Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CardKits 2: More on the Art Inside

Well, we've just released our second batch of CardKits, and like the first group these collections combine professional-looking card designs with all the artwork and graphics that you need to make them. As I mentioned in my first post about CardKits, the art that's included is a combination of classic and vintage images, illustrations by contemporary artists, and graphics from current designers.

At the vintage end of the pool the artwork ranges from Victorian to Mid-Century. Take a look at these Santas–they clearly demonstrate the spread:

There's also a fair sprinkling of Nast (as you know, my favorite); in this case the usually B&W images have been colorized.

It wouldn't be Christmas without imps and elves (actually let's skip the imps). These come from the hand of Diana Zourelias—highly useful for Christmas merry-making....

We've also included what I'll call some 'neo-classical' illustrations. Neo-classical in the sense that they connote an earlier generation of Christmas art, yet they are drawn with a pleasant, contemporary hand. These are by Susan Brack.

And finally, we've included what we call 'artful greetings'. These are expressions of holiday cheer that are tastefully typeset and layed-out with graphical 'flair' to add a professional zing to your cards, labels and decorations.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: The Envelope, Please!

This week we're excited to unveil even more DoverPictura CardKits, just in time for the holiday season. Each kit includes everything you need to make great, professional-looking Christmas Cards...including nice, crisp envelopes!

And today we're going to show you just how easy it is to whip up a batch of envelopes using our printable template, included in each kit.

Open a new letter-size document. Place the
envelope image (EV001). Print your paper
so the image will be on the inside of your

Cut out each corner following the lines.

Score along each line using a ruler and stylus.
This makes it easier to fold the envelope.

Position with the smaller flap at the top. Fold in each side.
Press along the folds. A bone folder helps make crisp folds
Keep folding...

Ta-da! It's an envelope!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Special Contest: Tell Us How YOU Use DoverPictura and WIN!

This week we're letting YOU choose what you win! Is there a collection you've had saved for ages on your wishlist that you're dying to get your hands on? Would you love to be able to pick one collection spur-of-the-moment without fear of not already having a project mapped out? If so, you'll love this...

Tell us in the comments how you use DoverPictura. It could be for crafting, graphic design, or simply to enjoy the beautiful images. If we choose your comment you'll not get to choose the collection that gets added to your account, but your comment will be featured on the DoverPictura site!

So let us know- which DoverPictura collection(s) do you love and why?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Congratulations to This Week's Contest Winners: Esoteric and Occult Art

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have Esoteric and Occult Art added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!
: I just bought the Christmas Illustration collection and I love Dover products. I am so happy that I can use Paypal here too!

Cully Barbosa
: I collect many images from the original source material. Yet I adore and spend too much money purchasing Dover books and the new DoverPictura collections. Why? They are unbeatable. The images are aligned and clean. They are sorted, grouped and generally include information about the sources and sometimes the individual images. Some collections are extremely rare or impossible to find anywhere else, as in the case of this collection.

Thank you, Dover, for supplying us with such wonderful source material. It is exciting to see all the creative uses and enjoyment you bring to us!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vintage Christmas Cards

As I mentioned in previous posts, I'm a huge fan of Carol Grafton!
The collection Vintage Christmas Cards is an example of her at her 'ephemeralogical' (homemade word) best.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to travel to the Allentown Paper Show with Dover's Editor-in-Chief, MC Waldrep; at the show we met up with Carol and her husband John–we were all there to buy ephemera for future collections. As a first-timer to the show I was just part of the 'madding crowd' in the eyes of the vendors who were selling there. However, if I managed to tag along closely on the heels of John and Carol, and they were kind enough to introduce me as a colleague (which they were), everything changed for the better. They are both so well-known, and well-liked at these kinds of events that this type of introduction afforded me immediate entrée with the sellers. I was trying to put together images for the Vintage Christmas Pictura collection, and was able the lay my hands on some great large-scale, mid-century Christmas artwork. Like this guy.....

The decision to go more mid-century was in part because Carol's collection Vintage Christmas Cards had been published a little over a year before, and was doing incredibly well. I didn't want to duplicate her effort in any way—even though the Vintage/Victorian images that you find on the greeting cards in her collection are some of my favorite Christmas images ever (second only to Thomas Nast's wild Santas). Below are a few images from this collection that I really love.

First, a couple of snooping Santas. This is a genre, folks. The below two images indicate the breadth of this motif– #1) contemplating the act, #2) in the act.

I think that the snooping angel is a sub-genre of the snooping Santa. It's a more ecumenical approach...

This is one of my favorite Easter Christmas cards. Huh? I wonder what my mum's thoughts would be on this mixing of motifs???

And then there's the famous Rebel Civil War Soldier/St. Patty's Day Snowman card. Think I'll be printing this one up and sending it to all my Irish friends–sometime between December 25th and March 17th.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Personalized Pumpkins

Here's a more elegant Halloween decor idea from Yahoo! Shine:
Personalize a tiny pumpkin or gourd: Photocopy the first initial of a guest's name from a clip-art book (the Dover Clip-Art Series has a big selection). Tape a piece of transfer paper onto the gourd and tape the letter on top of it. Transfer the letter with a pencil. Remove the papers and trace over imprint with a permanent marker.
 Personalized pumpkins can be used as place cards for a harvest-themed dinner, wedding favors, or as a holiday centerpiece with each initial representing a member of your household!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: Esoteric and Occult Art

Creeping and crawling through our run down of DoverPictura's Halloween and Day of the Dead collections.

This week's featured collection is Esoteric and Occult Art. One of our newest, and already a best-seller, this compilation reveals the world of Western esotericism, from the ancient world to the present. More than 200 examples of this rare and unusual art are drawn from manuscripts and early printed books by practitioners of various traditions: Hermetic, Gnostic, Alchemical, Arthurian, Rosicrucian, Qabbalistic, Masonic, and 19th-century occultism. Read more about the mysterious origins of this fascinating collection.

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 Esoteric and Occult Art collection.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Congratulations to This Week's Contest Winners: Skeletons Vector Designs

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have Skeletons Vector Designs added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!

- Amazing how such a "creepy" time of the year has become so fun! If I am lucky enough to win this set, I promise to surprise my coworkers with some wicked bright skellytons!

- they're really fab! very excited by the whole Dover Pictura website :)

- As a laser cutter I'm really grateful for all the vector art, not just bitmaps. Love the Day of the Dead skeletons!

- I'd love to add this collection to my ever growing Dover library!

- Absolutely love it. hope my name is on the list, yeahhhh!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Inside the collection: Japanese Woodblock Flower Prints

It's hard to believe that summer is already a month gone!
As a parting gesture to the summer past, we've offered up one more collection of dazzling flower prints. I think we've truly saved the best for last!

This is a collection of exquisitely beautiful woodblock prints by the Japanese artist, Tanigami Konan (1879-1928). Originally these prints were published in five volumes, two each dedicated to flowers of the spring and summer, and one volume divided between the fall and winter; it was called Seiyo Soka Zofu, or The Pictorial Book of Western Flowers.

Close inspection reveals this art as a classic example of the cultural cross-pollination between Japan and the West that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is immediately evident in the subject matter itself—these are western flowers, varieties of which were indigenous to the Far East, but clearly they are cultivars of Western Europe and the Americas.

But the hand of the artist is subtly (though, definitely) Japanese.

As is the sense of composition, and the nuanced color palette.

The collection is comprised of 120 high-resolution color plates. They are perfect for backgrounds, decoupage, or simply for viewing and remembering, as the cool of autumn sets in.
See the entire collection here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Spooky Decoupage Plated from

Here's a simple, yet impactful way to conjure up the Halloween spirit in your kitchen or dining room- with a cluster of decorative decoupage plates! From
Skeletal and anatomical illustrations may look more at home in Dr. Frankenstein's lab than in your home. But at Halloween, they can conjure up suspicions that a new experiment is at work in your home. Print images of copyright-free clip art, then decoupage them onto inexpensive plates and bowls. Hang the serving pieces on the wall with removable, adhesive-backed, picture-hanging strips to avoid making nail holes for this seasonal display.
Be sure to enter to win our featured collection is Skeletons Vector Designs (contest extended due to the holiday) and try this tutorial for yourself!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Inside the collection: Day of the Dead, A Pictorial Archive of Dia de Los Meurtos

In early 2010 I had the pleasure of being introduced to Jean Moss, the creator and editor of Day of the Dead, A Pictorial Archive of Dia de Los Muertos. Jean and her husband David Margolis are friends and professional acquaintances of Dover senior editor, John Grafton, who made the introduction. They are antiquarian booksellers, and their business, Margolis & Moss is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico; I too, live in Santa Fe, so the idea of pairing us up on this title was a good fit.

I was used to having full creative control in the origination of new publications and collections, but in this instance I was asked to simply design the publication, at the service of Jean's editorial direction. It was a great experience; there's nothing like working with an expert.

Over many years Jean had been acquiring images of catrinas, calaveras, sugar skulls and the like from some pretty rare and obscure sources. I remember a wave of trepidation rolling over me the first day that she brought materials to my office for scanning— everything seemed to have been printed on high-acid, pulp paper—the kind paper that gets yellowish-orange and extremely brittle with age. Needless to say, we cracked open a fresh case of kid gloves as we dove into this material.

The collection that Jean curated features a short introductory essay in which she gives a historical context to the images, which include examples by a diverse array of artists. Favorites of mine include images by the 'superstars' of this genre:

There's a strong sampling of images by José Guadalupe Posada; To my eye the best of these are the 'genre' scenes of everyday life, as experienced by the dead.

Also well-represented is the mexican artist Manuel Manilla; below is one of his signature representations of the struggle between Death and Man.

Jean was able to bring the art of Day of the Dead forward into the 21st century by her inclusion of images by the contemporary Santa Fean artist Alvin Gill-Tapia. His images are refreshing in that they bring a wholly different quality of line and visual phrasing to this traditional style of graphic art. 

Now, all of the above images are 'graphically' useful in that the individual motifs are downloadable as simple vignettes, but for me this art really gets exciting in the broad tableaux, of which there are many superb examples in this collection, such as Posada's Calavera of Don Quixote:

Check out this collection of 188 royalty-free images at

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Spooky Skeletal Candle Wraps

From the aptly named blog The Idea Room comes a great suggestion for putting our  Skeletons Vector Designs (which we are giving away free this week- see Monday's post for detail) and other Halloween and Day of the Dead collections to use. Check out these candle wraps! All you need is an old book page or other antiqued paper, clip art, and a printer. Affix the pages to the candles with double sided tape if they're purely decorative, or you can seal them on with wax if you plan to light them.

Be sure to take a look at their 12 Uses for Old Book Pages. There are wonderful print projects you can incorporate into your decor year round!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Win This Week's Featured Collection: Skeletons Vector Designs

The countdown to Halloween continues! For all your crafty tricks or treats, check out DoverPictura's Halloween and Day of the Dead collections.
This week's featured collection is Skeletons Vector Designs.Complete with a gallery of sample design compositions and pages of helpful tutorials, this collection includes 200 digital images of complete skeletons and individual bones of humans, animals, and birds. Many of the images are anatomically accurate; others are highly stylized in the fashion of Mexico's Day of the Dead and Danse Macabre motifs.

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 Skeletons Vector Designs collection.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Congratulations to This Week's Contest Winners: Treasury of Greeting Card Designs

Congratulations to this week's contest winners! They will each have Treasury of Greeting Card Designs added to their DoverPictura account absolutely free!

Cully Barbosa
: This is such a great collection for this time of year. <3 <3 it!

Wow, I have not tried the Dover Pictura yet, looks like I have been missing out on a lot of fun!

Sally the Stamping Tsarina
: Love Dover Image collections... and especially the Pictura online purchase systems!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Combing the Craft Aisle: Tattoo Decal Paper

Sometimes while wandering around my local craft store I'll stumble across an item that immediately brings one of our DoverPictura clip art collections to mind. But, when I saw this product the other day the Pictura collection that sprung to mind was, well,  ALL OF THEM!

Ink jet tattoo sheets! You could wear ANY piece of clip art you want. I rushed right home and did some research- is this product as amazing as it seems? The answer seems to be yes!

Inkjet Tattoo Paper Is Another Way to Avoid Those Painful Needles
So cool! Not only are these tattoos totally painless, but you can use DoverPictura to completely customize your look. Dinosaurs for a birthday party, your sweetheart's initials...anything your heart desires.

We also have a ton of unique exotic and historical tattoo art available on DoverPictura- from Mehndi  to tribal art to classic American tattoo designs. Explore them all here:

With Halloween approaching, ink-jet tattoos could work as a simple, yet eye-catching costume...and apparently, Martha Stewart thinks so, too!

Have you ever come across a product in your favorite craft store that made a particular clip art spring to mind? Tell us in the comments!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Between jovial and madcap....

When it comes to Santa Claus, I want him to land somewhere between jovial and madcap (perhaps a little more toward madcap). I don't know if Thomas Nast's Santa Illustrations fulfill this predilection of mine, or have spawned it. When I was a child, a Santa who appeared a little too sane held no interest for me: after all, sanity seemed to fly in the face of his principal activities. In Nast's illustrations I found a Santa who looked like he was capable embracing his raison d'être.

Case in point:

And another (Hey Diddle-Diddle!):

I wasn't a huge fan of Arlo Guthrie back in the 60's, but it occurred to me that it must have been one of Nast's Santa Illustrations that inspired his song The Pause of Mr Claus. Perhaps this one….

And then on the 'jovial ' side we have illustrations like this— still a little craziness lingering below the surface, but over-all, benign.

and this one, too... (perhaps he's sharing ein Witz mit der Easter Bunny?)

Researching this post gave me the opportunity to delve deeper into my Santa Claus studies. Wow! sometimes it doesn't pay to delve too deep—especially if you're scrutinizing a cultural icon like Santa Claus. If I'm to believe what I've been reading the last couple of days, Santa Claus—as I've envisioned him for 58 yearsis a construct emanating from New York (of all places) during the 19th century. Furthermore, literarily and graphically, Santa in his current state owes more to Washington Irving and Thomas Nast than he does to religious or folk traditions. Yikes!

This prompted my own personal exploration of the man and the myth, which is still a work in progress. As the illustration below indicates I am slowly building my case that indeed Santa Claus was some sort of an alter ego for Thomas Nast. The similarity of the names is just too strong to be coincidental. I'm contemplating sending an inquiry to the municipal keeper of records in Nast's hometown of Landau, Germany to determine whether there was a Klaus Nast somewhere in his family's past... On this I will keep you posted. And then there's the issue of the facial hair. I know that in this I risk sounding crazy and obsessed (in light of the July 31st posting in this blog), but come on—just look at it!

On we've got a great collection of Nast's Christmas Illustrations—check it out!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Halloween Wreaths

Dollar Store Crafts is a great blog for anyone who loves getting crafty but is on a budget. This tutorial for adorable retro Halloween wreaths caught my eye because of its use of Dover clip art, obviously, but when I looked closer and realized the "flowers" are actually stacked cupcake wrappers I just knew I had to share! Coming in at just over $12 (our clip art is only $0.99 per sheet) this is a fun, affordable project...and you can save even more money by printing clip art on cardstock!

And, don't let your imagination stop at Halloween- you could adapt this tutorial for any occasion. Think pink wreaths with bunnies for Easter! Red wreaths with hearts for Valentine's Day! DoverPictura has all the clip art you need to stay festive throughout the year.

  • 3 Scrapbooking Attitude Sheets
  • 3 11” Grape Vine Wreaths
  • White Cupcake Wrappers
  • Halloween Themed Ribbon
  • 3 Matching Buttons
  • 3 Faux Rhinestones
  • Black Spray paint
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Patterned Coordinating Papers
  • Wired Tinsel
  • Floral or Craft Wire
  • Distress Ink in Marmalade (or orange marker)
  • Archival Ink in Black (or black marker or acrylic paint)
    Handwriting Text Rubber Stamp
  • Glue Stick
  • Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Paper Towel
  • Computer with Photo Editing Software (or try an online editor)
  • Ink Jet Printer
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • Floral Wire Cutters