If I had to choose one Photoshop feature that is most essential in my creating Digital Art, it would be the Blend Modes. You can access Blend Modes several places in Photoshop. For today’s exercise, I’ll access the Blend Modes from the Layers Panel.
The yellow square’s formula is ffff00. The gradient uses that same yellow and red orange [ff4500]. On the layers panel, the clouds layer is placed above the colored squares.
While the word “Normal” appears in the Blending Mode window, I can position the clouds so that they are physically on top of the squares and thus block the squares where they have been covered. Normal actually means that there is no Blending taking place.
There is a Drop Down Menu beneath the word Normal and by choosing other words, the layers will be blended in various ways. If the Darken Blending Mode is selected, not only will the colors of the layers mix [i.e. blue + yellow = green]; but the resultant color will be darker than original layers were. Those who have mixed colors for painting are not surprised to see that the blue of the sky mixes with the yellow square to create green tones. A more extensive understanding of color theory is needed, however, to understand what happens where the sky is Darkened-Blended over the orange parts of the yellow to orange gradient. While Yellow + Blue = Green, Yellow + Orange = Brown.
If the Blending Mode is changed to Multiply, the Darkening action is carried another step; and the resultant green and brown tones become darker and even more obvious:
If you switch to the Linear Burn Blending Mode, the Darkening effect is increased yet another step; thus, the resultant green and brown tones are darker again.
Linear Burn is the Darkest of the Darkening Blend Modes