Butterflies have no scruples,
The blue wings follow pleasure.
Immense white and red blossoms offered themselves.
Proud and delighted conquerors,
The air was truth.
They abandoned land,
As right as the birds.
Writing is my thing. I’m more used to writing than to drawing or painting. I’m doing a RAW Art workshop as a sort of antidote to spending all my time using words.
I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of altering an actual book page so I did it digitally instead. I found a page from Fairy Tales by Édouard Laboulaye via the OpenLibrary project and then used Seashore Open Source Image Editor.
I’m really new to this sort of editing too. I’ve used it on photos a few times but never to make more abstract pieces.
OK – look away if you are scared by things a little bit techy. BTW You totally shouldn’t be as I really haven’t done this much!
First I checked the openlibrary.org for a scanned, old, out of copyright book. There are some wonderfully weird children’s books on there! I’ve used printed out pages from there before as part of classroom resources for schools. Some of the illustrations are amazing!
I didn’t use Photoshop – too expensive! I used a combination of 2 free tools, Skitch to do the screen shot of the book page and Seashore to add the decoration. Both of these are mac applications. You could use the gimp (also free) on mac or Windows but I find it a bit complicated.
I outlined the words and phrases I wanted in graphite grey to look like pencil. Then I used the colour eyedropper to sample the page colour. Then filled the page using the paintpot. This left the words and phrases I wanted uncoloured. Next time I’ll try using a more transparent setting so some of the words show through.
I zoomed in on a section of macro image of a butterfly wing from an old photo of mine as the decorative texture. This is easy to do in Seashore as you can just open a photo and export it as a texture. When you choose a tool like the paintbrush you can set the texture and the brush you want in the tool bar. I used the ‘sand dunes’ setting for the brush.
My partner Andy Roberts did some useful video tutorials about Seashore for editing a while back.
Seashore Image Editing Tutorials.