Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Underlayers? Is she talking about underwear?

I'm sure you've seen them all around digiland.  Every designer has a different name for them, and some scrappers, too :)  I've seen "paint," "splats," "grunge," "smears," just recently, and I'm sure there are more.  I call mine underlayers, because I've created them to "layer under" a photo or elements to give the scrapper more creative options for grounding the photo or creating better contrast, or even for adding a touch of color to help the eye find the focus of the layout.  A little pedestrian term-wise, but a very useful tool!

What, you may ask (see how nice I am now that you know I'm not talking about underwear?) does one do with an underlayer?

I'm so glad you asked!

Here we have a rather bland layout of some elephants chillin' at the zoo using some papers and elements from my Menagerie Collection.  Nice enough, a few cute elements.  But just a little "blah.

 Here, however, I've popped a nice splattery underlayer under things, and see how it livens things up?  Adding texture, a touch of sparkle, and a bit of color to tie in the subtle red border, it adds some pizazz and also unites the elements with the background.
 Maybe, though, you don't care for the extra tension of the red, and would like a calmer look - after all, there were lots of screaming kids at the zoo (hopefully not yours) and you just want to remember the restful parts. Try clipping a paper to the underlayer - you get the same subtle interaction with the background, but not so much contrast.  I also changed the color of the border to continue the more subtle effect.

Maybe you like the color of the paper clipped to the mask better than the original, but want a little pizazz.  Not screaming yellow zonkers level, just a little pop of sparkle.  Here, I've layered another sparkly underlayer over the adjusted mask:


Sometimes a background can prove to be a little dark - in this version, I like the harmonious feel of the greens, but the elements seem a little lost and it's awfully zen.


 So I popped a light colored underlayer beneath it all for this look:

 While I like the lighter color for some contrast, I think it's too bright and stark, so I lowered the opacity of the underlayer a bit (you can also play with blending modes for different effects).  And then I thought it would be fun to add the red layer, too, for a smooshy good time (without getting my fingers dirty, LOL, I love digi!)

This one might be my favorite of all.  See how you can change things up?

OK, now You give it a try!  I've packaged up the underlayers I used here and you can put the tricks to work in your own layouts:


You can download them HERE.

Menagerie will be on sale 20% off through Friday, so if you have your own chillin' elephants to scrap, now's a great time to pick it up:


And til next time, happy scrapping!


18 comments:

mnJenL said...

You crack me up! Great examples and thanks so much for the freebie.

Lorry said...

These are great! Thanks so much! I love to see the different versions of the same LO. It's so great to compare and contrast all the different effects.

Shawna Wakeley said...

Thanks so much for the visual examples and the freebie.

Judy Goodnight said...

Thanks for the bonus and nice clear examples of how to use the underlayers.

Jacqueline said...

Your info on underlayers great and thanks for the bonus!

Jacqueline said...

Your info on underlayers great and thanks for the bonus!

Elizabeth A said...

Thank you, that was really instructive. I've just started using these kinds of things and like that you can use a plain paper and jazz it up with these. I paper scrap too and can't see anything quite like this in paper scrapping. So versatile!

Anonymous said...

Thanks...that was a great tutorial! And that you for the underwear...

Dona said...

Love your visual explanations! Thank you for the underwear...

JeannieK said...

Thanks for the bonus freebie! I love using these on my pages! Great examples! I know that took a lot of time to put together. Thank you !

NancyP said...

Love your examples and LOVE the underlayers! Never heard them called that, but whatever they are called---I LOVE them!!! Thanks so much for the freebies!!!

Anonymous said...

They are awesome! Thank you so much.
Hugs, Ann

Anonymous said...

Just saw this today - catching up on my reading. Great article and thank you for the super under layers. This is something I like to do on my pages because I like the pop it gives to my minimalistic style. I lean towards simple layouts (not having an artistic bone in my body). Thank you!!
Rose

C Elliott said...

Very informative tutorial! Thanks for it and the great under layers.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome gift - I LOVE these underlayers! Thank you so much.

Arlene said...

Very cool tutorial. Love the underlays ... and thanks so much for the freebie.

Anonymous said...

underlayers!! love the name, and thank you for the gift, and for your examples of how to use them - made me chuckle! :) ~Corrin

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial and the awesome freebies!