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Here are several quick variations you can make by combining two painted versions of the same source image.

  1. Open the Kiss2.tif file. It is a version I painted earlier with different presets for the Art History Brush.

    There are strong similarities between the two paintings, of course, but there also are many differences. Those differences will reward us with some interesting combinations when you layer them and explore Blending mode changes.

    Figure 9Figure 9 Use another painting or the Kiss file as a source for variations.

  2. Drag and drop (or copy and paste) your painting onto Kiss2.tif. Be sure the new layer is lined up accurately with the Background layer.

  3. Explore Blending modes other than Normal, adjusting Opacity if needed to improve the effect. Especially promising choices include Darken, Lighten, Hard light, and Difference.

    Figure 10Figure 10 Use Darken mode at 100%.

  4. Save a snapshot of each combination you like by using the Create new document icon at the bottom of the History palette.

    Darken mode at 100% mixes these two versions nicely, creating a more satisfying piece than either of the two layers alone.

    Hard Light mode at 100% creates vibrant skin tones and reduces detail in some areas.

    Figure 11Figure 11 Use Hard Light mode at 100%.

    Difference mode at 50% produces moody effects, including cooler colors. You can expect that some cool, blue-green areas will result from Difference mode. Difference mode inverts color in many areas, and blue-green is the inverse of the warm, orangey flesh tones.

    Figure 12Figure 12 Use Difference mode at 50%.

    Linear Burn, one of Photoshop's new modes, at 75% produces a dramatic, passionate image, with rich creamy tones. It is shown as the opening image for this chapter.

There's almost no limit to the number of variations possible by combining two (or more) paintings with different Blending modes and opacities.

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