PI6 Make Your Own Country Clipart
Lately it seems like you have to be a lawyer to figure out what you can and can't do with your clipart. Of course you don't find out about the restrictions on its use until after you pay for it, install it and accept the licensing agreement -- that's when you find out you can't use it on your web site! Or you buy web clip art and it looks like the same stuff everyone else is using.
Why not make your own clipart? It's easy enough, especially if you have a Wacom or other drawing tablet.
If you don't know what to draw, seek inspiration by checking out books, stickers and rubber stamps in your local crafts store (try Michaels' or Ben Franklin). I love teach-yourself-to-paint books, many of which have wonderful seasonal themes. These books often break subjects down into basic shapes for you. Then all you have to do is make corresponding objects in PI, then color and paint them to suit yourself.
This tutorial shows how to use basic 2D path objects, plus the Paint tools, to make your own simple country clipart. The little country doll I'm making is a conglomeration of every country look cliche you can imagine, but it works for me!
Start by selecting the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and choose Rounded Rectangle. Click in the Color box and choose a very pale peach color for a white doll, or a dark brown or tan color for a doll of color. Mode is 2D. Draw a Rounded Rectangle for the face. Drag the Roundness slider to the right so that the object is very much rounded.
Choose Object, Convert Object Type, From Path to Image. Now you can add some cheek coloring. Select the Airbrush Paint tool, Fat Stroke preset. Select a pink or coral color for the cheeks, change the brush size to 50, and edit the Transparency to 50% or more.
This will cause the Preset to say "None," but don't worry, it's still there. While the object is active, click on each side of the face to add a little blush. The nice thing about working with image objects is that you can't "color outside the lines." The color will stay within the confines of the object.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and Choose Custom Shape. Select Brush Tip 3, 2D, black. Draw a small narrow object for an eye. Select the Transform tool to resize it, if necessary. Right click, Duplicate, and position the two eyes on the face.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Circle. Make a pale pink or coral 2D circle object for the nose. If you can't get the color light enough, right click, Properties, and edit the transparency from the Object Properties Box.
Click Shape and choose Custom Shape. Select Circular 3. Make a 2D black object for the mouth. Switch to the Transform tool and rotate the object 40 degrees clockwise.
We have to get rid of the top part of this object, so choose Object, Convert Object Type, From Path to Image. Select the Object Paint Eraser and erase just the top half, leaving the bottom part as a "smile."
Add some dimples by selecting the Paintbrush tool. Choose the Fine Brush Preset. Edit brush size to 3, and Soft edge=3. Click Mode to enter Paint as Object mode. Click on the upturned corners of the mouth, then click on Mode. You'll get a dialog box asking if you want to leave Paint as Object mode. Choose Yes.
While the little paint dots are still active, right click and Select All Objects (or Ctrl+Shift+A). Right click and Merge as Single Object.
Select the Paintbrush tool again. Leave the settings as they are, but change the brush size to 1 and Soft edge=1. Hit Shift+P (or choose Effect, Paint on Edges) to add a thin black line around the face. Drag this face over the EasyPalette and save it to a Library. You can use it over and over again now.
Next we'll make a collar. Choose the Path Drawing tool and click Shape, Custom Shape. Select 1/4-Circle and draw a 2D cream colored path object like this one.
Switch to the Transform tool and rotate the collar 140 degrees clockwise. Use the Resize and Distort options to change the shape a little. Our doll will be oriented to the left, so the collar should be a little longer on that side. Use the Pick to Send to Back and position it under the face.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and choose Circle. Click in the Color box and select a gray-blue color. Make a small 2D object for a button. Duplicate it 2X and position at a slight angle, just left of the center of the collar, so the doll looks like she's turned left.
Choose the Pick tool. Click on one button, then Shift+Click on the other two buttons and the collar. Right click, Merge as Single Object. Hit Shift+P to paint on edges with the same attributes used on the head. Send the collar object to the back of the stack, if necessary.
Select the Paintbrush tool, Fine Brush Preset. Bump the brush size up to 3 and Soft edge=0. Choose white paint and Straight Lines. Click Mode. Paint stripes down the length of the dress. Click Mode again. The stripes are an image object and have an animated broken line running around them.
Choose the Object Paint Eraser tool. Set the brush size to 5, Soft edge=5, and erase the bottom part of the stripes, where they stick out past the blue skirt's edge. When you're done erasing, and the stripes are still active, switch to the Pick tool. Shift+Click the blue skirt and Merge as Single Object. Select the Paintbrush tool. Change the brush size to 1 and Soft edge=1, black paint. Then hit Shift+P to paint on edges. Position the striped skirt under the collar. Use the Pick to send the skirt to the bottom of the stack.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Spline. Mode=2D, and choose the same gray blue color used to make the dress. You want to click and drag a shape for the left arm, so that it's slightly bent and extended.
Just as you did for the main part of the dress, add white stripes in Paint as Object mode. Erase the part of the stripes that stick out beyond the blue sleeve. Shift+Click the stripes and the sleeve and Merge as Single Object. Then change the Paintbrush back to black paint, brush size=1, Soft edge=1, and hit Shift+P to paint on edges. Use the Pick tool to position the left arm on the side of the body and send it to the bottom of the stack.
Use the same process to make another blue sleeve with stripes for the right side. This sleeve will curve slightly and be stacked under the collar, but above the body of the dress.
Use the Path Drawing tool, Spline, to draw a hand for the doll. Use 2D Mode and the same peach or brown color used to make the doll's face. Paint on Edges. Duplicate the hand object and place one at the end of each sleeve. Use the Pick tool to send the hands behind the wrists of the sleeves.
Select the Spline Path Drawing tool again and draw a leg and foot, like this one.
Choose Object, Convert Object Type, From Path to Image. Right click and duplicate the leg. Click on the Quick Color Control Sun key's minus (-) button 1X to darken the duplicate leg. On both legs, Paint on Edges. Use the Pick tool to send the darker, duplicate leg behind the lighter leg. Send both legs to the bottom of the stack, behind the skirt.
Select the Path Drawing tool, Spline. Mode is 2D, and use the same gray-blue used to make the dress. Draw 3 different path objects for the doll's hat. Use the Spline to draw (1) a brim, and change the Shape to Ellipse to draw two rounded shapes for (2) the hat brim and (3) back of the hat.
Do Paint on Edges on each of the hat objects. Position them on the doll's head with the Pick tool. Send the small ellipses to the back of the stack, and send the crown of the hat to the back of the stack. Send the brim to the top of the stack. If you want to, make a bow for the hat with the Spline Path Drawing tool or a Custom Shape, and stack the bow on top of the hat.
Make the hair as simple or as elaborate as you desire. Use one of the Paint tools and remember to click Mode so you're in Paint as Object Mode. A really easy way to make hair is to choose the Bristle Paint tool, Grass preset, to make hair. Draw some bangs and some squiggly hair, then send the hair behind the brim and bow of the hat. You can "trim" the bangs and get rid of stray hairs with the Object Paint Eraser.
Select one object with the Pick or Selection tool, then right click and Select All Objects. Right click and Merge as Single Object. Now it's time to add some detailing and stitches. Select the Paintbrush tool, Fine Brush Preset, and take the brush size to 1, Soft edge=1, black paint. Click Mode to enter Paint as Object mode. That way if you make a mistake you can delete it and try again. Paint in gathers at the top and bottom of the sleeves, and around the bow on the hat.
Change to Straight Lines in the Attributes toolbar, and make tiny straight line "stitches" around the collar edge, dress hem, and on the doll's hands and feet. Click Mode to get out of Paint as Object mode. While the painting is the active object, right click and Select All Objects. Right click and Merge as Single Object. If you want to add some shading, use the Burn and Dodge Retouch tools to dark outer edges and highlight other areas. Save the doll to your EasyPalette so you can use it anytime you want to.
The finished country doll clipart looks like this.
You can use these techniques to make all kinds of simple clip art. This is how I've made all of my PI6 objects and stamps. If I can do it, I know you can too!
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