July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
“Visual observation is believed to be in the domain of the right side of the brain. Intuitive and creative thinking are also believed to be in the domain of the right brain. The left brain deals with the rational, the alphabet, numerals, and so on. Left brain thinking is linear – one thing after another. The right brain processes everything at once.” – Marvin Bartel, ED. D., Goshen College
Dr. Bartel explains that one learns to draw by observation. Observation includes learning: how to see edges, how to see cross contour, how to see sizes – angles – proportions, how to see shading, how to see negative spaces – negative shapes, how to see holistically & draw expressively, how to see color, and how to see patterns and textures.
The work of Dr. Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, has enabled millions of people around the world to learn to draw. Their website will introduce you to her teaching technique, a little of the theory behind it, and to an exercise that demonstrates its effectiveness.
My eight year old grandson loves to draw. He is energetic and loves to move…but, when he draws he sits still. He focuses. He has a goal – an objective – to draw something well. I usually google a subject that he wants to learn to draw, then I find “drawing” versions of them so he can copy them. He pays attention to shape and form and tries to draw it himself, as in this shark he chose to draw.
I have found some websites that we use, also, to build his drawing-ability-confidence. I am sharing them with you!
Art4Learners.com helps learners of all ages (kids to adults alike) to learn drawing, cartooning, painting, portraits etc.
Learn to Draw
Learn the basics of drawing online for free. On Learn To Draw, learn at your own pace, learn the basics of drawing whenever you want to learn. The lessons are presented clearly in a step-by-step manner by a professional artist and illustrator.
More Advanced Learning Required?
Videos can be a great way to learn to draw. You can see from start to finish something being drawn. You can pause and try it yourself…without feeling like you are interrupting the teacher! Try some of these resources.
December 6, 2011 Comments Off on What connects Boston to New York?
A photo that I took on a trip to Arizona will be featured as a background on the New York company website, Honeydrops. My trip to Arizona during a Thanksgiving Holiday brought me to my brother-in-law’s vacation home with some family members. We enjoyed a warm Thanksgiving day with beautiful mountain views. We had some drinks by the pool and reminisced on this Arizona Thanksgiving Day. His backyard had beautiful lemon trees. Since I am from the Boston area, I do not get to actually see lemon trees. I snapped some photos. The sky was especially blue that day, so the yellow lemons really popped. Honeydrops loved the photo and they will use it as a background on their website. Now…I HAVE to try a Honeydrops drink…made with real honey!! Sweet!
November 10, 2011 Comments Off on Holiday Designs are Already Starting
I love the Holiday Season…when I design I put on the holiday tunes and start designing. I find I am in the spirit and produce better designs when I am listening to music. I have been designing the holiday program posters for the Edgewood church of Christ for some years now. I design the poster for the holiday program, the invitations to the holiday event, the web ad promoting the holiday event, the program cover and any black and white newspapers ads that they may need. I usually start with the poster, since that is the one that needs the most elements (other than the inside of the program). I have started this years…what do you think? I hope this holiday is a festive one for you all…I say…put on the tunes!!
Creative Director for Dighton Design
September 15, 2011 Comments Off on Some YouTube Video-Making Tips for Use on Your Website
People are visual learners. They can learn a lot about your product or service with a well-thought-out video. When visiting your website, the visitor can get a quick idea of what you do with a YouTube video.
Here are some tips for creating an effective YouTube video for your website:
- STORYBOARD: Create a storyboard and think through your message. This will save time in the end and keep you focussed. Simple and short is best.
- TIMING: Keep your video timed at one minute or less. Most viewers can commit to seeing a 60 second video. Any more that 60 seconds, they might not watch.
- MUSIC: Add interesting music; instrumental is preferred. Words could distract from the visual.
- PICTURES: Your picture quality should be excellent, not pixelated. This will demonstrated your professional approach, especially if you are featuring a product or service.
- PUBLIC: When creating your YouTube video, make the video “public” not “private” if you want non-youtube account holders to see it, too.
- FOCUS: Consider a theme. Instead of general theme like “clothes” choose “caring for men’s neckties”. This will focus the viewer on the area they are interested in the most and keep the video shorter. This way you can create a series of videos that will be focussed and useful.
- DEDICATED: Have a dedicated account for your business or website. You do not want viewers to see your family vacations!
June 8, 2011 Comments Off on Need Help Setting Up a WordPress Blog?
Often blogs work well with websites. It allows for your business to stay relevant in your field and keep your website current. Do you want to create your own blog? Do you want it to integrate with your website? Setting up a blog using WordPress, then integrating it with your website with a live feed is possible. I can help you build or start your own blog, using WordPress, and I then can integrate it with your website.
This is how it would work:
- FIRST, sign up to the WordPress Community. I recommend using an email unique from your personal or business email. One dedicated to the blog or blogging. your username could be your actual name, especially if you are trying to establish credibility. But, if you would rather just use a generic username, try to stay industry specific. For example, if you are an electrician, use a name like YourElectricGuy or AllAboutElectricity. Once you are part of the WordPress Community, then you can be added to any blog on WordPress.
- NEXT, I can create your WordPress blog, set it up and add you as an administrator. WordPress has many nice, free templates to choose from. Once a design is chosen, I can add your logo, company description, photos, links, and taglines. I can show you how to update your own WordPress blog.
- FURTHERMORE, If you have an existing website, I can add a blog feed to your website so when you add a new blog, your website will reflect the new blog.
- FINALLY, once your blog is set up, you can then keep me as an administrator so I may help you later if you have questions. Or you can remove me as an administrator if you feel confident to continue on without me.
Starting your own blog is easy and I can help you start your blog. Once you have a blog, your website can have the latest news that you want to share on your website. I can teach you how to update your blog so you can keep it active. Call me if you have any questions or would like to have me build your blog today.
Fran of Dighton Design Studios
June 4, 2011 Comments Off on The Keys to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Web Design
A website is not a word document or an online brochure. It is a dynamic and active presence that reflects your business. Your company’s website is today’s storefront. Just like you would keep a storefront window fresh, modern, relevant and interesting, you should treat your website the same way.
Search engines are looking for the best guess that the searcher of a “storefront” is most likely seeking. For your business to be ranked high on that list, involves some thought and effort on your part.
The keys to search engine optimization, in the design of your website, include a search-friendly design, proper meta tags, a content management system, social media integration, new and relevant and interesting content and regular improvements and updates to your website.
- Search-Friendly Design includes elements that that people and search engines like. Imagine, for your business, what people might search for. List those key terms. Look at what you find and see what the competition has and you do not. Think about ways, that over time, you can integrate those elements into your website. Be sure to include a search-feature on your website and a site-map.
- Key Phrases or Words Coded in the Meta Tags allow optimal searchability. Imagine, for your business, what people might search for. List those key terms. Are they in your meta tags? Are they in your content? Also, include a naming habit of your images. If you are a furniture store, people won’t search for picture_a or room_b, but they will search for leather couch or modern living room. Getting in the habit of better image naming adds to better searchability.
- Content Management System (CMS) Set-Up allows you the ability to add new content yourself and keep people coming back for more. This can be achieved by setting up a blog on wordpress or blogger. Think of how you can help your customer with some free advice or tips. Include them in a regular basis on your blog. Let them know, through your content, that you are a professional that they can rely on.
- Social Media Integration is the trend. Facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr, blogs and other social media sites play a role in establishing your company as relevant and fun. Creating games and widgets for your customers or potential customers can create a buzz, interest and keep your business name ranked high.
- Content Development and Copywriting by creating new and unique content or stuff your customers will want to read, demonstrate to people and search engines that your business is relevant. If you sell furniture, your whole site and content and verbage should be about furniture. Developing categories and how-to’s and FAQ’s about furniture need to be included in your website.
- Website Development Improvements are necessary to keep your website interesting and fresh. Updating it over time will help to achieve higher rankings. Keep your domain name expiration current (not to expire within a year, for example), consider adding events and specials that change on a regular basis, update the how-to’s and FAQ’s and images regularly, and keep a web developer on staff or contract.
Keeping a presence on the web for your business is a “moving target”. The industry is always changing and evolving. Web professionals are always learning and staying relevant themselves. If you want an online brochure, then these steps are not necessary. But, if you want higher rankings in search engines, then these steps will help you achieve that goal; they just require your involvement. If you have any advise or suggestions on this topic, do share.
Fran, Owner and Creative Director of Dighton Design
May 30, 2011 Comments Off on Poster Design for Ruth’s Locket, A Short Film by Gene Burns
This is a design idea for a poster to promote Ruth’s Locket, a short film written and directed by Gene Burns. The aim was to have an image of a faded woman, barely noticeable with the locket revealed in full color. Part of the locket is covered by the woman’s hand. Need to see a larger version? Email me for the full size 18 x 24 inch poster in pdf format. Thoughts?
Fran, Owner and Creative Director of Dightondesign
Creating the Graphics for Businesses from Boston to Providence