Behind the Design ~ The Lord’s Lady Blog

Posted By Roseanna on Mar 4, 2015 |

Come behind the design for the header of The Lord’s Lady!

A friend of mine started a blog called The Lord’s Lady: Women Growing in the Word, and it’s dedicated to study and meditating on Scripture. I’ve subscribed and am looking forward to digging deeper into faith with other women who share my heart.


So. The header. =) Sandi emailed with details on exactly what she was looking for. A medieval looking woman in the foreground, with only a bit of her face visible. She wanted her to be cradling a sword in her lap. Reverently,  tenderly. And in the background, a castle.

Armed with those instructions, I went on the hunt for images. I came back with a few possibilities.

The one on the bottom wasn’t holding a sword, of course, but we both liked the lighting and the soft look of her, so she won.

Which meant I had my work cut out for me, LOL. I started, as always, by deleting her background.

I played around a bit to figure out how to input a sword–first trying to have her holding it out before her, in her lap, like Sandi originally envisioned, but the sword got lost against the pale background of the model’s dress. So Sandi said, “Can she be holding it up like the woman in the other picture?”

Could she? Hmm. I thought I could get it close. So I chose a medieval sword that I could use for free from Wikimedia Commons:

(Let’s ignore the wee bit o’ background that isn’t deleted in this version–it was in the final, I promise.) And then I posed the model by copying her arm, rotating it, and filling in the empty space it created with her veil.

The hand here isn’t perfect, but I knew it would be covered up once I put the sword into place.

As you can see, the sword stands out far too much…and looks she’s just balancing it on one hand. Plus, of course, it cuts off a bit too soon. The image would be cropped to fit on the header, but I still needed to do some playing. I ended up up cutting and pasting the part of the sword that goes off to the left and then changing its opacity so that it looked like the veil was overtop it, and thereby meeting up with her invisible right right.

I also adjusted the color balance on the sword layer, yellowing it to give me the same lighting effect as the model.

And for fun…a little gleam on the blade.

Well, that was the hard part! Next was filling in her background. I found a free image of a castle. There were a ton, but I picked one that looked fairy tale pretty.

Chateau Sully sur Loire

Then, of course, I deleted the background and changed the color balance to match the buttery tones of the rest of the picture.

Isn’t that pretty as a picture? 😉

Now to put the two together. I did a simple blue-gray for sky (adding some low-opacity white for clouds) and green for the ground and plopped them together.

Believe it or not, we’re almost there. 😉 I chose a texture layer to put overtop the whole thing. I wanted something that conveyed light and flame, so I went with this one.

Taking it down to 75% opacity and choosing Lighten as my blending mode, we end up with this.

I want a bit more detail though…a pattern to add into the corner. I waste some time looking for medieval symbols or engravings, and eventually find, of all things, a free vector with tattoo designs, LOL. In that package I found a fun cross-in-a-circle that hit the right note. So I add that in.

Now all that’s left are the words! I tried a few arrangements and colors, before Sandi said “This arrangement, but how about burgundy? Which was perfect. She also requested that I link the letters together, so voila.

We added the subtitle, and there we have it! I put all those elements together, and we have our lovely final product, ready to be the header on a blog I know will touch hearts.

Check out Sandi’s blog at: !!!!