End of the Semester: How I’ve Changed

Well, this semester has come to a close, and it’s time to reflect on all I’ve did. I remember last year we had a final project in Digital Arts, and you had to show all you had learned, or something like that. I found the project, and it looks like this:


You could say there may have been a little bit of improvement this year. Here some of last years other notable works:


This is a cute flower sticker I worked on last year, using Adobe Capture like I’ve talked about before. It’s got some great line work, and it’s fairly even, but still looks like beginner level work to me.jeanseau_abigail_sureallism-1

I also worked with photo shop more, creating pieces like these two blue people. Now let’s take a look at some of my more recent work:

Black and White Sasqautch Unisex T-Shirt Front

You probably remember this T-Shirt I made for my dad at Christmas time. I actually free-hand drew this, so my line has improved considerably from last year. I’ve been practicing more in my sketch book and on the computer. Here’s a ballerina I’ve started to work on:


This was also done in my sketchbook. It’s very clip-arty right now because I still have some work to do with the limbs and hands (one of her arms is looking a little limp, and the other is much too skinny!). But I do realize that last year, I wouldn’t have been able to draw this well. I pretty much had to do everything digital because I hadn’t practiced drawing regularly, but this year I enjoyed transforming my own drawings on the computer.

I’ve also been working on learning more about actual theory, so I made some color theory posters. You haven’t seen these yet:

Color theory

This first color theory poster was actually really interesting to make because I got to learn about how to make your own art brushes. Anyways, most of the color groups that I learned about, I had already heard about or talked about with my mom, but it still was a good refresher.

My poster about tones, shades and tints, on the other hand, helped me A LOT. My artist mom is always trying to explain to me the difference, but words do not make as much sense to me as pictures. This poster helped me actually understand how tints are the hue mixed with white, shades are with black, and tones are with grey. I also discovered a really nice option on adobe illustrator which allows you to pick color groupings and then Adobe will make the different shades and tints for you.


Tones, Shades, and Tint

Besides learning more about color and composition, I’ve also learned a variety of new skills for my digital tool box. You’ll remember I did that fun My Own Font! post, where I showed how I had made my own keyboard. Then, I learned How to make Patterns!! which was super fun. Here is one of those awesome patterns I made:


Wow! Cool paint swirly things! So fun.

I’ve also done a little bit of Photoshop, like in this piece:


But mostly I’ve steered clear of Photoshop because I’m stubborn, and I find Photoshop to be not as interesting as Adobe Illustrator, which has all sorts of cool features. A good goal for next semester would be getting more comfortable with Photoshop, because as soon as I tried out Illustrator I kind of just abandoned it. I takes a lot more patience, and for my distracted ADD brain, Photoshop is like sitting in a seat for more than an half an hour without moving.

Anyways, I haven’t really talked about it at all on here, but I’ve also looked into some of Window’s digital arts and graphic design apps. They are pretty cool, but I haven’t had a lot of time to really get knee-deep in them and figure them out. One cool Windows app is the Paint 3D app, which allows you to create 3D objects on a virtual plane. In this way, you can create entire scenes, with depth and different perspectives. It also hooks up to their new Virtual Reality portal thingamabob.  I’ve just been trying out making different shapes and moving them around so here’s what other people’s projects look like:

Image result for Paint 3D

Pretty cool, right? You can pretty much make entire worlds, and then walk right into them. Think of the facets for using this: video games, movies, or just cool art projects! Imagine having to make a cell model for science class, and you actually make a walk-in  cell model, using virtual reality technology.

Next semester, I just might want to look into this. It looks really interesting.

In other news this year, I’ve really developed my personal style for digital arts. I have learned how to make more clean, and refined designs,  like this poster I made for my mom’s studio:


I actually had meant it to be just an excercise in drawing vector images, but it turned out so well that she ended up using it on her gift cards. I’ve also been helping her design her websites, here, and here. I’m also recreating The Abbey’s newsletter. I figured out how to get her business on Google Maps, which was really cool to see. Helping my mom with her website design has made me realize how much I enjoy just learning about new technology and creating things. I started this class hoping I would find my own way to enjoy art that was different than the rest of my family, and I think I found it. Digital Arts is really fun, and there are always new things to learn and discover. Programmers are constantly critiquing and changing their apps, there are always new tools and workspaces. It’s a multi-faceted genre of art. T-shirts, stickers, video games, websites, anything.

I can make gift cards for my mom, or I can make crazy pieces like this, that are more artsy:


The Digital Arts converstation is always evolving, and I feel like I’m always growing.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot in this class, and I’ve enjoyed exploring on my own a bit. I’ve never really been bored, because there is so much to do. I’ve improved my line, learned about patterns and strokes, and ended up actually doing some real world projects for other people. I also started a Redbubble site which allows you to upload your digital art so people can buy it in the form of T-shirts, mugs, and that sort of thing. Next semester, I hope to expand my horizons and learn about other programs beside illustrator.

But that’s all for now. See you next semester!


My Own Font!

This weeks challenge: create an embellished A in your own font style.

And then completely get distracted and create an entire font line.

I started with a simple sketch of an A, then added vines, swirly que thingys, and leaves. In my head I was thinking of some sort of magical forest font- like something you would see in an old book about Fairies. I wanted it to be tall and bold, but also kind of fancy.

Here’s the original A I scanned into my computer using Adobe capture, which allows you to turn your drawings into vector images:

Then I messed around with effects and colors for a while. I didn’t like that the A was asymmetrical (haha), so I masked half of the drawing and then reflected the first half so it looked the same. Then I live painted the A this forest green color I liked. But when I finally decided on adding the glowing edges font, the green kind of disappeared. Sad that my image was now black and white, I copied the original A, and put it slightly skewed over the black and white one. Then I live painted that green. Bam:


It’s a lot darker than I was originally thinking in my head. I was going to go for something kind of airy and sprite like, but I also like how the A ended up turning out anyways.

Anyways, I enjoyed doing that so much, that I decided to do a whole font line with the same viney look. It’s a little weird, because when you zoom out you can’t really see the vines but it was still fun. Also another note: this font is not complete! There are still sections missing, lines that need to be connected, and you’ll notice there are no numbers in my template. I just wanted to try out the font machine I used without going through all the motions beforehand.

Okay. So all the letters I made are based off that one original A. I used the different lines already present in the A to form the straight letters, and used the warp effect to achieve the rounded letters. It took me about 3 hours just to put the whole template together, and I didn’t even draw any of the letters. I’m sure in some ways it might have been easier to draw the letters, but I wanted to see how far I could go on the computer, and you can’t those small leaf details without zooming in on the screen.

There were pretty much two main lines that I used to create all of my letters, and then it was just up to a few warps, turns and reflections to achieve the overall letter. The hardest part was making sure that each line fit together nicely. I think the letter S was the hardest to make because it was completely made out of curves. It was difficult to get all the pieces together. Here are the two lines I used:

curved linestraightline

Next part was to find a make-your-own-fonts webpage. I chose Calligraphr because it was easy to use, free for the most part, and the first one that popped up on my browser. Calligraphr has you download a template with basic letters and few punctuation marks, you can add some arbitrary characters, but some are restricted for if you pay for a membership.

Next step was to fill out the template! I dragged it into my Adobe file and dropped in the characters I had created. I learned the hard way that every part of the letter NEEDS TO BE IN THE BOX. It took me several uploads, and many minutes of frustration before I realized this. Here’s my completed template:


You’ll notice that the p, q, and g all take up the whole box, and their “tails” don’t hang down under the letter. This is easily fixed by messing with the “baseline” under “edit characters”  once you’ve downloaded the template into Calligraphr.

Finally I was done with my template! Next step is to press “Build Font” and it will process each letter. Here’s the examples I got:


And bam! I got my own font! I call it: FOREST MAGIC! Its a little weird, and off center, but it’s my own font! And it’s exciting. I can’t wait to use it.

Tune in next week for a new adventure….

Week 17 in Review

This week I had a lot of fun- we got to make stickers! It was fun to doodle different symbols and see what I could come up with. I can’t wait to see them come from the vinyl cutter.  Here are some of the stickers that I created this week:


A Run Fast sticker which I personally didn’t think turned out very well. I didn’t realize until I had exported it that putting the words Run Fast under a shoe might not be the symbolism I was hoping for. Also, the very clean font next to my doodle is just begging for my drawing to be cleaned up-this one didn’t go the vinyl cutter. However, in my next sticker I addressed the tidiness problem. My model for the shoe was a clip art picture from this link.


A Grow sticker! This one was definitely my favorite- my drawing looks much cleaner and compliments  the Joker man font from Adobe Illustrator.


This is another Run Fast sticker but with a snail instead. I started thinking about an oxymoron during the tutorial here which said that a field mouse wouldn’t be a very good doodle to have under the word BOLD, unless you were trying to be funny or get the viewer thinking. Compared to most people in the cross country world I’m a snail, and yet I tell myself to run fast at every race- so I thought this sticker might be a good reminder to myself sometimes.

I think that I have accomplished both of my goals from the past few weeks. I’ve gotten better at saying more with less, and I am getting the vector image thing down.

We also did a T shirt design this week which turned out really cool. Mine says “Organic” which was printed against a black plain t shirt. (Scroll down for my final design for some reason my organic symbol took up an unreasonable amount of space)



Final Projectimnotkidding.jpg

Finally, here is my FINAL PROJECT for digital arts 1. I’m so sad I am not going to have this class next semester because it was truly one of the best electives I’ve ever taken. I tried to keep my drawing simple because I have so much trouble getting Adobe Capture to work right, and I knew I was going to struggle it. I hope to continue working with Digital Media on my own because I find it so fun and new. It seems as if there are always new things you can do to manipulate your drawings and pictures. I think that I might end up continuing to edit this blog, mostly with my photography. I’ve grown a lot over this semester, from becoming impatient with the smallest design problem to being able to put together vector images in minutes. I still have work to do,  and my final images are certainly not as good as some others, but I’ve learned to be patient and have discovered new mediums that I’ve never dreamed of.

Week 16 in Review

This week was pretty interesting because we really started working more with vector images, using Adobe Capture and Illustrator. I learned that drawing full shapes and NOT just lines is pretty important when working with vector images. In the above cartoon I failed to acknowledge that and it took longer than it should have to color all of the girls – even though they were just copies of each other! I ended up having to paint parts of the drawing instead of using a paint bucket because I had to many of my shapes were not closed.  I did have a lot of fun arranging the different colors for each girls outfit and I think it would be interesting to experiment more with how various colors of outfits affect your view of the cartoon.

In terms of focus this week I was pretty on task. It was a bit hard to get back in the groove of school after such a nice, long winter break so by the time Digital Arts rolled around on Tuesday I was ready to do some creating. I think I could have spent some more time on parts of the work I did this week, but I was really getting frustrated with how my vector images were turning out when I scanned them with Adobe Capture. Often, my scanned drawings will have holes in them where my original hand drawing did not. I actually like the effect it had on my symbol drawing below, but it makes it really hard to fill in using live paint. I actually had to outline some parts myself.

A few times, I had to refer back to the tutorials here for reference on live painting, but this week I was mostly on my own using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Capture.




Eventually, I simplified the drawing by redrawing it with less roots and petals and added more color to create my final piece. I like the thoughtfulness and quite look of the first drawing, but I also enjoy the eye catching colors of the second drawing.


It symbolizes the hope I have of growing outside of my safe “circle” in this coming year, whether that be with my art, writing, friends or classes I take. I can see glimpses of this hope as I explore new clubs, work on the book that I will eventually publish, and experiment with my mom’s oil paints (when she’s feeling nice). This idea of growing outside of my boundaries is actually also my short-term goal. I think this is something I need to work on because I have noticed that I often go back to the same sorts of ideas in my art and writing. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing but I also think it’s important to explore.

As you can see from my vector images, I’m still working on my long-term goal from last post that stated something along the lines of creating a  simple vector picture that can accurately represent a topic. I am getting there, but I still need to work on simplifying my picture. Prehaps I can learn to say more with a little less, because I think that could be really powerful.  I will continue to grow towards achieving this goal in the coming weeks.