I wanted to do more with this concept and I fancied doing a cursive Valentine card. First I wrote ‘I love you’ all over an A3 sheet of paper using a 2mm round-tipped Brause ornamental nib. I used black Pelikan 4001 ink. Then I cut it to size for my card (297 X 148) plus 3mm all round for ‘bleeds’.
Now I’m going to describe the Photoshop process (if you have the mini-programme you may not have all the buttons). It will really only work if you have some knowledge of Photoshop. So ignore the rest of this post if I’m getting nerdy and boring. Here is the final card: If you want to see it in the Slice of Lime shop, follow this link.
After you have scanned it, you need to ensure that the whole piece is solid black and solid white. It will currently have some lovely shades of grey here and there, but that is not useful for this process. If any of my instructions are confusing or seem incomplete, just Google the question you have e.g. where is the colour box in Photoshop? These days the website is more helpful than the HELP button within programmes.
Scan it in colour at 300dpi.
Open it in Photoshop and title it cursive.original.psd. Open the layers box: Window: Layers.
Double click on the word background and a dialogue box will come up offering layer 0. Say okay. You have renamed it and also changed it from a background to a layer.
Go to edit, in the top menu bar. Select preferences in fly-out menu and then transparency and gamut. Select grid size: small and color: light.
Select magic wand from the tool box on the side (approx. 4th tool down). Look at the top bar and set the tolerance to about 20. This means your wand will select stuff within a 20% range of white, like very pale grey. With your mouse click on any white space and press delete. Small checks will appear to show you that the shape you deleted is now transparent.
Hold the shift key down and select a few white spaces and press delete. Do this until you have deleted all the white spaces.
Optional: You can check to see if you have deleted them all by selecting quick-mask just below the two little squares of colour. It is a rectangle with a circle in it. If you have selected a shape the transparent ones will be light pink and the ones that still need to be deleted or cut will be dark red. Then re-click it to make it black and white again and sort out the red bits by clicking the shape and deleting it.
You need to do each enclosed shape like loops of letters or closed countershapes of e’s (in my case) individually. A nuisance but unavoidable. Okay, now all the white is cut and you only have black on the checked transparent background.
With the magic wand, select any black area. Look at the two little squares in the toolbox. The top one (foreground ) should be black. Select the brush (approx. 8th tool down). Click on it and select brush tool. Look at the top bar and you’ll see that it says Brush: 19 (or whatever size it is) Click on the arrow and choose a decent size by using the slider e.g. at least 50 pixels. Now paint the selected black areas solid black. This will enable you to change the colour of the design properly later. If the mouse only selects half of the black line because some is pale grey, then hold the shift key down and select the grey as well.
When everything is a good solid black save it as cursive cut-black.psd.
Now reselect all the black by holding the shift key and using the magic wand. It will be easier this time because you eliminated the shades of grey.
Double click on the little black square near the bottom, A colour swatch will come up. Choose grey by clicking with your mouse on the shade of grey that you fancy. Say okay. Select the brush and paint all the black areas in grey. Avoid going near the e’s as you have to select these one by one. It may be easier to select the white spaces, then to go to select on the top bar and choose inverse. This way you chose white but by inversing, the blacks are now selected. Paint them grey.
Save is as cursive cut-grey.psd. To get the one line one bit in red, click on the lasso tool (3rd down in the toolbox) and choose polygonal lasso. Carefully lasso around the sentence you want, by clicking and creating a line from dot-to-dot. When you are back near the beginning of the line, double click and press cut (Ctl x). This sentence is now on the clipboard.
Open the layers box: Window: Layers. Make a new layer. At the bottom of the layers flyout there is an icon next to the dustbin. Hover over it and you’ll see that it says ‘make a new layer’. Click on that. Select the new layer which will be titled layer 1 and paste (Ctl v). Select the black lines and get the red paintbox in the same way as you selected grey and paint the sentence red. It might help to switch off the view of layer 0 by clicking on the eye icon. Once it is red you can switch layer 0 back on with the eye icon and then use your mouse and the top tool to position it. Save is as cursive grey & red layers.psd
Flatten the design in the layers menu box. The drop down menu in layers is just above the button called opacity. Choose flatten. Save it as cursive grey & red layers-flat.tif (or jpeg) You have now saved all your interim stages in case you need to go back and fix something or change your colour scheme.
(When I started these instructions I had no idea they would be so complicated and long. Good luck!)