For today’s graphic design experimentation we are following on the Original Icelandic Horses Mood Board created in the previous post and we going to look at Duotone Effects. I will provide a Mood Board for the duotone image at the end of the post. All images in this post are free to use for your design projects!
For a more in-depth look at mood boards, please see Free Mood Board: Dahlia Pink & Yellow Graphic Design Resources. Other Free Mood Boards include: Cacti Spirals, Mandala Dragonfly, Sunset Dreamcatcher, Flower Data Art, Horses, Big Cats and Vibrant Fish.
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Duotone Effect Process
Duotone effects create a two-tone colour gradient on top of the original image for a more modern graphic design look.
I do not have Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, instead I have opted to learn in GIMP for the time being and I am a bit familiar with the program already. As such I first had to find a step-by-step instruction for creating Duotone effects in GIMP. I used “A DuoTone process using GIMP by Daniel Berrangé” for the beginning of the creation processes and then I went off on my own tangent… 😉
Below is a quick summary of the process. P.S. there is an easier way to do this in GIMP, but I feel that this process gives a more “refined” look…
Step 1: Gradient Map & Grayscale
The first step in the processes is to create a grayscale map of the colours to guide GIMP in placing colours along the gradient from light to dark.
Step 2: Colour Layers and Fill
The second step is to create the different colour layers and to fill each. The shadow layer is a darker colour and the highlights a lighter one – note that complementary colours work best here (blue & yellow, purple & orange or green & red).
Step 3: Colour Blending
The third step is to blend the colours for a more seamless and gradient effect. However, the colours here are a bit warm here and it seems as though these are Desert Horses rather than Icelandic ones. I decided to opt for cooler colours; a darker purple and light blue perhaps?
Much better, eh?
Step 4: Blending Modes
From here on I was just playing around with the way GIMP renders the blending between the layers, either ‘all-over/even’ such as the previous picture, or with a sharp change in the layers with distinct lines, circles or spirals!
I like the spiral blend as it adds to the wind blowing effect in the photo. This concludes our experimentation for now and I leave you with the colour palette of the Duotone Icelandic Horses!
Final Touches: Typography
I added a bit of typography to the final image using Canva just to tie up everything nicely! Viola! It’ll make a pretty desktop background, don’t you think?
Duotone Mood Board
Mood boards are color palettes generated from images for design inspiration and coordinated themes.
Both Canva and Adobe have free online colour palette generators, which can extract colours from images. I prefer to use the Adobe tool to select the initial palette and then customise it from there.
My fifth mood board is created from the duotone photograph of charismatic Icelandic Horses captured by susnics available for free download from Pixabay.
Several mood board design resources are freely available from Mind Frame Shift for your design projects! You can find the Pinterest Board Here!
- Iceland Horses
- Adobe Color Wheel
- Canva – Design Anything – Referral link, join for free and start designing to earn up to 20 credits for premium images!
CC-BY-NC 3.0 – Colour palette images are free to use for personal and non-commercial projects given attribution to Dr Tanzelle Oberholster
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