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Easy Wall Art

Easy Wall Art

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Although I love seeing my landscape images in print, I also like to push my photographic and processing skills further to create a modern twist by blending two or more images together. These abstracts are perfect for brightening up a room space as a print or large canvas but where do you start? It's not as difficult as you might think and in this blog, I'm going to show you how to create your own masterpieces!

It might surprise you that for most of my modern abstract art I simply use my iPhone. It's not only convenient (I carry it everywhere) but the quality of large prints are very good indeed. OK, not as good as an equivalent sized image taken with my full-frame camera but fine detail doesn't (generally) matter with exposure-blended art. Here is an image of a large canvas I printed as a gift for my sister recently and is over 1 metre tall - created using images from my iPhone.

 Abstract Wall art by Mark Banks Photography

First, you need to photograph some abstract sections of objects, textures, shapes (etc...) to take pictures of. These can be household objects, graffiti, old flaking paint and so on. To be honest, until you've blended two or more images together, you're not going to know what the resulting image is going to look like. In fact, that's the fun of it - so just have fun taking pictures of anything. You will gradually learn what type of images work for you. As a guide, however, I find more colourful subjects blend together better. Below are a few examples of phone images I have taken to create some abstract wall art. Some are from the side of old fishing boats whilst others are from household objects and even graphics paused from the TV!! Top tip: by using just one camera (in my case, my iPhone) you spare yourself the hassle of resizing one of the images in Photoshop when you come to blending them - otherwise, one image will be larger than the other and will look odd.

Examples of subjects that blend well

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4
Example 5

As I use Lightroom Classic and Photoshop I am going to explain how to blend a couple of images together with these pieces of software. However, if you use other photo editing software (like Affinity Photo for example) they have similar blending modes which will work just as well. There are even phone Apps that can blend images, too. It's worth noting that once you have blended two images to make one you can then repeat the process using the already blended image for an even more abstract look. If you haven't already, import your phone images into Lightroom's Library module like you would with any other camera (There are plenty of Youtube videos on how to do this if you haven't done this before). Select two images you would like to blend by holding down Cmd (Mac) or CTRL (PC) and clicking on both. Then, right-click on one of them and choose 'Edit in' > 'Open as Layers in Photoshop'. This will export the two images into Photoshop and place them as two separate Layers, which you can see in the right column.

Now select the blending mode drop-down options as shown in this image...

Wall Art Blend

Now choose from the many blending options until you find a look you like...


For a different look, you can drag and drop the layers the opposite way round and try blending once again. You can also adjust the intensity of the blend by using the Opacity slider...

Swap layers around

There will be times that you are not happy with any of the blends and this should tell you to try other images instead. If that is the case, just quit Photoshop and try two different images. However, if you like a particular blend then you need to flatten the image (this keeps the file size small). In the top menu area, choose 'Layer' > 'Flatten Image' (Your two layers will become one)...

Flatten Image

In the top menu select 'File' > 'Save' and your image will be saved back into your Lightroom Library (usually next to one of the original images)...

Save Image

Now that your new image is back in Lightroom, you can carry on processing it to suit your taste. Once your masterpiece is completed, consider printing it for your wall. 

Finished Wall Art Examples

Abstract Wall Art
Abstract Wall Art
Abstract Wall Art
Abstract Wall Art
Abstract Wall Art