Monday, September 30, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: Treasury of Greeting Card Designs

Halloween is right around the corner...and Christmas and Chanukah are not too far behind! Whether you're designing invites to a spooky celebration, or planning your seasons greetings, DoverPictura has you covered. Browse our Halloween and Day of the Dead collections or shop our Victorian Christmas sale!

This week's featured collection is Treasury of Greeting Card Designs. This collection included everything you need to make your own cards: lettering, frames and borders, old-fashioned images of rosy-cheeked youngsters, butterflies and bunnies, hearts and flowers, smiling cherubs, and more.
Perfect message-bearers for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.

Want this great collection added to your DoverPictura account absolutely free? Comment on this post any time throughout the week and on Friday afternoon we'll choose 5 comments at random to win the entire Treasury of Greeting Card Designs collection.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

This Week's Contest Winners and More Cardmaking Inspiration

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have Card Making Kit: 3-D Cards added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!

sid roo: These remind me of cards my grandma had when I was a kid. They would be set out during the holidays as part of the decorations.

Rhonda Fearns: I just found this site and I am in love! I sooooo want the 3d card making kit.
Kris: Love the vintage look of the package!
For some awesome cardmaking inspiration, check out our Cardmaking Pinterest board!  You'll find a variety of beautifully crafted cards for all occasions, including these:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CardKits: the Art Inside

In each of these card-making kits, not only do you get great professional card designs, but also a mini-collection of hand-picked Christmas images from the some of the best illustrators—both old and new!
The selections were made by renowned scrapbooking and card-making maven Paulette Jarvey, from Dover's rich archive of Christmas imagery.

Many of the images come from such rare, old sources that we cannot attribute them to artists by name. It's a shame, really.... When you consider the time, talent and craft that went into the creation of the Victorian-era cards and chromolithographs that we've drawn upon to make these collections, it feels unfair not to be able to acknowledge the artists by whom they were made. Below are a couple of these charming images.

In addition to this anonymous art we've also included work by well-known artists of the same period. Most notable is Thomas Nast. Below are two examples of his benign, yet slightly-madcap Santas.

And then there's the youngsters. Many of the images in these mini-collections come from the hands of talented contemporary artists, commissioned by Dover specifically for our Christmas offerings.

A snow globe by Noelle Dahlen.

A cool polar bear by Yu-Mei Han.

And the inimitable penguins of Diana Zourelias!

In these mini-collections you'll also find great holiday-themed fills, backgrounds and typeset holidays greetings created by Paulette's team of talented card-artists, as well as decorative fonts that are perfect to express your holiday cheer!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: 3-D Christmas Cards Using DoverPictura CardKit

Our all new CardKits are perfect for anyone new to cardmaking who wants to dive right in and immediately produce professional-looking results. The easy to follow step-by-step instructions that come with each kit allow you to make five different cards from our included templates (you choose between vertical and horizontal versions) or you can use them as a jumping off point for your own unique designs.

Here's a peek inside our 3-D Christmas CardKit so you can see just how simple it is to get started making your own holiday greeting cards!

Suggested Supplies:
patterned backgrounds, angel image, "compliments of the season" banner- all included with our 3-D CardKit
paper trimmer and/or scissors
bone folder
self-healing cutting mat
retractable pick
Xacto® pen knife
white cardstock
white paper
glue stick or other paper adhesive
embellishments - pearls, silk flowers, buttons- whatever you like!

1. Open Vertical Card Template A. Place the green patterned background (PB016) to cover Side 1. Place the angel (IM082) in the center, 1” from the right edge. Place the Compliments image (IM083) below her, rescaling it to be about the same width as the angel image. Turn off the background layer and print on 8½” x 11 white card stock.

2. For the Inside: Open Vertical Card Template B. Place a narrow green pattern image (IM129) across the top of Side 3. Place a 2½ x 1¾ dark green image (IM147) overlapping the green patterned area. Place a cream image (IM140) inside, scaling it to form a narrow green frame. Position the “Wishing you . . .” artful greeting (AG016) to fill the cream area. Turn off the background layer. Turn the cardstock over and print the inside of your card. Cut out the card using the crop marks as a guide; score in the middle and fold.

3. Adding embellishments. Open a new letter-size document. Place another angel image and a 2” x 7” words image (IM128). Print on a white sheet of paper. Cut out the images. Tear the right edge of the words image and glue the strip along the fold. Trim any excess words paper.

4. Roll the edge. It adds more dimension to your card!

5. Add 3-D Angel. Place foam tape on the back of the angel. Glue her over the angel that's already on the card.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: 3-D Christmas Card Kit

We're excited to offer a brand new product on DoverPictura: CardKits! Everything you need to make great, professional-looking Christmas Cards. Follow our pre-designed templates, or customize to create your own unique greetings. Check out our three great CardKits.

This week's featured collection is Card Making Kit: 3-D Cards. Make holiday memories they'll never forget with greeting cards decorated with a variety of 3-D effects: ribbons, holly berries, angels, and more. Collection features all the images, fonts, and templates required plus complete instructions. Five card designs include "Compliments of the Season," "Happy Penguin," "Christmas Cheer," and more. Kit compatible with Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements.

Want this great collection added to your DoverPictura account absolutely free? Comment on this post any time throughout the week and on Friday afternoon we'll choose 5 comments at random to win the entire Card Making Kit: 3-D Cards collection. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

This Week's Contest Winners Plus Halloween Craft Inspiration from Pinterest

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have Old-Time Halloween Illustrations added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!

Mademoiselle Mermaid: Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday...and this collection is enchanting!!!

Catherine Landers:
My dad used to make all of our costumes, he would say that "store bought" was just cheesecloth and would not last the night. We were also kind of poor back in those days, 50's. We did have the best costumes though. Once he painted a lot of cardboard boxes silver, cut them up to make my brother into a robot. He even used some old round fuses for the eyes, but somehow he wired them to a flashlight that my brother carried in his hand and could blink the eyes on and off. That was my favorite! Long live Halloween!!!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I'd love to use this collection. All of the images you have are fantastic!

: For my drawings, I find vintage Halloween images really get me inspired. My Dover books make great references for the Victorian era and early 20th century.

We'll be blogging some great Halloween craft ideas closer to the spooky night, but in the meantime, take a look at our Halloween Inspiration Pinterest board! It's full of eerie crafts for all skill-levels that use our clip art! Here are a few of my favorites:

Treat bags using Old-Time Halloween Illustrations
Mary Ann Catron entered this ‎"Baby's First Halloween" mixed media collage in one of our craft contests!
HGTV used one of our Old-Fashioned Silhouettes for this stylish pumpkin.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Using the collection: Vector Mask Designs

The images in this collection are an absolutely perfect match for inclusion in the Vector Design series. By combining these 170 theatrical, ceremonial and decorative masks with any of the 40 texture fills you can achieve a startling array of visual effects in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator; included with all Vector Design collections is a tutorial on how to achieve some of these effects in these programs. It can be daunting to begin using some of the more complicated effects for Photoshop, so here's a mini-tutorial to get you started using what I think is the best effect for the mask images: pattern-filling.

The first thing that you need to do is open a vector image in Photoshop. The advantage of using a vector is that you get to set the image size, resolution and color mode. Because the image is a vector you can set a large size—at a print-quality resolution—without diminishing the quality. By choosing RGB as the color mode a black & white image can then be colorized.
         Open the image using the FILE > OPEN command in Photoshop, or simply by dragging the image icon to the Photoshop icon on your desktop. The parameters that I've set are, size: 8x10", resolution: 300 pixels/inch, color mode: RGB.

Next, you need to open one of the texture files that come with the collection. These are the images with names that begin with 'BT'; I've chosen BT018. Once the image is open choose: SELECT > ALL

To make this selection a pattern go: EDIT > DEFINE PATTERN

Next, go back to the mask image, and using the 'magic wand' tool select the part of the image that you'd like to fill with this pattern.

To execute the pattern fill go: EDIT > FILL 

A dialogue box will pop up. In it you can choose what you'd like to fill with. Under 'Use' I've chosen 'Pattern', then scrolled to the pattern that we just made.

When you click 'OK' that area is fllled with your chosen pattern.

By repeating these steps with different textures you can create a very rich composition....

...which can be further enhanced using other Photoshop effects like drop shadow and embossing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Pop-up Halloween Card

3-D pop up greeting cards always delight, but they seem so intimidating to make! Lucky for us Grandma Jean of EZ3DPopUps shares all sorts of simple-to-use free templates so you can give creating these cards a try under a bit less pressure!

Just in time for October 31, here's her Origamic Architecture style pop-up Halloween card. The cats, pumpkins, witches and children are all from this week's featured collection, Old-Time Halloween Illustrations.

Bottom view of lower inside card.  You can see the little witches and the fold of the wall, step and top of the pumpkin house.

Top half of the bottom of lower inside card.  Here you can see the side walls , the step, and the pumpkin.

This is an overhead view of the card.  The sidewalk in front of the house can be customized.

Download the free pop up 3-D card template, then follow the full folding tutorial to build the card. Once you've mastered the skills needed, think of all the cards you can design yourself!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: Old-Time Halloween Illustrations

Don't be scared—it's never too early to start your Halloween crafts! We can help put the boo into boo-tiful greeting cards, window decorations, costumes, goodie bags, and more with creepy collections of masks and Photoshop brushes. Browse our spookiest collections.

This week's featured collection is Old-Time Halloween Illustrations. A nostalgic look back at All Hallows Eve, these 178 old-fashioned images will lend spellbinding charm to a cauldron-full of Halloween projects! Delight in full-color holiday scenes starring spooky pumpkins, black cats, trick-or-treaters, flying bats, watchful owls, and other illustrations touched with an enchanting, antique air.

Want this great collection added to your DoverPictura account absolutely free? Comment on this post any time throughout the week and on Friday afternoon we'll choose 5 comments at random to win the entire Old-Time Halloween Illustrations collection. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Congratulations to this Week's Contest Winners

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have Seguys Decorative Butterflies and Insects added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!

Says contest winner Karla Hartzog: Planning on printing some butterflies on silk to use in crazy quilting. The "collections" of butterflies in this collection would make a gorgeous quilt (colorful, too!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

From the Archive: Motifs of the Twenties

One of the most exciting aspects of working on DoverPictura is that it has allowed us to dig even deeper into our archive, reintroducing collections that have gone out of print or never quite made it to the bookshelf. Such is the case with this unique and vibrant collection, Motifs of the Twenties.

Motifs of the Twenties features more than 300 color and black-and-white images that sparkle with youthful energy and Jazz Age verve. And it's no wonder- these designs were originally created in 1923 by female students at New York City's Washington Irving High School! 

Flowers, animals, and abstract patterns serve as individual illustrations as well as distinctive borders and accents. Think of all the fun you can have with these- greeting cards, home decor, you name it!

Is there a long gone Dover Publications book that you'd like to see on DoverPictura? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Inside the collection: Dinosaur Vector Designs

Dinosaurs and Vectors? It's a natural. The word usually associated with dinosaurs is 'big'; same with vectors. For me, the best characteristic of vector images is that they can be printed really large without a loss in quality. So, if you have a really big project—say, you wanted to make a REALLY BIG poster of a dinosaur, this is the collection for you.

The desire to create this collection was really just the need to redress an early problem from my childhood. I grew up in a family that put a lot of value on, and had a lot of interest in, mysterious things. Atlantis, UFOs, Bigfoot, Astrology… My mother was the instigator in this, and we, her six children, were her willing acolytes. Dinosaurs fit under her umbrella  of 'the mysterious'—it wasn't that anyone doubted their existence, but it was the practical questions that plagued us and made them so mysterious —How did they get so darn big, anyway??? How could such huge bodies be controlled by such small brains??? What happened to them??? Questions such as these filled my bedtime ruminations. 

I was fortunate to share a bedroom with my much older and wiser brother Robert, so I didn't just have to ruminate, I could discuss things. He's two years older than me, so I was kind of born into a world in which he defined a lot of what was to be focused on—like dinosaurs. He was the one who was particularly obsessed with them; they were his specialty. It seems that by the time I started to speak he could already identify, spell the name of, and define the dietary proclivities of fifty of them. Of course I was set on the idea of catching up with him. As proof of how successful I was at that I'll offer that during the creation of this collection I had a conversation with him in which he off-handedly corrected my confusing Pterodons for Pterodactyls—there's still just no getting around him!  

The thing that bothered me and always struck me as odd while spending hours of my childhood pouring over any dinosaur book that I could get my hands on (in between looking at magazines with photos of UFOs and Bigfoot), was the disparity between how the dinosaurs looked in the pictures, and how they were described in the text. They were supposed to be agile survivors and super-successful predators, with lightening-quick reflexes. In the pictures they all looked a little tired and kind of over-weight, with a lumbering quality to their gate.  Back then, color illustrations had the same level of veracity as photographs—this must be the way they looked—so it was just another baffling and annoying conundrum.

It wasn't until years later while working with images by the paleo-artist Jan Sovak, that I realized that I had been raised on pretty bad  dinosaur pictures. Suddenly, here were the nimble and ferocious animals we had imagined! When I began choosing images for this collection I started with Sovak's images. I also located a couple of other great sources within the Dover archive, and threw in several of the 1950s-style dinosaurs that so confounded me as a child (check out the tyrannosaurus on image sheet 41).

This collection is one of two brand new collections in the popular Vector Design Series: Dinosaur Vector Designs and Masks Vector Designs. They are available exclusively through DoverPictura.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Dinosaur "Action Figures" Your Kids Can Make!

This week I'm especially excited about our Dinosaur Vector Designs and Classic Racing Cars of the World collections because of they way they simply scream out to be incorporated into the decor of a children's bedroom. I started searching for ideas from blowing up a dinosaur huge and making a wall decal to decoupaging a lampshade with our zippy old-style race cars.

But, then I stumbled across this easy-peasy photo-tutorial on making stand up dino "action figures" by Made by Joel and I stopped dead in my tracks. It's so simple yet so perfect I knew I just had to share it.

How cute are these!

Says Joel:
I just did an image search for dinosaurs and let my son pick out which ones he wanted to printout. Then he cut them out himself and we taped a bent paper clip to the backs of them so they could stand up. (See images below.) My daughter also drew a background which we stood up with bent paper clips. 

I love the idea of giving your child control of the safety scissors and letting him/her make these his/herself. (don't want to leave out the little ladies- I for one LOVED dinosaurs when I was small.)

Try this out yourself with both our our Dinosaur Vector Designs and Classic Racing Cars of the World collection...each individual image sheet is only $0.99! The dinosaurs even come in black and white so you can let your child decide what the dinos look like!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: Seguy's Decorative Butterflies and Insects

Vector designs of the most amazing creatures to walk the earth. Some of the most beautiful butterfly illustrations ever created. Abstract patterns from the Jazz Age. Full-color images of sleek racing cars. Our latest collections range far and wide but they have one thing in common: all are ready to download at great low prices! Check out all our awesome new collections.

This week's featured collection is Seguys Decorative Butterflies and Insects. These are undoubtedly the most beautiful color butterflies in all of Art Deco. French designer Seguy created extraordinary graphic suggestions for artists and designers of the 1920.

Download the full collection of 68 gorgeous image files for $12.99. Or, buy by the image sheet- each is only 0.99!

Want this great collection added to your DoverPictura account absolutely free? Comment on this post any time throughout the week and on Friday afternoon we'll choose 5 comments at random to win the entire Seguys Decorative Butterflies and Insects collection.

Friday, September 6, 2013

This Week's Contest Winners Plus a Sneak Peek of an Upcoming Tutorial

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have  Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Japanese Motifs added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!

Genevieve: I love Japanese motifs, this would make a great addition to my Dover collection.
JabezDawes: These offer a far more interesting alternative to the other 'tools' collections because of the Japanese genre. This is so much more than backgrounds and textures. I believe I will pick them up right now.

We also just heard from Dover Crafting Ambassador Gigi Floyd, who is currently working on a tutorial highlighting how she creates her beautiful beeswax collages using Dover clip art.

"Here's a little teaser for you. This is the piece that I documented from start to finish. I hung the show yesterday, but the opening reception isn't till Friday the 13th. I'm absolutely loving the Kings,Queens, and Courtiers collection----it's my favorite of them all!"

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Japanese Motifs

So far this week we've shown you how DoverPictura Design Tools can help the crafter or designer make rich, complex compositions easily and quickly. See our full selection of Design Tools.

But, we didn't want you to get away without the chance to win one of our great collections of brushes and tools!

This week's featured collection is Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Japanese Motifs
A collection of design tools for use with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, this set includes approximately 150 image brushes and 40 custom shape versions of Japanese imagery, as well as 20 texture brushes and 20 custom styles. The innovative brushes feature built-in color and size attributes, and innovative two-part brush sets allow two-color designs.

Download the full collection of 195 files for only $12.99!

Want this great collection added to your DoverPictura account absolutely free? Comment on this post any time throughout the week and on Friday afternoon we'll choose 5 comments at random to win the entire Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Japanese Motifs collection.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dover Design Tools– Facilitate the Flow

Design Tools divides up into two different types of collections: Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools, and Repeatable Backgrounds. These series were conceived as being useful to two distinct sets of users: Photoshop Brushes were geared more for crafters; Repeatable Backgrounds for graphic artists, 3-D artists and animators. What we've seen over the five years since we began publishing them is that they both seem to have a similar appeal to both groups.

In this post I'll talk about Photoshop Brushes, and touch on the other creative tools that you'll get in this kind of collection.

The idea is to let your creativity flow, and keep on flowing. 

One of the big differences between making a composition in paint or drawing, as opposed to digitally in a software program like Adobe Photoshop Elements, is flow. If you're painting with real paint you load up the brush and off you go. But typically, if you're making a composition with clip art in Photoshop you go: File>Open>Choose File>Copy>Paste into second document.  Those commands will put your desired clip art picture into a larger composition (for example), then you start to manipulate it. If it's a simple image–great, no big deal. But with a complex composition where you're adding 10 clip art images this gets incredibly tedious! – I always found all those steps highly disruptive of my creative process. Then one day I was turned on to Photoshop Brushes by a Dover customer who had called our tech support line.  For someone who has used Photoshop longer than anyone else I know, I have to admit that I was really mortified that I hadn't ever really played with brushes. The caller described how she would take one of our collections, convert every image into a brush and arrange the brushes that she wanted to use in her 'Brushes Palette'. She'd then create a new blank image and immediately begin composing a complex picture by using all of the clip art brushes with the paintbrush, pencil and eraser tools. I tried it, and loved it. You could do so much—so quickly.
After mastering the basics I started to get inventive. There's two ways to quickly expand the expressive qualities of the brushes: One is to use them on a document made from different layers, each with a different effect applied to it. The simple illustration below shows the difference between a bush used normally (no effects), and a brush used on a layer with 'drop-shadow'.

No effects on the layer

Drop Shadow applied to the layer.

Now that's a very simplistic demonstration, but imagine an image with 10 different layers, each with a different effect. You can jump from brush to brush, layer to layer. The results that you can get this way are amazing—and fast!

The other way to expand the expressive qualities of a brush is to use what Photoshop calls 'Brush Dynamics'. These are a series of controls that are accessed through the 'Brush Palette' in Photoshop. Using them you can alter the way that a brush behaves—to make it more tactile, and responsive to your hand. You can use these dynamics to multiply the number of images in a stroke, add multiple colors, rotations atc. The first illustration is one stroke of the deer brush used without dynamics. It produces a single, simple image.

The second illustration shows a single stroke with the same brush, but with several different dynamics applied: shape dynamics, scattering, color dynamics, and smoothing. You can render a whole herd of deer with a single stroke.

This type of brush dynamic can help create very painterly background effects when used with the set of 'paint stroke' brushes that comes with each collection.
Also included in each Photoshop Brush & Creative Tools collection are Photoshop Custom Shapes, which are vector based images that can be 'stamped' into compositions; and Photoshop Styles, which are complex effects that can easily be applied to Custom Shapes, to create immediate rich, nuanced qualities.