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Monday 26 September 2011

Having Fun...

Took one of the backgrounds I created in Sketchpad and added a layer from my Royal Holloway visit and some adjustment layers in Photoshop Elements:

Creative Internet Sites: 4

So this next site is not a painting tool BUT it is a valuable tool for an artist.  The Color Scheme Designer is a great tool if you are looking for colour combinations.

At the top left you have the different kinds of colour harmonies that you can choose from - I have chosen Complementary on the example above.  At the bottom you can select different hues and values/saturation (Adjust Scheme).  You can then see the list of colours that it produces (Color List).  You can enter your own value by changing the RGB value just above the Color List. 

So I took the caramel colour that I used with the flowers in my previous blog and was interested to see that I had pretty much used it's complementary colour without actually realising (the blue):

Most of the people who use this site, do so to pick colour schemes for web sites and if you select Light Page Example or Dark Page Example which is an option at the bottom right, you can see what your web site might look like.  However, I think it's a great tool if you are doing collages to get good colour combinations.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Creative Internet Sites: 3

Sketchpad is a great little online drawing tool which gives you a lot of stuff that you can't find in other tools like this.

It does take a little time to work out and I couldn't find any help but if you persevere you can learn a lot by just experimenting.

Here are some examples to get you a bit interested:
Let me go through the parts which I think are an added bonus and to get you started.

Here is the interface:

The menu on the top right hand side contains the equivalent of Photoshops panels.  So if you click the History option it will show you the History panel.  The Swatch panel enables you to switch between solid colour, gradients and patterns (great fun!).

So let's start by changing the background.  Make sure the colour panel is open and select a colour.  If you want white, drag the first 2 options and the last option to the right and all the rest to the left as shown above.  Now select the bucket tool which is the tool that looks like a bucket!  Click anywhere on the painting area and it will turn the page to white.

Now let's have some fun.  Follow the steps below to create a patterned butterfly:
  1. Open the Pattern panel so you can see what pattern is selected.
  2. Go to the Swatch panel, click on patterns and then select a pattern.  There is also different pattern 'sheets'.  I have selected the Dinpattern sheet:
  3. Now go to the Tools panel and select the Stamp Tool which is the 4th tool down on the right.
  4. Select the butterfly sheet from the options panel and select a butterfly.
  5. Now click on the page and it will create a butterfly in the pattern you have selected.  Each time you click a new butterfly is added.  If you just want one size butterfly go to the diameter option on the option panel and drag the min and max together at the size you want.
  6. To save your picture, click the icon on the top right that looks like a disc.  It will bring up a new tab or window.  Right click the picture and select Save Image As..  Then save it to a location on your computer.
Happy Playing!

Monday 19 September 2011

Creative Internet Sites: 2

My next site is Scribbler Too.  I find that if I have something in mind when I go to these sites then I can often produce an interest drawing.  Yes, start scribbling to practise (and something might and often happens) but if you find that it is just a mess try and think of a structured doodle.

I decided with my drawing that I wanted to produce a rectangular box to save as a pattern and once I started I did pretty much improvise as I went along.  I set the background to black and the foreground to white with a bit of colour here and there.

This is the result:

I then created a pattern from it (look here for how to do this) and this is the result:

I blended a colour layer with it:

But when I added a pattern tile I photographed at a church, I was really chuffed:

Sunday 18 September 2011

Creative Internet Sites: 1

Did you know that there are quite a few wonderful internet sites which enable you to draw and paint and create?

This week I am going to go through some sites that I use to add to my collages and pictures.  The first site I have chosen is Wordle.  This is a fun site which rearranges words and creates a collage of words.  You can change the fonts, colours and layout.  By clicking the randomise button you can just try a random mix.

The first thing you do is go to Wordle and add the words you want to use.  I took one of my holiday pictures and decided to make a scrapbook page.

Here is the Wordle screen.  If you repeat a word a number of times, this word becomes more prominent in the grouping so here I have added holiday 3 times and relax twice:

Now click Go and see how it arranges the text for you and each time you press Randomise it will give you a different arrangement.  Here are some of mine:

Now getting the arrangement into Photoshop Elements is a little tricky because there is no way of saving the result.

So here are the steps for getting it into PE (I am afraid this is for the PC - search online to see the process for getting a screen print on the MAC):
  1. Make sure the internet page you are viewing is the one you want to copy and is maximised.
  2. At the top of your keyboard there is a key called Prt Scr.  Press this key.  It makes a screen print.
  3. Now open Photoshop Elements and select from the menu File>New>Image from Clipboard.
  4. Crop the image to just the words by selecting from the menu Image>Crop and then resize the box to include only the text.
  5. Voila, you can now save this.

These are the picture files I used to make my scrapbook page.  Instead of a flower I could have used cut out pictures of me and my husband:
Here are some sample pages I created with this:

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Something from Nothing..

One of the things I do on my course is to show people how easy it is to make amazing patterns with very little.  Here is an example.  The original files:

The results:

Sunday 11 September 2011

Open Day at Royal Holloway College

I planned this a good 6 weeks ago and was so looking forward to going.  This was a wonderful opportunity to take zillions of photos for my photo library as well as soak up the fascinating history of the college.  You can never have enough photos in your photo library and I was out to photograph every texture, every statue and every vista that I could find.  I managed to take 212 pictures before my camera groaned and the battery ran out but I had thankfully got the majority of what I wanted.

I took the tour of the wonderful collection of paintings and of the college itself.  Here are just a few:

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Drawing at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden

Last week I went to the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden to do some more drawing for my online course. The gardens are open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays and groups can go on other days by appointment only. 

It was a lovely day weatherwise and the gardens were so tranquil and peaceful.  I was so sorry that I didn't take my binoculars because sitting quietly on my little stool drawing amongst the sculptures, I saw and heard many birds.

What I like about the sculptures is that they are very varied and there are over a 100 of them so there's a fair amount to see.  Also, strolling around these beautiful gardens is such a lovely way to see art - it really shows them off at their best.  On this day I was particularly taken with many of the sculptures which were masks or faces maybe because you can interpret what you think the emotion is of the face.  I found the sculptures by Rick Kirby particularly haunting.

Our drawing assignment for this week was to draw straight away with a water soluble pen which you then wet with a brush to create shading.  I decided to draw Rick Kirby's Fallen Angel:

Here are some more sculptures from the gardens. Below are sculptures by Pat Volk:

and a sculpture by Jilly Sutton:

Ah, I was really sorry that I could only spend half a day there.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Felt Making in Dorking

Where did last week go?!

Oh well, I had a great day out yesterday.  I went to another one of my favourite towns, Dorking, for a felt bag making course.  Such fun!  I was quite surprised at how much hard work wet felt making is.  If you want toned up arms believe me this is the way to go.

Dorking is a lovely town in Surrey which is well known for it's antique shops but it also has many little boutiquey shops.  I didn't have time to do any looking around this time but two of my usual haunts (apart from the fab clothes shops) are the Wow! Gallery which has a lot of superb British craftwork as well as international and the Quilt Room, a quilting shop which is probably too traditional for me but still worth a visit.  There is also the vineyard, Denbies, just outside the town which has many good art and craft exhibitions which I will probably blog about in the future.

Back to the course.  The felting course is given by Gillian Harris who has a wonderful shop called the Fluff-a-Torium and she gives the courses in the room upstairs.  As well as felt bag making courses she also gives many other felt courses such as hats, jewellery and shoes.

This is the bag I made which you can see is totally reversible (I made felt handles which haven't been attached yet).  Unfortunately I made it a bit thick so it is too heavy but I might do a bit of sewing magic on it and see what I can do with it because I really like the colours that I used.  It might have to be just one sided though.

Here are examples of the types of shoes you can make on Gillian's shoe making course. Aren't they fun.

Gillian used to be a graphic designer and you can see that in the design and presentation of her shop and all her felting kits and goodies and her fun website.

Oh dear, not another skill I want to add to my ever growing list of crafty endeavours!