Well, I came into work early today to do an assignment and when I arrived I found out that I had been reassigned. I was helping out a coworker who was ill, but over the weekend health was regained and my assistance was no longer required. All of a sudden I had a morning ahead of me with nothing planned. I had to decide what to do with my free time and I soon realized that with my old computer at work now, I could try making some digital art. I’ve I always wanted to try my hand at it but never had the time, nor the chance to concentrate fully on it at home.

I read in Lisa Vollrath’s newsletter that she was not going to do anymore of her layout compositions until more people used the ones she had already shared. To be honest, I didn’t really like the ones she posted. There is a plethora of sketch designs out on the ‘net and hers weren’t anything spectacular. I also didn’t care for her samples. They appeared to me to be super quick digi-designs. But I felt that she was starting from the beginning and as the feature progressed, there would be some layouts that I would want to try. However, as she won’t continue until people use the ones posted, I decided to use them as my base for my first attempts into the world of digital collage.

Here’s my version of her first layout, Framed Focal Image.

map ATC

I grabbed the map and geisha image from my stash on my computer. They’re in my “Art by Chrysti” folder. I know I got them before I entered the world of blogs, so I’m not sure how I came about them. The sentiment is from a free kit from Rhonna Farrer.

I lightened the words on the map in the bottom right corner and added the layers to the focal image by picking colors from the picture. I also used a brush to distress the edges. I’m sure I could have created the sentiment myself as I have those fonts but it was already made.

Well, I couldn’t very well upload that particular ATC to the Vollrath gallery as it used absolutely no Vollrath images! I made another one using the same layout.

umbrella ATC

This time the background and the main image are both from Vollrath. The ribbon is from Farrer.

On to Layout #2, Focal Image Floating on Fours.

Snow ATC

Everything is from Vollrath, but I adjusted the colors of the background and the four rectangles. Originally the stripes were pink and the blocks were sort of an aqua. The stars are a photoshop brush.

This ATC is for her third layout, Offset Rectangles.

ballerina ATC

The paper is more Farrer and the script and ballerina are both Vollrath. Again I made layers using colors already available. Super fast and easy this one was, and it was actually the second ATC I made.

Well, these four ATCs took me longer than if I’d been working with real paper, but I’m sure that’s mostly because of my lack of skills. With practice, I could easily whittle down the time. It was pretty fun and I’m thinking of coming in early to work next week too!

If you’re looking for some awesome, free collage items to build up your own collection, Lisa Vollrath will be offering a giveaway countdown starting June 7th. All images will be in a Father’s Day theme. I’m excited about that as I have a bunch of girly ones and need to balance them out.

I’d like to know how to easily frame an image with a thin border in photoshop. Does anyone have some advice or can point me to an online tutorial?