Friday, April 24, 2009

Integrating Clipart

Even though I can draw my own images, I love using clipart! Many clipart collections are old book illustrations or advertisements. Before the camera, artists created detailed and often exquisite drawings to inform readers or attract potential buyers. Dover has a vast collection of copyright free clipart and it's easy to find images on nearly every subject. You can use these images in black and white or color them with pencils or watercolor. Two of these pieces are colored with pencils. Only the faces and special details were highlighted but they can be completely colored too. It's like a coloring book for adults. You can also alter images in your computer to create colored images from the b&w art. Sepia looks antique but consider blue, red and purple too. Color changes the mood of the image and allows you to integrate it into your art. I like to work with an image and create several colorways and sizes then print them to add to my collage stash. Printing on colored or patterned paper give new options too.

On these four pieces several methods were used to bring the clipart into the composition. The top two are both colored to work with the background colors. The face on the left has a dramatic placement in the composition and her sultry gaze draws the viewer right in. The bottom examples were used in black and white to pop off the intensely colored backgrounds. Detailed black rub-ons were added to repeat the feeling of the fine lines in the clipart.

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