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?
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.
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)
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
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).
Illustration Tee-Shirt Art Streamed Live from San Francisco
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:
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.)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’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.
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 ClubMemorabilia & Artist Dolls. Also, I’ve chosen a color palette for the design based on a photo my husband took of a favorite antique doll.
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.
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
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?
This Valentine is for those bored with love or have love on hold.
Kiss 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 YouTube. Follow me on Instagram at patriciawiskur, as no snazzy nickname came to mind when I registered. My 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. I 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.
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.
The key to happiness is to hold on to that child-like wonder at Christmas.
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!
My digital how-to artwork for story illustration:
In Adobe Illustrator, I penned a blue gradient for my snow bank.
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 than gray.
To complete the illustration, I added a lens flair above the snow for a heavenly light.
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.
The 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!
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.
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.
Flashback: Grandchildren, Cousins Drew, Stephanie and Emma, zooming around the yard. This photo makes me smile every time I see it. The occasion was a reception for my granddaughter Julie’s high school graduation. It was May in the Ozarks. Spring fever had struck, and everyone was happy to celebrate a milestone event.
On the computer …
Play time: In Photoshop, I grabbed the photo, two backgrounds, a frame, and Peter Rabbit. The composition soon turned cartoonish, which I thought suited the photo. I chose a Comic font and a word balloon for Kapow. I’ve always wanted to say Kapow, and I’ve always adored the word balloons found in comic strips. Method: I clipped a photo to a frame with a layer mask. Next, I layered two papers and added a Blending Mode for a rich, dimensional background. Finally, I added the Word Balloon Kapow and Peter Rabbit.
It’s all rather Zany
The frame is a vintage gold brooch. The frame and the frame-mask are part of my Zany Design Collection on Etsy. I clipped the black oval frame mask to the photo to confine the photo within the frame.
I layered two teal blue backgrounds and added a Difference Blending Mode to create a dimensional, red background.
It’s fun exploring Blending Modes in Photoshop. It was a happy accident when I clicked Difference and two blues made a red. I had an entirely different look in mind when I began my Photoshop work, but when the red popped up, I fell in love and went to finish.
It was spring in the Ozarks, and the grass was green. A perfect home for Peter Rabbit.