A lot of people are familiar with making printables in PicMonkey, however this tutorial is different . . . I’m demonstrating with one of my paintings.
Because I’m turning most of my artwork into digital downloads – meaning you’ll be able to download my paintings and drawings in a high resolution file. There are many, many things you can do with high res photos, but a printable is a good starting point.
So the first question is – how do you get my art in a digital download?
Well, it’s been a long, long time coming. The short story is to go up there to my menu where it says “Shop” and you’ll see 4 different options with “Printables” being the last.
You might also notice “Original Art“, “Pet Portraits“, and “A.R.T. – Art Related Things”. It took me most of the weekend just to get 20+ products listed and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I hope you have fun poking around there for a few minutes.
It was a good weekend to have something to do because between the first Mother’s Day without my mom and the anniversary of my hubs’ death Tuesday, I was heading towards a deep depression.
Once I got the hang of adding products to the Shop though, it kept me focused. Yay! Not only did I beat depression (this time) but I also got the Shop open.
So let’s make a printable with PicMonkey, which is a free online photo editing program.
Go to Printables and choose an image.
You can use any image, of course, not one of mine. Or just use text, if you want. However, if you do choose to buy mine, you can download as many times as you want, in different sizes, for various projects. Even if you want to print it off and frame it! These are very high resolution downloads so you can even enlarge them without losing quality. Most will have transparent backgrounds too. That means you can print on to colored paper or transfer to clothing without having to cut the background off.
Download the image to your computer.
After you’ve made your payment, you’ll be given a link to download the hi-res image which will go into your Downloads File.
Maybe your Downloads file looks better than mine, I dunno, but mine is full of stuff I can’t even remember downloading. So, if yours is full like mine, I click on “date”, click the date you downloaded the image, and only that will show up (unless you downloaded other files that day).
Then you simply drag the Download over to Pictures, since it is a png file. I use png’s instead of jpegs because they are usually clearer and allow for better enlargements.
If this makes absolutely no sense to you, don’t worry. It didn’t to me either until I had to learn how to do all this.
Open PicMonkey and choose “Design”.
This will give you a large white background or you can choose a color. (One thing I’ve noticed is, you can’t go back and change the color, which bugs me. If anyone knows how to do this, would you leave a comment?)
Upload your image into PicMonkey.
Under “Basic Edits” choose the butterfly, the icon for “overlays” which is what the image and eventually any text or other designs will become. So each is a separate layer, ok?
You can make the image as large or small as you want. If you’re adding text – as in this tutorial – you won’t know what size you want, but it doesn’t matter. Remember the image is a layer so you can come back and change it any time you want until you hit “save”.
With a photo overlay you’ll be mainly concerned with size, fade, and color. (But go ahead and experiment with the other stuff. That’s how we learn.)
You see the white ‘frame’ around the zebra with holes in the corners? The holes are called “handles” and if you grab a corner handle you can enlarge or make the image smaller. The circle handle at the top is for rotating the image.
For this printable all I did was enlarge the image. However I could’ve made it even bigger and then faded it to very light so the text would be dominant and easy to read. All kinds of options.
Adding a Text Overlay.
Under the Basic Editor menu, click on “Tt”. You’ll get a huge selection of typefaces. Before you choose one, you’ll click on the “Add Text” button at the top.
If you have fonts on your computer, register with PicMonkey – it’s free – and you’ll be able to choose “Yours” and use them. Nice feature.
Type your wording into the text field. Notice the handles again? You can enlarge, reduce, or rotate with them. Or you can change the size in the Text popup on the left side. This is also where you’ll choose a color for your text, but the text must be highlighted and then pick a color.
I chose two different typefaces and two different colors, picking up hues from the zebra. Again, the sky’s the limit here. If you’re just getting started, error on the side of less typefaces and keep the printable clean. It makes your message easy to read.
I’m always looking at graphic artists printables to get ideas. Some I can mimic, some I can’t, but it’s a fun way to create.
You also have the option to crop your printable. However, PicMonkey measurements are in pixels, in case you’re trying for an 8 x 10 or 5 x 7. Just google the pixel to inches ratio, if you want a specific size.
To crop your printable, grab one of the circle handles until you have the dimensions you want.
You could also add banners or borders or . . . on and on and on. Oftentimes, one little image in PicMonkey takes me longer than it does to write an entire post, especially with so many options.
Finally you need to save your work! Just remember that this isn’t like other programs where you save, save, save. Once you save in PicMonkey, all of the layers merge so you can’t change text or sizes or anything.
There are three qualities to save. If you’re going to print it with your printer, I’d choose the highest quality. For computer sharing, choose the lowest.
It’s really much simpler than it sounds. Try it a few times . . . and if you are using my images, you can make as many as you’d like.
I like printables with text and I will be adding words and sayings to my printables but I’ll always have blank downloads too so you can add your own. Fun, huh?
This is the original zebra painting with the background. (it’s available for sale in the shop)
I really hope you find some images to create things with. It’s been my dream as long as I’ve been painting.
And opening the Shop is a huge milestone for me. Huge! I have a long ways to go because I have stacks of canvas and watercolors around here, not to mention products and . . . well, it’s a long list. But I’m so pleased that I’ll have all of my work under my blog ‘roof’.
Have you made printables? Do you use images or just text?
Donna B says
Thank you for the great tutorial Colleen. I haven’t tried using PicMonkey yet but this has encouraged me to give it a try.
I hope you do try PicMonkey Donna. It’s a great program and it’s FREE!