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PICTURES! Say cheese.

No, wait.

Say, wow!

Brinda Berry is back and she’s got knock-your-smocks-off, step-by-glorious-step instructions that build on her Graphics Series. We’re entering Graphics 103.

Okay. You may now retrieve and don your smocks.

For the men/guys/dudes/gentlemen reading this, I don’t know what you knocked off, but you may put them back on, too.

Before I let you read Brinda’s words of wisdom, I must brag about this incredible pay-forward, productive author, blogger, and friend.

I could go on about how gobsmacked I was when she offered to do a series here; using my platform as a case-study, offer advice, provide references. This was back in my G-L-O-B days, when I knew little about her.

I could mention that she completed the A-Z challenge during the same month she did a tour for her recently released Whisper of Memory, the second in her YA Paranormal Whispering Woods Series.

I could expand on that by mentioning the number of banner iterations she’s done for my soon-to-be-released blog theme during that same month.

I concede that her bi-weekly post is the only one ready ahead of schedule.

NOTE TO SELF: What a concept!

Paraphrasing the words from an old Snoopy greeting card.

“Thanks from the bottom of my socks, Brinda. Somehow my heart didn’t seem deep enough.

SQUEE! I may do a card for Brinda and add it to this post. Off to study 102 and 103.

While I’m gone, play with the tools from the techie-toolbox that is Brinda’s brain.

Graphics 103 or Finding My Artistic Mojo-

by Brinda Berry

I’m back again talking about those darned graphics. The problem is that I KNOW you are creative. If you are a writer reading this blog post, you imagine all kinds of settings, characters, and plots. What’s a little graphics work to someone with your intensity and imagination?

Step #1, Using Pixlr Editor. Once you know how to use some basic image editing tools, you will see those skills are portable. Most graphics software have similar toolbars and functions.  This is a free service at  http://pixlr.com/ that I sent you to in my last post to create fun graphics. Go back to Graphics 102 to see what we did in the Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-matic.

Pixlr.com

Today, I’d like to encourage you to try out the Pixlr Editor. It’s the first choice on the menu at http://pixlr.com/ . At Pixlr, you can create an account to store work at their site or you can download all your work to your computer. Either way, it’s free.

In Graphics 102, I showed you a photo I purchased from www.bigstockphoto. com and a background I downloaded for free from http://www.colourlovers.com/ .  I played with this for a few minutes today to create this:

And then I placed it on my website on one page to see if I liked it.

Now, I think you probably want to know all the steps in between. First, you must learn how to work with the tools in Pixlr Editor.

Step #2, Links for a Practice session.

Here are some supplies for you to use. Here is a palette that I like from http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/2146568/Purples_World .  Go with me on this. We’ll use this very cool purple from the palette below as a background. I chose this purple at http://www.colourlovers.com/color/9A507C/

Make note of the HEX color code. See my black arrow in screenshot below.

Color by COLOURlovers

WATCH MY VIDEO HERE and/or go straight to the written instructions below:
  1. Go to http://pixlr.com/ and click on Pixlr Editor from the top menu bar choices.
  2. Click on Create a new image
  3. Type a name in like “Practice”
  4. Drop the list to see some standard sizes. This is informational. Don’t choose a standard size. The one I made was not standard. I made one the size of my website banner. You’ll see how I did that in the video later. You should type in the Width 938 and Height 240)
  5. Click on the color palette box at bottom to open the dialog box for choosing colors. By default it is a set on black. In the dialog box, there is a HEX code box with a # sign beside it. Enter the code for the purple we’ve selected, 9A507C.
  6. Click on the Paint Bucket tool in the middle of the floating toolbar. Then click on your banner work area to place the purple color as your background.
  7. Click on the letter A on the TOOLS floating menu on the left side of your screen.
  8. Click in the banner space to set text. A dialog box pops up and you should type the text, choose a font, size, style, color, and click OK when finished.
  9. The TOOLS menu at the left has a pointer at the top left called a Move Tool. This allows you to move your text to various spots on the banner.
  10. Your text is on one layer and your background image (the purple) is on another layer. This is important. There is a layers frame on the right side of your working area that shows you these layers.
  11. Choose Layer, Open Image and pick something from your computer to upload to the layer.  If you don’t have an image to use, borrow my book cover. Instead Choose Layer, Open Image URL as layer and insert: http://www.brindaberry.com/uploads/6/8/7/7/6877655/92209_orig.jpg . My book cover will be visible.
  12. If the image only partially displays and you want to manipulate the size, go to Edit (top menu bar) and Free Transform. Drag corner edge of image to resize to your preference.
  13. Voila! This is your first practice banner using three layers: background, text, and image.
  14. Next time, we’ll look at some more tools within Pixlr Editor. In the meantime, you can play with the tools on your own!  Have fun.

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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Whisper of Memory Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/PbZ_cjGsjA8
Thanks again from the bottom of my socks for visiting. Let’s make this Brinda Berry Awesome-sauce Day. Play with the instructions and let us know what happens. You’ll know how I’m doing by the presence and quality of seemingly unrelated wonky images added to this and future posts.
So, how are you feeling? Psyched? Overwhelmed? Share your thoughts. Ask your questions. We love to hear from you.
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