I’m generally working from a textbook to teach Photoshop, but sometimes the one I’m using is just too simplistic. In order to show a taste of the true artistic power of Photoshop, I put together the following design project for my students.
Let’s take your knowledge of color adjustments and blend modes one step further. Create three very different versions of a composite image.
- Find two interesting and colorful images online which you can overlap in your composite. Save them into your folder. Open them in Photoshop.
One image will be my Flower layer and the other will be my Swirl layer.
- Add one image onto the other in some way. Give a suitable name to each layer. Save the composite file as Color Experiment.psd. This will be your starting point for each of three versions.
- Save the file again as Color Experiment 1.psd.
- Apply an artistic filter to one of the layers (Filter > Artistic). You can try other filters instead. Filter > Distort has some cool ones.
- Apply a color adjustment to the other layer (Image > Adjustments). Try Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, or Variations.
- Select your top-most layer. In the layers palette, change the blend mode from Normal to something else. Try out a bunch until you find a neat combination.
- Save your file.
- Re-open Color Experiment.psd and save it as Color Experiment 2.psd. Repeat steps a – d above but with all different settings. You can change the order of the layers if you like. Save your file.
- Re-open Color Experiment.psd and save it as Color Experiment 3.psd. Repeat steps a – d above but with all different settings. You can change the order of the layers if you like. Save your file.
My results are below:
The Flower layer on the bottom has the Plastic Wrap filter applied to it. The Swirl layer on top has had a hue increase and a Difference blend mode applied.
The Swirl layer on the bottom has the Cutout filter applied to it. The Flower layer on top has had a hue increase and a Lighten blend mode applied.
The Swirl layer on the bottom has been colorized to a monotone purple. The Flower layer on top has the Ocean Ripple filter and a Linear Light blend mode applied.
UPDATE 12/13/08: Student Work