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

WWII Airplane …. Veteran’s Day Cake Art

WWII Airplane, Baby Blue

Just finished “Blue Baby, ” a WWII airplane illustration

I’m fascinated by planes because they take me all the places I want to go.

On the other hand, I’m amazed that anything so heavy can soar through the sky, and I’m the first on the plane to grab a  barf bag from the pocket in front of my seat at any sudden jiggle the plane makes.
This is my first plane illustration. I named it “Blue Baby” because WWII pilots liked to name their planes. I hope to do some research and illustrate more planes with those foxy names and amazing stories of heroism.

Recently, I saw a photo of President George Herbert Walker in an airplane during WWII when he was a pilot, and written on the side of his plane was “Barbara.”

I can’t help but love planes

My sister was a pilot. My husband flies in his dreams and drew bomber planes having fights in all of his grade-school books.

My brother, who was a paratrooper in Vietnam, loves military planes to the extent that he treks to air shows in California, Wisconsin, wherever,   to ride these historical planes.
I’ve listed the plane art for sale on Etsy.com at my Swim Yellow Duck shop. It was a rather fun project. I started with a sketch my husband made me for a cake I was decorating for Veteran’s Day.
I scanned the sketch and turned it into a line drawing on my iPad in the Inkpad App. I love having my portable easel, the iPad, with me whenever imagination strikes.

If you like to color or doodle, I removed the color layers to make a color page so you can have some fun with your crayons and pens.  Click to download the WWII airplane to color!

Coloring Page of a WWII plane
You’re the pilot! Color this plane and add a name to it.

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 than 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.

 

Christmas Stockings Hung With Care

 Dear Santa ... Christmas stockings‘Tis the season to be merry!

Christmas stockings are a tradition in our family, and Santa, with the assistance of Mrs. Santa, fills the stockings on the Eve of Christmas while our children are fast asleep. It’s a lovely tradition.

Of course, we like our stockings brimming with good cheer. In my childhood, we were delighted with a stocking filled with an apple, an orange, a popcorn ball, and a candy cane.

As the acting Mrs. Santa one year when I was on a health kick, I baked cookies with a sugar substitute and attempted to bring back the apple, orange, popcorn ball, and candy cane idea from childhood.

While the children were all snug in their beds, with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, I, unfortunately, filled their stockings with fruit and trinkets.

Imagine the children’s dismay Christmas morning waking up to fruit.  No chocolate Santa wrapped in foil, no sweet and sour gummy worms, no M&Ms, no Reese’s PBCups — none of the children’s favorite candies.

And this naive act of mine took place at a time when stores were closed on Christmas morning. Nothing was open. There was no way to reprieve myself.  Mr. Santa couldn’t sneak out the back door and run to the candy store.

Santa had cautioned me about no candy, but I thought an old fashioned Christmas stocking would be as endearing to my children as it was to me as a child. Looking in the rear view mirror, I was clueless.

This is a cautionary tale: Never underestimate the power of  a well-filled stocking!
decorative flourishMy How-To Method for this graphic includes one paper and one frame from my Zany Design Kit on Etsy. There are 21 elements in my Zany Design Kit and two of those are gold, cut-out frames. The frames are easily modified in Elements or  Photoshop so that they can be any color you need to suit your graphic.

In Photoshop, I added a blue Adjustment Layer to a frame. Next, I threw on a Santa vector image I completed a few years back and three photos of Christmas stockings my daughter had painted for an open house.
The final touch was the text, Dear Santa … stuff it!

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

Cake Pop 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.

Applause for our troops and patriots!

US Flag, flown with pride
US Flag, Chicago Skyline

Thanks for the Service of Many!

Veteran’s Day 2013, and our gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our veteran’s is at unparalleled heights. Thanks to all the veterans and patriots who fly our flag with pride; for citizens who place their hands over their heart and salute the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance and are moved to tears at the singing of our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

God Bless America!

Zany Cousins, Once Upon a Time, a Tutorial

Zany Frame and grandchildren riding in a jeep having zany fun
Grandkids in a gilded frame from my Zany Design Kit

Cousins at Play

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.

ZanyBroochFramePW200px
Gilded Zany Frame
ZanyBroochFrameMaskPW200
Zany mask

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.

Teal Zig Zag Pattern
Background layer one

 

Teal Clouds Pattern
Background layer two

It was spring in the Ozarks, and the grass was green. A perfect home for Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit Tin Toy by Mattel
Peter Rabbit tin toy by Mattel

Spa Day in Mexico Goes Zany

Zany Day at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Scrapbook page for Spa Day, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Had fun in Photoshop, playing with the elements and paper from my Etsy Shop in my Zany Collection and made a 12″ by 12″ digital page around a favorite vacation spot, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
It was my first spa day, and it was perfect. I’m a solar-operated girl, so a seaside cabana on the Sea of Cortez was ideal for a massage. I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep listing to the lull of the waves.
Unfortunately, I miss being on the beach, so looking at my photos conjures up a heap of “Wish I Were There!”
Gold Zany Brooch Frame