Inspiration: a Brush and a Memory

I’ve photographed this door at Lauritzen Gardens both open and closed and from both the back and front. I once photographed my oldest grandson, Owen, looking through that door in just about the same position as that large ceramic pot. Owen, about 5 at the time, had his hands on the door frame as he looked through the open door at the flowers beyond. This door from Anna’s new brush set, Doors No. 2, is the impetus for this page about a memory. While much of my inspiration is based on photographs, sometimes, all it takes is a sketch like brush to inspire me to create a page.

I placed this brush on my new blank document first, changed the blend mode to multiply and recolored it to match the bricks in my photograph.

I then placed my photograph above brush 2. I used Topaz Simplify to give the photograph a more painterly look. After resizing the photo to roughly match the brush, I added an inverted mask and used several AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes to bring back in just the part of the door that I wanted to overlay on the brush. I added another copy of my original photo layer above and applied the find edges filter.

Below the door brush layer, I placed another photograph that I’d taken with my cell phone the same day. I gave it a painterly look with Topaz Simplify. Using an inverted mask, I brought back in just enough to created a garden beyond the door. The first layer is on linear burn and the second on overlay. I applied the find edges filter to a copy of the original iPhone photo and changed the blend mode to darken at 50%. From all the layers in my photo group I created a composite.

Next, I placed file 1 and file 4 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 10. To each, I clipped not only a copy of the composite but also solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul in order to fill in the transparency in my composite so that I could cover any black in the overlays. I added two textures from TapedTextures No. 7 for a little more dimension on the door frame. Both copies are on normal at 100%.

Finally, I added a title, journaling and a dangling thread from ButtonThreadz No. 1 to connect the title and photo.

Every time I capture this door with my camera, in my mind I see my grandson with his arms spread wide touching the door molding, a memory which always makes me smile.


Capturing Success and Struggle




  1. Terri Fullerton

    Love this Linda. You mentioned you recolored the brush to the colors on the bricks in your photo. Can you explain how you did that step?

    • The easiest way to color a brush is to use the color picker to select a color from your photo and then stamp in that color. When I use a png brush file, I recolor it by using the color picker to select the color I want. Then I use a Mac shortcut to fill the new layer with my foreground color or you can go up to the edit menu, choose fill and select the color from the drop down menu. Be sure to check the box for “preserve transparency” in the lower left corner. I did a video on recoloring for Anna which is posted on her youtube channel. Anna has also covered this in her classes. So you’ve got some resources if my written explanation isn’t clear enough. Again, thank you!!

      • Terri Fullerton

        Thanks Linda. This specific one just looks so much more authentic than I have been able to achieve with the fill color. My hats off to your creativity and style! Thank you for taking the time to explain your process.

        • Terri, sometimes it’s the blend mode that affects the way a brush looks, hope my explanation helped. You are very welcome!!

  2. A beautiful page Linda. I picked up one tip, for something I’ve had a problem with, how you clipped an art paper to the mask as well to take care of the black. I will try this whole process as I love doors. Thank you very much for the details and steps.

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