Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Texturing/layering/actions in Photoshop Elements 7.0

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements to layer/texture all of my photos.  It is very user friendly and affordable.  It only costs about $69 (USD) at local stores.  I also use Picnik Premium for my basic processing (  and you can also do some limited texturing with Premium.  Picnik costs $24.99 a year to use and is well worth the price.  Here is a very short and useful tutorial on how to layer in Picknik......... .

To begin manipulating photos in Photoshop Elements (PSE) first pick a photo that you want to try different things out on.  I store my photos in Picasa and export them to my desktop so that it is easy to find them once I need them.  Once you have found the photo you want to PSE and click EDIT and then choose Full.  Once your workspace has opened click on file and open and choose the photo and textures that you will be working with.  If you have textures that you want to use then you also need to load them into your workbin on PSE as well.  There are many free textures at  Just enter free textures into the search box and tons of free textures will pop up.  Textures that I most often use are Isabelle Lafrance's Soulful Textures and Actions .  I also use Florabella textures by Shana Rae .  Another great collection (that I have not tried) is Glorious Nature by Sue Gary  Once you have your textures picked out make sure you click on the photo that you are going to be using and make sure that it shows up in the large black work box.  Click the move tool icon on the top left of the box and then drag the texture that you want to use from the work bin located under your photo and move it over to the center of the photo.  I used a photo of pretty yellow flowers that I took while on a day trip to Brevard, NC, and I then chose Isabelle's Basic Paper texture.  I dragged it to the center of my photo.....

 I then stretch the texture over the image and click the green check in the bottom right hand corner.

Click under layers and where it says normal.  This will open the drop down box and you can play around and choose different options and see what works best for your photo.  I most often use hard light, soft light, overlay, multiply and darken.  For this photo I chose overlay and left it at 100% opacity.  You can tone down the strength of the texture by clicking on the opacity button (just to the right of the normal button), and taking it to different percentages.  The basic paper texture at 100% opacity gave the image the look that I liked best.

To try and soften the image I then decided to try one of Isabelle's Soulful Actions  (I will give a tutorial on downloading actions into your computer at a later date).  Some actions can be found in PSE if you go to Guided and then click Automated Actions and then Action Player.  Experiment with what you have.

*Isabelle has many free action as does Tracey..... .

I used Isabelle's Soulful Soothe action on this particular photo.

After choosing the action I then decided to try and give the photo a little bit of a softer glow.  I returned to Full edit and chose Isabelle's Sepia Haze texture.  I dragged it over the top of the image and stretched it to fit, and again, hit the green check mark in the bottom right corner of the page.

I then chose Overlay and reduced the opacity to 50% to achieve the look that I was going for.  Once you have your photo the way you want it click the layer button at the top of the screen in the PSE toolbar and click on flatten image.

Once you have flattened your image, you are then ready to save your image to desktop.  Click file, save, name your photo and then when the little grey box pops up, click O.K.

Your image is now complete and ready for framing!  :0)  This is my finished product........

This may seem like a long drawn out process but it really is quite easy once you get the hang of it and only takes a few minutes to complete if you know the look you are going for ahead of time.  Layering/texturing is quite addictive and tons of fun!!!!!

On a personal note, I'm getting things cleaned and organized around the house, caught up on all my laundry, went to the grocery store and have a full fridge/freezer and pantry.  Life is good!  LOL!

My girls are liking school and like their teachers, which is extremely important!

We will find out, on Sept. 10th, the results of my father-in-laws tests and x-rays.  It will be at this appointment that he will find out about treatment options and surgery.  Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  This weekend we will be giving my in-laws a 50th anniversary party and will also be celebrating my mother-in-laws 70th birthday.  All the family will be at the lake house for the long Labor Day weekend and we are all looking forward to spending time together.

I hope you all enjoy my blog!


  1. This is so helpful and well written, Angela! Thank you for this!

  2. Still keeping you and your family in my thoughts Angela! Very detailled tutorial, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!!

  3. Someone left a comment and I checked it to be published and it disappeared. I didn't even get to read it! :0( I'm just learning so bear with me.