This tutorial demonstrates how to paint a border using one of Elements’ Scatter Brushes. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image Here. Unzip the file and open it onto Elements’ workspace.
You can step backwards at any time by clicking the top menu’s Undo Tool.
Open your Start Image onto Elements’ workspace - Ctrl/Cmd then O.
To centralise your image - snap it to the top menu’s orange horizontal line by dragging it towards it.
Elements 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - Tool Options Palette positioned at the bottom of the workspace. Although the palettes have been redesigned the tools work in more or less the same way.
Then set the Foreground and Background Colour Swatches to two colours you would like the Brush application to represent.
Now, from the left-side Toolbar, activate the Brush Tool.
And from the Brush Tool’s Options Bar, activate your choice of Brush. For example, to activate the Scattered Maple Leaves Brush, left-click the tiny black triangle highlighted below, then left-click the Scattered Maple Leaves’ thumbnail. Your Brush is now ready to work with.
Quickly Resize The Brush Tip
You can quickly resize the Brush Tool by tapping your Keyboard’s Square Bracket Keys (with caps OFF).
Quickly Adjust The Brush’s Opacity
You can increase, or decrease the Brush’s Opacity by tapping your Keyboards Numerical Keys. Tapping number 1 changes the Opacity to 10% - tapping number 3, changes the Opacity to 30%, and so on.
4/ Create A New Layer (Understanding Layers)
Before applying the Scattered Maple Leaves you need to create a New Layer: therefore, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose New then choose Layer: name the New Layer Frame then click OK.
Now, (working on the Frame Layer), begin painting Maple Leaves around the photograph by carefully left-clicking over its edge: - building up the effect slowly. And remember, if you make a mistake, click the top menu’s Undo Arrow. Alternatively, choose Edit then choose Undo Brush Tool (Ctrl then Z). If you keep checking your work as you apply the Brush, you can quickly correct unruly Maple Leaves.
Your Maple Leaves will be applied indiscriminately; therefore, for a pleasing result, try to apply them with some kind of balance, and try not to apply too many over one area. For personal results, experiment with the Brush Size and different placements. You can apply Brushes in a sweeping motion, however, you will gain more control applying this Scatter Brush one click at a time. Remember, not all Brushes render in the same way.
When you are happy with your final framing effect, you are ready for the next step.
6/ Apply A Drop Shadow
(Still working on the Frame Layer): from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Layer Style then choose Style Settings. From the subsequent Style Settings dialogue box, click a tick into Drop Shadow, set the attributes of your choice, then click OK.
Preserve the Layers by saving your work as a PSD File. (File then Save As then Photoshop PSD PDD File).
To save the Maple Leaves as a Frame: from the Layers Palette; right-click the Background Layer, and choose Delete from the following drop-down list.
Click Yes to the Delete Layer...? prompt.
After deleting the Background Layer, the Maple Leaves will have a Transparent Background: Transparent Backgrounds are represented by the following chessboard effect.
By saving the Transparent Maple leaves Frame as a PSD File: you’ll be able to drag it onto another image using the Move Tool .
8/ Flatten The Layers And Save Your Work
Alternatively, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.
Congratulations, your work is complete, and is ready to save.
Now you are familiar with this technique, you can have lots of fun painting personalised borders with a Brush of your choice.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.