I occasionally see people ask about how to create a single cut path around an image. This is usually because they want to do a “Print and Cut” with an electronic cutter such as the Silhouette Cameo or KNK Zing. I have used both Inkscape and Make The Cut to accomplish this task. Each has its benefit. Today, I’ll show you how to do this using Inkscape.
Here’s a PNG that I downloaded from Openclipart.org.
First you’ll need to import your image into Inkscape. File > Import. Find your image and select it. A box like this will pop up. Say OK. (You can click on either Embed or Link. You can see more info on this subject here.)
Now select your image. Path > Trace Bitmap. You will get a box that looks like this. You might need to experiment with your settings. But you’ll probably want to use Brightness Cutoff, with a Threshold around .900. Click on Update to see how it looks. If you think it’s good, click OK.
Now click on the new image in Inkscape and go to Path > Object to Path. Next, Path > Break Apart. The object will be all one color and you will see dashed lines around all the individual parts.
Next is the part that I think is easier in Inkscape than in Make The Cut. It may or may not be an issue for the image you choose.
I want to leave this part of the picture transparent because when I cut around it, I think this part should be cut out.
Now select just the largest portion and the white piece that you want to be transparent. Path > Difference.
Next, drag to select around all. Path > Union.
Now if you like, you can use your Fill and Stroke Box to delete the fill and create a Stroke. This will be your cut line.
If you want to make the path a little larger than the original image, Ctrl + ). However, keep in mind this will make any area that you are cutting out get a bit smaller.
And there you have it!
Well now… isn’t this exciting!
I just found out Dreaming Tree is giving away a electronic cutting machine! If you win, you get to chose between a Cricut Explore, Silhouette Cameo, or Sizzix!
Check it out here.
Good luck, and happy drawing!
Here is an infograph showing how to create a vector drop shadow using Inkscape.
Using a drop shadow in your illustrations can have a pretty dramatic effect for very little extra effort. I find them fun…. and super simple to create.
You can also add a little “blur” to your shadow if you like. Also… play around with color and opacity for the effect you are after.
I hope you find my little Infograph showing you how to “create a vector drop shadow” helpful. The intent here is to get you started. There is a lot more you can do with this idea,. Have some fun and see what you can come up with.
Since The Red Cabin Studio is located in beautiful northern Michigan, I thought I should sneak in a little
brag blog about our beautiful state once in awhile. So today, I’ll start with my series of “Michigan Mondays” and let you know a little bit about the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival .
Lilacs happen to be my favorite flower, and Mackinac Island is in no short supply! Walking the streets when the lilacs are in bloom will be a “party for your senses”.
This year’s festival is June 3 – 12th, and is the 68th annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival! There is no charge for the event, but you will need to take a ferry from St. Ignace or Mackinaw City to get to the island. Round trip tickets for adults run between $18.00 and $24.00, and for children you can expect to pay between $9.00 and $14.00. You can take your bikes to the island, but there is an extra charge to transport them. Be sure to check online for multi-day, group, and other specials.
If you’ve been to Mackinac Island, you know what a fantastic place it is. Walking off the ferry onto the island is like taking a step back in time. Cars are not allowed, and horse-drawn carriages or bikes are the main way to see the island. Of course you can walk, but I can tell you from experience, you better have comfortable shoes if you plan to really experience what the island has to offer.
For us creative types, there is so much to take in! So you might want to…
- Use your best camera to capture the sights.
- Create a sketch of lilacs in all their wonderful hues.
- Or just take a walk and enjoy the Lilacs, and the relaxed pace of days gone by.
Of course, there are lots of scheduled events too, which you can find here.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Daily walking tours at 3 p.m., and several at 7 p.m. Cost for 2 hour tour is $28 per person. Visit http://www.mackinacrevealed.com for reservations.
Daily walking tour with Lilac expert. Check for times.
Saturday, June 4th, 1 – 3 p.m: Artist signing at the Island Breeze. Local Michigan Artist will be signing her artwork.
Sunday, June 5th, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m: Join the artists who submitted work for the 2016 festival poster. Enjoy light snacks and beverages. Event is free and takes place at the Stone Church.
Monday, June 6th, 10 a.m – 12 p.m: Outdoor photography with Steven Blair. Bring your camera for this 2 hour class. Meet outside the Mackinac Island Tourism Building. Cost is only $15.
Tuesday, June 7th:
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m: Hiking photography with Steven Blair. Hike up the East Bluff with your camera and learn more about this side of the island. Cost is $35.
- 1 – 3 p.m: Artist signing at the Island Breeze. Local Michigan artist will be signing her work and answering questions.
- 5 – 7 p.m: Outdoor photography with Steven Blair. Meet outside the Mackinac Island Tourism Building. Cost is $15.
Friday, June 10th, 12 – 2 p.m: Local watercolor artist, Mary Lou Peters will be painting and displaying her work at Little Luxuries. ( This place is ADORABLE)
Saturday, June 11th, 1 – 3 p.m: Artist Signing at Island Breeze. Local Michigan Karen Alley Williams will be signing her artwork and answering questions.
Of course, the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is not the only time to visit Mackinac. There is tons to do and see any time, so if you can’t make it during the festival, plan to get there another time. You will be glad you did!