Stories by Cathy Abes

Designs with a Difference

You can get startling, even psychedelic effects in Adobe Systems Inc.'s Photoshop by using that program's blending modes, which determine how color information on two different layers interacts when you combine the layers. Some blending modes-like the aptly named Normal-produce fairly ordinary results, while others give you a radically changed image. One of the most popular is Difference mode, which produces highly saturated color. The problem with using such a popular mode, though, is that its effects are so predictable, they're easy to spot in an illustration.

The Painted Layer

A background is usually just that-something that recedes, that doesn't catch your eye because you're too busy looking at an image's focal point. But that doesn't mean a background has to be dull and flat. Just ask artist Steve Campbell (grand-prize winner of 1998's Macworld Expo Digital Art Contest), who puts as much thought into a background as he does into the other elements of his work.