(*I did have a whole post showing them in a repeat, but took it down because I do want to license them, and got all paranoid about showing them around too much. I do appreciate everyone's positive comments about them, both here and on Facebook!)
So here's how it starts.
I have the kitty in red longjohns, who I've called "cat 1". He was done with colored pencils on Stonehenge paper. When I scanned him, the paper texture showed up. So I took the eraser tool in Photoshop and carefully went alllllll around, erasing up (what I thought was) close to the edge of the image to make a nice clean background.
(click images to see them bigger)
What I should have done FIRST, which I did in this next step, was use the lasso tool to cut him out of the background, then plunk him down onto a new page with an "empty" (or transparent) background. THEN, all I had to do was clean up the small space just around the edges of the figure, not the whole page. Which I then did. I enlarged the image to 300% so I could see it up close, and got in there with a pretty small brush (9 pt or less) and cleaned it all up. So now the little guy is very clean, and resting on a totally empty background. Or is he?
I made a new file and put a solid color over the whole thing, then dragged the new 'clean' kitty over on top to see how he'd look on a background. ACK! Look at all that white around him! This is what happens with colored pencil work, where the "edge" of an image isn't well defined. What makes colored pencil work so nice and soft looking is often a sort of gradated-out edge. But it makes it much harder to gauge where to erase, exactly, and keep the soft edge while still making it clean enough to put on a background.
This is what it looks like when you look up close. Look at all the little 'white bits' that I thought I'd cleaned up. YUK.
So now I have to tediously go around every single edge with a 3 or 5 pt eraser brush and pick at it until its clean, but still looks like colored pencil. That means I can't just do a hard swipe all around, up close, like I would if it were a different medium. Oh no - I have to do a waaaaay more fiddly "in and out" kind of erasing thing to it.
But when I'm done, I will have a perfect image with no background at all, which can be placed in a repeat on any kind of background and look great.
See? People have no idea.
If you want to learn how to clean up art like this and do repeats, check out Tara Reed's ebooks. She rocks.
Also, yes, the blog looks different. Sometimes you just need to change things.
Also, I took down my art from Fine Art America. They didn't do anything wrong- but it seemed too redundant with Imagekind, since they both do basically the same thing.
Also, CafePress has changed their policies a bit, allowing for 3rd party sales which you have no control over (if you're in the Marketplace), and they also can remove images if they haven't been used for a long time. There's a lot of discussion in the forums about it all. I took my stuff out of the Marketplace (which means people will only find it by going to my shop directly) which cuts out a lot of potential traffic and sales, but also lets me keep more control. If you have a shop and somehow didn't get the email about this, I suggest you read the new terms to decide for yourself what you want to do.