Venetian Charm, O'Kieffian Wit

Leaning Toward Venice - © S. O'Kieffe, 2007

With her usual mastery, this is Sue's vision of the Door (remember, the original image is titled Pisa Door) - AND she sent steps along. Marvelous woman. Now read and learn. She even calls features by their correct names.


  1. Duplicated image.

  2. Created a selection using rectangular marquee of right side of building.

  3. Copied and pasted it into new layer.

  4. Merged visible layers (Ctrl+shift+e)

  5. Moved selection to left side of new layer.

  6. Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal to create symmetrical image.

  7. Set colors to default. Filters>Sketch>Photocopy.

  8. Set blending mode to multiply.

  9. Set blending mode of building to Hard Light. (This feature is possible in CS3)

  10. Created adjustment layer.

  11. At bottom of layer palette chose photo filter/cooling filter.

  12. I wanted to put image on a slant. Transformed image (Ctrl/Cmd+T). Edit>Transform>Skew


  1. Chose photo of ocean water and adjusted size of image to correspond with image size of building

  2. Created symmetrical image of ocean as described above in step one

  3. Dragged image of ocean onto image of building

  4. Transformed image as described above to follow slant of building.

  5. Set blending mode to Lighten.

  6. I wanted it to look like water was running out from under the door and down the street, so I created a mask and set color to default.

  7. Using black I painted out all parts of the ocean I didn’t want visible. The nice thing about masking is you can undo anything you want by painting in white. BLACK CONCEALS AND WHITE REVEALS


  1. Created reflection of building in water following steps in Part 1, step 1, except created a horizontal selection and flipped the image vertically

  2. Created a clipping mask over layer with water. Clipping masks only affect one specific layer at a time and are created in the layer palette by holding down the alt/option key while selecting the desired adjustment.

  3. I chose hue/saturation adjustment, and adjusted colors to hopefully reflect a more Mediterranean color.

  4. I still wasn’t happy with the results of how the water looked. First I chose a color in the color palette that was a turquoise green color and chose it for the foreground color.

  5. Then I went to Filters>Sketch>Photocopy, applied the filter and set blending mode to multiply. This is a handy technique I use in many of my mandalas, too, when I want to create a bit more depth in my images without it looking too much like an illustration.


  1. Final adjustment. Created hue/saturation adjustment layer at top of layer stack. Set hue at -12/Saturation at +57

Sue has also very generously attached a copy of her layer colour palette and wrote this about it: "Things will look a bit different because of the specific features in CS3 I used that eliminates the use of multiple layers. It’s a great and long overdue feature, and as far as I can tell so far the best thing about the newest version of Photoshop."

Marvelous, marvelous woman.

(Check here for the "Wall", including Diane's modern/urban-dream take, and freshman Irene's very first attempt at digital imaging)


Frances said...

oh my goodness, I shall just give up now - so much work involved. I like the Leaning Tower - nice humour

Rima said...

No, no, no - it's not "I shall just give up" that you mean, it's "I am stinkin' inspired and I will be creating even more stuff now".

Neda said...

Okay, where is the next Venetian bridge so I can jump off into oblivion!!! SUE!!! This is truly magnifique!

And Rima, Okieffian wit! You've got class, babe!!

Sue O'Kieffe said...

i will come back and comment more fully later...thanks for posting this for me rima...i was having a blah day yesterday

Rima said...

Blah days are my specialty, Sue! In fact, I am having one right now - but I have to say the highlight of my day was working on this post and on the "wall". So much cheaper than my old therapist.

Frances said...

The wall is grrrreat!
good variety of concepts -

belinha said...

I see that you're a chocolate lover like me!I eat it everyday!The very black one!Mmmmm, so good!Yes, I think that I have done some collages taht are sweet along with some ugly ones!!!I'm still working on YOUR collage.:-)You'll have it before Christmas,ehehehehhe!!!:-)Teasing...

Bobbie said...

What a creative idea to put the ocean inside the building. I love the colors and reflections in the water. I must remember the mask feature..and I hope it works like I think it does...Nice work Sue!

Bobbie said...

p.s. I love how the wall is shaping up and Irene's entry too. I'm glad she decided to play. This is great fun isn't it?

Sue, I noticed that you flipped one of the bicycles to make it more symmetrical. I like that!

Sweet Irene said...

Help, I am so intimidated now. Is there a course I can follow to become very clever? Yes, I will try to make something as good as this one day, but it will take me several years to get there. In the meantime, I will putter around the best I can.

Jin said...

Rima, mon travail m'oblige quelquefois à utiliser Photoshop, mais je te jure que je ne connais ni la dixième partie de ce que tu sais faire!

comme je comprends à moitié ce qui est dit dans le blog, je suis encore très intriguée par cette fameuse porte qui change tant au fil des jours... décidément, je commence à connaître une famille super intéressante et diablement créative!! à suivre...

belinha said...

Hello!We have rain over her:-(Oh, what a sad Summer...it's like the ghost!You're right.This is the kind of collage I enjoy to do most.We take just one sheet of paper and we cut it trying to get the most out of it.It's simple but it's a thrll...at leat for me...:-)

belinha said...

I think that Priscilla has got a lot of stories to tell!:-)

Debi said...

I adore this! It's like a dream with the intense colors and the fearfull but beautiful water overtaking everything. Love it!

My gosh, she even put reflections of the building in the water. Great job, Sue!

Sue O'Kieffe said...

Hello all,
Thank you all for your comments. It has taken me a couple of years to get to a place where I could create something like this in Photoshop. I'm grateful to Rima for being willing to share it here. I wanted to share the possibilities and not for you to be intimidated, but I understand those feelings as well. In fact, I wrote about those feelings on my own blog today. The important thing with any art is to have fun. We all have great ideas!

Sue O'Kieffe said...

I also wanted to say I hope to begin putting up some simple tutorials regarding adjustment layers and layer masks by the end of the week, just to show the difference between destructive and non destructive editing. This helps me understand what I know as well.

dianeclancy said...

This is a very fun image. And thank you for the tutorial. The colors are fun.

Rima, thank you for all the work you are doing! The wall looks great.

~ Diane Clancy