In my neck of the woods, Spring is gearing up in the higher elevations, and is in full swing in the foothills. The pale pink cherry blossoms. The little white and purple violets. The dogwoods: they are a barely-pale-green-yellow right now! Clear, Carolina blue skies, (between the gray rains). I love the colors!

It’s no wonder pastels make more frequent appearances in my pages this time of year. Today, I have a quick (lightning) fast tip on how to introduce a pastel tint into a layout, using only a page overlay. Nice contrast + little effort = win.

Image by Freestock on unsplash

I created a little pack of overlays and backgrounds if you’d like to try out this technique using them. It includes the backgrounds, overlays, and masks seen in the layouts in this post. I also made an Affinity Photo brush set of the overlay and mask stamps.

Import a black .png page overlay into your document. Make sure it’s above the paper background in the layers panel. This works better if your background is a darker-shade.

Import a page overlay and then invert the color

Import a page overlay and then invert the color

With the overlay layer active, type ctl + i (on Mac: cmd + i). Ta da – color inversion.

Adjust opacity and blend mode

Adjust opacity and blend mode

Slide the opacity down a little bit on the overlay layer (the more transparent the overlay, the higher the opacity). Play with blend modes, too, to see what effect you like. Depending on your background’s shade/patterns, Soft Light and Overlay can be lovely!

NOTE: The ctl + i keyboard shortcut works in multiple programs – Photoshop, Elements, Affinity Photo, to name a few. Most image editing apps should have an Invert function, if not a keyboard shortcut of their own.

Invert Adjustment layers are used on Affinity Photo iPad.

Affinity Photo on iPad uses an Invert Adjustment Layer

Of course, there are multiple other ways to get this effect, but for me, this is a quick and easy path to pastel on my pages.

Happy Easter, and Happy Spring!