Pixel Art Animation Tutorials from AdobeLive

Pixel Art of fish swimming in sea with an air balloon overhead that turns out to be a fisherman
Fishy, fishy in the Sea

Pixel Animation, Lesson One

Pixel Animation and Motion Design are mesmerizing and fun to watch on web pages if you like text and art dancing around your website like I do.

So, I made my first pixel art animation, Fishy, Fishy in the Sea. Plot: Fish are happily swimming  on an idyllic day when a seemingly peaceful air balloon floating overhead is piloted by a fisherman who pulls out a fishing reel and plunks a lure into the water. Water splashes. Fish scatter. End of story. The animation loops endlessly.

Learning from Pro Motion Designers

Earlier in March, AdobeLive from Paris streamed video of motion designers working with animation. Designers included: Made By Radio; Alexandra Lund; Lucile Patron; and Cyril Izran.

Over a 3-day time span, designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.

On Day 1, watching Lucile Patron’s live stream, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation.

Lucile Patron, AKA Fulifuli, made pixel art animation in Photoshop look so easy and fun, I thought, Why not me?

Continue reading Pixel Art Animation Tutorials from AdobeLive

Creative Cloud Love for Adobe CC and a Flutterby

Creative bubbalo lettering, painted with butterflies and flowers
Buffalo and Butterflies

Adobe Creative Cloud for Digital Art and Design

Digital art and design just got more creative with Adobe Creative Cloud. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I subscribed to Adobe CC. Buying a subscription was happenstance because I needed a current version of Dreamweaver, which now resides on Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Now I am walking on a cloud. I grab free fonts from TypeKit, play with color palettes at Adobe Color CC, share my portfolio online and follow my favorite designers on Adobe’s Behance, integrate Adobe iPhone and iPad apps with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign,  etc.

The sky is the limit. Adobe even provides templates to put up your website if you have a URL. I made a basic portfolio website, PatriciaWiskur with Behance in a matter of hours, thanks to Adobe templates.

Discover the Adobe Community on Behance.net

View tutorials live on  Behance Live and YouTube/Adobe CC channel. Subscribe to be alerted of the current live stream schedule.

My favorite live streams from France, 2017, can be seen on YouTube as replays. Moderators for the live streams are Michael Chaize, Head of Creative Cloud Live Streams at Adobe, and  Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism Adobe.

In 2017, they filmed artists and designers from London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc., as the artists work in real time.

You can watch replays on YouTube/Adobe Creative Cloud and on YouTube by search.

Favorite Adobe Live Streams from France

Bird House designed by Maite Franchi and illustrated in Adobe Illustrator
My first attempt to replicate Maite Franchi’s exclusive bird house with Jacuzzi. Watching Maite execute her sketch in Illustrator is memorable.

Adobe Live gives an inside glimpse into how the pros approach an art project. Filmed live from Paris and California, the Adobe team films artists who work from concept to finished art, using sketch pads, iPads, Apple Pencils, computers, tablets, and Adobe CC. The live streams are lengthy, two-hours each, and provide a rare insight into an artist’s working style.

These are some of my favorite Adobe CC streams from Paris, that you can replay on  YouTube:

  • Maite Franchi: creates three illustrations from sketches with Adobe Illustrator, working with symbols, original color palettes, and design tips; then adds texture to her art in Photoshop (watch Maite’s AdobeLive YouTube video to see how she executes her bird house in Illustrator and Photoshop)
  • Marie-Laure Cruschi: has a French design studio, CRUSCHIFORM
  • Pieter Ceizer: demonstrates typography and hand lettering – Pieter is a superstar from the Netherlands now living in Paris, with clients such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger,  Coca-Cola, etc. Visit his website or see him on Instagram.
  • Swerve from the UK: free-lance designer with his own popular YouTube tutorial channel and eclectic style
  • Amanda Berglund, free-lancer from Sweden, creates in real time a poster for an exhibition for Danish designer Finn Juhl and re-brands Science Illustrated with a new cover design – see her on Behance
  • Tina Touli: London based illustrator. In three sessions Tina creates a poster and pamphlet design to celebrate the 30th year anniversary of Adobe Illustrator – must see all three videos (link to the third of three session).
  • Victoria Uvaldy: illustrator from Barcelona – a modern approach to magazine design with Adobe InDesign. Victoria covers the nuts and bolts process from conception to layout with photos and text.

Illustration Tee-Shirt Art Streamed Live from San Francisco

Butterfly on leaf with iris bloom and a stem of lilies of the valley
Iris and a butterfly, AKA, a “flutterby”

In February, AdobeLive streamed from  San Francisco, with talented U.S. designers and their creative process, during a 3-day marathon that included portfolio revue, tee-shirt art, drawings for free subscriptions to Adobe CC, and tips and resources. Check out replays of the event artists on YouTube/Adobe CC or Adobe Live:

 

Watch Maite Franchi create her birdhouse in Illustrator in real time!

Miniature Art Collection of Icons and Symbols

Icons, Art in Miniature

 

Icons and symbols are miniature pieces of art. Their swirling lines and shapes create iconic images that decorate, illustrate, and identify. These icons can become epic, i.e., the Mac Apple. (See a page of icons on my Blog and a more complete collection at Swim Yellow Duck.)

miniature "pw" monogram with calligraphy border
My “PW” monogram, underwater

I christened my PW monogram floating in the sea alongside a whale as art in miniature and on a lesser scale.

Working from a sketch, I had envisioned my initials inside a formal cartouche symbol, somewhat like a monogram found impressed on an old English manuscript. However, my mind wandered to Lollipop Land as I worked, and soon my “PW” initials were under water watching a whale swim by.

An Iconic Collection

Art from the Free Icons & Symbols Collection
Free Icons & Symbols Collection

I’ve launched a  collection of icons and symbols from my digital doodles for you to use as a resource, gratis. It’s an Iconic Collection of Free Icons and Symbols .

The zip folders include various file sizes in three formats, JPG, PNG, and SVG, that you are free to download. I’ve showcased some on my Free Icons and Symbols in a gallery on my blog. For a more complete visual reference, check out my Swim Yellow Duck gallery.

purple imperial insignia icon from the Free Icon& Symbol Collection
Imperial Insignia Icon

I tend towards elongated swirls. I think flowers. Many of my icons are flowers and scrolls. In my handwriting, much like stopping to smell the roses, I stop to twirl my letters because I love the curve of a line.

Icon for Christmas in July

Oh, Christmas Tree
Oh, Christmas Tree

If you are one of those who dream of snow on a sunny day in July, you might be a Christmas in July person. It’s a great time to buy yourself a gift because summer sales in July are door busters.

The fun thing about icons in my collection is that you can make them any size and any color.Christmas tree decorated

Cactus Icon

Flowering Cactus Icon from the Free Icon and Symbols Collection
Flowering Cactus

What comes to mind first when you see a cactus? You’re thirsty, an iguana, desert sand, sun screen, a western movie or possibly, tequila … ?

For me, it’s Cabo San Lucas, my favorite vacation spot. Although, anywhere in the tropics with sand and the ocean would suite me well.

I will post more icons from time to time. Until then, happy trails ….

How-to: Add Color To Digital Art in a Click or Two or Three

The art in my folders is, for the most part, saved in three formats, JPG, PNG, and SVG.

Inverted icon in JPEG format and framed withwith green border
JPEG: inverted black & white and added a green border to the bounding box

A JPG image is compressed and set in a white bounding box. There is little you can do to affect a JPG  in two or three clicks. In art programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can invert the colors, i.e., change the white to black and black to white.  And, you can frame the bounding box.

The PNG and SVG formats lend themselves more simply to editing.

PNG image of a cactus icon colorized and embossed in Photoshop
PNG: colorized and embossed in Photoshop – retained the transparent background

In art programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can lock the transparent background on a PNG, and paint away to change the color. As well, you can do anything to a PNG that you can do with a JPG and still retain the image transparency when you save it as a PNG.

You can totally edit an SVG image in vector art programs like Adobe Illustrator etc. The sky is the limit. Add a pattern background to the image, animate the image, or completely re-make the image, make it huge or make it tiny,  all without loosing image quality, thanks to the nature of the beloved vector format.

Original cactus icon
Original SVG Cactus Icon
Changed the flower to a bird and replaced the black and white with color
SVG: original image edited in Illustrator: changed the flower to a bird and replaced the black and white with color, all with a few simple clicks!

Hillary Tweets Hat in Ring for Presidential Campaign 2016

Today, as promised, Hillary sent the Tweet heard ‘round the cyberworld:

April 12, 2015: I’m running for President. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. –H

While political prognosticators spent the week making much ado over Hillary “throwing her hat into the ring,” visions of hats popped into my head. What might Hillary’s pejorative hat be?

Hillary's tiara crown
A tiara, fit for a political coronation

A tiara came to mind first because I thought of something regal for Hillary, a Lady in Waiting for a candidacy likened to a coronation. A political royal for years, she presided as First Lady over the White House and First Lady over the Governor’s Mansion of Arkansas; elected Senator from NY; and appointed Secretary of State by President Barack Obama.

Hilary has some sports caps to throw into the ring

Cubs baseball hat
Go Cubs!

Hillary has the National League and the American League covered. Hailing from Chicago-land, she sports a Cubs hat.

Yankees Baseball Cap
New York! New York!

And a Senator from New York adds Hillary to the Yankees fan club.

Yale University Cap
Yale University Bulldogs

And, alas, a Bulldog cap from her Alma mater, Yale University, where she holds a law degree and honorary Doctors of Law degree. Continue reading Hillary Tweets Hat in Ring for Presidential Campaign 2016

Re-Designing Websites

china head doll headsI’ve felt rather empty-headed ever since I decided to re-design my FIVE websites.

Designing my first website came easily nearly 11 years ago after watching a Macromedia Dreamweaver video by a whiz kid from Great Britain. However, today that website design is archaic. Technology and coding have changed drastically. XHTML has come and gone – tossed that book. And it’s time for me to change.

antique shoulder head doll with a bisque head
Antique AIM Shoulder Head

Therefore, it’s not surprising that when I made my New Year’s Resolutions 2015, I resolved to (1) re-design my websites and (2) simplify my life. Funny I didn’t see the dichotomy of those two goals at the time.

Well, it’s week one of March, and I’ve made some progress on my website. I have narrowed my page content to include entries on  Art & Journal, Antique Dolls, the Ozark Mountains (where I live), and UFDC Doll Club Memorabilia & Artist Dolls. Also, I’ve chosen a color palette for the design based on a photo my husband took of a  favorite antique doll.

color palette for swim yellow duck website
Six main colors in doll image

Using Adobe Color CC, I picked six top-level colors for my palette from a photo of an antique doll.  I was pleasantly surprised by the colors that emerged from the photo with the color picker. They were exactly what I wanted because I was aiming for a color palette unlike what I normally choose and one that leaned towards the Bohemian side, quite unlike me.

Continue reading Re-Designing Websites

Bearnadette Goes Mardi Gras

Miss Bearnadette attends Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans
Globe trotter Miss Bearnadette was spotted at Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

Bearnadette loves beads, candy, confetti and parades. She began as a doodle for March. I follow artist Ello Lovey, who publishes a Doodle-a-Day list each month. Day 4, Fat Tuesday, was all about Mardi Gras.
When I get an idea and start doodling on my iPad, I can’t stop until the fun is over. After spending eight hours on the design, I had made a friend. Bearnadette.  I posted a digital image of Bernadette for sale on Etsy in the spirit of Mardi Gras and a city that is rebuilding its history.
My how to: Continue reading Bearnadette Goes Mardi Gras

Hey, Cupid, Stop Picking on Me!

Stupid Cupid Song Title ValentineCupid Love!

Stupid Cupid, Stop Picking on Me spins round in my head when I think Valentine. And that song inspired this Valentine art, along with another Valentine great, Brach’s candy hearts. I wax poetic with Brach’s candy hearts on Valentine’s  Day.

Bored with love?

Pink heart with the word snooze on it
Bored with Love?

This Valentine is for those bored with love or have love on hold.

Just kidding. Happy Valentine’s Day !

Funny Candy Hearts
Sweet Heart Love

Love is the essence of all happiness.  I found my true love at sweet 16! 

Valentines from the Family Vault

Valentine at the Olympics

I was drawing Valentines on my iPad while watching the Olympics 2014. It was sweet to see snowboarder Jenny Jones in Slope-style at Sochi taking Bronze for Great Britain [Feb. 9].

Olympics XXII
Snowboarder Jenny Jones in Slope-style at Sochi takes Bronze for Great Britain

NOTE:  Stupid Cupid, Stop Picking on Me is a classic song by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, charting out at #14 on the Top 100 in days gone by.

Happy New Year!

Happy New YearKiss 2013 goodbye!  Friends were posting mini flipagram videos on Instagram to commemorate the new year, so I decided to dive into my photo files and make one as well.
I was an hour into the process and was about to jump ship and not finish, but I forged on and completed the video out of pure stubbornness. I limited myself to 84 photos for the video, which was like watching 2013 flash before my eyes.
After spending two hours on a self-absorbed video, I nearly felt guilty for wasting time, but in the process I saw all of the wonderful moments I’ve shared with friends and family
during the year and I was renewed seeing how much I have to be thankful for, so that I got excited about my first little flipagram and uploaded it to YouTubeFollow me on Instagram at patriciawiskur, as no snazzy nickname came to mind when I registered.
How To TutorialMy How To (top image):
There are three images layered for the end image. I scanned a vintage, beaded purse and layered it with a tie-dye decorated cake top in Photoshop. I set the top tie-dye layer to “color.”
I placed the carnival doll photo (after I deleted the background) on the top layer and gave it a gold outline with a gold color sampled from the background gold beads.
I made two additional copies of that doll and overlapped the three images in graduating sizes. For the text, I made a wavy line with the pen tool that curved in the opposite direction as the top hats and typed the text on the curving path in the Sybil Green font.

Happy New Year Tutorial ImagesI love the googly eyes on this vintage celluloid doll, dressed in a top hat and cane, ready  to welcome in the New Year with glitz.

Here’s to 2014!

Early Snowfall and Pillowcase Art

Snowy art for pillowcases by Darrell Wiskur to color
Snowfall in the Ozarks

 A dreamy, deep snow came early to Arkansas, 2013.

We hope for snow in the Ozarks

We woke one morning to a mid-December snow, 10-inches deep, over a slick layer of ice. We were glad for the surprise snowfall.

It is always super nice not having to fret about if or if-not we will have a Hallmark snow before Christmas Day … always a quandary in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Snowbound and off school, the grandchildren went sledding, built snowmen, and decorated gingerbread houses … putting everyone in a holiday state of mind.

School buses, parked. Our world stood still.

As we were on the verge of cabin fever, the sun came out and melted the snow. Alas, we were as happy to see the snow go as to see it come.

How To Tutorial

Pillowcase art for a snowy Christmas

The snowy woodland scene is an illustration by hubby Darrell Wiskur for a book daughter Wendy O’Dell wrote and designed.

The book, Mommy’s Days, Planning Daily Activities with Infants and Toddlers, was published in 1998 by Heir Press.

Darrell’s illustrations were pencil line-drawings. The book was printed in black & white. I wanted to color it, so I scanned the art and turned it into a vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator.

I created shapes, which I filled with color, then added a gradient to the background in Photoshop.

I love the art and the verse:

Stars shining brightly
Soft snow on the trees
The ornaments of God
All nature can see!

Art for a pillowcase

So much in love with the art, I printed the snowy woodland scene on pillowcases for our grandchildren to color.

Our family likes a calming craft for the children before Christmas dinner. I thought this wonderful verse and snowy woodland scene would make a perfect Christmas craft.

I had the line-drawing printed on pillowcases at a specialty printing shop.

Oops, didn’t think that through

Grandchildren paint pillowcases on Christmas Day
Drew coloring a pillowcase with washable fabric pens.
Grandchildren paint pillowcases before Christmas dinner
Stephanie loves art and working hard
Painting a snow pillowcase on Christmas
You would have to be a surrealist to paint snow anything but white.

Coloring snow is less than a perfect idea. After-all, snow is white. Fortunately, we have creative grandchildren.

Merry Christmas to All, and to All, a Good Night!

Merry Christmas‘Tis the joyous Christmas season

A favorite Christmas quote from A Christmas Carol, says …

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its Mighty founder was a child Himself.
-Charles Dickens

The key to happiness is to hold on to that child-like wonder at Christmas.

Bah Humbug! cross stitch needlework
Bah Humbug!

Alas, the holiday season can bring a mix of good and bad memories. Once, during my  Bah Humbug! period, I cross-stitched another Dickens quote, Bah Humbug! And beautified it with a gilded frame.

Foremost this Christmas, cherish the simple things of the heart. Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes. -Charles Dickens

Merry  Christmas to all and to all a good life!

How To TutorialMy digital how-to artwork for story illustration:

In Adobe Illustrator, I penned a blue gradient for my snow bank.
rolling_snow300x
I created layers of art in Photoshop. On top of the snow, I layered my Santa art, created in Illustrator.
Then, I duplicated Santa and skewed him, dialing back the transparency for a red shadow on the snow. I imagined Santa’s suit would reflect a jolly red on the snow rather and not gray.
Santa and his Shadow
To complete the illustration, I added a lens flair above the snow for a heavenly light.

Christmas Greetings illustration of the nativity
“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its Mighty founder was a child Himself.” -Dickens

And cropped line work of the Nativity by hubby Darrell Wiskur  from a Merry Christmas letter he designed years ago, commissioned by a dentist for his office Christmas letter. 

Read Luke 21:1-40, a Biblical record of the incarnation of Christ … Emmanuel, God is with us.

 

Surprise Me! And Wrap It With a Bow!

Surprise Me Art TagThe official gift-giving season draweth nigh, which threatens to be stressful, but then I remember the best gifts are the little, unexpected surprises from friends and family who simply know what you like and love you. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, although, extravagant gifts have their place.
Often, it’s the journal, the mittens, the pens, the slippers – those comfort gifts that linger on after all the wrappings and ribbons are in the trash. Or, something no one else can give, like a piece of  art or other personal workmanship.
So, surprise them! It’s always the best gift.

For this graphic, I took two silver elements from my Glitz collection. I colorized one and gave it a blue hue and added a Layer Effect to the other for a gold look.
Also, I made my first Chevron with a Shape layer in Photoshop, which I put over a vector created from a brooch I had scanned. The yellow duck is in my Swim Yellow Duck collection, and the sun is from a personal Illustrator tutorial.
And, my iPad travels with me at all times, so I doodle words and phrases in the Inkpad App because I love the pen tool in InkPad. I can save or send my doodles from Inkpad to my computer.

Then I open the text in Illustrator and make any edits I want with the pen tool.
Surprise me started in Inkpad. Next step, Illustrator. Then, in Photoshop, I treated Surprise me like a graphic and added a bevel, outline and drop shadow.
My How-To elements for this graphic, before adding layer effects in Photoshop!
Design components for Surprise Me graphic

Hippie Cake Art!

Do Not Eat the Cake Before the Frosting
Cake and squiggles art

Eat Cake! And Frosting!

To each his own cake fetish. Some scrape frosting off the cake and eat it sans frosting. Others heap on frosting and ask for the slice of cake with the most frosting or the slice with the most roses.
It’s always fun judging a cake’s success after a party, which I do whenever I’ve made the cake. I look at the leftover dessert plates to see what the ratio of leftover cake to frosting is. If the plate is scraped clean, I know the cake was perfect.

But if there are globs of frosting on the plate, it’s back to the cookbook for the next cake.


Cake inspired my art montage

I took a photo of a tie-dyed, ice cream cake that I had sprayed with my favorite wild colors. Next, I masked out the background of the cake stand, leaving just the cake top.

I brought the simplified cake image into Illustrator and did a live-trace. Then, I brought the image into Photoshop and added squiggly lines made from paths in Illustrator.

Truthfully, the graphic is all over the place and the colors are bizarre; however, the making of the cake art was fun and a great exercise of thought when staring at a digital art board void of pixels.

As a final touch, I added a thought balloon because I question the philosophy of eating the frosting before the cake. I believe they should be eaten in unison.
The basic elements I used for this design were: a photo of a cake, tie-dyed with my favorite tie-dye colors, squiggles, a cartoon thought balloon, and a comic book font.
Illustrator and Photoshop Files

Here’s a fun video from my granddaughter’s Starbucks birthday party at the lake. She wrapped her cake in fondant under the tutelage of her Aunt Wendy and decorated it, Starbucks style.
When Gwen served the cake to guests, one wanted a piece of cake without the frosting and one wanted only frosting, so they shared a piece of cake: one ate the frosting and one ate the cake. Perfect social solution for teenagers.