Sunday, March 22, 2015

Outlines as Clipart

When I decided to start making clipart, I didn't really know where the journey would take me.  I started with shapes and had this idea of making many different types of outlines - people, animals, and maybe even buildings!  

The idea for outlines came from a number of thoughts.  For one, an outline shape of something is very simple.  Sometimes a drawing with just a few lines creates a better image than a drawing filled with a lot of detail.  Also, detailed drawings have a "style" to them, and certain styles may appeal to some people and not to others, so I think that most people will like the outline shapes.  Another nice thing about the outlines and their simplicity is that they won't detract from whatever else is on the same page.  For example, if a teacher is making a product and wants to add some figures at the top, bottom or sides but not have the figures dominate the sheet for attention, then simple outline shapes may work very well.  And then by offering each outline shape with multiple fill colors, a teacher can choose to use either a black or white figure or one filled with color to match whatever else is in the product.

I also haven't seen other available clipart like these outline shapes and the idea of creating something different that nobody else is doing appealed to me.

After completing my first sets of geometric shapes, I started to compile reference images I could use for my outline shape sets. I had quite a few people images: children in many different poses, babies and toddlers, and families and parents with children.  So I started by dividing up the images into different groups and quickly mapped out four products and started drawing.

Here are a number of the figures:

The figures are available in different outline sets, available in both my Teachers Pay Teachers store and Teachers Notebook store.  The first is a simple Children Oulines Clipart set:

Then there is a Children Playing Outlines Clipart set:

Here is the Babies and Toddlers Clipart set:

And the last of this series is the Families and Parents with Children Outlines Clipart set:



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Leprechaun Craftivity for St. Patricks Day

Julie has been working on a new writing resource product for St. Patricks Day which includes fun craft activities.  We enjoyed making the 2015 New Years Craftivity and so Julie wanted to make a similar craftivity to include in her new product.  So, I called up the same drawings we used for 2015 and JulĂ­e quickly sketched out how she wanted the Leprechaun craftivity to look.

I used the same face but that was all we could re-use from the other craftivity.  So then I drew the beard and new hands, then the hat, band and buckle, and finally the shamrock.  

After printing them out to see how the pieces would fit together, I then arranged them onto sheets by color so teachers would be able to print out each sheet on a different colored paper to make it easy to prepare the lesson for students.  Here's what the sheets looked like:

Then Julie printed a set out at home so she could have a finished character to display in her product.  And here it is!

Julie just used the product in her classroom - and the students had a great time.  Here are the pics of the students' work on the wall in the hallway at Julie's school:

The overall product has a lot of fun activities for kids, especially the How To Trap A Leprechaun piece.  Here is the link directly to Julie's Teachers Pay Teachers product: St-Patricks-Day-Trick-and-Trap-a-Leprechaun.

I'm glad I was able to help Julie out on another great product - and I'm sure she'll have something else for me to do soon!



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Friends Playing Music - Boy and Girl Clipart

Well, I have to say, this was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  It sounded much simpler when I started - I would create a "Friends" set of them playing musical instruments.  

I began by collecting reference images of different instruments: guitars, pianos, a violin, and some brass and woodwind instruments.  Then I sketched out how they could look and which character would be playing which instrument.  I had never really drawn musical instruments before so I thought it might be a challenge, but a fun one since I like music and I could tell that these figures with instruments had the potential to look really good.

However, once I began drawing, I kinda got the feeling this set was going to take a while.  I started with Chase playing an acoustic guitar.  I framed him sitting on a stool, his body, arm and leg positions in a more classical guitar setup.  From the initial guitar sketch I placed how he would be holding it and where his hands would be, then began drawing the guitar.  Lets just say what you see in the final image isn't what I started with, but I like how it finally turned out:

I enjoyed drawing Jacob playing the clarinet, as my son, Leo, is a clarinet player and I had an actual clarinet to look at.  I ran into some difficulty when coloring as the instrument is mostly black and I wasn't sure how the keys would stand out but I think it came out okay.  I then drew Leah playing the recorder.  My other son, Daniel, finished his first year with music last year and had fun learning the recorder so I wanted to be sure one of the characters was playing it.

Liam and the saxaphone was also hard - the saxaphone has a lot of keys and small bits.  I did the best I could and I apologize to any real music players for this (or any of these instruments) if I've screwed anything up!

I then added some class - Olivia playing the flute and Emma playing the violin.  I think the violin image can be used in elementary school promotions for music classes as the violin is usually the first instrument children learn.  I remember learning it myself way back in 4th grade!  The image of a flute player is always one that is elegant, and I think this image of Olivia in a simple dress displays this elegance very well.


Then I moved on to the piano.  I wasn't really sure how I would draw it.  The piano is like a large piece of furniture and while first sketching it out, I saw if I drew the whole piano then the person playing it ended up looking rather small.  I tried it with just a small electronic keyboard but I didn't like the way that looked.  So I ended up drawing just a part of a regular wooden upright piano which allowed the image of Claire, and, more importantly, her hands on the keys, to be a decent size on the image.

Since Max is my cool kid and Maya is more crunchy granola (with the personalities I've created for these characters), I added two more guitar images.  Max gets to play the electric guitar and Maya is more laid back sitting on a chair playing an acoustic guitar.


I decided to add a drum kit.  I looked at different kinds and ended up drawing a very simple kit so Noah didn't get lost behind all of the drums.

Finally, some singers.  As my son Daniel has learned in his music class, everyone already has a musical instrument - their voice!  So I drew Ryan in more of a rock style pose and Zoey singing with an old-fashioned microphone.


It took much longer to get all of these figures drawn than I imagined but I think overall the set looks really good, and I hope there are teachers - both classroom teachers and music specialists - that can find creative uses for these clipart figures in their lesson materials.

Here is the cover for this set:

And here is the cover showing the black and white versions of the images:

This set of " Friends Playing Music - Boy and Girl Clipart " is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store here: Friends Playing Music

I'm taking a break from the Friends characters for a little while to work on more Outline shapes ... so more clipart sets will be posted soon.