Sunday, January 25, 2015

On Display in action In An Instant. Oh, and writing on chalkboard in Photoshop...

I know the chalkboard trend has been around for a while in the scrappy crafty world, so you probably have a fair stash of it by now.  There are quite a few styles available for imitating the look of chalk on a chalkboard, but not everyone is addicted to styles as I am.  So I set about playing to see if I could create a fairly realistic effect just using Photoshop (it will work in Photoshop Elements, too).

Here's a layout I did using The Photo Project - In An Instant and photos of my "grand dog" Leonard (Leo for short) :

To be sure, it's a quick layout; I spent more time on shadows than anything (mostly because I love playing with shadows).  I wanted to show a few pictures that Leo's mama had recently shared in our Facebook chat that captured his goofy-but-loveable personality and not-quite-outgrown puppyness. Which we are going to pretend is a real word for the purposes of this blog.

Once my photos and elements were in place, I went to work on the title and journaling.  The first step is to choose a font that isn't perfect for chalk writing, because no matter how carefully you write, there will be spots the chalk doesn't cover the board so it's spotty and irregular.  I found a few good options (all of which are free for personal use).

Then I set about trying to increase the chalky effect:

not bad, right?  Let me show you how I achieved the look.

1. First, choose your color.  Don't go for pure white!  If you look at real chalk on a real chalkboard, you will notice that so much of the black shows through that it's much closer to grey than white.  I picked the above color, but feel free to play around and get the shade you prefer!

2. Choose your font.  I liked this one (Film Cryptic) - it's more regular than I could write myself, but it's very readable and still has enough rough edges to be sort of realistic.  

3. Once you have your journaling the way you like it, duplicate the layer (I use control + j keyboard shortcut)  Set the blending mode of the top layer to "Dissolve."  I have to admit I have never used this blending mode before, because it makes everything all spotty and that has never been the look I've been going for before, LOL.  I lowered the fill to 87%  because it left more bare spots, but feel free to play to see what effect YOU want. 

4.  Then I lowered the fill on the lower layer of journaling to about half - again, up to you to play with yours for the desired result.  To be honest, when I flattened the layout, I lost a lot of the piece-y-ness of the dissolve layer, and so my normal layer was down to about 10%.  Make sure you take a look at what happens before you save it or close the file.  I should embroider a pillow with the phrase "the Undo button is my friend..."   however, embroidery has no undo button and I can only imagine the mess I would make of it.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of some things to try to get the chalky look you want :)  As for the fonts, here's where you can download them:

Hope you have fun - I'd love to see how it works for you, so feel free to link me up!  (or post on my Facebook page so we can all oooh and ahh!)

1 comment:

Teri Comstock said...

I'm a new reader and love this! Thanks for the tip on chalk fonts.