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 🙂 .

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 🙂 .

“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.

Graphic Design Donation to PADS. – Helping Kenyan Girls Go to School

Since it is summer and class is out, I’ve been itching to do some graphic design. A good college friend of mine, Megan Greulich, contacted me about helping her set up a domain name and WordPress site for a fundraising project she had in mind. Since all the proceeds of her project go straight to the cause, and she was putting her own money into the website, I thought it was the perfect time to donate some design.

Charity Kroeker, Megan’s co-worker and founder of the idea, came across AFRIpads after visiting a town in Kenya. She noticed that girls were not attending school, or even in some cases dropping out, simply because they did not have adequate feminine products. In order to make a direct difference in the town she visited, she started PADS. – Perfect Attendance Dignity Squad – to raise money for the 1,315 female students to have the feminine products they need for a whole year. All the raised donations will go straight to the town through AFRIpads.

Under a very tight deadline, I worked on three posters, cleaned up the logo and put together the graphics for the WordPress site.

Take a look! And donate! It only takes $6.50 to help 1 Kenyan girl for a full year!

Have a good summer!
-Shalanah Dawson

Photoshop Scale Project

New this trimester, inspired by the work of Slinkachu, Waconia High School Graphic Design students created images that played with Scale. Instead of photographing small people doing jobs in the macro world, my students used images off the internet and transformed them to make large images appear small and small images appear large. This was done with the aid of Photoshop. They worked to match the color, blur/sharpening, brightness/contrast and shadows to “sell” the image. See some of their work below. Click on the image to see their full gallery this Spring.

 

MLK Day “I have a dream…” T-Shirts and Community Input Artwork

Waconia High School remembers MLK Jr. by having a day of service – a part of Make It Count. Our school worked with Kids Against Hunger over the school day to create meals. In order to offset some of the costs of this service project, we decided to sell t-shirts that promoted MLK Jr. Day of Service. I created the design below.

If you are interested in buying one let me know! We still have some smalls and mediums left over. 🙂

In our classrooms, teachers are encouraged to take part in service projects of our own or remembering MLK Jr. legacy. Inspired by the artist Candy Chang and her community input artwork, I created these small sheets of paper that students could reflect on their own personal goals that they could work towards. Amy Fischer, an art teaching co-worker and department chair, suggested they make them artistic as well – as you can see some students really enjoyed! Here is a selection of their dreams. It is a really simple idea, but I loved getting to know our students better through it.

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).