Create an elaborate picture frame

The painting itself is finished, and you can see how I made it in Issue 95 of ImagineFX on sale now. In addition I want to put a frame around it. Here I'll show you how I create a frame for the image with many of the same techniques used in the main workshop.


Aly Fell
Don Seegmiller

Don is a successful artist, author, and instructor. He is Coordinator of the Illustration Area in the Visual Arts and Communication department at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT. 

01. Creating the frame border
I duplicate the painting by right clicking on the background and selecting Duplicate Layer or use the Ctrl + J keys (Command + J on the Mac). A copy of the Painting is created on a new layer. With the background selected I pick Image/Canvas Size from the top menu and add about 200 pixels to every side of the image. 

don seegmiller step 1

02: Background
Now you will have a nice even 200 pixel border is added to the background. 

don seegmiller step 2

03: Create a basic frame
I hold the Ctrl key and left mouse click on the duplicated painting thumbnail creating a selection around the image and from the Select menu I invert the selection. I create two new layers above the image layer and fill the bottom layer with a light golden colour and the second layer with a darker golden colour. I select a thin border around the inside layer using the rectangular selection tool and fill it with the same light golden colour from the first layer. I select an even border around the second dark golden layer, invert the selection, and delete the outside dark golden edge leaving a light gold border created by the first layer. I am left with two layers forming the basic shape of the frame. 

don seegmiller step 3

04: Painting decorative moulding
I move into Painter. A feature that I like in Painter is the ability to paint with a pattern that has transparency. I will use a pattern brush to paint decorative moulding on the picture frame. In Painter I create two layers. One layer will be for the horizontal moulding and the other will be for the vertical moulding.

I select a custom decorative pattern in the Patterns palette. I choose the Pattern Pen Masked brush found in the Pattern Pens category. This default brush will incorporate any transparency in the selected pattern.

I size the brush so it will fit within the darker part of the frame, press the V key so the brush will paint in straight lines and paint a series of horizontal lines on one layer and vertical on the other. Press the B and V keys sequentially after each stroke or the strokes will be connected. I paint all the strokes long enough that they overlap the ends of the frame.

don seegmiller step 4

05: Select the best strokes
I select the best horizontal and vertical strokes, copy each, and paste them onto individual layers. I have two horizontal and two vertical strokes on four layers. I individually arrange the layers forming the decorative panel above the dark panel layer of the frame.

06: Create the corners
I move back to Photoshop. Each layer needs to be trimmed to form a corner of the decorative panel. I drag guides around the outside edges and interior opening of the frame and make sure that “Snap to Guides” is active. I use the Polygonal Selection tool to trim each layer to form a mitred corner. I them merge the four layers into one and then merge all the frame layers together. 

don seegmiller step 6

07: Add a drop shadow
I want to add a shadow of the frame cast onto the painting. I create a new layer underneath the frame and add a selection by Ctrl clicking the layer thumbnail of the frame layer. I select a darker colour from the painting and fill the selection on the new layer, change the Blending Mode to Multiply, and offset the layer to the left and down relative to the frame above. A dark band of colour is visible along the top and right interior edges of the frame. Using Gaussian Blur from the Filter/Blur menu I significantly soften the shadow layer and lower the opacity to about 60 per cent.

don seegmiller step 7

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