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Mini Art Show: Birthday Card Design

 

sale birthday card 1

It’s my birthday this Thursday, November 22nd (whoo!). I’ll be turning 25.

So in honor of that, I decided to post a birthday card design that I made myself. That’s right. I illustrated the cupcake and decided on the text font, color, sizes, and alignment, based on my graphic design studies and greeting card research. I did this in Photoshop, but the cupcake image was hand drawn. I then retraced and colored it on the computer.

I chose pink since it is a light color and expresses (usually) positive feelings. And birthdays are often associated with positivity, such as a time to celebrate. Of course, as much as we’d all wish, birthdays are not always happy. I, myself, have had some miserable birthdays throughout my life.

But that’s a different topic. Anyway, I decided to make the cupcake look cartoony and give it eyes and a smile. It adds a very energetic feeling that makes many think partying rather than a more realistic or soft style, which would make a lot of people think sophisticated, relaxed, and quietness.

The text was done in a serif font (which is when the letters have tails at the ends of their lines compared to sans serif fonts, like Helvetica) because I wanted to add a little bit of sophistication and have it resemble the way letters are often styled on cakes. Bakeries may exclude the fancy style of writing on the cakes, but it varies. I never really paid much attention to the style of writing on cakes.

However, I do notice that fancier calligraphy is common on occasion cakes, especially for formal events, such as sweet sixteens, mitzvahs, and other catering events. I live in New York on Long Island, and while many other parts of the country usually only use catering halls for weddings, where I live, people do them for other milestones.

Anyhow, the “You” is large because I felt that it would make the word feel more personal to the birthday person. I’ve even had the cards printed and provided them to my friends for their birthdays. One person has complimented on the design looking professional.

Note, that this was not a college assignment. I chose to do this on my own. I thought it would be fun as well as a way to hone my graphic design and illustration skills. I even have this image on my online portfolio along with other independent art.

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Fun with Photoshop

Lighting effect 3

Above is a lighting effect I did in Photoshop. That’s right, Photoshop is more than just editing photos, although that is the main purpose of it.

You can draw, paint, shade, and anything you would do with traditional painting. Errors are easier to fix. You don’t have to start over and redraw the thing you made a mistake with. Best of all, there is no mess to clean up. It’s just your digital palette which can be shown as a gradient bar or swatches. You can name your colors, too.

Just be aware that Photoshop is expensive and can be complex or abstract for those just starting out. I’ve used Photoshop for over seven years. It was one of my high school graduation gifts, along with a MacBook Pro.

You should also avoid letting it spoil you. Don’t allow the easy error-fixing shortcuts make you frustrated when you have to do traditional media . That happened to me when I was 19. I was a bit disappointed (although didn’t express it) to have to erase the eye on the portrait I was drawing and had to redraw it instead of transport it to the right spot quickly. That would be magic. And of course, that’ s not possible.

Another approach I’ve done several times was draw something by hand using pencil and then scanning it into Photoshop to color, like in the image below.

Little Girl Scan

Yup, you can color in Photoshop using the paint bucket tool. Photoshop recognizes lines and will color only in between them as long as there are no gaps. Even the tiniest ones can get unwanted elements colored in by accident.

Speaking of which, Photoshop uses pixels. If you draw an image in Photoshop and try to blow it up, it will look blurry. You can raise the dots-per-inch (DPI) to 300 and that’ll make it less blurry. But Illustrator might be better for enlarging a picture. That’s another topic, though.

Blending is also something you can do in Photoshop. Below is a portrait I did where I blended colors to add dimension to the subject.

20150613_195551_resized coloredYou can see the smudges, tints, tones, and highlights. It also looks tangible, especially the lips. I was trying to experiment with realistic textures in digital painting. Few simple digital art programs would offer something this complex.

So if you’re considering using Photoshop, take these into account. Get to know the program. Although I’ve used it for over seven years, there are still some techniques I have yet to learn.

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Mini Art Show: A Simple Banquet Room

Banquet Room Drawing

This is one section of a made-up banquet hall room I illustrated myself. I used a few reference images for design and points-of-view.

The color scheme was done through research on what colors are often used in catering hall rooms. Having a natural eye for color-combos, I was inspired by having vibrant tones (like the purple) go with muted or achromatic gray (neither warm nor cool–just purely black and white mixed together).

Many banquet room carpets have detailed designs or patterns. However, I decided to simplify my catering room’s floor design. I drew this in Photoshop, and although you can make patterns look neat and professional there, for this POV, it ended up looking the opposite. So I chose to use stripes instead.

I am also more fond of modern design than old-fashioned design. It was even easier to create simple bulbs with light rather than chandeliers. The walls also don’t have relief textures or fancy wallpaper.

About the dancefloor? It was added since many catering events have dancing. I elected not to do anything unusual to it so that it would appear believable. Of course, not all dancefloors are created equally. But I saw no reason to do something over-the-top to it.

Below is a continuation of this room.

Banquet room opposite POV w stuff

This here is the opposite side of the picture at the top. I added tables to test layouts for this room. There are doors and an exit sign above it.

Of course, not being an architect, I have no plans to submit these to be designed. This was just to test my illustration skills and see what else I could do.

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A Mini Art Show, Presenting… Anime Self Portrait

anime me 14-Jan-2018 15-27-38

A year ago, I experimented with different illustration styles and media. I decided to try an anime style, despite never admiring anime too much.

However, I did the research, and saw the different styles. I liked the one with the semi-realistic figure, but different facial features. So I tried it.

The outline was drawn in pencil on paper. The color was done in Photoshop. I added some tints and tones to give my image more dimension and not all flat colors.

I also changed some colors of what I really had. For instance, my hair was not blue or purple (whatever you may call that). The stripes on my dress were not sea green, either. Everything else, however, was the same color.

The strengths I experienced were drawing by hand and coloring in Photoshop. The weaknesses were trying to achieve an anime style. Since I never went crazy over anime, the style might not match what anime fans would expect.

However, I appreciate how I expanded my horizons out of my drawing comfort zone and tried something different. That is how we all improve our skills and talents.

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The Great Art Comparison: Traditional vs. Digital

Many of us have learned traditional art in school. It was required in elementary school and probably even middle school (at least for me, it was). However, depending on where you went to school, art may have become optional in high school. Digital art was probably either optional or not offered at the district I was part of.

Upon graduating high school, though, I learned Adobe Photoshop. I had fun with it. After a couple years, I will admit it spoiled me a bit. It also made traditional art harder. If I made a mistake in Photoshop, I would use one of the tools and not have to erase it and redraw it. It was the opposite for traditional media.

Now here are the differences between traditional and digital (besides the obvious):

Traditional:

IMG_1017

Above is an oil painting I did of a beach near my home. Traditional art is messier, requires clean-up, and mixing colors. You have to have what’s handy. The sky is not the limit. On the Brightside, it’s cheaper, doesn’t require technology or computer skills, and you can make textures more easily. Plus, holding that brush (or any other tool) and mixing your pigments feels good.

Digital

obsessive drawing 1

Above is a file I did in Photoshop. Digital art requires no carrying of materials, clean-up, and an infinite amount of colors. It’s also easier to fix mistakes by undoing, transporting, and much more. You do need computer skills, though. And programs, like Photoshop, can be expensive.

I would highly recommend learning traditional art first, if you haven’t since school. A lot of these techniques do apply to digital art. It’s also good to balance them out.

Of course, not all skills can be perfectly balanced (I often was either a PC or Mac person, but never really both evenly, until now), and art is no exception. But if you can balance traditional and digital art, it will be better.

If you only like traditional media, that’s cool, too.

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Digital Art: This is What You Should Know

Triangle pattern

A sample digital abstract drawing I did

Do you love creating art? What is your favorite medium? Do you like the traditional approach… or the digital one?

 

Obviously, you should learn both to become a better artist. However, digital art has its ups and a couple downs. The pros first:

 

1: There’s no mess to clean up. It’s all on your computer or tablet. You don’t to wash, dry, or anything. How awesome is that?

 

2: You have a variety of colors to pick. You don’t have to worry about not having a specific color available. The sky is pretty much the limit.

 

3: Errors are easy to fix. You can undo, move with a transport tool, and more.

 

That being said…

 

1: Don’t let digital art spoil you too much. If you do, you might end up frustrated with having to fix a mistake to old-fashioned way in traditional media.

 

2: Certain programs, like Adobe Photoshop, can be expensive. However, you can often get discounts or deals.

 

Nevertheless, digital art can be fun. I enjoy it very much.