Playing and Inspiration

During those times when I don’t feel like creating and I need a spark to renew my interest in digital scrapbooking, I sometimes find inspiration from others. Another artist in Anna’s gallery, Sharron Lamb, recommended a watercolor action for Photoshop. I was intrigued and wondered how well it worked. Below, I describe my process for playing with this action and creating my page.


This watercolor action came with not only the action, but also an abr brush file and a link to a video explaining how to adjust the layers once the action finished running.

Per the instructions, open a photo in Photoshop, create a new layer and title it “brush” using all lowercase letters. Load the brush set provided. Then brush over part of the photo with a soft round brush (included in the abr file) at 100% opacity. Finally, run the action.

Once the action finishes, make adjustments as described in the video. On my page, rather than using a soft round brush as described in the video, I placed one mask from Anna’s Simple Fotoblendz No 1, duplicated it and adjusted it’s size. I renamed the layer “brush” and ran the action. After making adjustments, I created a composite of all the layers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.28.24 PM

Clip the composite to one of the masks from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 3. Adjust the size of the mask. Change the blend mode of the overlay mask layer to linear burn.

Note: I blended three papers to achieve the texture on my page below the mask.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.15.34 PM

Extract blooms from other photos to create a bouquet. For this page, I extracted three different blooms, adjusted their position and anchored them with ButtonThreadz No. 2, UrbanThreadz No. 2 and No. 3.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.17.41 PM

Duplicate the watercolor composite. Drag them below the original composite and mask. Add inverted masks and stamp ArtsyStains No. 1 and No. 2 to create depth below the bouquet. Change the blend mode to linear burn and adjust the opacity.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.18.22 PM

Stamp splatters on new blank layers. Add brush layers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.19.16 PM

Place a button, adjust color and anchor with a thread. Place transfers. Add a title and date.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.20.01 PM

When I began playing with the Photoshop action and my photos, I really didn’t have an idea for a page. I love a watercolor look and I just wanted to play with the action. I simply wondered what kind of background I might create. Once I had my watercolor composite, then of course, I was inspired to create a page. Sometimes, all that’s needed to spark an idea for a page is something new, i.e. a watercolor action.



Every Summer Has a Story


Anne Frank


  1. Sharron Lamb

    You are so generous to go into detail like this for us. Thank you!

    • Linda

      Thank you Sharron for the inspiration, great Photoshop action!!!

  2. Linda thanks so much for your tutorial and what a wonderful page you created

  3. xiaofan

    Wow~ It’s so….o beautiful. Thumbs up!

  4. This team is so generous and talented! Thank you so much for all the sharing, and for more inspiration.

  5. Trish

    As always your inspiration and tutorials are so helpful no matter what level of experience with PS. Thanks very much Linda

  6. suruha

    So, let me see if I understand. I’ve used this action, so, I know about the ‘brush’ layer. Your ‘brush’ layer is a FotoBlendz, renamed ‘brush’? I’ve done some fancy (yeah, right!) brushwork, trying to get different results, but, a mask? Wow! I have to go try that! Thank you, ma’am!

    Your layout is gorgeous! But, I am also partial to peonies. We don’t have them in the south, not that I am aware of, that is. But, when I lived up north for a few years, whenever I saw a bush, I went ga-ga! LOL Those and Lilacs! In the western suburbs of Chicago is a township named Lombard, which touts itself as the Lilac capital. It is lovely when everything is in bloom


    • Linda

      Yes, I’ve used a soft round brush as well as adapted one of Anna’s fotoblendz masks and changed the layer name to brush. They work very well with the action because they already have varying opacities, can be resized with the warp tool and filled in to make parts darker. I must say the peonies and lilacs are both beautiful, new to me since moving from CA. Thanks Su!!!

  7. Nickel

    Thanksfor showcasing this awesome action! Ibought it too because of this stuning lay out! I’m very glad with it

    • Linda

      You are very welcome! When Sharron mentioned it, I had to try too! It’s nice to pass along what we learn to others:)

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