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Fun tutorials, how-to projects, free downloads from jones design company

how to make a silhouette (video tutorial)

(via country living)

Silhouettes are one of those classic art pieces that never go out of style … but are particularly in right now. They have been for a while, I suppose, but I’m still in love and think they’ll be around for years to come.

One of my favorite things in our house are these four large silhouettes of our kids going up the stairs. The snowflakes are not usually there – this photo is from Christmas, but you get the idea. Many of you have asked for a tutorial for how I made these large pieces so today and tomorrow I’ll be showing you how.

First up, is making the actual silhouette. There are so many different ways to do this but I prefer to create a vector image in Illustrator that can be blown up or made tiny without losing any of the clarity.  Because sometimes it is easier to just watch the process, I made a video for you:

If you don’t have Illustrator, you can probably accomplish a similar effect using a different photo editing software (or try this method), but you may not be able to enlarge without it becoming pixelated. I’m obviously a big fan of Illustrator and find so many different uses for the program. If you’ve been wanting to learn it, join our class! The next Simplified Graphic Design course opens up Monday April 21st. Last time it sold out in less than 24 hours, so make sure you grab your spot quickly! You can learn more about the course and what it will do for you here.

pencils-300-x-200

Tomorrow I’ll be back showing you how to turn your digital silhouette into finished artwork worthy of hanging on your walls. For now, start creating silhouettes!

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ombre painted wave wall

Progress continues in the kids’ bathroom mini makeover with a super fun painted wall.

wave-wall-through-mirror

Let me start at the beginning …

blank-wall

This is the wall opposite the sinks/mirror. I took inspiration from my very favorite art print and thought painting ombre waves on the wall would be a fun way to fill it up and add a bit of color and whimsy to the room.

I began by sketching waves onto the wall with a pencil.

draw-waves-with-pencil

Then using a few shades of paint (two blues leftover from other rooms) and white, I mixed up seven colors starting light and getting darker as I moved down the wall.

mixing-paint-for-wave-wall

Originally I wanted the waves to have a watercolor look, so I mixed in a few drops of water to thin the paint.      wave-wall-progress

Once finished, I decided the top wave was way too dark, so I painted over it in the white wall color and planned on going back over it with a lighter blue.

wave-wall-day-one

This is how it looked at the end of day one:

instagram-photo-waves

Cute … sort of.  I liked the idea, but I was not crazy about how splotchy the paint looked. The whole ‘watercolor’ thing did not turn out.

So yesterday I went over the whole thing a second time, mixing paint without water this time.

second-coat-of-painted-waves

I love it so much more now!  wave-wall-finished

(the paint was still wet, so the color looks funky in that second row).

wave-wall-through-mirror

The wall hides behind the door, but it is visible from the mirror. The kids think it’s fun and I am happy to have some subtle color in the bathroom. It’s still a total mess in there, but I’ll keep plugging away and hopefully have it done soon!

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free hand-drawn clip art (and how to use it)

Can one ever have enough clip art? I think not. Especially of the hand-drawn variety. Add a little drawing to a gift tag or invitation, use one in your logo or in an ad – nothing overboard, but just enough to make a visual impact. Fun, fun, fun.

The other night I created a few doodles-turned-clip art.  A party collection with fun banners, phrases and a cupcake with a cherry on top.

I first drew with pencil, then over with my favorite fine-tip pen (this one), erasing the pencil marks with a good eraser (like this).  I then scanned the drawings and saved each one as a .png file (the process is the exact same as turning my watercolor paintings into digital artwork – shown in this tutorial).

The collection of clip art is yours for free. Just download the zip file, unzip and each drawing is ready to use with a transparent background.

If you’d like to make some changes – to the size or color – here’s a short video showing you how:

So fun, right?! If you’re totally lost, hang tight. I’ll show you all of these steps again, and in better detail and a little slower in the graphic design class that comes out in just a few days (yea!).

To download the clip art, log in or sign up for the archive where all of our freebies and downloads are stored for easy access.

(PS. The archive page got a face lift! log in to check it out)

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