Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Floating Islands : Photomanipulation and Digital Collage

This is a Digital Collage from my ‘Floating Islands’ series – incorporating old black and white engravings of fish which I digitally painted, original stamps made in Photoshop, and digitally manipulated photographs of beautiful beach scenes which I took during my travels in Puerto Rico.

This series was inspired by my wife (a Puerto Rican visual artist and writer who is concerned with the concept of “Floating Communities, Islands, and Migration”).

It is also dedicated to those who are looking for an imaginary place or community of peace and harmony to call home.

This work and others from the series are available for sale at my art store here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grunge Ornaments ATC / ACEO Backgrounds

These are 8 one-of-a-kind evocative ATC/ ACEO backgrounds digitally created in Photoshop that can be used as creative foundation to add a vintage, decorative or aged look to any arts and crafts project!

You can use these images for ACEO/ ATC digital collages or print out on any kind of paper for ATC mixed media collages, scrapbooking, altered art, journaling, thank you notes, tags and any other artistic and crafty imaginative ideas you can come up with!

Print as many times as you need!

You can use and alter them with paint, glue lettering, apply vintage photographs, found objects, embellishments, stamps, hand-made stencils, etc.

Below is a sample digital collage I made using one of the backgrounds.

These and other ATC / ACEO backgrounds are available for personal and small commercial use for a very reasonable price of $ 3.00 from my design store here

NO Shipping Fees! This digital file will be emailed to you in high resolution 300(dpi) resizable JPEG format.

Thanks for visiting! Happy creating and Regards.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Digital Collage Art Inspiration: Birds in Fall

"Birds in Fall" is my latest digital collage art & creative photography series inspired by photographs I took in my neighborhood and travels in upstate New York along the Hudson River.

I hope it captures a love for nature, peace, and freedom!

Please see below photographs of before and after showing my sources of inspiration.

With a digital camera & a few collage elements manipulated in Photoshop, one can make some pretty neat images!

To see more examples from the series please visit my Etsy shop here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

How to make a torn edge border template in Photoshop using Filters

Looking for a way to add a torn edge effect to a digital image?  

In this Step by Step tutorial, I'll will demonstrate how to create a torn edge border template in Photoshop using Quick Mask Mode and built in Photoshop Filters.
Note: This tutorial was made using Photoshop CS2 so if you have a later version some of the screenshots or steps might differ slightly.


1. To begin, open an image you want to work on.

I will use this digital collage image I made in Photoshop of a Honey Bee.

2. Under Edit > Preferences > select Grid, Guides & Preferences.

3. Under Grid section and Gridlines every: enter the distance you want between each gridline (you can use pixels or inches) I used .5 inches in this case.

4. Go to View menu > Show Grid - you will see the gridlines pop up. (Make sure that 'Snap' under the View menu is checked).

5. Then use the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag along the gridlines to make a selection. You'll notice the selection will snap to the gridlines - this way it will create an even 0.5 inch border along the edge of the photo.

6. Then click the 'Edit In Quick Mask Mode button' (as shown in the picture) on the Toolbox (or press the letter Q on the keyboard).

7.  Notice the area outside the selection appears with a red overlay. Think of it as red masking tape that is protecting the edge of the image. The edges where the mask and the unmasked area meet will be the area that will be affected when the filter is applied.

8. Let's apply the Spatter Filter to create a simple torn edge.  Select Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter from the Main Menu Bar.

9. In the Spatter dialog box, you'll see a preview of the filter.

Adjust the Spray Radius and Smoothness of your brush to your preference by moving the sliders. For this image I selected Spray 8 and Smoothness 4.

When you're ready, click the OK button.

You'll notice the red mask has the Spatter Filter applied to it.

Note: If you want to increase the effect of the filter, press (Ctrl + F) in Windows).

11. When you've happy with the results click the 'Edit In Standard Mode button' (as shown) on the Toolbox or again press the letter Q.

You'll notice the selection with marching ants.

12. Select select [SHIFT + Ctrl + N] or then New Layer icon from the Layers Palette and create a new empty Layer above your image.

13. Then select the inverse of your selection by choosing Select > Inverse from the Main Photoshop menu or by pressing [Ctrl + Shift + I] in Windows.

14. Then select [Edit + Fill] or select [Alt + Backspace] to fill the area with color.
I choose Black in this case.

Then, select [Ctrl + D] or Select > Deselect

Lower the Opacity on the New Layer with the Black Border.  I used 50% Opacity.

16. You can use this torn edge border as a template and layer over any image!

17. Here is another example using the template and filling it with a light brown color at 100 % opacity to match the image.

In the following tutorial I'll show how to use the torn edge border template to create a Clipping Mask that you can apply and reuse for any photo.

This is my finished version applying this very same technique using a combination Photoshop Filters in Quick Mask Mode. Experiment with the Built in Photoshop Filters in Quick Mask mode to see what effects you can get.

You can see more examples in my shop here under Nature/Landscape section.

Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Digitally add Textural qualities to any photo using existing textures.

These are 8 evocative and Timeless Texture backgrounds for ACEO/ ATC Cards or Digital Collage that I first made in Photoshop to add an aged, ephemeral, or vintage quality to any photo.

Below is a simple mini-tutorial that shows how to easily apply existing textures over any photo to get interesting tinting, color, and textural effects.  This mini-tutorial was made using Photoshop but the same idea applies to software that incorporates the use of Blending Modes and Layers.

Below are 8 more original backgrounds made in Photoshop incorporating some geometric designs. 

The use of Timeless Vintage Textures is similar to the first tutorial posted above, but this one incorporates the use of Layer Masks in order to pin-point certain areas in the photo where you want to show the texture.

These textures and other digital paper designs are now available for sale for personal and commercial use at my Design Store for Arts & Crafts

Please stay tuned for more simple and artful Photoshop tutorials.
I hope it was useful to you. Thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Felted Flowers: Scrapbooking Embellishments

Introducing the multi-purpose Felted Flower scrapbooking Collection.

These original images are also ideal for personal digital scrapbooking or can be printed and easily cut with a pair of scissors to create beautiful decorative accents and embellishments for photo frames, journals, invitations, cards, and many other stand alone personal creative projects!

They can also be incorporated into mixed media collages, handmade jewelry, journaling, ATC and ACEO embellishments, decoupage, and anything your imagination can come up with!

Available from my Etsy store in 1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch resizable transparent PNG format and standard JPEGs.  

Friday, January 1, 2010

Introducing Downloadable Printable Projects

This Customizable Butterfly Mandala Printable Project consists of 12 original designs to make one-of-a-kind 2-sided Gift Tags or Bookmarks.

You may print this creative project on your inkjet as many times as you need on a bright white card-stock or any kind of paper, cut it out, punch and add pretty ribbon or a tassel or maybe some ink or glitter!


1. Blank (so you can digitally add your own text and font).
2. Formatted with To: (front) & From: (back).
3. Any text you would like for me to add. (Max 15 characters).

To see other printable projects please visit  Gift Ideas / Printables section in my shop.