September 28, 2011 / Fall 2011 / Photoshop/Illustrator

Photoshop Fun: Adding texture with blending modes

Written by Jamie Chambers

Layer blending modes change the way a particular layer interacts with, or “blends” with, the layer or layers below it. Changing a layer from the Normal blending mode setting to a different blending mode can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of an image. You can use layer blending modes in InDesign. Now play with them in Photoshop. More than 20 modes are located on the Layers palette in Photoshop.

1. Open a photo and duplicate the background layer.


2. Open a second image of a texture to apply to your photo. This exercise uses a wooden texture, but you can choose any texture you like.


3. Drag the texture background into your original photo file, making sure the texture is the top layer.

4. Go to the Blending Mode button labeled Normal on the Layers palette and hold down and drag the cursor to reveal all the options for blending modes. Select Hard Light.


5. Adjust the Layer Opacity of the texture layer to 50%. You can adjust the opacity to your choice, depending on the amount of texture you would like to add to the original image. This will make the image appear as if it was printed or painted on the wooden wall.

Feel free to experiment with different textures and photos. In these simple steps you can add a whole new dimension to any photo.

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Jamie Chambers

Jamie Chambers faced two career path choices in college, and lucky for Walsworth he chose art over accounting. He has been a creative influence for Walsworth for 17 years, currently as Design & Creative Concepting Supervisor in the Marketing Department. For 10 years, as an artist and supervisor for the Creative Services Department, Jamie traveled to workshops to collaborate with yearbook staffs to develop their covers and theme packages.