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Marlies Cohen

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Pixelpainting – Coloring Black & White Clipart Part 1

May 2004

Over the last few months I have become aware of something called Pixel Painting. The result is usually a small picture that has an outline 1 pixel wide and then is colored in. A search in a search engine will give lots of information about Pixel Painting.

I liked the idea, but could just no be bothered with counting the pixels to create the painting or reducing a black and white graphic to end up with a 1 pixel outline. So I came up with my own version.

My 1st Attempt

I find a graphic that I like and open it in my graphics program and save it with a new name. Then I zoom in to almost the largerst zoom possible and select a bright color to trace over the original picture with a line that is 1 pixel. Once the whole graphic is traced I copy the outline and color the outline black and save it as a non transparent gif file.

Now I open up the gif file and check for gaps in the outline and fill them in. Then I select the different sections of the picture and color it in and add dimensions with filters.
woman original woman traced woman colored

My 2nd Attempt

When a bunch of wedding clipart was posted in the black and white newsgroup at annexcafe.com I felt drawn to the Japanese Wedding couple. The orignal picture was quite small, so I doubled the size and traced to at the larger size. The enlarged picture was quite blurry, but by tracing it is came clearly into focus again. This is how the picture looks after I was done with it.

1-japwedding 2-jwedding_traced 3-japwedding

My 3rd Attempt

When I traced the picture I omitted the polka dots that were in the original picture. Here is my versions.

1-japgirl 2-jgirl_traced 3-japgirl 4-japgirl2

For first colored picture I left the outlines black for the whole picture. For the second colored picture I made the colors for the face, lips and the green scarf match the surrounding color. I think it gives the picture a softer more natural look.

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More Stories By Marlies Cohen

Marlies Cohen is a renaissance woman, a 'Jack' or should that be 'Jill' of all trades. She is self-taught in most of her subjects due to her strong motivation to learn new things. Everything is touched by an artistic and creative outlook. What looks everyday and mundane to most, is seen in a totally different light by this creative maven who is happy to share her discoveries.