We all need to “Be So Happy”
Lately I’ve been very inspired by some of the incredible watercolour and mixed media artists out there. I especially love the style of Geninne Zlatkis, Eva Juliet and Alisa Burke. I’ve never had any experience with watercolour before but it’s something that’s on my bucket list of things to learn… maybe this year will be the year (fingers crossed).
This week, in a fit of desperation to try watercolour, I grabbed Noelle’s art kit from her room and just started playing with the colours – turns out it’s not as easy as I envisioned. Oh well, watercolour classes it is. However, I did have a bit of fun mixing the colours and thought that a couple of the pieces made fun backgrounds for printable art.
I chose this “be so happy “quote for my daughter and put it in her room. My absolute favourite thing that I love about Noelle is that she’s happy ALL the time – seriously! She wakes up every day full of life, energy and happiness and always with a huge smile on her face that continues all day long. I have no idea how she does it but if only I could find a way to bottle it and sell it – I’d make a fortune.
Click to download.
Be So Happy
Kids will love drawing in the faces with their own designs.
Blank Faces Drawing Page – My daughter loves to draw (I wonder where she gets that from). Most of the time she just draws from her imagination but sometimes she asks for pages to colour. She really enjoys drawing faces and experimenting with different styles of eyes, noses and smiles, so I created a page full of various blank faces for her to practice her facial features and expressions on.
Noelle can’t be the only little person out there who loves to draw, so I’m passing this colouring page on so that other kids can share their creative genius too. Have fun!
Blank Faces-download here.
UPDATE: To get the 2nd edition of my blank faces coloring page go to my post here.
Keep the kids entertained with this blank face printable.
Turn your sketches into digital vector images.
Turn Your Sketches & Doodles Into Vector Art – I love to doodle and honestly, I don’t do it enough. On the list of everything I have to do in my life, doodling ranks pretty low (shocking, I know) but there’s something about doodling… it helps me relax, focus and just be in the moment. Fortunately, from time to time in my job, I need to draw something and turn it into a vector image. I wanted to share this technique with you so that you can turn your works of art into amazing vector graphics too. This tutorial requires a scanner, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator (I use CS6).
- Create the sketches that you’d like to convert into digital vector art. I like to use Pigma Micron pens because they come in various thicknesses, are a rich black colour and they write beautifully but use whatever you prefer. I also like to use tracing paper to sketch on – it’s cheap and there’s a smooth quality to the paper that’s really nice.
- Scan your sketches with a flatbed scanner. Scan at a high resolution of at least 400 dpi while using the greyscale setting.
- Open your scanned sketch into Photoshop and make sure your file is in the RGB colour mode.
- Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > SELECTIVE COLOUR. Toggle the colour to WHITE and using the slider, move to -100% black with the ABSOLUTE radio button clicked on. Then toggle to BLACK and using the slider, mover to 100% black.
- Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > CURVES. Grab the tiny black square at the top right of the graph and slide it over slightly towards the left (not down at all) and then grab the tiny black square at the bottom left of the graph and move it slightly to the right. You’ll have to eyeball this a bit and see what looks best. The goal here is to make the white as white as possible without washing out any black while making the black very dark without turning any of the white to grey. There are many ways of adjusting colours in Photoshop besides SELECTIVE COLOUR and CURVES. You can also use BRIGHTNESS/SHADOWS as well as LEVELS to achieve your desired outcome. Feel free to use what you’re comfortable with.
- Once you’re satisfied with the colour settings, crop your page to select the part of the image you want for your design. You may also bring in the entire page into Illustrator if you have multiple sketches, convert them all together and then just pick out the selections you’re after… whatever works best for you. Save your image.
- Select the entire image and copy or use CTRL+C and then open a new page in Illustrator and paste in your sketch onto the canvas. Feel free to enlarge the sketch slightly (remember to hold SHIFT + ALT to constrain the proportions).
- Select your image using the SELECTION tool (black arrow) and you’ll notice that in the properties bar at the top, a LIVE TRACE button will appear (or IMAGE TRACE depending on which version you have). Click on the LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button. (If you’re not super happy with the results, you can click on the white arrow to the left of the IMAGE TRACE button and play around with the various settings – I find the Black and White Logo setting can work well too). Once you’ve clicked the LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button you’ll notice that it now says EXPAND. With your image still selected, click on the EXPAND button.
- With the image selected, right click your mouse and toggle down to UNGROUP and click on it. Now, click on a white area of the drawing so that it’s selected and then go to SELECT > SAME > FILL COLOUR and all the white in your image will be selected, hit the DELETE button. You want to get rid of all the white sections of your image.
- Select all the black items on the canvas, right click your mouse and toggle down and click on group. Now your sketch is all grouped together. (Don’t bother with this step if you’d like to move the various elements of the image around on the page or modify them individually).
- At this point you can get creative, add colour and use the vector on top of backgrounds, photos, etc. Use your vector to create or enhance your very own work or art.
Feel free to download this printable here. Enjoy!
Love Stencilled Pillow – a quick and easy way to breathe new life into a plain pillow.
Love Stencilled Pillow – Free “Love & Life” Template – I’ve been on the search for the perfect pillows for our living room for over a year now. As you can see, it’s a very monochromatic room (which I like in this instance) but it really needed a pop of colour. I picked the blue colour from a painting that’s on the wall over the piano on the opposite side of the room. I love the blue vase on the coffee table but I’ve have had so much trouble finding pillows with a similar blue. I was open to anything really but I had no luck. Finally, over the weekend, I found these simple pillows for only $9 each. I brought them home and threw them on the couch – perfect. Well, perfect except that they were kind of boring. I was thinking about adding lace or ribbon but that’s not really our style. Finally, I came to the conclusion that a simple word stencilled in white would work beautifully (and if Michael didn’t like them I would just flip them over).
I picked up some fabric paint, created a template for the words ‘LOVE” and ‘LIFE” in Adobe Illustrator and got down to business. I’m pretty happy with the final result… and it seems I don’t need to turn over the pillows. 😉
- Acrylic craft or fabric paint (I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Craft Paint in Wedding Cake White)
- Vinyl (approx 12″ x 12″ for both words) with a sticky/adhesive backing (use whatever extra scraps you have – I used chalkboard vinyl because I have extra)
- Cutting machine or xacto knife (and some patience)
- ‘LOVE’ and ‘LIFE’ template – download svg file, ai8 file or pdf here
- Pouncer (small-medium size)
- Download the printable template (above).
- Cut out your letters using a cutting machine or by hand with an xacto knife so that you have just the negative of the word (see photos in second row down).
- Place the vinyl template carefully over the pillow so that it’s centred and exactly where you want it – smooth the vinyl down so that there are no places where the paint can get under the edges.
- Pour out a bit of your paint and dab some paint on the pounce, whiping off any excess. Gently dab the pouncer on the pillow in the letter space. You want it covered well, but also not too caked on. Complete all the letters this way. Set aside and allow paint to dry completely.
- Gently peel off the vinyl. Once the paint has air dried for 24 hours, go over the letters with an iron to set the paint permanently (put a thin towel over the pillow to cover the painted letters while you iron).
- Place the pillow into position, stand back and admire.