My Design Process: Creating Line Art using Photoshop and Illustrator

creating line art in photoshop illustrator

Hello friends!

Today I wanted to share with you guys my design process, specifically one of the ways I like to create artwork for my POD webstores such as Redbubble, Zazzle, Society6, etc.

This is just one of many ways I create designs, and a technique you can use to turn black and white drawings into digital line art — which you can then use any way you choose.

  •  I usually start out with some ideas in my sketchbook, and sometimes make a short list of designs I would like to try.  I often look online for inspiration and have a few things in mind before I get started.

sketchbook

  • Once I have a design I like, I re-draw it lightly on a clean page (8.5″ x 11″) in pencil.
  • I go over the pencil drawing with a black Sharpie or another fine black ink pen, to get something like this:

sketches black and white

  • I scan each design separately into Photoshop.

line drawing in photoshop

  • I clean up the image as much as possible using tools such as desaturate, Brightness/Contrast, Curves, and erase to clean up any little black dots or dust bits that are showing.  I use colour selection tool to select the black line only, then create a new layer and fill in with black. Once I am finished with this step, I save the file as a .PSD.

live trace in illustrator

  • The result of this process is that you get much smoother lines than if you don’t use Image Trace in Illustrator.  This is important if you are having the designs printed, especially in large sizes.
  • Save the image as a .PNG (using Save for Web) and make sure it’s a large size (at least 6000 x 6000 pixels).  I believe you can also just save it as an Illustrator file and open it up in Photoshop.
  • Open up the .PNG image in Photoshop and fill or colour it in however you desire.  I like to use layers, fill with gradients and use layer settings (ex. Screen) or just paint on another layer using a drawing tablet.  There is basically an endless variety of ways you can use your line art.
  • Save your finished design as the correct file type and size(s) for the POD site you are creating for.  I always save a .PSD file as well (with all my layers in tact) so I can open it again later and use the same design multiple times.

Here are some examples of work that I have used this technique for:

tangled black and white yin yang mandala live trace illustrator pot head teapot live trace illustrator tutorialtangled rainbow world map illustrator live trace

And there you have it!  Hopefully you now have a little bit of insight into how I create my designs for sale, and maybe even learned a new technique to try out for yourself.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments about this process in the comments section below.

Have a great week everyone!

Cheers,

Julie

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Easy Winter and Holiday DIY Projects

christmas holiday diy ornament wreath

I’ve been feeling a bit crafty lately!

Above is a photograph of a Christmas Ball Ornament Wreath I created by following this easy tutorial by Gina’s Craft Corner.

All you need to make this wreath are some ball ornaments, a glue gun with glue sticks, ribbon, a wire hanger, and some pliers!

I thought it turned out looking really nice and added some much needed Holiday sparkle to my apartment door.

Next, I thought I would share some crochet crafts I have been working on recently, which could also make great last minute Christmas gifts!

I’ve only just started crocheting this year so I’ve scoured the web for simple and thorough tutorials that look complicated but are suitable for beginners.

The first one is for these cozy winter socks, a very easy crochet craft even for beginners.  Check out the amazingly simple, step-by-step YouTube tutorial by Glama here.  

(She also has a ton of other great crochet tutorials for beginners and beyond, so check them out of if you want more project ideas or are just learning to crochet).

img_20151129_153336.jpg

And finally, I am in love with these scarves by Love4Nails on Youtube!  I am making about 5 of them as gifts for my friends and family this Holiday.

Check out this very easy and beautiful step-by-step crochet scarf tutorial in the video below:

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out these winter and Holiday crafts I’ve been working on lately, and maybe you will take away some inspiration to make your own 🙂

Be sure to follow my blog if you would like to see more of my art and other projects!

Cheers!

 

Julie

12 Easy & Free Art Tutorials (to get your creative juices flowing)

12 easy free art tutorials

Hello art lovers! Today I wanted to share with you all a list of fun, easy and FREE art tutorials to help get your creative juices flowing!

The tutorials include a mixture of different mediums. Some are to be done by hand and others are digital. Most of these I have done myself or used for inspiration in my own work.

To see my full list of art tutorials and inspiration check out and follow my Pinterest board on the topic!

1. How to Make An Amazing Outer Space Scene in Photoshop

2. How to Paint Beautiful Watercolor Agate Slices – Beautiful watercolour paintings I haven’t tried yet but have been meaning to.  

3. How to Create Repeat patterns in Photoshop – A great one for designing prints for Society6 and Zazzle.

4. How to Draw a Rose Step by Step – Lots of good beginner’s drawing tutorials on this website including this one!

5. Doodle Prompt – Viscera Phantasma – Beef up your sketchbook with this simple but beautiful doodle prompt!

6. Creative Art Journaling Tutorial – Optical Art – A cool op-art YouTube tutorial. YouTube is a great resource for art tutorials!  This creates an image similar to the one used in the featured photo.

7. Plastic Bag Printmaking – Want to try your hand at printmaking? This is a super simple monoprint tutorial using only acrylic paints and plastic bags!

8. Face Drawing tutorial – Step by step drawing tutorial on different parts of the face.

9. A simple and fun collage art idea! 

10. How to Paint Water with Acrylics – A little bit more of an advanced painting tutorial. Find more great acrylic painting tutorials on this website!

11. Galaxy Painting Tutorial – Paint a galaxy by hand with this simple YouTube tutorial.

12. Lino-cut Printmaking Tutorial – My own tutorial on how to make hand-made lino-cut prints!

Thanks for checking out my list and I hope you are planning on having some fun doing these easy tutorials!

Feel free to share your own art tutorials or your favorite ones in the comments section below. No spam please!

To check out my artwork please visit my website http://www.julieerindesigns.com, or you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with my latest art, sales, and promotions!

Cheers and have a great week everyone,

~Julie

Carving, carving, carving. My first Linocut project!

linocut technique plate art
I haven’t been able to post for a little while because I’ve been working on some several assignments for my courses, plus writing midterms.  The project  I am sharing today is for my Printmaking class and features a series of small linocuts I call “ironic postcards”.

“Linocut” is basically what it sounds like, carving out a piece of linoleum to create a surface to print from, or “matrix”.

Above is what the piece of linoleum looks like before it is carved.  I begin with this and draw my design straight onto the surface in pencil.  I then go over the pencil drawing in Sharpie or another permanent marker which is about the width of the line I would like to carve.  At this point I don’t worry too much about making mistakes since I can still change the image when I carve it out.

linocut plate carving techniqueAfter I carve out the plates they look like the ones below.  These are the other 3 in the series which I have already finished carving.

linocut plate carved relief printingBefore printing on the nice card stock paper I got for this project I like to make a few test prints on regular printer paper to see where I might need to make some adjustments.  I then cut out around the design using household scissors so that I get less unwanted black marks.

I squeeze out my ink onto the glass plate and scrape it around using a palette knife so the ink will be the right consistency. This is called “warming” the ink.  Sometimes the ink can be too wet or too dry so you have to experiment with it to get the look you want for your print.  I had to leave my tube of water-based relief ink overnight with the cap off because it was way too watery.  I finally got the right consistency after a few test prints on the cheap paper, but then it dried up so I had to scrape up the ink and re “warm” it mixed with some fresh ink.

linocut print printmaking brayer inkI like to ink up the plates on one piece of newspaper, them move them over to a clean piece of newspaper before I place the paper onto the plate.  The ink tends to get all over the place so you have to be pretty careful and wash your hands a lot.

Also, the ink always seems to wind up going somewhere on the plate you don’t want it to be so I like to rip off tiny pieces of paper and put them on top of those spots before I print.

Once the paper is laid carefully on the plate I use a wooden spoon to rub in small circles all around the design, pressing fairly hard and trying to get it even in all areas.  I go over it several times to make sure the print will be as even as possible.

Here is how it turned one of them turned out.  Next to it is the wooden spoon I used.

linocut print prints art reliefNot too bad right?

Anyways I hope you have found this post interesting and useful.  If you would like more information about this printing process do feel free to leave a comment.

I will be attempting to make about 20 good prints of each of the 4 designs so wish me luck!

If you like my work please check out my website and follow me on Facebook for more updates!  I also have a Zazzle store with tons of items featuring my artwork so check it out! 🙂

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

~Julie

Couples Costume DIY – Fry and Leela

fry and leela DIY halloween couples costume

Yay it’s October!  I love the fall leaves and the crisp air.. and most of all, Halloween!

This was my boyfriend and I’s “Fry and Leela” couples costumes last year.  We wore them to a party and got tons of comments!

If you don’t know Fry and Leela they are characters from the Matt Groening TV show Futurama.  This is a super cute and fun couples costume especially if you are a fan of the show like we are.

Fry

Fry’s outfit was the easiest, my bf just went out and found a red jacket at a thrift store and used some orange hair colouring spray to do his hair.

Make sure you use that stuff in a well ventilated area and wear old clothes because it will stain!

He paired that with some blue jeans, a white t-shirt and sneakers and was all set.

Leela

This outfit was a bit more complicated due to the whole cyclops thing.

Also, her hair is usually worn in a ponytail but the only purple wig I could find was straight, so I winged it and said I was “party Leela”, when she lets her hair down. Besides, I liked the way it looked on me.

The clothing for the costume is just some black leggings and a plain white tank top paired with black boots.

She also has an arm gadget that you can’t see in the photo because it was on the other arm but I just used cardboard wrapped with duct-tape, then taped on some black paper circles for the “buttons” and whatnot.

A quick Google search for “Leela’s Arm Gadget” will give you an idea of what it looks like.

Now for the eye:

I used some old sunglasses and popped the lenses out.  You could pick up some cheap frames from the Dollar store if you don’t have any laying around.

Then I made an eye shape out of pipe cleaners.

I used some fabric called Tulle (found from a craft or fabric store) and cut that into the same eye shape, which I then actually hand sewed to the backside of the pipe cleaner circle using white thread.  I found glue didn’t work very well, but I didn’t use a glue gun so that may work better.

I used a black self-adhesive felt sheet (which can be found at any craft store like Michaels) for the iris and lashes which stuck on pretty well.

I then tied the whole thing to the sunglasses frames with some string, and it’s all done!

The props included a Dollar store water gun for Leela, and then we just printed off the Planet Express logo (from google) and taped it on all 4 sides of a small box for Fry.

We also made Slurm can beer cozies which were made out of cardboard with the Slurm logo taped on there!

I hope these instructions were easy enough to follow, and inspires someone for their costume this year!

Enjoy,

~Julie

Other DIY Halloween Costume Ideas from this blog:

Sugar Skull couples costume

Zombie cowgirl with realistic fake wounds

Sugar Skull (Dia de lose Muertos) Makeup

DIY Up-cycle Most Comfortable Patio Chair Ever

Hello again!

Today I want to share this most amazing and comfortable chair ever that I up-cycled/DIY’d using an old free chair found on craigslist!

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to move in with my bf into this amazing penthouse suite with a HUGE balcony.  It’s also 5 mins from the beach and has a pool but its under renovation right now (poo).  Anyways we had very little furniture to put on the patio and after looking at recliner chairs and patio furniture in stores I realized that patio furniture is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!  Considering I’m a broke-ass university student I decided to check craigslist for free furniture.  Most of it was crap or just plastic chairs which I already have, but then I came across THIS BEAUTY:

chair1

Yes, it’s a little bit broken on the bottom but no worries.  Also I forgot to take a “before” photo – the chair was actually just wood and had peeling clear paint on it and moss growing in the bottom part.  So bf sanded it down and I scraped out the moss and used some left-over outdoor white paint I had around the house.  After all that it looked like the pic above.

Now I really wanted to find an awesome cushion for the chair but I had no idea where to buy one or how to go about looking for one.  Then I saw a post on Pinterest (sorry I can’t find it anymore, I didn’t pin it) where someone had made and was selling these dog beds made from fleece fabric and stuffed with filling or whatever.  So I thought hmm, what do I have laying around that I could MAKE the cushion with?

Well I had a ton of fleece blankets that I had acquired at my old job in the fashion industry.  So I took out two of them, and with a white pencil I traced a sort of rounded rectangle shape on each of them, leaving about 8 inches of space from the edges.  From there I cut strips from the outside edge up to the line I drew.  Each strip was about 1 inch wide.  It took me about an hour to cut around both blankets.

Then I thought I would go buy some stuffing to fill it up but then bf was like, hey what happened to the old pillows from my old bed?  (When we moved we decided to use my bedding since it was nicer).  So I went and found the pillows taking up space in the closet and put them between the two blankets. I used 3 pilows side by side.  Then I just started tying the two blankets together!  It was super easy. On one of the blankets I cut a few more strips than the other one, so I just doubled up as I tied them so they were all tied together.

Here is the finished cushion (sorry the pic kinda sucks)

chair3

This cushion thing rules.  It’s portable (you can put it on the floor in front of the fireplace, my friend slept on it the other night, put it on the couch for more comfort, take it camping etc), washable (you can just untie enough to take out the pillows and wash them separately), and MEGA COMFORTABLE.

Anyway I like to keep it indoors since it’s not waterproof, but when I want to sit outside I just take it out there and put it on the chair.

chair2

PERFECT.   It would be really easy to make your own!  One downside though is that my cat’s hair sticks to it really easily but whatever, its washable.

Anyways that’s for reading my post!  Happy summer, I’ll be outside reading on my most comfortable chair ever 😉

~Julie