I’m so excited about the release of the Luv U Deerly Templates this week at With Love Studio!I thought a tutorial on how to use the templates would be helpful. I created a darling layout of my youngest granddaughter using one of the templates. Her pose is so sassy and I wanted the layout to reflect that!
I started out with Template 1 of the set:
Next, I added the Fantasy Blue paper from the Luv U Deerly Fantasy Papers add on kit for the background. Then I clipped the Fancy Lacy Hearts paper from the same paper pack to the mask. Very pretty don’t you think?
I like it, but it needs more color. I loved the green paper against the blue and decided to punch it up a bit by clipping that same paper to the clear mats. As I added each paper, I experimented with the opacity of each paper and mat. Lowering the opacity of the paper itself, gave just a hint of color to the mat and also brightened it a bit:
Unfortunately, you can not simply increase the fill of your clear mat to reduce it’s opacity in Photoshop Elements as you can in Photoshop. You’re pretty much stuck with it at the default setting of the template or to remove the effects from the clear mat and use it as a solid mat. If you simply duplicate the transparent layer to increase the opacity, you will get a shadow that is twice as dense as the shadows on the other layers as seen below: (note, using different papers for the PSE part of the tutorial so you can tell which program I’m using for the two sections)
As I said, you could clear the effects off the original mat to create a solid mat, replace the shadow and then reduce the opacity of that new solid mat. However, this can result in a muddy color to your mat and any papers you might clip to the mat. That may not give you the look you are trying to achieve.
The best way to avoid this to duplicate the clear mat and then remove all layer effects from the duplicate layer. This will give you a new SOLID layer with no shadows above the original clear shadowed layer. You can clip your papers, if any, to this new solid layer and reduce the opacity of the new layer. You’ll find your colors retain their original color, brightness and look without effecting the original shadow as it is on the layer below.
See the result below of duplicating the clear mat, clearing the effects and then using a opacity of 47% on the duplicate layer. Varying effect from mat to mat can create interesting effects or be used to avoid too much or too little color where mats overlap:
Sometimes I only clip the papers to some of the mats, depending on how much color I want to add to the layout. I may also reduce the opacity of some papers if I feel that the color is too harsh where they overlap. I may even clip a different paper to some of the mats for some color and pattern variety. I decided I liked the same paper clipped to all of the clear mats at their default setting of 30% fill:
I like it! But this doesn’t really show off PJ’s sassy pose as much as I would like. I decide to extend the photo down by clipping it to the clear mat layer below her photo. Oh I LIKE it! But the right part of the photo is colored too much by the layer above it. Could be better:
Yes! That’s the sassy PJ I know and love! Only thing left now is to start adding elements from Luv U Deerly to add those finishing touches! Perfect!
I kept this layout fairly simple in content to showcase PJ but you can be as elaborate or simple as you want to be. Feel free to experiment with opacity and fill layers to get exactly the look you want! Layer elements under and on top of the clear mats for different effects. You can leave some clear mats as is, or even clip different papers to each one. I particularly like patterned papers for the masks and may choose patterned or solid papers for the background. Add paint, stamps, whatever you want to get a completely unique layout designed by YOU!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you now feel ready to explore using these templates and letting loose your creativity! Can’t wait to see what you do with them!