Hello everyone and welcome to a new challenge month! But first, May winners! Congrats to @zotova winning the $10 coupon and @Angela Toucan for the $6 product bonus coupon! Rachel will get these to you soon! This month, we will focus on creating backgrounds using ready-made blending masks or using layer masks and a soft brush to paint in more or remove parts of a paper. I love how richly textured Rachel’s papers are and quite often will layer one, two, or three to create something new. One easy technique is to add a paper on top of another then play with your blending modes ie. Multiply, Linear Burn, etc, and opacity to create something new. Another easy way is to use ready made Blending Masks of which Rachel has a few in her shoppe: Hope Shines Bright Blenders, Painted Masks 1, Painted Masks 2. Add in some Impasto such as Stand Tall: Darling Or you can apply a layer mask and use a soft brush and your default black\white foreground and background colours to erase or add colour/paper back in. I usually create a new layer, do my brushwork and then clip the paper. This month’s challenge is to create a new background using one or a mix of the techniques mentioned above. I want to see a different background from the original so please use at least 2 layers on top of the original background paper to create something new. To add another twist, keep your elements minimal but feel free to use plentiful paints and stamps to add to this new background you have created. You may use any number of photos or go photo-less. Here are my steps: I started with a wood background paper from Rachel’s Pocket Art 9 as my base. I then created a new layer, painted it with a brush, and clipped a paper to that layer. A repeat of step 2, but used a different paper I used a ready made mask from the Painted Masks 2 release and clipped a paper to it and then repeated this step using different masks for layers 5 and 6 I added another painted mask and using a soft brush I erased some of it and clipped a paper to the remaining mask. I then added the painted rainbow and changed the blending mode to colour burn I then used one of the pieces from Stand Tall Darling: Impasto and clipped a paper to that to create another interesting paper layer. Next up were some paint splatter marks. I played around with my layer order until I was happy with the colors and patterns showing. Added my photo and a few small elements to finish my page. I started with this paper from Rachel's Pocket Art 9 Background I created using the steps above My finished layout Items used: Painted Masks 2, Stand Tall Darling: Impasto, Let it Go-papers, mixed media, Pocket Art 9-papers (wood background), mixed media (word art) Quick Steps for this challenge Create a new background paper using at least 2 papers/backgrounds on top of your original. You could use ready made blending masks, gesso, and\or brushes, and layer masks to create your new background. Make sure it doesn't resemble your original paper (some showing through of your original paper though is fine) I challenge you to use minimal elements on your finished page but throw in some paint, stamps, doodles for fun Photos or photoless is fine Have fun! Challenge Requirements: Your layout must be comprised of 100% Rachel Jefferies products; 90% must be currently available in her store. You may use up to 10% of retired products. You may use items from Mixed Media Monthly collections of which Rachel was a part. Upload your layout to the Rachel Jefferies Designs Gallery at TLP and list the products used in your credits. For your challenge entry to be counted, you MUST upload your finished layout to this thread. Please link your thread to your gallery image as it helps us leave love on your layout (and, validate your project). No double-dipping…your layout must be used for this challenge only, no others. You must create a new layout for this challenge. This challenge will remain open until June 30, 2021. Prizes: One lucky artist will be randomly drawn to win a $10 coupon to Rachel Jefferies shop. New Release Bonus Entry! If you use one of Rachel’s products released in June 2021 (a new release, M3, BYOC, and even SOSN released in June 2021) you will get a bonus entry for a chance to win a $6 coupon (should you not be the $10 winner). Please let me know if you are eligible for the $6 entry by stating “New Release Bonus Entry” when you post in the forum. If you have any questions just tag me and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Enjoy the challenge!