Exploring Ideas

How to & why… Blogging, graphics, ideas & posts to support other blogs.

In late 2012, I was looking over my blogs. In it were assorted graphics. It can be hard for schools and students to use some graphics. They need to seek permission from the creators to make use of them and give credit and sources. I decided to give permission on the blogs for students and schools to make use of most graphics, photos, video and audio I have made. This is in line with the volunteer and non-profit activities in which I am involved.

Grade 4 Techie Kids asked what program I used to create a simple graphic for a post I wrote for them. Below is a link to the post…

“Don’t Let the Cow Drive the Whippet!”

Photoshop Layers

Photoshop, and many other graphics programs, has something known as layers. You can put one on top of the other or shuffle the layers around. Think of pieces of paper, in the case of this drawing I used six. Each page is on top of another. I can hide or show any layer (page) or change their order. They will help me build up the picture.

Here are the steps I used in preparing the graphic using Photoshop.

 

Don’t Let the Cow Drive the Whippet!

When preparing a graphic, my first step is normally to make a pencil drawing on paper. This allows me to make changes if necessary.

Once roughly drawn, I outline the drawing in black pen then scan it into Photoshop. It looked like this…

Layer 1

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Layer 2

To keep the original scan in case I need to make changes, I select all of the picture then COPY and PASTE. This also allows me to move a layer under the copy. This means I now have two layers with just the black outline.

Layer 3

Layer 3 is the fun part where I get to colour in the main drawing. I select the colour I want for each section then use the paint can tool to fill each coloured part. Sometimes I have to fix small gaps. If I fill a section but the colour also goes in other places, there is a gap in the black lines allowing the colour to run through. It’s like a bucket with a hole in it. The colour runs out until the hole is filled.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Layer 4

 With Layer 4, I use the paintbrush tool to add the sky, road and grass. As I do this, Layer 3 is covered.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

With the sky, road and grass coloured, the layer has to be moved under the coloured car in Layer 3. I now go back to Layer 3. I use the magic wand tool to select the white areas and delete them so the background colours can be seen.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Layer 5

I now add another layer on top. I use the paint brush tool and make the colour almost see through and paint in the dust near the car tyres. Once done, this layer is now moved under the car.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Layer 6

Another layer is added on top. This time I draw in some grass. I could add trees or any other background items. Layer 6 is then moved under the car. Some graphics I prepare can use even more layers depending on how complex they are.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Some other graphics prepared for blog posts using Photoshop and layers…

I don’t have a photo of a platypus in my collection at this time so I prepared this graphic for a post. It had about 8 layers.

Platypus Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Platypus
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Like the platypus, I didn’t have a photo of a tiger quoll. For the tiger quoll, instead of drawing a background, I made one layer a photo and placed it underneath the quoll drawing.

Tiger Quoll Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tiger Quoll
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) again uses a photo background. Because they were mostly nocturnal (night hunters), the top layer was an opaque (almost see through) blue layer to make the picture look as though it was night.

Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

“Jason’s Light” was created for a story on my Writing Blog and is not a drawing. I used Photoshop to edit out the background in a photo then selected the person. Adjusting contrast (amount of light and dark) made him a silhouette. I then added a colour background.

Jason's Light Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Jason’s Light
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

“Fingers Entwined” was also created for a story and has four layers. The hands were taken from a photo. A new, blue background layer was added and then another opaque (see through) layer to make the star burst. Finally a fourth layer added colour over the hands.

Fingers Entwined Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Fingers Entwined
Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

 

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