A Tip for Extractions


One wouldn’t think that a photo taken with an iPhone in a Costco parking lot might inspire me to create art. However, I liked the look of the bare branches with the robins.  To create a page as I envisioned, that meant that I needed to extract the blue gray sky from the photo.

2016-02-12 094959No, I did not use Photoshop’s pen tool and go around each of the slender branches. Instead I used another tool, the magic wand. If you’ve ever scanned your signature and created a brush from it, you’ll recognize the technique. With my pen tablet and the magic wand tool selected, I clicked on an area of the blue gray sky and pressed the delete key. I zoomed in on the smaller spaces of blue gray between the branches to click and delete the rest of the sky. It took a bit of time to extract all of the sky, but I enjoyed myself. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could clean house this way.

To finish the page, I gave the branches a small shadow. Then I created a background for the tree branches with Artsy Transfers and ArtPlay Palette Neige. I gave my piece of art a double matte and title to make it look like it might be an art piece framed to hang on the wall. Finally, I added the date and my signature.

A tablet is a wonderful tool for digital scrapbooking. I enrolled in Anna Aspnes’ upcoming PenPlay class and am looking forward to learning more about using my pen and tablet. It was easy to go through Anna’s website to register and pay for the class. For those of you looking for more information on using a pen and tablet, I’m sorry that Anna’s class is already sold out. However, I hope you’ll try this tip for using the magic wand tool for extracting the backgrounds from your photos.


An Imperfect Photo


Busy, Busy, Busy


  1. Ulla-May

    Looks amazing, Linda!

  2. Berry18

    This is Magic ! …sure I will try it once….

  3. suruha

    The Magic Wand tool can work very well, with the right settings. My ‘go-to’ method is Select>Color Range. But, there have been plenty of times the Magic Wand worked just fine! Thank you!

    • I’m going to have to work more with the select color range, I use my pen, the magic wand and the quick selection tool:)

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