Cool Image Transparency Gradient Effect

So the other day I was trying to figure out how to do something in Pixelmator (Im pretty sure it works for Photoshop) and I accidentally stumbled into this effect.

First, I opened up an image that I wanted to spruce up.

Second, I Added a Layer Mask in the Layer Menu

Then, I used a Transparent to Black Gradient and got this:

Gradient Transparency
Gradient Transparency

 

Why is this cool?  Well, now you can add a nice background color or even another image in the background to make some very professional looking artwork! 🙂

 

Transparency Gradient
Transparency Gradient

 

The original idea I was after was from a tutorial I found online which took a picture, such as this one.  You take a picture such as this:

beyonce_smile_face_lips_hair_5905_1920x1080

 

Add a Layer Mask as before but this time choose Brush 100 with a black foreground color.  Eliminate everything around her by painting with the brush to get this:

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 11.40.03 AM

Cute huh!

Now create a new layer and Add a Gradient, preferrably one with 2 pastel colors and move it over this one:

Finally change Blending to Screen and voila!

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 11.42.23 AM

 

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