Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Fear Image Manipulation (Really!)

Kelli checking in. I'm a person who has a hard time giving myself permission to just play. So it helps if I know that I can extend the usefulness of my sketches beyond their place in my sketchbook. One of the ways I love to play with my drawings is by manipulating them in free software programs. If you are too intimidated by something like Photoshop (I know I am), there are several fantastic free programs which allow you to play with image enhancement without the huge learning curve. My current favorite is paint.net (go to getpaint.net and click on the "download it now" button on the right). Did I mention FREE?

Let me show you a couple of small sketches I've enhanced with color fills.
The first step is to scan the image from your sketchbook OR photograph it (the poor man's scanner but it works!). All I did with this image is use the dropper tool to choose a color from the color wheel and then the bucket fill tool to click and fill areas with color. This works especially easily with black and white outline drawings. The color will stay inside the black lines and voila! There is an adjustment you can make to determine how sensitive the fill is--whether it fills all areas that are exactly the same color, or a range of similar shades. If the fill isn't what you envisioned, simply hit the back arrow to restore it to the last point.


Same thing here, but I also colored directly on the black lines of text as well.

In this final example I scanned in a painting and then began replacing the colors to create a visually arresting graphic. It's so easy to keep choosing new colors and filling areas to find the balance that seems just right. The fun with this image was how the color inside the collaged text ended up making the artwork. That was purely unintentional. I was just picking colors and overlaying them. Don't forget--you will still have your original image, so there is absolutely no limit to how many different artworks you can create from a single drawing! I like to print these final images out on fabric. What will you create with your enhanced sketches?

17 comments:

  1. very cool, I am going to try this!

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  2. This looks like WAY fun, Kelli! Color filling can make an image look, to my eye, too graphic, flat, or mechanical; but you have retained the personality and the you-ness of the image. What a great way to try out all kinds of color variations! Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. Oh, I hadn't thought of altering my sketches like that. Way cool! Thanks for shariing. Off I go to play!

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  4. Oh no, I'm going right over there after this comment, and who knows when I'll be re-surfacing??
    Thank you (I think) :-)

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  5. oh, oh, I found a place called paint.net but I think it's not for Macs. Tell me it ain't so!

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  6. Funny, I recently did this with one of my black and white drawings. I like your pencils.

    Another free photoediting/painting tool is GIMP. Just Google it and download it for free.

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  7. i really like doing this technique, too. it can really make a sketch POP!

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  8. Yes, GIMP is super and I've used it for many years. I only recently switched to primarily Paint because it's easier for me to figure out on the fly. But GIMP has more features. Check it out at gimp.org I know it works for Mac too!

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  9. This is so cool. I tried to use other software on a trial basis and got completely overwhelmed. I am SO glad you posted this!

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  10. I am intimidated by the more complicated programs. I would like to try this. Thanks!

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  11. Very interesting - easier than photoshop.

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  12. yeh now that's how you colour up some work !!! I have a paint program that came with my drawing tablet its great to play with diff brushes too....love the pastel tools

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  13. Great idea! I can't wait to try this!
    And your pictures are fabulous, by the way.

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  14. I think this is a great post Kelli. Inspiring and colorful. I love the bird.
    Here is my opposites post. http://autumnhathaway.blogspot.com/2011/02/sketchbook-challenge-two.html

    I finally got my Flickr going too. http://www.flickr.com/photos/autumnhathaway/

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  15. Whew Kelli-good to hear from you-thought you might have gone into permanent hibernation. I love the pencils. Went and downloaded paint and then tried it on one of my zentangles...it is a little more um...difficult than your post lead me to believe, but totally fun! I was so supposed to be working!Thanks.

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  16. Lori--I hadn't thought to do it on a zentangle. I imagine that would be interesting. I'm going to try that. No stoppin' me!

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