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Just when I thought she couldn’t crawl fly higher on my That Woman meter, Brinda Berry magically appears to rescue me from lions and tigers and myself.

For those who follow me, you may have noticed I’ve been a bit irregular…

[In the non-Loo sense of the word, people! Please!]

…a bit irregular with my blog posts, my comments on your sites, my TWITTER communiques. In a word: sloth.

I won’t bore you with risk unleashing those details from the Jack-in-the-Box in my brain where I trapped the whirling dervish of ideas. Ideas that tripped over each other on their way from inception to completion. That weasel will not go POP.

Step away from that crank!

Then, Brin shows up—like magic—with her regular bi-weekly post and all becomes right with my world.

BONUS! It’s more wisdom on playing with graphics in blog posts.

While Brinda takes care of Graphics Love 102, I’ll be over at Hildie McQueen’s site as a guest on her awesome Five Question series. Hop over there, leave a comment and make sure you check out Hildie’s recently released novel, Desperate Betrayal.

Take it away BRINDA!

Graphics 102 or Are You Kidding Me? I’m Not a Photographer or Graphic Artist- by Brinda Berry

Last time I was here, we talked about resizing an image to a smaller size using only Paint as your graphics software.  It was easy, breezy. Right? This week, I’m talking about returning to your childhood and learning about having fun.  You don’t have to be a graphic artist to do some cool things with images and make them your own. This journey has a destination. I want you to be able to customize your web page backgrounds or banners. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This week is all about fun and creativity.  You can also create unique images useful for your blog while we are at it.

TASK ONE: Alter an image with effects.

Step #1. Getting your images. 
I could do a entire blog post on free and paid image sites. There are many.  I’m not going to do that today. I want you to make note of the website www.bigstockphoto. com. I buy most of my images at this site for as little as $2.99 each.  When I worked on my book trailer, I bought this photo of a young man I want to represent my main character, Regulus, in my YA series. Isn’t he cute? I thought so, too. When I purchase an image from bigstockphoto.com, here is the licensing agreement info from their site:

Generally permitted uses:
  • products or uses where the photo or image is not a main part of your project
  • personal use
  • advertisement
  • presentation
  • book cover
  • set designs
  • trade show signage
  • film or video
  • scholastic material
  • newsletter, brochure
  • software
  • webpage design

For more info on this as well as the “not generally permitted uses, click here. Other images on my website are free and from the Flickr.com creative commons images with photographer credit cited at bottom of the web page.  Please don’t steal images and use them without permission and following usage guidelines.

Step #1- Click on image to enlarge; hit back button on browser to return to this web page.

Step #2. Modify your image. 

Go to http://pixlr.com/ . I went to the http://pixlr.com/o-matic/ link and did this with one click. You can use any photo you have saved on your computer to play around. You don’t have to get one from an image site for this exercise.

Can you tell the difference between Step #1 photo and #2 photo? If you can’t see it, click on the image to enlarge it. This effect is called Hagrid. Click on the photo to see it enlarged. It looks great. I think it now has a digital painting quality. It’s dark and gritty…and I like it.

STEP #2

Step #2- Click on image to enlarge;hit back button on browser to return to this web page.

Step #3. Add text. 

Then I went to this section of pixlr.com -> http://pixlr.com/express/  and added text. There are all kinds of other tools besides text. You can whiten teeth, crop, put a different filter on it, etc.

Step #3

Step #3- Click on image to enlarge;hit back button on browser to return to this web page.

TASK TWO: Color coordinate like a pro.

Go to http://www.colourlovers.com/ to see the how some talented people put colors and patterns together on this website.  Go to the Browse menu and choose Patterns. I saw a pattern I liked that could coordinate with this picture. It’s called Belated Dreams.
*Belated_Dreams

Vector Patterns by COLOURlovers

GET THIS PATTERN IMAGE

I can use this pattern on my web page with the following license requirements:

PATTERN LICENSE

  • Credit must be given to Faeleia & ycc2106.
  • Commercial use is not allowed.
  • Derivative works are allowed, but must be shared with this license.

So please, go play around on these websites. It’s the best way to learn. Let your creativity come to life!  In my next post, Graphics 103 , I’ll show you how to put these elements together.

Okay. So. I have a project underway. It’s top secret; on a need-to-know lock-down. It involves graphics and a new banner and Brinda’s expertise. Brinda, if you’re trying to train me to do that banner myself, know that I am all ears…

With my fingers wedged in them and LALALALALALALALA spewing from my mouth.

Oh, wait! I can create that image and thought bubble myself! I’ll be back. I will have pictures.

LET’S GET CREATIVE! If you use these tips and play with a picture you already have, or use the sites recommended by Brinda, let me know in the comments area. I will contact you, so we can create a photo gallery at the end of Brinda’s post. Come on! Share your talent.

BIO: Brinda lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.

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