Making An Artsy Layout – Part 2


Did you enjoy my last tutorial on how to create an artsy page and a fusion page called “Beauty of Artistic and Fusion Layouts“? This next tutorial is an extension of that. It’s just another little step-by-step tutorial on a layout I created that is on the more artistic side.  It contains brushes, art papers, painted goodies to make it happen. I used my latest kit called Out of the Ordinary to show you how and so you can follow along exactly, if you so wish.

At the end of this tutorial, I have a little free Quick Page for you to just add your photo to the layout that I have created here.  It’s in .psd and .tiff formats because there is a photo mask to use.


This is the layout I will show you how to create from scratch.


Step 1:  Choose Background Paper and Photo


I suggest you choose a paper with a more artsy background. Artsy and painted backgrounds save you a lot of time and guesswork on how to create a paper that is on the more artistic side of things. Also choose the photo you wish to work with. I converted mine to black and white because I wanted colors to show through with it once it’s semi-transparent. But, you don’t have to do that.  You can keep it in color and opaque. But, I like the effect I created here in my layout.

Step 2:  Choose 2 Watercolor Brushes as Elements


In my kit Out of the Ordinary, I have chosen two elements instead of brushes. What I did for this is use two watercolor brushes and added some newsprint to them. You can find out how to do something similar in my last tutorial called “Revamping Your Paper Overlays“. While it’s about overlays, the same rules apply for Photoshop Brushes. While I have photo masks in my kit, I wanted to use something a bit more transparent, so I choose these two spats.


Drag your splats onto your paper and lay them out together in an arrangement of your choosing. Then merge the two together by clicking the topmost layer of your splat in the layers panel on the right, the going to “Layers” up on your top toolbar. Click “merge down.” You can also go the quicker route and click “Ctrl+E”. Once the two spats are merged, they will be used as your more transparent photo mask.

Step 3:  Add Your Photo and Clip to Photo Mask


Next simply drag your photo of your choice on top of the photo mask. I chose a photo of me in particular because that is what this kit is really about. About you feeling extraordinary or special, though it can apply to anyone special in your life.

Once you have dragged your photo, stretch it, move it until it’s where you want it. Now clip it to the photo mask by moving your mouse on the line between your image and the photo mask, hitting the Alt key at the same time and click the “eye” in the layers panel where your mouse is. If your image is still not where you want it, keep moving it around until you are happy with where your image is within the photo mask.

Step 4:  Add Gesso Goodies


I have a few bits of gesso goodies. I love gesso in my real art and, especially, molding paste and thick gesso. The problem digitally is it’s VERY hard to extract and put in a kit. It takes a lot of time, which is why you don’t see a lot of it. It has to primarily, like stitches, be extracted slowly by hand. But, for me it’s all worth it in the end. I love the realistic look it gives to artistic layouts. So, if you ever see a kit with gesso, grab it, use it. It’s hard to come by!

First, I have a bit of gesso dots. Basically, I have a stencil with little dots and I used molding paste to create the texture and surface of the dots. I place that in my layout right underneath the photo mask.


I also have a couple of gesso scrapes that I scraped with a palette knife. Chose a scraped gesso and place that on top of the dots and under the photo mask.


Last, I also have some gesso chevron made the same way as the dots. Place that anywhere of your choosing under the photo mask or scraped gesso.

Step 5: Select Word Art or Word Art Stamp


Here I have a messy grungy word art I created using inspirational words. But, you can choose any word art you like as long as you can recolor it easily.


I changed the color of it to white. While I want the words in my layout, I want it there a bit more subtle. I don’t want my word art loud. You can be as loud as you want, but for this tutorial, I chose subtlety :). I just clicked “Ctrl+U” to open up my hue/saturation window. Move the bottom lever “lightness” all the way to the far right to make it white.

I click on the paper in my layers panel and place the word art twice, once showing slightly at the bottom of my image and once slightly at the top of my image.

Step 6:  Add A Piece of Torn Paper and Some Text


I have a bit of torn paper here I added just under the photo and did a little shadowing. To shadow, you can follow my tutorial “Using Basic Shadowing in PSE“. Notice the bits of color coming up underneath the photo mask? That’s the look I was going for here when I chose to do a more translucent mask.


Next, to add to that artistic mixed media look, I want to add some text…just a bit here and there. I have this messy grungy text stamp/element in my Out of the Ordinary kit. I just drag that a couple of times onto the paper layer in the layers panel. I just want a bit peeping through onto the paper underneath all that gesso. It makes it look like I took a text stamp and just lightly stamped onto the paper.

Step 7:  Adding Watercolor Brushes13_pickwcbrushwhiteaddtophoto

Those spats you saw at the top of this tutorial are also watercolor brushes I have here in my Out of the Ordinary brush pack. I pick a watercolor brush from the brush tool on the left tools panel.


I take my white watercolor brush and stamp around the edges of my photo to give it a more blended, almost photo transfer look. Just do it around the edges here and there.

Step 8:  Adding More Paint Brushes in Black


Now click on your background paper in the layers panel to select where you want to add your new layer. Then you want to choose a new layer by either going to the top tool bar and selecting “Layers” and “New Layer.”  Or you can click “Ctrl+Shift+N”. Once you have a new layer selected select my coffee ring brush (or really any brush of your choosing), make sure the colors you are stamping are black. I just added one stamp of my coffee rings from my Out of the Ordinary brush pack.


Next, in my Out of the Ordinary brush pack select a paint spatter brush. I believe I have a few in there. Or you can select any paint spatter brush of your choosing. You are going to create another new layer (see above) and start stamping on your paint spatter. I added a little bit of spatter under the gesso and some around the corners of my paper here and there. Looks like you just spattered on paint to your paper and has a wonderful artsy effect.

Step 9:  Add Last Bit of Touches


Create another new layer and start adding some fun scribbles in the corners of the paper. I have a scribbles pack for my Out of the Ordinary kit.


I decided to take a little more scrapped gesso and add it at the top and bottom of my page to make it look like I scrapped it there.


I took a different more transparent spatter brush, created a new layer and started to add a bit more spatter paint right under the torn paper and over the scrapped gesso.


Once in a while I like to add some glitter and sparkles into my designs :). Here I picked my yellow glitter that looks like spattered glitter glue. I put some on the top left corner and a bit on top of photo on the right. It looks like you put real glitter glue on to your project.


Last but not least…Washi tape.  Who doesn’t love Washi tape? I have a just a bit of tape I made for the kit in stripes. I put some tape in the top left corner and the bottom right corner of the paper.

And, that’s it! Just merge all your elements or flatten your page by going to “Layers” at the bottom drop down, click “Flatten.”

If you enjoyed my tutorial and would like this actual layout for your own use, you can download HERE or click the image below (both are direct downloads). This Quick Page is in .PSD format so you can clip your own image to the photo mask and be done! It’s also in .TIFF.

Thank you for reading!








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