Digital Art - BLENDING

What is Digital Blending?

A good question - but how to explain it?... I think in simple terms it is mixing/combining papers or embellishments together so that they blend softly as one and not show hard edges.
With blending it is possible also to get some textures and other effects.

I use various software to create my digital work but my first go to software is usually Serif Craft Artist 2 as I find it really easy. I sometimes use other software programmes such as Photoshop elements 8, Photoplus X8, Fotosketcher and PhotoArtist 2. I might do one process and then take the image into another programme to add something different.

For the purpose of any demonstrations here I will be using Serif Craft Artist 2
and give a general idea of what can be done and hopefully inspire those who haven't yet dipped their toes into this kind of digital world yet.

So...Imagine 2 pieces of real paper (or more) laid on top of each other. Unless they are very thin or transparent it is likely that you will only see the colour/pattern of what ever is on the top of the pile.

Now imagine those 2 pieces of real paper are green on the top and red on the bottom - so you only see the green sheet of paper; to see the red one through the green we need to blend them together.
Digital designing software such as Craft Artist 2 and Photoshop elements work with layers.
You can put things on different layers or the same layer.
Altering the transparency on an item will make it see through and show what's underneath it.

Beside altering the transparency there are other effects that can be used for blending
  such as 'colour burn, colour dodge, screen, overlay' and others.
The exciting thing when blending is that you don't know what effect you are going
 to get  until you try it as colours and patterns do different things depending on what combinations you use.

Using an image of my girl the following shows various outcomes using her on the lower layer
and the second image on top with different blend modes applied to it.

I love this lovely texture using a photo of some leather.
The leather image is on the top layer and has 'soft light' blend added.
(The transparency could also be changed so that the texture isn't all over the piece)
This time I have used a photo of a piece of satin fabric that has  a 'hard light' blend
(I could rotate the photo and stretch it so the folds were in different places on the face)
Next I will use some kitchen foil 
Varying the creases will give many interesting results.
First girl has 'Overlay' blend on the image of the foil and the second  has 'Colour dodge' blend. 
These both have 'Colour burn' blend added... however as I said earlier, you don't always
know what you are going to get depending on colours and patterns.
Sometimes it doesn't always work first time like in the above left image which is too dark,
 unless I am looking for a surreal sort of  look..
So for the one on the right I have altered the  brightness of the
photo of my girl and lightened her and this changed things completely.
Lastly on this brief introduction to blending, I have used 2 of the above images
 and blended them together - what an interesting effect it has resulted in.
I used the photo with the satin fabric on the bottom plus one with kitchen
 foil/overlay blend on top of that and added a linear transparency effect.
The permutations with digital medium are endless...
Anything you can imagine you can create.


  1. Thanks for shoig your blending tips! Hugs, Valerie

  2. Brilliant, I've book marked this and shall have a more in depth look later Gill,thanks for the tutorial
    Donna xxx


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