Monday, March 28, 2011

Testing Textures

I'm in the final stages of putting together a little collection of fine art textures.  Part of the process is testing the textures on a variety of photographs to make sure they produce the desired results.  Today I would like to share one example of the 'testing' process. 

Those of you who are new to using textures on your photographs might not be aware that the veteran texture designers and users (of which I make no claims to be one) often use more than one texture to get their preferred results.  If you have not been happy with the results you get when using textures you have acquired from the Web, it just may be that you need to be willing to use more than one, adjusting them individually to get the romantic or dreamy or vintage or abstract or dramatic effect you are looking for.  Below is an example of what two very different textures can do to one photograph.  First, the photograph:

This is the photograph I am using to test my textures.  The work is being done in PSE 8, but can be done in whatever version or editing program you use.

This first texture contains its own little border and gives the photo a faded, sepia look.  I did have to reduce its opacity slightly and use a layer mask to remove some of the texture to make sure you could still see her little face and the details in her body and dress.  Note her adorable flip-flops!  (Textures I provide for you will not have the watermark on them, of course!)

The result is a little too yellow/green for my taste so I chose a blue/purple texture from among the new ones I have been creating to apply on top.

While the first texture added a vintage appeal, I wanted a little more drama and a little less yellow.  The above texture was applied right over the first texture.   The opacity of the texture was reduced to 85% and a layer mask adjustment was used to remove some purple color from her face.  To finish off, I flattened my layers and then applied the Filter "Watercolor" adjusting its effects to my eye.  The result is below:

As you can see the border from the first texture remains visible but is now darkened by the blue texture.  To my eye, the addition of the second texture adds more interest and 'romance' than was produced by the first. The first texture may do very well on its own over other photographs - but for this one, I like the more abstract effect produced by the application of two textures.

I make no claims to be an expert in textures or their application.  My goal here is to share what I have been learning and the creative products that have come as a result of the learning.  I hope, too, that you will be encouraged to see what is possible for a novice in the field.  If I can do this you certainly can too!  

Stay tuned - a collection of great (if I do say so myself) textures is on the way!


  1. for this picture i like the first one honestly...

  2. thanks for educating my eye

    Aloha to you
    from Honolulu!

    Comfort Spiral




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