I have been trying to apply textures to paper and keep them "white' but clearly see the texture at the same time. It just always seems to get washed out. Does anyone have a good technique for this?
Sometimes I add just a touch of another color or grey. I mean just the barest smidge of color possible. This allows for some contrast so that things show up. If you study something white in real life, say a ceiling with a stucco texture, you will notice that the shadows are what allow you to see the texture. With this in mind adding grey or shadow like colors doesn't hurt the white but rather enhances it. Keeping it appropriatly light is the hard part.
I agree with Tracy. I frequently use some shade of off white as a base...usually something with a very slight yellow tone. Then when I put a texture on top, I use the multiply blending mode and back the opacity way off (usually below 10% but it depends on how dark the texture is). Many times, I use the same texture on top of several layers...using different blending modes and opacities to make sure that it shows up on all parts of the paper.
It's could depend too on how busy your texture is ... the more texture the greater the shadows and that can create a darker paper. You could also try grunging a white texture and going in the opposite direction ... lighter instead of darker or using the eraser and a grunge brush with a lower opacity in places. This can bring out enough lighter tones to make it look more white or try the dodge tool in spots. Sometimes it's trial and error and lots of cool playing to get what you are looking for ... that's the fun part .
I'm basically going for either a construction paper look and a white canvas look but I just can't get the texture to show up.
take a look at an actual piece of canvas or construction paper in the light .... you will see the texture is seen through the shadows ... Tracy mentioned this as well .... you may want to try something with a deeper texture first ... lighter, smoother textures aren't going to have the shadows and different light tones that a deeper texture has. If you find it's too light try changing the lighting adjustment or once you have it set in your white make it a black and white and play with those adjustments .... that's a good way to see if you actually still have shadows in the piece. If you don't see any after playing in the black and white adjustments there aren't any. Photoshop or any software aren't actually seeing texture, they are seeing the different coloured pixels ... enlarge your paper until you can see pixels and check if there are any with different shades .... also if you don't like what you have in shadows maybe it's the wrong colour for what you are scrapping ... taking a colour from one of the photos and using that, bring up the light values or play with the output levels rather than the input levels until you just have a bit of a tint and try that with your overlay etc .... there are so many ways to do one thing in photoshop
I just thought of something else .... if you are using a template sometimes the level of tint on it can make a difference as well .... try inverting it or make it lighter or darker or even give it some colour rather than making the upper layer coloured. It may be just the bit of colour you need to create those shadows and still have it look white when you are using blending modes.
First, I never use pure white. Janet said she usually uses one with a bit of yellow, I use them with a bit of gray or a very very very light pink. Then, I go by trial and error - usually, lots of error, did I mention that designing is a very slow process to me? - first duplicating the texture several times and playing with blending modes and opacities for each layer, and, if it doesn´t have the effect I want, I do the opposite: Put the texture at the bottom, set as "normal", and put several layers of white on top of it, and play with the opacity and blending modes. When adding the texture at the top, I usually get only overlay and soft light blending modes, but sometimes lighter color or luminosity can help too. When putting the color at the top, however, there are lots of blending modes that can be choosen: Overlay, soft light, hard light, color, lighter color, luminosoty... And sometimes I also try modifying levels or brightness/contrast of the texture too! As I said, for me, it´s not an easy process... But it usually work. I have more difficulties with very light colors (like "baby" pink or green) than with the white in itself. Probably because as I usually work with brights, I have textures for darker papers...
Ok so here is another example. Sometimes I want a white flower but when I overlay a white over a grey template it washes out or it ends up too gray. What are your normal settings for that? Like I was trying to make a white daisy and I just couldn't do it.
You may not be able to see the texture in this screen capture, but it's there.
Ahhhhh ... curves .... lol .... my elements doesn't let you play with them .... great image
Ahhhhh ... curves .... lol .... my elements doesn't let you play with them
I found this regarding curve adjustments in Elements: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/547671?tstart=1 Something about Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Color Curves.
Maybe that will help?
Yeah, it's there but I don't find it's as good as in CS ... I've had CS4 but it wasn't mine and finally had to give it back ..... pout, pout, pout .... and have used curves there but it is better than what elements used to have