Posted in Drawing

Help I can’t draw!


A beginner’s story on a simple task……draw a coffee cup.

Photography and art are my passion but I have a confession—I can’t draw very well. I can do basic drawing skills and if I concentrate I can do a good job.  I am always looking for the easy way out. So the challenge I am going to give myself is this:

  • Learn to draw a coffee cup the “easy” way ie not hand drawn
  • Make it look artsy

Here is one the best sources of info and learning you are ever going to get online You can watch lessons for all creative endeavors for free but you can also buy the program and keep all the lessons if you wish.

So I stumbled upon the Creative Live  blog and found a great article on how to draw a coffee cup in Adobe Illustrator.

I have the whole Adobe CC program ( which is the designers dream program so let’s see if I can follow some simple Illustrator lessons.

Step 1 ……Start with The Cup

  • Draw an oval with a rectangle over it, then use the “minus front “to remove the top of the oval. I am nervous already, where is the pathfinder tool and what is “minus front”?
  • Found it! But quickly learned you must select both parts before you push the button.
  • Repeat action to make the bottom flat. To me it looks to short and fat so I make it longer. Easy peasy……so far.

minusfront 2minusfront 14cup

Step 2……Make a Handle

  • Start with a circle and fill it with same color. Sounds easy, right?
  • The instructions are to draw an oval and add a stroke and fill with same color. This is what I got but now what?
  • Luckily I am smart and researched “how to make a donut in Illustrator”.
  • Way too many complicated instructions and long videos. Decide to use the principle I just used and use the lovely “Minus Front” too. I place it behind the cup.


Step 3..….Add Foam

  • Make circles and fill with different color. Then pile one on top of the other. Got it!
  • Uh oh, they have strokes, they should NOT have strokes.
  • Figured it out! Select them all and click the stroke button to zero.
  • Now I must get it on my cup, not so easy. All the little circles won’t move together!
  • I Go online and find out how ie. use the “unite” tool. Done.
  • Now I can move the whole thing behind the cup.

6foam 7handlefoam

Step 4 …… Add a Shadow.

  • Not liking the shadow they show on this cup demo. Decide to free-lance and create my own.
  • Select bottom portion of cup, duplicate, flip vertically and transform! Should be easy no?
  • Tried to select it but the whole darn cup got selected, I am leaving it.
  • Struggling to do a basic flip, going online again.
  • Frustrated now, how do I REFLECT this thing?
  • Finally found the reflect tool but it refuses to flip and reflect to make a shadow.
  • Almost lunch time I cannot concentrate!
  • By a stroke of brilliance, I just flipped it using the anchor points.
  • Now I use free transform it to make it smaller and more shadowy shaped.

8shadow 9shadow 10shadow

Step 5 ……Laurel’s Final Touches

  • Now my favorite part! Make it look not so boring and more artsy.
  • There is a thing called “Pompadour” on the color swatch. I use it to fill in the foam.
  • I want to put my name on the cup on a curvy line but how?
  • Use the path tool!
  • First create the path and then use “type on a path”.
  • Add some flair to that boring cup!
  • I find a cool logo flower and add it on by using “place”.
  • I want steam! I am going to use the spray can as it looks like it can do the job.
  • I use the symbol “impressionism” and spray it on.

11foam 12name



  • It took me well over an hour to create a simple cup while looking for an “easier” route than drawing it.
  • I learned invaluable Illustrator lessons and discovered it’s power.
  • There are not a lot of simple instructions out there for the novice. Someone needs to teach beyond basics for beginners, like “where is the path tool?” Maybe me?
  • Drawing the cup would have looked more organic, taken less time and look less manufactured.
  • This vector image can be used in several documents, while a drawn image will not move and stretch like a vector.
  • Time for lunch!
Posted in Photography Tips and Tricks

Presets Change The Essence of A Photo


Have you heard of presets? Major editing programs like Lightroom and Photoshop come with what is called “presets”. Presets are adjustments to a photo that are saved as one command. After loading up your photo into one of these editing programs, you can change tone, color, mood, clarity etc. with a one click preset. One can use a preset to adjust the photo depending on what you will use your photo for, and what mood or message you want to convey.

Several presets may be bought online. You can also endeavor to make your own….. That may possibly the subject of my next topic!


The following are examples of one photo with different presets used to achieve the outcomes.







Posted in Podcasts

“What is Digital Art?” Podcast


Hello Everyone!

I have just created my first podcast relating to the definition and advantages of digital art. I talk about what entails creating digital art and the compare it to traditional art. I also promote the advantages of this type of art. In this ever changing technological age it is definitely time to get on the digital art bandwagon!

Have a listen here at PodOmatic: