Monday, May 6, 2013

PicMonkey Tutorial #2: Using Your Own Overlays

I know that for those of you who are total Photoshop Pros, this tutorial will probably be kinda amusing, but for those of us who don't have Photoshop, this is the easy/free way to use your own overlays, via PicMonkey.  If you are a Photoshop Pro, you will prob want to look away now because obvs. this is going to be embarrassing for both of us.  But anyway...  NB: I would love to know how to permanently erase the white background on overlays, so if you know how and would like to share a tutorial, please do ;-)

The following tutorial will show you how I created the hot air balloon image.

1. To begin, upload a backdrop image of your choosing (for the circus & band practice images, the pic of the kids was the backdrop image).  Select the Overlays tab and click on 'Your Own' which will allow you to select another image to overlay.

2. Resize & position your image.  I uploaded two images that I'd already combined.  The first was a photo of my kiddos sitting in a cardboard box.  The second was my hand-drawn hot air balloon.  I put those images together in exactly the way I'm about to show y'all.

3. Click on your overlay and select Eraser, and adjust the size and hardness to whatever suits.  It will probably help if you zoom in quite a bit, if you are working with detailed overlays.  The zoom tool is in the bottom right hand corner (see image - a) zoom, b) position).

4.  Start erasing!! If you over erase, you can either click undo, or you can use the paintbrush tool to colour it back in.

5.  Once you are happy with how it looks, you can play around with colours and opacity.  I faded my balloon  little so that it blended with the background image.

6. It's kinda fun to play with some of the other tools too.  I'm a fan of Sunglow & Lens Flare in particular, and used both for this image.

And that's it!  Really really easy, and really really fun!!  Now that I have a drawing tablet, things are even easier, so expect to see a LOT more of this type of thing on here.  And don't forget, if you want me to illustrate any custom overlays for you, hit me up for pricing (rutherbrad(at)yahoo(dot)com).

I totally suggest spending a bit of time playing around on PicMonkey, because you can do quite a bit of fun stuff there.  I honestly would be so Photo-Editing-Frustrated if it weren't for them...

First PicMonkey tutorial here.
Original Ballooning post (with a bunch of other fun images) here.


  1. Wow - you are a wizz! Thanks for sharing - one day I'll be back to stalk these tutorials!

  2. wow - one day when I have more brain concentration I am going to try this too - you is a clever girl. Thanks for sharing :o)

  3. Thank you so much for this... i was a little bit in awe of the hot air balloon one and was wondering how you did it... super stoked you shared it! xx

  4. Super clever! Love how easy it is for people who don't have photoshop!

  5. YOU are SO clever!! thanks for this tutorial, it is awesome and so much easier than ps (for me anyway!) lol.

  6. i agree with louana, i had no idea you could do all this wonderful stuff without photoshop. argh, if only i had some more time on my hands, I can't wait to try this. i have however switched my camera to manual and figured out how to alter the f stop do-dad thanks to your encouraging photography posts-yipee!

  7. Hi Stella, I have just been introduced to PicMonkey and am loving it. I will have to try some of these tips! Thanks!

  8. Well Stella I do have photoshop (not the full blown version though, although my son has) but I still have no real clue how to use it. This looks fab and I'll probably have a go. Looks great fun.

  9. Awesome! I didn't realise you can insert your own layers in picmonkey! Super handy!

    In PS you can easily make the background transparent which gets rid of the white. And saving as a PNG means you're just saving the image, not the whole box the image is in... If that makes sense?

    You've done a great job with this tute!

  10. Awesome thanks for showing this, I love the way you did these images.....certainly beats my hubby trying to explain to me how to use Photoshop!!

  11. WOW! This is so creative and amazeballs. We love what you think up to do with PicMonkey. Keep Creating!

  12. I think even I could do this!! Excited!

  13. I realise this is a late answer, but to permanently erase your white background you can now use the Design feature. Hover over Design on the home page to select your canvas size. When the Canvas Color menu pops up, tick the box to make the image transparent and apply. You can save it as a .png so you always have a template, or you can import your photo directly onto the transparent image. Now you can erase the background. If you want to make edits to the entire photo you will need to flatten the image (in the top row above your images). Otherwise, you can just save the image as a .png and you'll have a permanently erased photo :)

    I hope that makes sense and helps you out, if you haven't found another way to do it already!