Did you ever feel like you wanted to clean the house rather than draw? Nah, me either. But it is time well spent. Don’t you just feel more on top of things when your house is clean?? More productive, creative, even better looking?
So here’s my thought process today as I mopped the kitchen floor and cleaned the bathrooms (because it does have to be done eventually, right? By somebody…) I thought, I could render a beautiful family moment for Illustration Friday’s prompt Spent— and believe me when I say I got all choked up and teary-eyed over it– or I could do a quick sketch of a mop and bucket. That, and a really big bag of fun-size treats on the counter, led me to remember just about the best Halloween costume that ever appeared on our doorstep, which was this:
Yes, it was a 12-year-old-ish boy dressed as a janitor with a leash threaded through a wrapping paper tube and a shaggy dog as a mop! I will never forget that kid.
So there you go, a post that is a bit of a stretch for IF, but timely for Halloween, and my house smells like lemons. Nyah, nyah, na, na, na!
Teri asked in my last post if I created my Wedding Alphabet in Photoshop. While I usually paint my art traditionally to start out, I always use Photoshop at some point, even if it is only to adjust the colors and clean up brush hairs, leftover pencil marks and unintentional spots (you know, where the paint isn’t completely dissolved, I dropped my brush, spilled my coffee, whatever.)
However, I also use Photoshop a great deal to create new art out of already existing art. This works especially well for making coordinating patterns for fabric designs, or reformatting a design into a line of party goods. Or, in the case above, creating a new design altogether.
My husband says I have a “deep portfolio”, and in this case, I started out with this:
This purple background is probably my most handy piece of art. It turns up everywhere! All it needs is a little color adjustment. In Photoshop, it’s the IMAGE– ADJUSTMENTS– HUE/SATURATION menu. Play around with those sliders and you can get almost any color. So above it became a yummy muted brown.
Next I needed some bread. The main image came from my Name Above All Names Alphabet, and all that was necessary was a little cropping and sizing:
For the large background bread I used a section of my Gourmet Alphabet. There are many ways to separate an icon from its background, but I find it easiest to use the eraser tool. Crop closely, zoom waaaay in, and use a small size. (Of course, use the largest size possible until you get close to the edge, silly!)
Since I always scan and save my art at at least 600 dpi, enlarging this tiny bread for the large central image was no problem. I used EDIT– TRANSFORM– ROTATE to change it to horizontal, and then adjusted its opacity over in the upper right corner of the layers menu. I didn’t want that big bread stealing the show, just hanging out quietly and unobtrusively in the background. (Kind of like me at a party!)
Next came the wheat flourishes along the edge. They came from this one:
But, as you can see, they aren’t painted in the top design! HA! I found a sneaky little tool called the graphic pen. It’s on the Filter menu. FILTER– SKETCH– GRAPHIC PEN. You’ll want to select a color on the tool bar first, and experiment a little with the contrast (IMAGE– ADJUSTMENTS– LEVELS or IMAGE– ADJUSTMENTS– BRIGHTNESS/ CONTRAST) to get the detail you want.
You will need to flatten it, select an area of white with the magic wand tool, then SELECT– SIMILAR to select all the white, then SELECT– INVERSE to move only the graphic pen area over to your main image. You’ll notice I used the rotate command above here also.
The little white wine glass was created the same way and once moved over, changed to white by using IMAGE– ADJUSTMENTS– HUE/ SATURATION and moving the slider to the end of LIGHTNESS. I’m sure there are many other ways to do that, this worked well in this case. Same goes for the white diamond border, which originally came from here:
(OK, maybe just disregard all I’ve said up until now, because I just deleted the actual painting that I took this crop from– from the Maxtor, which is our main storage. Hmmmm… I believe it may still be on my old computer, or in another folder, or at least I can re-scan the actual art, because this one was painted straight-up traditionally! Save your files MULTIPLE TIMES, folks!)
Now that I’ve regained my composure, the last step was adding type using the type tool, and some opacity adjustment. Save it all in layers, for revisions later!
(Just in case you were wondering, I don’t really memorize keyboard shortcuts. Lots of times I have a cat on my lap, which means one-handed clicking is easier. And I switch back and forth between the wacom tablet and the mouse, because each one makes the tools work slightly differently.)
After all that, I didn’t really answer Teri’s question, did I? The answer is, No, the Wedding Alphabet was only minimally processed.
OK, not so spooky, really, but very befitting of the season that the word spooky conjures up. I don’t get much spookier than this– I’d keep myself up at night, and we ran out of monster-spray years ago. In the meantime, bring on the goodies!