Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Half-Drawn Image Effect from Photo

I ran across this incredible special effect from Bert Monroy, one of the Big Names in Photoshop, and wanted to share it with you. It's an incredible bite-sized tutorial about making a half-colored in drawing effect from a photo. It's not long, and you'll be AMAZED at how simple the steps are for this great special effect!

You don't have to be a Photoshop Guru to get results like this when you know the tricks!

Thanks Bert - you ROCK!

Photodrawning Tutorial Video

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Journey to Damasks

It was a simple request. My friend Rachael asked for a set of Damask patterns. I already have quite a few I've cleaned up from royalty free collections which I could have used. But as I stared at them a bit longer, there was that nagging voice in my brain, the one that comes deep from my very soul, wondering how in the world I could make my own. And I just had to learn how to do my own. Just HAD to.

I already understood exactly how to create the repeating pattern, and the variations on the fills. But ... really, a damask motif on a sheet of paper has some specific things which set it apart. It's painfully symmetrical. The space that isn't filled is as important as the space which is filled. The design looks good in light on dark or dark on light. It's all ... curvy ... and seems to just be pleasing to the eye no matter who admires it in any century.

Damask is the name of the type of weaving invented in China by the 5th century.  That's 400AD for those of you who are keeping track. It's hallmark was that it was reversible; you could turn it over and you'd see a reversed color of the front. The pleasing curves of the motif probably didn't hurt it's popularity, either. The Syrians, notably the master weavers of Damascus, had imported the technique and by 1000AD had perfected it to the point of making stunning fabrics. Crusaders took the fabrics and the technology back to Europe with them, where every Royal, Noble, and would-be Lady in Waiting would clamor for the gorgeous designs by the 15th century.

The design of these beautiful textiles became synonymous with the name of the weave, Damask, and although it has a popular revival every several decades, Damask has truly never fallen out of favor in all the intervening years since then. Each new generation of artist ... and medium ... adapts this timeless design motif of 1500 years ago to their vision and time.

So a couple weekends ago, I spent nearly 18 hours reverse-engineering a slug of historic Damask pieces until I thought I understood the proportions and angles well enough to have my hand at my first, original Damask design. It ... was not pretty.  I learned, I adapted, and finally began to feel it in my soul.

I've made a set of 4 damask designs in two sizes. They consist of black design on a transparent background in digital scrapbooking, standard 300dpi 12inch by 12inch PNG files. There's a regular sized pattern overlay and a special large motif  set. They come with a commercial license. Be sure to look at the details of the extra views at the shop, so you can appreciate the quality of these high resolution damask images. (In the shop, click on the preview image to see the other views)

You can bet I'll be working on some more new damasks in the weeks to come. These were so much fun to create. In the meanwhile, tho, you can enjoy them for your papers, elements, and crafts in your upcoming projects. Be sure to drop me a line and let me know what you've done with them. I'd love to spotlight your creation with my damask designs right here on the blog and in my shop.

Rachael Hudnall Chooses Blossom Prints for Collection

Designer Spotlight

I'm SO excited, Rachael Hudnall chose to use my Blossom Prints in the design of her beautiful new digital scrapbooking collection, Sweet Summer. It's wondefully sweet and slightly worn; evocative of casual, warm summer days and nights. It reminds me of curling up with a good book and a glass of iced tea - of playing under the shade trees, or of adventures under a starry, warm evening sky.

Rachael has done a smashing job on these sets with her usual good sense of style. They're not too girlie, they're not too tailored - they do a great job of setting an unforgettable scene for our favorite summertime memories.

And she's made a matching album! I so love albums, they're my number one best friend because they save me all the time of laying out a page. All I have to do is plop in my photo(s) and it's done.

Look for her gorgeous free quick page (speaking of instant gratification!) and check out the great quality before you shop for the set:

It's always such a wonderment to see how people use something I made.  Rachael really puts those prints to work for her in obvious and not so obvious ways.  You rock, Rachael!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vacation at Home Almost Over

I got to see the baby yesterday evening, she's rolling over like she's been doing it all her life! And just barely 3 months old. Then I made her cry by taking her into a dark room and sitting down. What a bad Nana I am! What a way to mark the last official day of vacation, making the little cutie cry.

And so, friends, my stay-cation of rest, family, and Photoshop is nearly over. I go back to work on Monday. I've really missed my friends in the office, but it was kind of nice to be on my own clock for a while. It'll be great to get back to work..

If you look around, the blog has a few hints at what I've been up to - but you'll have to wait until Sunday when the new things at the shop are made visible to see what the end results are.

I will tell you I spent a good 18 hours reverse engineering the mathematical theory behind a classic damask motif, though. Yes, my head hurt before that day was over. ;)

It was a good kind of hurt, though. Sometimes I just need to stay working at something until I've figured it out, if you know what I mean.  Now all I have to do is learn how to use what I discovered.

I'd better get going, I have THINGS TO DO between now and Sunday morning!!  ::tease::  ;)

A Little Slice of My Life

By day, I'm the Media Director for SouthPoint Church, a medium-sized church in the heart of southeast Fresno.

By night, I share my time between three adorable grandchildren, their awesome parents, my incredible husband plus I'm a freelance graphic designer for NutHouse-Scraps with digital scrapbooking supplies, and a few select clients.

You'll see family from time to time when I am able to do scrapbook pages of them. I think you'll agree that we have the cutest grandkids on the face of the earth.

At work and home, I use Photoshop for my primary graphic tool. In addition to the graphics at work, I need to make videos from time to time, too - and that's when I turn to Final Cut Pro.

I hope to share some tips with you from my own experience designing and using digital media of all sorts. Be sure to let me know when you have a question!