Freebie Textures

This summer, I’m taking Digital Painting with a Wacom Tablet through MCAD’s Continuing Education program with Lindsay Nohl. For one of our homework assignments we were asked to find some textures to add to our digital graphics in class. I took my camera around the house, and really had a great time hunting for textures. When I was done, I thought it would be great to provide them online as well.

Below are the thumbnails and web-quality images, but you can also download them at full-resolution at the bottom of the page. They are not perfect!

Feel free to use them commercially or for your own art. These are not for resale or for use in commercial templates. Do not republish or distribute on the web unless you provide a back link and credit to Shalanah Dawson.

DOWNLOAD Texture Photographs

Pattern Making – (Way Harder Than It Looks!) Update 1

I am really enjoying the Pattern Making class through MCAD’s Continuing Education program this fall. It is definitely fun and very challenging/time consuming. I had no idea the time it takes to make a good – or even a bad – pattern! Here are my first attempts in the class. The first one is a “toss” pattern using arrows and the second set of patterns focus on the theme “Female in the White House” which isn’t really a holiday, but obviously something I’d like to see happen. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚ .

As a reminder… all rights are reserved for patterns below. Contact me if you would like to use them online, for publishing, or commercial purposes.

Package Design – Illustration Class Update Part 3

Ever since my fingers were nimble enough, I have loved making friendship bracelets. It was a summer hobby as a kid and even recently I have stumbled upon finger weaving (which is great as well). So when we were asked to create a package design for an item that had been “neglected” by old or uninspired design, I knew my product right away – embroidery floss. Take a look at the idea below. I know there really is no market for this more elaborate packaging, but it was a lot of fun to create. The artwork was done using scratch board and the mock-up was created using Photoshop.

 

Illustration Class Update Part 2

For this assignment, we were asked to create a portrait illustration of a 1960’s person and an object that goes with the person in some way. I chose Rachel Carson. She was a biologist who wrote about DDT and its affect on wildlife in her book “Silent Spring”. My first attempt combined both the object and a portrait of her (left) and in my second attempt (right two) I created little “icons” that could work in a website or as a favicon. All were created using Illustrator.

Illustration Class Update Part 1 (MCAD Continuing Studies)

I am really enjoying my Illustration class at MCAD this summer. I was, at first, very hesitant to take such a class because I’ve never considered myself to be a very good illustrator; however, I have found it really great for exercising my creative muscles. I’ve also enjoyed having “assignments” again, because they really do open your mind to other problem solving techniques. See what I’ve been working on so far ๐Ÿ™‚ .

“Overheard in New York” inspired artwork in pen and India ink.
My quote went something like this, “Honey, flamingos don’t actually do anything.” It was apparently said from a mother to son in Central Park.

Opposing Point of View on scratch board used Photoshop to add text and text ornaments.
I skipped showing my first opinion piece because I thought it wasn’t my favorite work. My first opinion piece focused on nuns in America being singled out and persecuted by the Vatican. The following week’s assignment was to flip and create a work that displays the opposing viewpoint. I thought about how the Vatican must think of these nuns as rule breakers, not much unlike unruly school children.

Valentine’s Day Card in Illustrator.
I changed this assignment to be an anniversary card. Grant’s and my 1st year anniversary is this July. We met about 5.5 years ago at Como Park in St. Paul in the warming house before a broomball game. I was wearing a red hat.

20 stories in 60 minutes in Illustrator and Photoshop.
My image was inspired by the first 2 minute story in the NPR piece but definitely took some privileges on what I decided to illustrate.

Summer Learning

It is funny because as a teacher or a student, we all look forward those last couple weeks of school to summer vacation. We think days at the beach and hours of reading or computer games, but to me the best summers are where I get to take a couple classes myself! Currently, I am taking one class via Learnable.com and two MCAD Continuing Education classes.

I just stumbled upon Learnable when I was searching for coding classes in web development. Most of the classes run upwards of $600 which is a bit spendy. But through Learnable, I can take classes for $15 a month. I’m takingย PHP & MySQL Web Development for Beginners currently but will definitely take HTML5 before the summer is out too.

At MCAD, I’m taking Intro to Screen Printing, which I’ve actually taken before but would like some more studio time and Intro to Illustration. I have enjoyed every class I’ve taken through MCAD. I will definitely post some of my work by the end of the summer ๐Ÿ™‚ .

-Shalanah Dawson

Interactive Photography Ed Website – Columbia College Chicago

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on Digital Photography for a new course I’m teaching at Waconia High School. I knew that Columbia College had an awesome photography program and an amazing free gallery – Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP); but, I didn’t know they also have a educational website on how to use cameras – Foundations Photo Lab. I really enjoyed “Motion and Shutter Speed” in particular. There, I found some great examples of how shutter speed affects the same shot. Look around. It is an awesome resource!

Trending… Art Poster – Know the Warning Signs of Art

This poster seems to be working its way through creative circles recently, just thought I’d add to it! Here is a poster created by Philbrook Museum of Art. My favorite is “How long have you been photoshopping?” Reminds me of public service ads of the 90’s (when I was growing up).

History of Feminism in an Art Comic & Movie

I arrived early to a broomball game at Augsburg’s Ice Arena so I decided to take a stroll down to the UofM Katherine E. Nash Gallery. They had work on display by Lynn Hershman Leeson. I greatly enjoyed my time in college where I got the chance to study the feminist art movement. Lynn Hershman Leeson had several artworks/exhibits on display. But I particularly love the comic book !Women Art Revolution by Spain Rodriguez that accompanies her movie about the rise of the feminist art movement. The comic book is so awesome because it quickly recounts the movement as it started and grew in a very understandable and witty way. I’m very impressed with the power of comics as teaching tools.

Here is an excerpt from the movie, by Lynn but was not on display, about how difficult it was to battle sexism and break into the art world. This clip is all-ages-friendly but the movie is suited for older audiences.

Antiques Roadshow – Useful Art Teaching Resource

I was just watching Antiques Roadshow with my husband when some Maria Martinez work was being appraised. I thought, “We talk about her in Ceramics!” Antiques Roadshow has a fantastic search engine including images of art and videos of the appraisals. I think it would be awesome to show one of these clips after learning about an artist in class!