Inking edges is a very easy technique that adds real "pop" to your page!
You can ink on paper for a photo or journal mat, on embellishments like letters etc, or directly on the photo. For this tutorial, we are inking a photo mat.
Choose a paper you want to mat your photo with and crop it to a size that allows more than just a sliver of the paper to show around the edge of the photo (I recommend at least an eighth to a quarter inch on each side).
Place your mat as another layer on a transparent blank page (after you get the hang of it, you can ink directly on the LO). Create a third layer on top of the mat. Ctrl-click on the mat layer in your layers pallette to select it.
Click on the top layer in your layers pallette. Click on the foreground color square on your tools pallette and choose a color that coordinates with your paper, but won't blend in with it.
Choose your brush tool (B) and choose a brush. In Adobe Photoshop CS, there is a brush preset that I use most of the time for inking - in your brush pallette, click the fly-out list and choose "reset brushes", the last brush available in that group (assuming you haven't added new ones to the list) is "Airbrush dual brush soft round 45"*.
Now you are ready to ink. Make sure your mat has 'marching ants' around it, the top blank layer is selected, and your color and brush are where you want them. Drag your brush around the edge of your paper - don't try to be too perfect, you want it to look like you took your paper in your hand and used an ink pad to drag around the edge. If you go back over the same spot without releasing the the mouse, it won't add more 'ink'.
When you have finished inking, you can adjust the opacity in your layers pallete on that top 'ink' layer to let more of the texture and pattern of your paper show through. Now, link the ink with the mat and merge them <ctrl+E>, and now your inked mat is ready to be placed on your layout!
*If you don't have that brush preset - you basically want a brush with a slight amount of size jitter (25% or less); a main brush that is round and soft and a dual brush that has a bit of a sponge texture; and it should have the following checked: airbrush, smoothing, and protect texture.
Check out my Alyssa inked Alpha or this layout of my granddaughter Brooklynn to get an idea of what an inked edge might look like. This is a technique that it might be helpful to have tried on paper to get a feel for how it should look, so if you aren't a paper scraper or have never tried this technique on paper, grap a peice of scrap paper and an ink pad and play with it.
So, now that you know how to ink, let me see your layouts using your new technique - link back here!!!
Use this technique in the ABC challenge Letters I & J .... March 27 - April 9 and get my Alyssa inked Alpha as a posting bonus!