Tips for working with paint

Tips for working creatively with Brushes and Paint will follow a very similar pattern, if not the same, as some of the other previous posts with tips I gave you for creating Mixed Media Backgrounds and working with overlays. Once you learn techniques with one type of element and use it often, you'll find that you can achieve similar, or the same effects with other types of elements too!

Here is a list of tips that have been covered in previous posts but work well for paint, you might not have thought to work with paint in these ways so whilst this post might seem repetitive  I still wanted to post it and hope you have fun working with elements and tools in new ways.

  • Pick accent colours for your paper and start stamping brushes on different layers in different colours and allow them to overlap. Re-visit your layers and play with blend modes on each layer until you find a look that you love!
  • A Border effect can be added to your page using brushes by stamping various brushes around the edge of your page. Rotate layers or set the brush angle to use different sides of the stamped brush to create your edge.
  • Clip papers or other paper ephemera to your stamped brush layers to create the effect of Collage or transferred/burnished papers. If you want to cover a large area keep stamping fairly large brushes close to one another on the same layer and then clip your paper/s.
  • Experiment with blend modes on Brown or Neutral colour stamped brushes to create a dirty or aged effect.
  • Add different layers of different kinds of brushes to create texture and interest such as text, bubble wrap, watercolours, paint splatters etc.
  • Blend brushes into your paper for fun and unique effects.
  • Use them to alter other elements such as tags, labels, ephemera etc, stamp brushes/paint onto elements on a new layer to add painted accents. Try playing with blending modes on the paint layer.
  • Clip papers to them.

To create a 'Misted' or 'Stencilled' look with paint (almost as if you sprayed a fine layer of paint or ink over a stencil, or mask):

  • On a new layer, above your background paper, stamp various brushes (all on the same layer)
  • Again, on a new layer, but above your paint layer, arrange some shapes or elements, or a transparent pattern. These shapes, elements or pattern will be your 'cut outs' or 'mask'.
  • If you need a little help deciding on what your mask will be, or where to position it think outside the box, try using parts, or multiple parts of a template for your masked pieces. It could even be your title, try using an alpha!
  • Select the outline of your shapes or elements so that they have marching ants around them. In Photoshop this can be done by holding down ctrl whilst left clicking on the layer thumbnail.
  • Then on the PAINT layer hit delete on your keyboard.
  • Now hide your shape or element layer or whatever you used as your 'mask' and you should be left with a layer of paint with pretty cut outs where your shapes or elements were placed that your background paper peeks through!
  • Play with key trends like chevrons, arrows, butterflies and hexagons to jazz up your background paper.

Here is a layout that Carrie has made. She started with a bluey background and decided that she wanted LOTS of paint on her page. So she began layering, and layering, and layering some more, stamping lots of paint all over the place! She then used the butterfly elements as her 'mask' and positioned several of them around on top of her paint layer to create her cut outs. She was left with the shape of pretty butterflies scattered around that her background paper peeks through.

Here is another example by me using the custom shape tool to create a Misted/Masked chevron overlay effect on my background.

Don't hesitate to leave a comment or question!