blend mode to Multiply. Put a Layer Mask on that. Using a brush, clean up the areas where there's extra color or the script is bleeding into the background. 

Go to the Vintage Collection and pick a vintage butterfly illustration. Drag it and put it on the top layer. Resize it to an appropriate size. 

Blend the butterfly into the design. Make adjustments by pulling down the floral layer and Clipping Mask. Pick some spatter from the watercolor collection. Drag it and change the blend mode to Overlay. 

Add Pattern in the Design

Choose a pattern and drag it onto the design.

Colorize this pattern by adding a solid pink color to fill the layer. 

Create a layer mask by holding onto Option so that it fills it with black. 

Add some watercolor spatter over. Resize and rotate it proportionately. Change the blend mode to a darker color and choose Multiply to add some vibrancy to the color. Then close the spatter. 

Choose a vintage dragonfly illustration. 

Resize it down proportionately and colorize it by using the Color Fill Layer. 

Make final adjustments like saturation and mid-tones as preferred and your artwork is all ready! 

This remarkable Complete Inspirational Textures & Elements Collection by Leslie has both complementary elements and maximum versatility. This could be used for photography to design and even scrapbooking. It has a wide range of uses along with a lot of textures to play with. There are 4 Texture Collections in this along with Bliss Watercolor Textures, Spatter and Sprays, Ornaments, Bloom Acrylic Painted Textures, Eclectic Essentials, Embellished Masks, Edge Overlays, Crackled Paint, Rubbed Pastel, Stone Walls, Boheme Textures, Motif Elements etc.