Posts tagged ‘pen’
I’ve been playing around with drawing on fabric for a while, but haven’t been able to pull it together into a project until now. Pretty excited about how this turned out and about the potential here. The rough texture of the canvas really makes this piece work.
Here’s how it’s done (measurements are for an 11 x 14 canvas):
- Cut and iron a piece of canvas fabric (cotton duck) at least 13 x 16 inches.
- Cut a slightly larger piece of freezer paper and iron it wax side to wrong side of canvas.
-Trim neatly to 13 x 16 inches (rotary cutter preferred). The leading edge should be especially clean and straight, other edges not as critical.
- Load fabric pen into pen holder. I am using the Marvy Ball and Brush pen with the ball end. I used the new style Silhouette pen holder because this particular pen fits at the proper depth. You can also use the Chomas marker holder.
- Set rollers at 12 inches apart. This is the slot second from the right.
- Load 13 inch edge of prepared fabric into Cameo centered on rollers (1/2 inch fabric extending outboard of each roller)
- Load pen holder into Cameo.
- Open sketch file in Silhouette Studio.
- From the Cut Setting Panel choose settings for Sketch Pen.
- Press Cut.
(You can see in the photo below that I used 12 inch wide fabric in my sample. It worked but was too nerve-racking so that’s why I specify 13 inch wide.)
The most complicated part of this project is finding a suitable sketch file. At small sizes you can get away with a standard trace of a line art, but at 11 x 14 a true sketch file with open path strokes is going to be needed.
Here’s a comparison of what a normal trace versus a proper sketch file looks like in Silhouette Studio to show you what I mean. Click to enlarge.
Here’s how I went about creating the file (not for the faint-hearted … Adobe Illustrator, intermediate graphic design skills and lot of patience required):
- I selected a vintage image of an anchor. I have zero artistic ability so I needed something with just enough detail that I could handle.
- I printed it out at full page size.
- I taped a piece of tracing paper on top and hand traced it with an ultra fine pen. The idea here is to recreate the drawing with pen strokes that do not touch each other.
- I scanned my hand trace into Adobe Illustrator.
- In AI, I performed a center line trace (unlike the normal trace that finds both edges of a line, this attempts to find the center of the line and returns it as an open path.)
- I then point edited to clean up messy areas like this where the strokes overlap and can’t be traced as intended. This was the most tedious part.
- Saved as SVG. (You can export to DXF if you don’t have DE.)
- Merged the SVG into a blank 12 x 16, no mat page in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.
- Applied sketch effects to the anchor SVG to give it a little more natural look. This step was optional, and the effect was subtle, but I recommend it if you have DE.
- Added text (I used Always Here font and added 1 internal offset at 0.010 as fill)
- Arranged layout and centered in 11 x 14 rectangle. (In my original I did not draw the rectangle, but in the future I will as it would help for final trimming of the canvas to fit the frame).
I found creating the sketch file to be a long and tedious process and I don’t recommend it unless you are very determined. No worries, though, because I’m sharing my file with you. Personal use only, and please share the link to this post, not the file itself, and whatever you do don’t try to cut this file with a blade, it’s for sketching only. Click here for the .studio file and here for the SVG. Thank you.
Now in case you are wondering why the sudden inspiration to complete a project, I am participating in a challenge. If you’d like to see more great fabric-related (our theme this month) projects, take a look below.
- No-Sew Valentine’s Day Pillows by A Tossed Salad Life
- No-Sew Interchangeable Fabric Bunting by unOriginal Mom
- Monogrammed Burlap Garden Flag by The Turquoise Home
- Crawl, Walk, Bike by It’s Always Craft Time
- Freezer Paper Stenciled Tote Bags by Weekend Craft
- DIY Bleach Spray Shirt by Practically Functional
- Stenciling Sherlock by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
- Felt Star Wands by Cutesy Crafts
- Yoda Kid’s T-Shirt by Architecture of a Mom
- Mark Your Territory- Dog Flags by Black and White Obsession
- Nautical Pillows by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
- Big Sister Gift & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
- Nerdy Baby Onesies + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
- Easy Easter Bunny Onesie – Silhouette Cameo Craft by Adventures in All Things Food & Family
- Fabric Envelopes for LEARNING LETTERS! (& cut file) by From Wine to Whine
- “Good Morning, Sunshine!” Memo Board by Tried & True
- Hearts-A-Lot Burlap Pillow Cover by My Paper Craze
- Baby Quilt by Dragonfly & Lily Pads
- Surprise Holiday Banner by Whats Next Ma
- “Team Betty” Tote Bag by The Thinking Closet
- DIY Sock Minion by Create it. Go!
- Pretty Up Some Organza Bags by Getsilvered
- Easy Heart Appliqued Onsies by Create & Babble
- Bleach Pen Gel & Freezer Paper Stencils Made with the Silhouette Machine by Bringing Creativity 2 Life
- Valentines Baby Onesie & Boy’s Shirt + Free Cut Files by The Frill of Life
- Valentine’s OWL Always Love You T-shirt by My Favorite Finds
- DIY Screen Printed Curtains by Chicken Scratch NY
- Fabric Painted Quilted Wall Hanging by Terri Johnson Creates
- Glitter Iron-On Top by Simply Kelly Designs
- DIY Monogrammed T-shirts with Silhouette Heat Transfer Material by Pitter and Glink
- Birthday Challenge by Fadville
- Machine Applique with SIlhouette Cameo by The Sensory Emporium
- Fabric Applique Valentine’s Day T-Shirt by DailyDwelling
- “Cute as Cupid” shirt by crafts, cakes, and cats
- Sew Cute Applique by Life After Laundry
- Rhino Onesie by It Happens in a Blink
- Upcycled Birchbox Cameo Accesory Organizer by Cupcakes&Crowbars
- Customizing textiles with Heat Transfer Vinyl (working title) by feto soap
- Easy Fabric Art by McCall Manor
- Lady Bug Tote Bag with Silhouette Rhinestones by Ginger Snap Crafts
- Mommy and Em’s Coordinated Aprons by TitiCrafty
- Canvas sketch project and a share by Clever Someday
- Foxy Lady Pajamas by Mabey She Made It
- Teddy Bear by Work in Progress
Here’s another sketch file I was able to centerline trace with Adobe Illustrator for machine sketching. The scan above shows what it looks like sketched with a Sharpie pen in my Silhouette SD.
The original was a free vector from Vector Graphics Blog so if you like this file leave them some love, too.
I’ve been trying to learn to convert different kinds of images to sketch files (single line/open path) with mostly disappointing results, but here’s a pumpkin border I was able to successfully centerline trace in Illustrator. The scan above shows what it looks like sketched with an orange Sharpie pen. I know you talented folks will make some lovely cards with this one!
The original was a free vector from Vector Graphics Blog so if you like this file leave them some love, too.
Ever wished you could sketch a photo with a pen in your diecutter? Well, I found a way, if you’ve got enough patience. The general steps are as follows: simplify photo, posterize photo, vectorize posterized photo, hatch fill each section with density corresponding to color, randomize the hatching, save as svg, send to cutter.
It’s a simple idea, but tedious to execute. I am surprised I wasn’t able to find software to do this automatically (that’s a big hint to you programmers out there). Anyway, here is my tutorial. It assumes you have at least an intermediate comfort level with Inkscape, and some basic photo editing skills as well.
To do this you will need:
- Eggbot extensions for Inkscape installed. Click here for download link and installation instructions.
- some sort of photo editing software that has a Posterize command or ability (I used Photoshop. You could use Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Gimp, paint.net, fotoflexer.com, iPhone apps like ToonPaint, etc.)
- large clear photo with good contrast.
- diecutter and software that can read vector formats output by Inkscape. (Cricut users may be disappointed as its drawing capabilities are inferior to other consumer machines.)
- method to hold a pen in your cutter. I use the adjustable marker holder from Chomas Creations.
- suitable pen for drawing. I am using a Sharpie retractable pen.
Before you get started, it is a good idea to draw out the sample file I put together to help you see how the different fills will equate to the grays in an image. I have an SVG version and a .studio version for you to download. For best results, use the pen, settings, paper, any type of mat that you will be using for your final portrait.
It should look something like this when you are done:
Here’s the photo I started with
Using Photoshop, I:
-deleted the background
-changed the photo to black and white
-adjusted brightness and contrast
-posterized to 4 levels
The great thing about using Photoshop for this is that you can set up adjustment layers so that you can change the brightness and contrast and see the effect on the final posterization in real time.
-I also used the Dust and Speckles filter to smooth out the image
If you don’t have Photoshop, PSE or a similar program, the key here is to obtain a 3 or 4 tone image that is relatively smooth (this is for the sake of efficiency, it doesn’t have to be as smooth as for cutting) and at least medium resolution. You might even try some of the web apps that produce an “Obama Poster” as these produce a similar effect, albeit in fairly low resolution. Another possibility is to do this directly in Inkscape concurrent with the Trace Bitmap step (take advantage of the Options tab). My original photo was too dark and lacked contrast so I did not have good results with these alternate methods, but I think better photos would work fine this way. There are dozens of methods for and tutorials on posterizing. Find one that fits your software and skill level.
Another update: Make the Cut has added a feature for this under Pixel Trace>Color>Grayscale.
-Next bring the image into Inkscape using the Import command and with the image selected choose Path>Trace Bitmap.
-We will be autotracing using the following settings: Grays checked, Smooth checked, and Stacked unchecked. The number of scans will depend on the number of colors in your image, more or less. Start with the same number as your posterization levels and experiment up or down a notch if you aren’t satisfied with the results.
And here is my result, shown ungrouped and split into the light, medium and dark layers for reference. There was an additional lighter layer, which I deleted.
-Size your image to the approximate size you will want the final sketch to be. If you change the size later it will affect the shading and might not appear the way you want it to.
-Make a copy of the trace to use as reference and drag it off to the side. Ungroup the working copy one time. You will have 3 or 4 paths, each representing one brightness level of the image.
You will probably find it easier to work with the pieces separately, but it is important to be able to bring them back together in exactly the right orientation. You can either paste each piece in place onto a separate layer or use shift-arrow to move the pieces in large discreet increments that make it easier to backtrack later. I put each piece on its own layer, titled light, medium and dark, so that I could toggle them on and off as needed, but also make frequent use of the shift-arrow technique for interim moves.
-Start with the darkest section and apply a hatch fill by selecting Extensions>Eggbot Contributed>Hatch Fill
-Choose an angle you’d like the strokes to lean with 0 being horisontal and 90 being vertical. In my case, I chose the angle to match the tilt of the subject’s head. You can choose any angle you like.
-You’ll want to refer to your sample swatches to help you select a setting for the hatch spacing. Smaller numbers mean the lines will be closer together, and the effect will be darker. Looking at my swatches for reference, I used 1.5 for black because I wanted the pen strokes to still be visible, but barely.
-It may help to switch to outline view (control- 5 on numeric keyboard to toggle) so you can see the hatching take effect.
-When the Hatch extension finishes, you will have a group of 2 objects: the original path and the hatched version. Ungroup them and move the original out of the way. (I sent it back to another layer for safekeeping.)
-Choose the next darkest color and repeat the steps above, using a larger setting for the hatch steps. I chose 2.7 and 3.5 for the medium and lighter colors respectively.
-To get a better idea of what your sketch will look like, select the entire hatched version and set the fill to none and the stroke to a width of 1 px.
-If you are satisfied with the relative shades of your hatching, its time to add some randomness to give the sketch a more hand-drawn look. Select one section and choose Extensions>Modify Path>Jitter Nodes.
You will want to experiment with settings to see what you like as results will vary depending on the size and composition of the image. The settings I used for my sketch are shown in the screen capture below.
-Repeat the Jitter Nodes process for each shaded section. You can use different settings for each one if you like. Longer strokes lend themselves to more displacement without distorting your image.
-Save a copy of your working document for safekeeping. Select the completed hatched and jittered sketch portion of your drawing and copy it to a new document and save it as SVG. If you are using Make the Cut or Sure Cuts a Lot, this SVG should be ready to import and draw as is.
Silhouette Studio DE users may also use this SVG version, however, if you have the standard version of Silhouette Studio, save the sketch as DXF instead.
-If you use either version of Silhouette Studio, you will need to set all the line widths to 0.0. Do this by going to the Line Style pane and sliding the slider all the way to the left.
-You will also need to go to the Cut Styles pane and set everything to Cut Edge.
It’s also a good idea to zoom in closely to verify that the cut lines are single, open paths, as that is what we want for pen sketching.
-It’s time to sketch your masterpiece. Choose the appropriate settings and find something else to do for the 15-30 minutes or so it will take this complex of a file to draw.
Here’s a scan of my sketched result, drawn with a Sharpie pen in my Silhouette SD. I think maybe I would like the middle tone a little darker next time, but you get the idea. Up close you can see the marker strokes and it really has a hand drawn look to it. From a distance, it looks even more like the original photo.
All of these are available at fontspace.com. As with the last post, each is rendered at the largest size that will still appear filled in. I’m only printing a few letters of each now for these samples so as to save time and preserve ink.
Another batch of pre-filled fonts for your gel pen enjoyment. Be sure to test a letter or two with the font, size and pen you want before committing to the long drawing process. Take this from someone who has run out one gel pen in the process so far. When you look at the regular printed version of the font, you will see how very different they look rendered with gel pens, and this will help you learn to spot good candidates yourself.
I had a prior post where I gave a rather contorted procedure for filling in the fonts that you draw with Cricut markers, gel pens, etc. Today I had a better idea. Find fonts that already have a “fill” that works with the Cricut. So I tested a bunch of fonts with my gel pens and when one seemed promising, I reduced the size until the fill looked solid. Some look really nice with the crosshatch showing, as well. All of these are freebies from either fonts101.com or dafont.com.
Keep in mind that these take a long time to draw, so plan ahead. If you want to use markers instead of gel pens, there are many more options, or you can use the fonts above at even at larger sizes. Also see this previous post about single line fonts.
I have tried some more tests and find that I get less jiggle with the pastel and neon pens. My results are shown below. Notice that the Staples pastels show up better, but have a skipping problem. To print brighter with the Cri-Kit pens or cover over skipping with the Staples pens use multicut to draw over the lines a second time. (For reference, the top upper case ABC is 1/4 inch tall)
Looks like between Chomas Creations (Custom Crops and/or Staples pens) and Cri-Kits we have the gel pen holder conquered. Both holders and the pens that accompany them will do a fine job on small images cut directly from a cartridge as shown in the image below, drawn at 3/4 inches high.
There remains a significant problem when cutting from a computer however. I compared a Provocraft cartridge image with a similar, node optimized, SVG in SCAL and MTC. As you can see, all of the computer-driven versions have significant “jiggle” compared to the direct cartridge image. (Click on the picture to see the enlarged image, also drawn at 3/4 inches high.)
The Chomas holder with Staples pens seems to do a slightly better job with the computer-driven drawing than the Cri-Kits pen/holder (at least with the dark blue pens I tested) but the results at small sizes are still not very impressive with either. (For reference, the top upper case ABC is 1/4 inch tall)
It helps some to increase the size of your images. Here is the same node-optimized letter at about 1-1/2 inches high using 3 different pens. As you can see, the ballpoint Silhouette Sketch pens do not show the jiggling quite as much. It makes sense that the more free-flowing the ink, the more pronounced the jiggle is.
I also tested various speeds and pressures but could not see any improvement. I also tried optimized images (minimum nodes/control points) and polyline images (many nodes/control points) and the results were still unimpressive. My guess is that the disparity has to do with the coordinate systems for cartridge cutting (perfectly matched) versus computer-driven cutting (imperfect conversion). I am further convinced that this is a machine limitation because I’m told that the same files draw smoothly with a Silhouette cutter, and because no one else has been able to show me an SVG that cuts as smooth on a Cricut as a cartridge.
I also tested the Staples ink tube/tip in the Cri-Kits pen shell and vice-versa. You can enjoy using the inexpensive Staples pen innards as refills in your Cri-Kit holder, just turn up the pressure until you have contact with the paper. Unfortunately, the Cri-Kits ink tubes do not work in the Staples pen barrel, because the exposed tip is too long, even at minimum pressure.
BTW, there are lots of great gel pen ideas hitting the blogs right now like this post from my good friend PapaSue , this one from Denise at PaperPastime, this one from Shelly at Paper Flowers and this one from Samantha the Scrapmaster.