Today I stumbled across an article on Shutterstock offering a free set of 20 ‘Grunge’ brushes for Photoshop and suggestions for how to use them for creative effect. Having never used brushes like this before, I downloaded them, loaded them up into Photoshop and had great fun playing around!
This blog post showcases some of my new creations as a result of these experiments, and talks through what I learned about Photoshop as I went along.
Here’s the first graphic I created:
In this graphic I chose a radial Solid Colour layer for the background, with brush effect on top of that layer, using blending options (“Soft Light” or “Overlay”, I can’t remember which) to soften the brushes and blend the colours with the background.
Then I experimented with drop shadows around the text to lift it off the page.
Happy with that but eager to experiment further with the brushes, I picked another inspirational quote from a catalogue of quotes I’ve collected…
In this graphic I started with a tan background, as the Shutterstock article suggested. Applying the same brush multiple times with different colours, then using different blending options for the brush layer, gave me this papyrus-effect for the background.
I thought this script-style font complemented the text and the background. Adding an Outer Glow effect around the text helped to separate it slightly from the background and make it more legible.
Moving on from plain backgrounds, next I selected a photograph of Hadrian’s Wall that I had taken back in January and created this:
Using the photograph as a background, I applied one of my new “Grunge” brushes to give a ‘vintage’ sort of effect, then on top of that I added a quote I had seen online.
With my creative juices now flowing, I clicked on to another Shutterstock article which gives away 20 free celebration and bokeh backgrounds.
My first thought when I saw the background images in this set was “I can add snow”! So I dragged out one of my pictures from earlier this year that I’ve been thinking would make a good Christmas card and added a snow effect on top. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the original versus the snow effect one?
With added snow effect (and removal of the telephone wire):
Finally, I combined the brushes with a confetti background and created this graphic:
As per the instructions in the article, I used a Clipping Mask to put confetti behind the text. I’ve never quite understood Clipping Masks, but it worked a treat in this situation!
This type of digital art & graphic design marks a departure from the ‘pure’ photography I’ve focused on up until now, but I must say I enjoyed the exercise! So there you have it. From photographer to graphic designer??
Following a recent blast of snow, in which Gloucestershire and Wiltshire were hit particularly badly, my newly adopted home town rose to the occasion and showed us how you can look beautiful even when all your trees are bare.
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, UK taken in January 2019
I took this picture as a memory of where and when we scattered my best friend Anya’s ashes. She had always wanted to return to the north of England to live, and Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast was one of her favourite spots. So it was with great joy that we found this peaceful spot on the beach at low tide and with a glorious sunset to scatter her ashes in the sea. I hope you like your forever home my darling.
Coconut Grove, Dickinson Bay, Antigua – one of my favourite beaches in Antigua, and probably the Caribbean. White sandy beach, azure blue sea, paradise. This one sun lounger in a rare spot of shade didn’t stand empty for long.
Taken on my iPhone, I loved the colours of the sunrise over Carlisle Bay in Barbados. Yes that’s right, I said sunrise, not sunset! Yes, I was (still) up at around 5.30am 🙂 And it was beautifully peaceful and quiet.
One of the main forms of transport in the rural areas of the northern Dominican Republic was the small motorbike… closely followed by the good ol’ fashioned horse. Despite the bumpy terrain, bikes were used to carry cargo of all shapes and sizes.