Friday, 11 March 2016

How to crop and frame a digital photo

Cropped and framed photo of  a completed page from The Art of Mindfulness: Peace and Calm Colouring

Many of the photos in the previous post Colouring for Grown Ups were digitally cropped and framed before being uploaded to the blog. I thought it might be useful to provide instructions here for how I did this using a couple of apps on my iPad. Similar apps on an android device would work just as well.  

Cropping a digital photo 

App used: Free Photo Crop by Big Blue Clip 

Free Photo Crop - from the App Store
Although it is possible to crop a photo in the Photos app that displays all the photos on an iPad, the cropped version replaces the original. Although it is possible to revert back to the original I prefer to keep my original and have my cropped version saved as a new photo. For this reason I use another app for cropping my photos. There are many photo apps that will do this but I chose to use the Big Blue Clip's Free Photo Crop app which I downloaded several years ago and have been very happy with since. It is free, very simple to use and does just what it says on the package! 

1. Open the Crop app and ignore any adverts

2. Click on the left most icon and choose a photo from the iPad's Photo Library 

3. Click on the second icon to bring up a choice of tools to crop the photo

4. Drag the handles of the cropping rectangle to choose which areas of the photo are to 
be cropped

5. Click on the right hand icon (floppy disc?) to save the cropped image as a new photo in to the Photo Library. 

Cropped photo

Framing a digital photo 

1. Open Cardinal Blue's Pic Collage app.

Pic Collage - from the App Store

2. Choose to start a new collage by clicking on the bottom half of the screen. 

3. Tap anywhere to add a photo.

4. Click on the photo icon to choose photo from the library. 

5. Retain the single photo layout.
Using two fingers, straighten and enlarge the image ensuring that enough background is left to provide a wide enough frame.

6. Double click on the image and choose border to add / change the colour of the border. 

7. Click on the + icon to open the menu and choose a new background.
8. Click on icon in bottom right hand corner to save the whole page including the background as a new photo in the Photo Library. 

9. It is possible to save this image elsewhere but for the purposes of this exercise it is only necessary to have a copy in the Photo album.

10. Open the Clip again follow the earlier instructions to clip the image so that the original photo has an appropriate sized border. 

11. As before click on the bottom right hand icon to save this cropped image as a new photo to the Photo Library.

Job done!
Cropped and framed photo

Colouring for grown ups

Take time out, enjoy colouring and relax

Books aimed at adults who enjoy colouring are now to be found in most bookshops, craft shops and even supermarkets. This is a recent phenomenon, though. Until recently colouring was seen as something to be done only by children. Adults wanting to do something artistic would be expected to produce their own artwork from scratch, not spend time colouring in someone else's designs. However, quite recently someone realised how beneficial it can be to spend time colouring, artists started to design books aimed at adults and publishers started to market these. Now many adults have taken up this pleasant and relaxing pastime. It is not only an acceptable activity for adults but it is seen as something which promotes a person's well being. 

Compass patterns 2015
Doodle 2015
 As a child I loved colouring, though rarely in a colouring book. I used to draw patterns, often with a compass and pencil and then colour them with crayons. Felt tips were not available when I was a child! This and doodling designs to colour was something I found myself doing in an evening after attending our social art group. 

Christmas present 2014
As an adult, I have been lucky to have been able to spend time colouring with my children and grandchildren both in colouring books and in patterns we have designed ourselves. I was surprised though to receive a Christmas colouring book and a set of felt tips as a present for Christmas 2014. At that time I didn't realise that colouring books for adults were available and would never have thought of buying myself one. Soon afterwards I came across one on sale in a charity shop. The person donating this couldn't have had any idea then how popular these books would become in a very short time. This book plus a set of crayons and felt tips now sits in a cupboard in our caravan and last year I spent many pleasant hours colouring whilst sipping a glass of red wine before preparing dinner. 

A colouring book for adults
Last summer, whilst out buying art materials, I came across a range of colouring books published by Michael O'Hara Books that are promoting colouring as an aid to mindfulness. I bought The Art of Mindfulness: Peace and Calm Colouring and a new set of felt tips and have definitely found that spending time colouring the lovely designs in this book is not only a very enjoyable activity but it really does help me take time out from the stresses of everyday life. As it is much easier and quicker to pick up my colouring book and a packet of felt tips than to organise my painting materials, I now colour more frequently than I paint.  

I've found that I currently prefer to do my colouring in felt tips rather than crayons. Although this means that I am unable to blend or shade and only have a limited range of colours, I really like how vibrant the designs appear when done in felt tips. 

I decided to keep a photo record of the pages I completed so that I could add them to my portfolio of sketches and paintings that I have been putting together since retiring. Cropping the photos and adding frames to the cropped photos has helped turned them into cheerful works of art and I find myself smiling whenever I look at them. 

Gallery of completed designs

The designs are from The Art of Mindfulness: Peace and Calm Colouring and further information about this book and others in this series can be found at: