I love grunge and Photoshop Brushes, put them together and you have grungy brushes, add them to Cabinets and you have, well um, grungy brushy Cabinets. Its like doodling with an undefined mission and very relaxing and satisfying. Even if you cant draw and paint, you'll be enthralled with your efforts. Cabinet Cards are an ideal subject to transform. They are plentiful, available at flea market / junk shops, on ebay,or a Google search. Scanned in or downloaded. A simple point of focus, usually with a plain background waiting for your embellishments and colorizations. Here are my musings and experiments. Playing with new brushes and effects in Photoshop, you always learn something and often surprise yourself. Its good not to be too judgemental as this hinders creativity, rather move on lesson learned. I'll try and explain some of the moves
If you want to know what to do.
Not exactly good reading this tutorial is meant to be used as you try it out
To start you need a collection of Photoshop brushes. You can Google them or check out V Brush Search Engine
Download the zips to a folder named ie brush collection, and unzip them. Usually they are free but they often need to be linked to on your site (if appropriate). For your own experimental work, enjoy. I try to link everyone (see links below to ones I've used), but its difficult when you try out so many, remembering who what where.
Collect your Cabinet Card images, again Goggle images and ebay is useful.
Create a new canvas file> File> New, think what size you want it ie 4x6 inches: resolution 150 pixels per inch. Click Transparent. This is optional but generally how I get started. > (this arrow means go to).
File >Save As (name it ) >View>Print size. This is how it will look when printed.
>File>Open. find your photo >Open. Double Click Background under your Layers palette. This makes it into a layer so you can use the Move tool in your Toolbox to drag the image onto your saved canvas. Close cabinet pic but dont save any changes
Resize it how you'd like it >Edit >Transform>Scale. Pull out corner while holding down shift key (up arrow on left of keyboard) Double click the pic. You can move it around with your Move tool.
Layers>New Layer This is the black arrow head top right Layers palette
Layers in Photoshop are the Best thing. Get a new layer everytime you do a new addition, you can find that you may use 20 or more layers per piece. This make it easy to hide something you dont like >click on the eye on Layers or delete >right click on the numbered layer >Delete. Also you will be using different Blending modes for different layers > Layers Palette> Normal> click black arrow and scroll down the list. Try them out and see how they effect your picture as you add the layers.
Try out your brushes.>click on the Brush in the Toolbox. At the top right you'll see Brush >click arrow. In the pop up you'll see another right facing arrow. Click and scroll down this popup to find Replace Brushes. Navigate to where you saved your unzipped brushes and click Load. Click the brush and stamp on Layer 2
Click Ctrl and Z on the keyboard to undo. Change the brush size by >Brush >Master Diameter, move slider. Reset the the brush> top left brush icon right click black arrow> Reset Tool. Change colour of brush >Toolbox click the current colour and use the popup colour picker. Opacity can also be changed if you want to subdue the effect.
Add another layer and get another brush. If you cant undo something go to History >Layers Palette and find History in its top index, go to the bottom and click upwards until you have deleted as many actions as you want.
Always keep saving your work >File Save.
Build up your layers . Try using the Paint bucket tool >Toolbox, filling a new layer with a solid colour, then try Colour Burn in the Blending Modes, change opacity here if desired, change it's colour by >Image> Adjustments> Hue Saturation and play with the sliders.
For a Faux Inkjet Transfer look. Fill a new layer with white and set the opacity so you can see your image through faintly, then use the Eraser Tool > Mode= Brush, and using one of your downloaded brushes, that has grungy distressed effects ie: some good ones at misprintedtype Remove the white by painting and stamping, clicking over the image till you see enough of the image, leaving some spotty areas and grungy edges. Put back opacity to 100. Additionally with the brush on white, stamp a few spotty textures (ie. recife_dirty3 no.360 ) over the picture. Experiment to get the look--without the mess. Click here to see one I did earlier
Or >New Layer > right click on paint bucket for the gradient tool and click in your pic top to bottom for a gradient fill >blending mode to adjust look. Gradients can be found top right click arrow. You can also replace them as you do your brushes but they will be found in your Adobe PS programme under Presets >gradients, but should automatically go there.
If you feel the need to adjust your photo, click on its layer > Image > Adjustments >Levels, move the slider >Left for darker and right one for lighter highlights. You can do this at anytime
Layers can be moved to bring about many changes to the look of your artwork. >Layers Palette, click on the layer and drag up or down to another location.
As with any programmes, you have to practise and get to know what it does.
So maybe if your new to it, these steps might seem complicated. Practise with simple things to begin with, its the only way. I have been using this prog for years and it has become second nature, although there's always another thing to learn.
If you're happy with the art, to print you can >Layer, at the top, >Flatten Image. You might want to crop of edges >Toolbox >Crop tool, drag box over wanted area and double click. >Save As JPG at its highest setting, with a new name to preserve original art and layers, should you want to work on it further. Good Luck and happy Cabinet Capers
Gillian Allen May 06
I've probably missed some out but these are some that I used
More digital links to brushes etc here
Download a Cabinet Card Collection for a small donation