Our July Progressive Scrap starts this Sunday, 12th.  Thank you to Karen (Pekarokiki) who will be our host for this challenge.

Marianne's deconstructing posts part one : General workflow and buildup of my pages


Esteemed Senior Member
Hi all, here is my first contribution to the our're-construct ' series! I have thought a long time about how I would deal with this, because there are so many layouts nominated by you all! However, there are many similarities in the layouts. I have therefore decided to start with my workflow and the techniques and buildup in my layouts that I usually do. This is some general info from which I then can get into more into detail on special techniques and effects, each time I will post topics in this forum. You will see the layouts as an example of that technique or effect.

Ok so for now I start with my workflow and the buildup of most of my pages. Note: I work in Photoshop CC. So some of the things I write here are in a different spot if you are working in another program! I think most of the tools that I use are in Photoshop Elements too!

If you are familiar with my layouts, you will problaby have seen that I rarely use a picture in a layout that is not modified. Most of them are edited, such as a color editing, a focus, sharpening or an artistic effect. Also I often use multiple photos in a composition, to make one photo. ( I use backgrounds of other photo’s etc!) The first step as I open my photoshop, is usually editing my photo! I spent quite a lot of time on that! Care for an interesting, clear picture (with the proper resolution) is a well spent and rewarding time spent, because it often yields a great contribution to your layout! I use mostly photoshop tools and filters for that, but also some wonderful Plugins like Topaz Texture Effects and Topaz Impressions and some Alien Skin filters. I’ll be back with some more info about the filters and tools on my pages with some examples later. When I work on artistic effects on a photo it is often a proces of layering some photo’s with differents effect and blending and masking part of those effects in with a layermask. I stack them and try all kinds of effects and Blendmodes out! (That’s why its hard to show exact the things I did on a layout you nominated, if I don’t have the PSD file anymore) But that’s not a problem I can show you the technique anyway. After that proces, I often merge the layers when I have the effect that i’m after! Sometimes I blend again a solid paper above the composite layout for some more color effects! I use the Dodge and Burn function, and use the Curves Adjustment Layers for some color or contrast adjustments.

Then when I’m happy with my photo, I start with the design of the whole layout! I open a new file in Photoshop. And then I almost always use clipping masks, brushes or almost anything that is interesting for clipping, to clip my photo on. Yes even elements! My secret to have everything on the same spot for clipping, is to duplicate the photo several times and turn of the little eyeball on the layers so you don’t see them anymore. And then I go from bottom to top to clip my duplicated photo’s and use Blendingmodes on them again to have different effects and contrast! That is such an interesting start for a page with an overal artistic effect! After that the framing, illustrating with brushes and elements can have a start! I love to create depth with a lot of layers and sometimes there are many that I can group (Only in Photoshop CC and CS) I also love to do more with the products from the designers, like recolor or make them black and white! There are so many possibilities. I like to work with artsy products, I use brushes and styles a lot. More info about this part of the proces and examples will follow! After the merging I often use a color filter or I blend a page from a kit over it!

I also spent a great deal of attention to the last phase of my layout! After all the work it would be a shame to merge everything and not pay attention to some sharpening or Dodging and Burning on the whole page, and to make mistakes with the merging and resizing of the page for the web! I view everything in 100% very often to see if the resolution is good for the print and the web view! I also have a workflow for that. I save my layouts in different formats and sizes. A JPEG full size, a 1000px size and a 600 px web size file, and a PSD file (I keep the PSD for CT work in case I need to change things or made errors) And sometimes when I want to print my pages without the English language!
After the posting or printing I delete them again because they take a lot of my computer space. If you want detailed info about that finishing and saving proces let me know, then I will post more info and screenshots about that too later!

OK that is so much about my global work proces. Ofcourse I use other methods and techniques too, but this is really very much the way all my layouts come together!
I will be back in the second week of August to start my posts with detailed info and screenshots from a couple layouts nominated here to go more deeper into the things I wrote today! Starting of with some editing work on photo’s with Artistic Filters and Effects and working with Layermasks for masking and blending with Blending Modes to merge the effects together in Photoshop! It will be fun! To be continued!
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Premier Senior Member
wow!! This is great Marianne! I loved reading about your process, and I do a lot of those things myself. :) I think that you what you say at the beginning is very important, that when you come down to it, the main process is something that we all will do again and again. And yes, I also agree with what you say about trying to relate how each step is carried out as we try so many things out first like blending, merging etc there is a lot of manipulation on the layout and a lot of trial and error (well for me there is :) LOL!) so it isn't a clear linear set of steps. Looking forward to the rest of the month!!! :)


Possum Parent
Challenge Host - July
This is all fantastic. Can't wait to see what's next. xxxxxxxxxxxx


Supreme Senior Member
Challenge Host - July
Marianne, thank you for sharing your general workflow. I'm looking forward to your posts next month.


Esteemed Senior Member
Wow there's a lot to take in and digest here. Thanks for going to all this trouble to give us a glimpse of your work flow.
I look forward to your follow up to this…


Supreme Senior Member
Thank you Marianne this is very interesting ...looking forward to seeing what is next.xxx


Esteemed Senior Member
Thank you, Marianne, this is very interesting and I am looking forward to your next step.


New Member
Thank you Marianne! Great info! I have always admired your artistic talents! Looking forward to your next post!


Esteemed Senior Member
Challenge Host - July
Fabulous Marianne..I am always looking for new ways of making effects....I love Topaz and Smart Photo Editor..I just love messing.....Looking forward to your next post ♥


Senior Member
I just saw this! Great to see your process Marianne! I have tended to edit my photo from within my layout if I'm adding a lot of effects but I love your method of editing beforehand. It would give you more options on saving various versions of a photo.


Esteemed Senior Member
Thank you for your time that you spent with instructions. I am again a step further. This is all fantastic. Can't wait to see what's next. xoxo


Miss Social Chatty-ness
not only is this informative and most awesome ... the fact that English is not your native language makes it even more fantastic and thank you SO MUCH, Marianne ~