Year of the Horse

February 24, 2013

I enjoy taking part in the Oscraps monthly challenges when I have time and although I'm a bit late, or rather very late for the February challenges I thought I would give this one a go. It's basically to make a page about your zodiac sign. I'm a Libran and just don't bond with that whole balance, scales imagery, it just looks so insipid in comparison with a raging bull (Mr K) or a fearsome lion (Mum) or any of the other signs, apart from Virgo; I don't covet that look either... So, defeated as to how to make some scales look good I looked to the Chinese zodiac for some inspiration and the year of the Horse fitted the bill perfectly! I didn't cheat here, I was born in the year of the Horse.
The most important thing to remember about ArtPlay palettes is to do just that - Play!!! When I start a page I've no real idea what the finished thing will look like, it's a journey to be enjoyed; some work out some don't but I'll share my process for this page and hopefully it will be helpful in some small way.

For this page I started with a photograph, I don't always do that but as this is an 'about me' type page I thought that would be a good starting point. This is a pic of me from Victoria's birthday party last year which was full colour but I decided to Duotone it to a soft teal colour. To do this the photograph must first be Grayscale. Image > Mode > Adjustments > Duotone then choose which two colours you want to choose for the inks. There's not really a right or wrong, just experiment.


Often I clip photographs to brushes from ArtPlays. To get them to the right blackness for a Photograph mask I just repeat them then flatten. This one I repeated 6 times before flattening. Using brushes in this ways offers countless possibilities for clipping masks.

Next up I clipped a paper from AP Chatter and a Chills Artsykard to a transfer from Metro Graffiti, I love this transfer and use it over and over again clipped to papers, you can see below the different look you get depending on the paper used.

Once the masked paper was in place I added a picture of a horse sculpture I took at Camden market a while back. The horse was extracted using the pen tool and the layer set to hard light.

Next I added paper set at an angle and various brushes. This is the point where I move things around and play about with the composition and layer modes like overlay; colour burn; darken etc.

Lastly, the photograph is duplicated; one layer set to Hard Light and the other to darken to let some of
the texture show through.


Fonts are Peoni Pro for the title and Bombshell Pro for the journalling. I cheated with the journalling and just used text from the Handbook of Chinese horoscopes which is just fine if like me you struggle with the personal and public journalling bit, and true to character as apparently folk born in the year of the Horse aren't too good at sticking to rules...
All supplies by Anna Aspnes

3 comments:

esther_a said...

Ha! I believe rules are for breaking!!
Thanks for sharing your magical design steps. Beautiful page.

Chris Asbury said...

Wonderful page, Fiona. Thanks for sharing the design process!

Eszter(beszteri) said...

Thanks for sharing your process, Fiona!!!!!!

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