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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Black and White Swallows

Having sold a pillow via Zazzle recently that was designed from my graphic textured swallows silhouettes image, sparked another idea where I could incorporate these birds onto a different pillow design.

I wanted the line of birds to change from black to white as they crossed a centre divide that created a black and white section. I wanted it on an angle so have it diagonal.

Not thinking right, I tried using the black and white png images I had already created. Well, it didn't work, not even with a white piece and a black piece uploaded to the product first. One set of birds would always cover the other no matter what. So, I had to open up one of the png images, lay it out on a square in Photoshop, use the polygonal lasso tool to select one half, fill it with white and use blending mode of difference to have the birds change to white and the area change to black, then save a jpg. I then used pieces of my black and white birds I already had uploaded, to fill out the design.

This is the result! I really like it and it worked pretty much how I envisioned it, which 9 times out of time, as any artist knows, Doesn't happen lol!


I'll share a little bit about how this design was born. August of 2014, my husband and I had gone to Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto to see butterflies. It was a bit of an overcast day, not a lot of butterflies, but we saw a few. The swallows however, were still quite numerous. We saw Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows. It made me dizzy and sick feeling, but I wanted some reference I could make little bird silhouettes out of. Not sure what exactly I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to create something. I had a few images from earlier in the year, and I just needed a few more variety of shapes and wing span looks. There were so many swallows flying over our heads that day, probably feeding before their long migration soon to begin, that there was lots of good chances. I just aimed and focused as best I could, hoping to get some shapes I could make graphic silhouettes from. Below is an example of just one of many of the images I got that day. Some were blurry but many I could use. In Photoshop, I simplified the shapes of the ones I chose, used brushes to scratch and distress them, as well as filters and blending layers to get what I wanted - distressed graphic bird silhouettes. It was a couple hours of work, but fun as usual :-)

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