One of the biggest stumpers with scrapping for me was (and still is) blending. Using masks to blend papers, photos and even word art pieces to layouts is an ever changing thing. The trick to getting these items "just right" is more of a guessing game than anything. Darker papers require different blending modes than lighter ones, same for photos as well.
There are however, some things to remember to make the process easier and faster for you. Burn/Mutiply/Darken causes the layer you are blending on to darken up. Softlight/Luminance/Dodge causes the layer you are blending on to take the shape/colors of your blend layer in a "washed out" appearance. Overlay/Dissolve will simply fade the layer you are trying to blend into your background.
So let's cover the basic steps on using blending on your layout to really make it pop. For this example I am using the mask in "Totally Grunge" and the free kit "Perfect U" that will be going out in Friday's newsletter
Using grunge/stamps/masks/ink smudges are a great way to give your layout a whole new light. You can use them "as is" to blend onto your paper/elements OR You can use them as clipping masks.
To use a mask for clipping papers- First you want to open the mask/grunge/stamp/ink that you want to use.
Copy and paste this onto your paper/layout
Next select the item (Paper/photo) you wish to clip to the mask and paste it on your layout as well. You will then have the mask under the item you wish to clip.
Next you can either select the mask with your "magic wand" and then promote the selection layer off the layer you wish to clip. Or you can simply hit CTRL+G (if working in adobe)
Once you have your item clipped - Select your clipped item in the layer section on the bottom right. The blend mode will show as "Normal" - You can change this to get the desired look.
For the example I used overlay
Once you have the mode selection, you can play with the oppacity of the layer to control the look. Once you're finished, complete your layout and you have just given it a new "inked" distressed look.
Now- if you are wanting to blend photos into your layout/paper you have 4 different options to get your photo clipped for blending. Unless you are wanting a square shape inked/blending in- you will need to get rid of the excess photo around your subject. This can be done by:
1 You can use the actual mask feature in your program and select one of the many presets available.
2. You can use the method above and clip to your own mask/smudge/smear
3. You can use a grunge brush (or circular brush with softened edges) to erase the section of the photo around your subject.
4. Using your "magic wand" as the lasso/freehand selector. Set your feathering to approximately 30 and trace around your subject (This does NOT have to be a neat selection, you can bump up the feathering if you don't have a steady hand to get close to the details)
Once you have your photo selected around the area- You are back in play mode. Select your blend layer to get the desired look above (And remember the rules of thumb of which blend mode does what) When doing photos, you may want to go with a softer blending mode, and duplicating the layer. This will help enhance your image details so that it does not disappear into the background.
So I hope this has helped and maybe even inspired you to create a layout with blending. Don't be afraid to play around, duplicate, cut etc- It is after all digi ;)
O the Joys of "Undo"