Flypaper Textures



Today I went to our city’s huge 24 hour second hand book sale held in the theatre it raises funds for. There are thousands of books on sale with more put out all the time so it’s a great way to stock the shelves. Book dealers are there in force and you can spot them a mile off both from the huge stacks of books they carry and the avid look in their eyes as they search for a high priced rarity amongst the mundane. I came home with a copy of Micahel Ondaatje’s The English Patient; I’ve seen and loved the film but haven’t read the book, inside the front cover of the book I bought is a lovely inscription, it reads:

To Anna, Thanks for looking after me this week….I’ve been your English patient,. love Johnny xxx

I’d love to know the story behind it 🙂

Now the photo, I decided to give this the a soft slightly desaturated treatment, this works better if your photo isn’t too bright to begin with.
Fly edges #8 @ soft light 33 %
Sail Cloth @ hard light 22%
Apple Blush @ Overlay 55 %
I removed a little of the texture from the fruit in the edges and Apple blush layers.

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I’ve been busy cataloguing my photos for the past few days; it’s going to be a long job!
I started off using AdobeBridge but someone suggested that Lightroom was the way to go. I’ve tried using Lightroom once before but gave up, preferring the extra control that Bridge and ACR gave me in processing my Raw files.  Anyway I decided to give it another chance, even if I just used it for the keywording. I duly imported my photos and  I do like the way you can see all your images at once rather than in folders. The keywording  is fairly easy to do but when I imported all my files I also imported all the keywords I’ve added in fits and starts over the years -this might have been a bonus but unfortunately it’s messed up the carefully constructed keyword list and hierarchy I’d created in Bridge. So until I figure out how to get rid of all the duplicates and triplicates and suchlike, I’ve gone back to the slower but more accurate Bridge.
One of the bonuses of all this is coming across photos you’d forgotten about, the one above is one of these.
I quite liked it plain, but textures are too addictive!
I used
Fly edge 28 @ soft light 35%
Peach Blush @ hard light 100 % desaturated
Cyprus Haze @ overlay 47 %
Fly edge 3 @ overlay 20 %
Added to this I also did various curves, levels, and brightness contrast adjustments to get the tone I wanted

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

red car – green car

Over on Flickr we have a surrealist image group called  Man Ray
In this group we run image contests, where a donated start-off image is used by everybody who enters, to be manipulated in a surreal way.
Its a great way to flex your photoshop skills and learn from some real post production masters. Jill’s Rabbit caught in Car Headlights – featured in this blog went on to win last weeks contest!

This weeks start-off image is a red hot rod car. The base shows the car slightly desaturated, and above is my finished manipulation.
Firstly, I selected Flypaper Leadenhall as a background, to this I added some winter bushes and Lime Plaster to beef it up.
I then desaturated the red car, changing the colour with the sliders and carefully cut it out, placing it into the background, as above.

Next I followed the recipe below, I used my free green water texture to brighten and pull the colours together.
Other tweaks followed, like adding the missing shadow at the back of the car.

Stone carving layer – Luminosity @ 34% (desaturated) brushed from car
Leaden Hall – Linear Light @ 22%
Free Water Texture – Soft Light @ 62% (link below)
Volcanic Larva – Soft Light @ 33% brushed from car
Labyrinth – Hard Light @ 86% brushed from central area & car
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Daisy had issues

The story came about with the bar code idea.
Daisy is a radicalized cow, she always has issues and frequently stomps around the fields with slogans painted on her sides.
Today’s protest is not wanting to be just a number. Her long-suffering farmer owner loves to see what she’s come up with every morning.
Naturally she’s the head of the herd, and always gets the best milking position.
She’s one clever cow!

In this Flickr Challenge we had to use textures on Jill’s start-off Cow image.I think this surreal cow idea came after seeing Swiss Chocolate advertising many years ago in Hamburg. Its not so new, but I like to think my texturing is! 🙂

First I took a photograph of a bar code from a newspaper, and overlaid it onto the cows back after first roughly cloning out the black saddle markings.
I used a quick magic wand to remove the white newspaper background and defringed by 6 pixels.
I then applied a simple warp mode with the 50% visible bar code to roughly get it onto the back in the right position,
it takes a little practice but is fairly easy once mastered.
I softened the bar code and made it slightly fuzzy with gaussian blur @ approx 1.5%.
Next I flattened and made the whole thing B/W and then chose a sepia tone. To pull the whole thing together I used these flypaper textures:

Flypaper Edges #27 – pulled square – Hard Light @ 71% softly brushed away from cows features
Leaden Hall – Hard Light @ 100% softly brushed away from cows features.
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Interview with Lys

For our fourth interview I’d like to introduce Lys, a famous Paris based artist and designer, who works with La Marelle, a superbly hip publishing company! These are to be found in the best card shops world wide, or can be ordered online HERE .

First of all can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a French graphic designer and Illustrator from Paris, working mainly in the cultural editing field. But I’m also involved on several other projects as a pure collage artist : this part of my work remains voluntary more personal, orchestrated by my desires, experiences and interrogations…

We notice you specialise in surreal photo-montages, can you tell us how they come about?

I consider my art as the mirror of my inner self, and so I use a lot of personal drawings and photographs material in my collages. I also often put myself as a character of my stories. It’s a way to pull out my interrogations and feelings. 


From Sarah moon to Kerry Ropper. I also always keep an eye on fresh art from internet, magazines, galleries…

You’re a frequent user of Flypapers and textures, can you share any processing tips?
As my illustrations are full of small and complicated details, I try to have a soft use of Flypapers textures. One rule : I always put a paper texture, lighted by a small halo, on the first layer of my Photoshop file. This give an old fashioned look to my collage and make me feel I’m recreating a kind of old fairy tale on every work.

What processing equipment do you use?

A Mac, a scanner, my drawings, old family photographs and Photoshop. For my exhibitions I usually order prints on real canvas.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming shows?

My next show “ll be at the Cell 63 art gallery, Berlin – Germany, during this summer. I’ll be part of the of the “Mail Art Exhibition”, next august, at the Galleri KG52 , Stockholm – Sweden. I”ll be also featured at the next Kholn Art festival next autumn.

Website and blog info
You can also find and buy my products there under the artist name “Lys”

Many thanks!:-)

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Caught in the Lights

Something a bit different today! I produced this image  for a challenge over at our  Man Ray group on Flickr . The starting image was a photo of a French gatehouse or pigeonair provided by Paul. After a bit of thought I decided to do a night scene with a car on a road, the rabbit (or hare) was the  next logical step.
Rather than a texture recipe today,  I thought I’d tell you a bit about how I did this.
I started by gathering together my source images, then it was a matter of cutting the components out, I usually use photoshop’s quick selection tool and then a quick mask to clean up the edges. After placing them on the background I then “grounded” them and added shadows The entire image was darkened by using a levels adjustment, this turning daylight into twilight.
Adding the lights from the car was fairly complicated but in general I  used selections and fills to do this.

Once the image was how I’d envisioned, I added a couple of layers of our Chlorophyl flypaper to pull the elements together; one layer added the green tone to the sky, the other helped add depth to the rest of the image.
So many, many layers later, it was done!

The photo looks much better on  Flickr 
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

steps at the end of the beach

Whilst looking for other things I came across this old beach picture from a Thailand trip a year ago. I’m not sure where it was shot,
perhaps its same The Beach movie location again!
At night Martine and I would walk barefoot home from town, holding our sandals in the warm surf, and see large rats feasting on the huge fallen jaca tree fruits..

As we were so unlucky with the end of season weather, we flew north to Chiang Mia after just a few days, where it was much drier.
The photo shows a moody afternoon sun, just before yet another rain!

I used Flypaper textures to bring out the green tones under the trees, and lighten those brooding shadows.

Antique Liaisons Soft Light @ 41% (blurred)
Raw Linen Overlay @ 41% (blurred)
Apple Blush Hard Light @ 32%

Final tweaks with curves when merged!
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Snow Seeds

Happy May Day!
For a slight backward step, as I produced this image several weeks ago, when still experimenting with the new Fly Edges.

It’s always a leap of faith when trying something you’ve never done before. I’d taken these last snows of the year pictures, and had a kind
of Lomo effect planned for them, but thought I’d just give them a try with the pre-launched edges first, and what an epiphany!

The new edges when used in a very hard way like this are ideal for classic, timeless minimal image enhancing.
However, its still early days and we hope to show many more such leaps of faith!
Though I say myself, I was quietly pleased with the outcome, as was Getty Images, who snapped it up!
Happy days:-)

Base image
Fly Edge #24 Hard Light @ 98%
Base image Soft Light @ 100%
Base image Soft Light @ 100%
Fly Edge #24 Multiply @ 97% texture removed from middle of seed heads – to lighten

Flatten image or merge all.
Slight brightening in curves to finish.
Please note;
This fly Edge texture #24 was first flipped before using in this image.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.


These very small and very scruffy apples came from a roadside tree, I’d picked them hoping they’d be sour as I had intended making a savoury chilli jelly,  I discovered however that  they’re sweet with very tough skins….definitely not for eating but they made good jelly.
I liked how they looked in front of my newly purchased bowl -you’ll be seeing more of that in the future:-)

Because of the simple subject matter I wanted to give this  a clean look so I processed fairly simply
Apple Blush @ overlay 42%
Apple Blush @ Soft light 48 %
Peach Blush @ Multiply 66 % this was just to give the apples a little more depth so I removed much of the texture from the background.
And finally to add a little softness …..
Fly Edge 8 @ soft light 25 %
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Canal avenue

Having started this image months ago I abandoned it.
Jill reminded me of it and so I reluctantly had another go!

I used the original textured image and simply added more.
It created this picture up on Fickr.
Unfortunately the quality was too small as a ‘keeper’
being only 72 dpi, so I started again.

The original photographs were taken on Capestang’s temporary winter dam in the middle of the canal, a kind of island made of the mud from the winter closure and clean-up of the canals basin.
This picture is made up of 3 joined up pictures. The water, horizon and sky, a kind of Landscape layer cake, then merged with Autopanopro.
It was then cleaned up with the old painterly effect and this recipe.
My idea was to get an old french impressionistic painting effect on old linen. You can see the Necropolis/linen texture in the waters shadows, this was achieved by the use of the Pin Light filter.
I hope to continue with more of this effect in future posts!

Cyprus Haze Overlay @ 100%
Necropolis Hue @ 34%
Necropolis Luminosity @ 100%
Base image Soft Light @ 27%
Base image Hard Light @ 100%
Base image Pin Light @ 100%
Antique Liaisons Soft Light @ 27%
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.