Daily Archives: February 29, 2012

Art Journaling 102 – Digi Technique Feature: The Burn Tool


Social Media Team

by Julie Ann Shahin, Social Media Team

Welcome to our third Technique Feature of 2012! Today, we are exploring creative uses of the Burn Tool in Photoshop Elements. You can also do this in Photoshop, however I am using PSE…so for demo purposes I will talk about that program.


Preview of Finished Art Journal Page Featuring Burn Tool

Using the Burn Tool: Part 1

Now I have to admit, I haven’t used the burn tool often, so we are going to be learning together. I found inspiration in several online tutorials. The first one is a tutorial written by Brandy Hackman for Using the Burn Tool to Chalk Around PNG Brush Files. You can see my steps and result below.

Using the Burn Tool to Chalk Around PNG Brush Files

as Inspired by Brandy Hackman

Step 1. So the first thing you need to know is that I don’t always follow directions very well…as I am supposed to be using a PNG Brush file. I had my mind set on finding a flower in Picasa, and I liked this flower…so looking for a Brush file slipped my mind. It’s all good, as it worked out just fine as you’ll see. So Step 1 is to open your PNG file, and to drag it into place on your background paper. Then I made a duplicate of my background paper…because we are going to “chalk” on it, and I’m never comfortable using the original layer, always use a duplicate layer. (Yes, I save my .psd files at the end.)

Step 2. Cotinue to follow Brandy’s Tutorial, starting at “While holding the Ctrl key, click on the image’s layer in your Layers Palette.” You can see above how the chalked image is starting to appear.


Using the Burn Tool: Part 2

Now the second tutorial that I found inspiration from Melissa at Learn to Scrapbook in Photoshop Elements, and her tutorial titled “How can I use the burn and dodge tools?” She shows you how to wrap a ribbon around a frame, add shadow and highlight for a needle to go through a ribbon, and also how to ink edges using the burn tool. The last technique is what I used on this page today.


Using the Burn Tool to Ink Edges

Part 2, Step 1: Open a border or lace (see yellow lace above), and drag into place on your page.


Step 2: Use the burn tool around the edges of the scallop to “ink” it.  I burned the edges at 60 px, Midtones, 37%…you can play around to get the effect that pleases you. As I create my page, I will use this technique on the art doll, and on additional border pieces that I add. You can view this below on the final page.


Julie Ann

Credits: all by Tangie Baxter – AJC 12 Parcel 6, AJC 12 Parcel 7, Gesso Messy 5, Gesso Messy 3, Dream Spilling Alpha, Steampunk Lab, ATC Melodies, AJC 11 Parcel 47 with Flergs, aMUSEing Art Dolls with Rebecca McMeen, She Paperdolls, MUSEical Theatre, Junque Journal, Art Journal Paper Worn Styles, Font: Art Journaling Font Canary by Tangie

Additional Tutorials:


Julie Ann Shahin is a New York-based art journaler, scrapbooker, mixed media craftster who specializes in hybrid and altered art techniques. She will be blogging regularly for tangiebaxter.com on {Wednesdays – new day} and Saturdays. You may contact Julie Ann at julieann dot shahin at gmail dot com

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