Using Blend Modes in Photoshop gives us many options for creativity.  Blend modes change how two layers interact with one another.  Results depend upon many factors….. which can make using blend modes (somewhat) unpredictable but fun!

For the purposes of this tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS6.  The Blend Mode option is located at the top of the Layers Panel (both in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements). To access different Blend Modes, click on the down-pointing arrow.


Today I would like to direct you to an excellent explanation of Photoshop Blend Modes.  It is comprehensive, yet easy to read.  You will find basic information here, enough to give you insight into how blend modes work; but more detailed explanations are also included, in case you want to take your understanding even further.    I located this article on the Photoshop Blog Stop, and have found it to be extremely helpful:  Photoshop Blend Modes Explained.   The author clearly states that he is not going to “show” how blend modes work, but is going to “explain” to you how they work.

Today I will “show” you one example of how to use blend modes, and hope this sparks your interest in reading more about blend modes and how they can be an effective tool in your scrapbooking.

The image below is a paper from “Tell Me Again” (a new collaboration between ADBDesigns and SnickerdoodleDesigns), and a “Tell Me Again Blendable” (by ADB Designs).


Today, let’s look at the Darken Blend Mode.  The description given in the above -noted article is this:  If the pixels of the selected layer are darker then the ones on the layers below, they are kept in the image. If the pixels in the layer are lighter, they are replaced with the tones on the layers below (they show through to the selected layer), so basically the darker tones of all layers are kept.

Let’s see what that “looks” like. In the image above, we see defined edges along the lower left, the bottom, and the lower right.  This is because I have the Blendable selected, and those edges of the Blendable are darker than the lighter background paper. Thus, according to definition, the darker pixels are kept in the image.

In the image below, I moved the Blendable up.  Now the lower edges are placed on top of the darker parts of the background paper, which means that the darker pixels on the background paper are kept. This gives the Blendable a softer looking edge, creating a really lovely look.


But what if you wanted this Blendable in the lower corner of this particular paper?  In this instance, the darker parts of the paper don’t fall in line with some of the edges that you would like to soften.  Let’s fix that. After changing the Blendable Mode to Darken, I applied a mask to the layer.  I used soft brush, with the opacity setting set at 38%, then “erased” away some of the harsher edges.



Diane (ADBDesigns) has created a Blendable for you to experiment with.  Just click here, Tell Me Again Blendable Freebie,  or on the image below to download.


I hope that you find Using Blend Modes in Photoshop tutorial helpful, and that the visual presented here has inspired you to experiment even more with Blend Modes.

You will find the new “Tell Me Again” collaboration between ADBDesigns and Snickerdoodle Designs in our stores now.  Take advantage of Introductory Pricing while it is available!