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September 2013



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lobsterman birthday card

I thought maybe it would be fun to put up a mini-tutorial on how I designed this card, for those who like to tweak images in photo-editing software. I still use Photoshop Elements 2--they're on 6 now, but I haven't taken time for a class to learn how to use the version I have in the wings, PSE 5. Good old 2 does about everything I need, it just gets cranky sometimes.

For some reason I enjoy doing guy cards or unconventional ones, not typically romantic or feminine--this one was fun! (This one is available in my Cafe Press store, here: http://www.cafepress.com/cathy_johnson.177643824 )

I did this painting for my first online watercolor class...and always did like it. The background sketch was one I did at the last art crawl--I just decided to incorporate them...

Designing is a fun process...in this case, I chose a dark brown background to set off the rust on the boat, after trying out several other color possibilities. Then I gave the background a linen texture, and superimposed the smaller sketch over that. I chose "multiply," which made the sketch transparent and dark, so it was just a suggestion over the warm brown. (There was another old boat in the sketch, but it's covered by the fog painting.)

I sized the lobster boat painting and dragged it onto the brown background, moving it around till I liked how it balanced against the background elements and where I planned to put the lettering, then did a bevel and drop shadow on it.

Finally I sampled the color of the foggy background and used that for the lettering. This was a relatively simple choice for the letters--sometimes I like drop shadows or glows or bevels, but this one really had enough going on.*G* Besides, simple, unadorned letters just show better...

Now I REALLY need to get back to my other work...


Oh, dear....late...late....late...bu no less sincere now than on the actual day. With deepest apologies for not telling you "Happy Birthday" on the actual day, I hope you will understand that I have simply been busy, and not very attentive to things on the net....ah, but you are so much more than just a "thing on the net", and I should kick myself for not telling you on THE DAY, just how special you are and how wonderful it is to have you in my life. Happy Belated Birthday, dear Kate, from a friend who is always running late....but who is very thankful that you were born and that you walk among us on this earth, spreading your artful delights. xoxoxo I hope you had a perfect day.
You sweet thing! Thank you so much...I think of you often, and fondly. You DO spread magic and joy, you know.

After I got finished dealing with the robbery at the rehab house and all the police and insurance, yes, I had a wonderful day, going out painting! And I am just awful at keeping track of thing like birthdays and occasions, so please don't beat yourself up over it, or I'll feel like I should! *g*