[1] Editing the flowers with blending modes & tone curve adjustments

I adjust the color balance and brightness of the flowers as I arrange them on the canvas.

I feel that there aren’t enough flowers, so I duplicate some of the flower layers.
In this case, I transform the duplicate layer by rotating, resizing, or flipping it and change the blending mode so that it looks different to the original material.

■ Editing the flowers with blending modes

I change the blending modes of the flower layers to [Color burn] or [Screen]. I usually change the blending mode based on the color of the flowers as below:

・ [Color burn] mode: Bright colored flowers (such as red and yellow)
This makes the color more vivid, and looks like a print or stamp when combined with the paper texture beneath.

・ [Screen] mode: White flowers 
This makes the white stronger and creates a fresh effect.

■ Editing the flowers with tone curves

If a flower looks too dark, I use the [Tone Curve] to adjust the brightness or contrast.

I select the layer to adjust on the [Layer] palette, then select [Layer] menu > [New Correction Layer] > [Tone Curve]. I adjust the settings in the dialog box that appears.

▼ I increase the contrast of the water hyssop flowers.

▼ I increase the brightness of the daisies.

Tonal Correction layers apply to all lower layers. If you want to limit the effect to one layer, turn on [Clip at Layer Below].
Move the [Tonal Correction layer] directly above the target layer, and click the [Clip at Layer Below] icon at the top of the [Layer] palette.
When this setting is on, a red vertical line will be visible to the left of the layer.

[2] Trimming and fine adjustments

Once I decide the flower layout, I use layer masks to adjust the flower outlines.

Since I can clearly see the boundaries of some of the colored flower images, I use layer masks to blur the edges.

While selecting the flower image layer, I click the [Create layer mask] button at the top of the layer palette.

I select the thumbnail of the new layer mask, and use tools such as the [Airbrush] > [Soft] with transparency to blur the edges.

You can create the same effect by drawing with transparency, but the [Layer mask] allows you to revert the changes whenever you want.

Read the following article to learn more about layer masks.

In the same way, I erase the outlines and overlapping parts using the layer masks.
In addition, I adjust the opacity of the flower layers and check how the flowers overlap and look.

[3] Scattering light sparkles

Here, I will scatter sparkles all over the canvas.

I create a new layer at the top of the [Layer] palette and set the blending mode to [Add (Glow)].
I use a white effect brush to spray the sparkles with a focus on the middle, to add a bright and fresh nuance.

Nokia Inoue’s “Light” brush is available for free on Clip Studio ASSETS. Feel free to use it in your own art!

[4] Adjusting the overall color

In the last step, I cover the whole canvas with a fill layer to adjust the overall color.

I select the [Layer] menu > [New Layer] > [Fill] and create a fill layer with a orange color.

Note: Please read the following article to learn more about fill layers.

When I change the blending mode to [Overlay], the canvas gets an orange tinge with stronger contrast.

Now, I’ve finished the flower collage which will be the background for my poster.

In the next lesson, I will show you how I create the text and add a grunge effect for a rough, faded look.