All the images and drawings in this show were created on the Microsoft ® Excel ® program, Made through the use of auto-shapes or free-form line drawings. Although they are NOT true clip-art, they are very close imitations (however, they do have a few drawbacks). NOTE: some of the drawing functions found in earlier EXCEL versions are not available in the later (2007 and up) versions. by D.A.Gewand
This angel was created by inserting a scanned drawing into Excel ® and then using the freeform line option, major identifying lines were traced over the scan to create this drawing. The stars were created using pre-formed auto-shapes. Once the drawing is made hair, eye or even skin tone can be changed to achieve different effects.
Notice that on this angel with the white hair, the line colors were changed to a more subtle grey with pale blue highlights. For some of the skin shadows the line around a certain shape was totally eliminated to give a more blended appearance.
To start you must turn on in Excel ® the drawing features on your tool bar. If it is not already activated, then go up to TOOLS on your menu and go to customize. This will open up another window. Select the tab that says, Toolbars then select the following options; 3-D Settings These particular features will be the most used options when drawing on Excel ®. Now insert the picture (drawing or clip-art) which you wish to experiment on. Drawing Picture ®
Say for example, you wish to make a composition drawing of a few different pictures. For example, I was once asked to design a business card for a computer services company. However, I was unable to find any clip-art that was visually appealing, so I decided to draw my own. I did my research and found a photo in a catalog of a computer, and then another photo of a monitor. I proceeded to used these photos as guidelines for my final drawings.
First, I started by going to the auto-shapes, and then to the line options on the toolbar in Excel ®. This is the basic freeform line which I use to start all my drawings with. I find that this line option offers curves as well as straight edges more easily than the other options. I then proceeded to start tracing my lines over the photo of the computer monitor.
When I finished the line traces on the monitor, I then colored in the separate shapes. Since my customer wanted a white tiger, I needed to make color changes to get the final effect that I needed. Even the tiny keys of the keyboard were drawn by creating separate shapes. To do this I used the zoom in feature (set at either 200% or selection), by incorporating this feature on the original photo I was able to see more details... When drawing for the monitor was completed, I then tackled the rest of the computer accessories. Every tiny detail was put in...
This enabled me to get a good close-up view for creating the drawing. I then used different shades of grey to give the illusion of a 3-D look. Once ALL the individual drawings were created, and I was satisfied with the final result, I then chose the auto-shape of a square (any size, will work) and placed it on my Worksheet.
Using my mouse, I highlighted all the individual shapes of my drawing, I then pressed the COPY option and clicked on the SQUARE that I had just made prior to highlighting the individual shapes of my drawing, then pressed PASTE. This function turned all of my many separate shapes into a solid clip-art of the drawing I had created. I could now either increase or decrease the size of my drawing without losing my intended image. In this format my drawing will be unaffected by changing the column or row sizes in Excel ®.
It should also be said that you should try to keep your drawings as small as possible (about one letter size page seems to be the norm). If the drawing(s) get too large and you try to paste them into clip-art, Excel ® will give you a warning saying that it is too large, If you attempt to continue despite this warning, you will lose part of your drawing. If you have no other option except to go this route... then...
you CAN get around this feature by copying sections of your drawings, and reduce the size, then piece the sections together like a jig-saw puzzle and re-copy the pieced drawing into a clip-art. After the different individual drawings have been created they can then be arranged into a composition, and a NEW clip-art can be made of this composition.
First decide what you want to do or draw. Do your research and gather drawings, photos, clip-art or anything else which might be of assistance to help you get started. Although some people are not comfortable using orbit balls (instead of the normal mouse), personally I find them to be much easier to use, especially when doing these type of drawings. I use the Kensington ® Orbit ball. It took me a while to get used to it, but I think it was worth it. However, it is up to you to use whatever you feel comfortable with. For the purpose of teaching about drawing on Excel ®, I will use as an example an assignment that was given to me. by D.A.Gewand
My clients requirements were, that he wanted a tarantula on a decaying headstone. I did some research trying to find a spider and a simple headstone to work with. The only clip-art that I could find of a spider did not seem to fit what I wanted. So, I combined the colorings and detail of one clip-art with the angle of the other clip-art. The final result was a spider made of 38 separate shapes, which allowed for a nice range of coloring options;
Many different coloring options can be achieved by choosing different fill effects. Not only are different fill options available, but so are line colors or line patterns/textures. Combined together these options can create some very unique visual effects when used in drawings.
Since I was unable to find a picture of a tombstone, I knew I would have to make my own from scratch. I then drew what I thought would look like a good basic shape for a headstone. Then using the 3-D options found in Excel ®, I turned my basic (flat) shape into a 3-D one that I could then use as a guideline for making my final tombstone.
Using the rotating capabilities (3-D- settings) I rotated my shape to the angle that I desired. With this angled shape, I proceeded to draw over the top of it to get the basic shapes that I wanted for my final design. I also put in the broken decaying corner in the tombstone, as my customer had originally requested. Note; Only two basic shapes were made to create the final tombstone
After this was completed, I was then ready to start adding the other clip- art designs (the spider, ornamentation, cracks, etc). The spider that I had drawn earlier was made into a clip-art so that it could be re-sized to a smaller version and placed on the tombstone. I proceeded to draw my flower and ornamentation designs, and turned them into clip-art so that they could also be resized and placed on the tombstone.
I started to arrange my shapes for the final drawing I used Word Art to create the lettering on the tombstone. Once all the individual designs were arranged, I inserted my square from the auto-shapes feature found in Excel ®
I high-lighted all my individual shapes I pressed copy and clicked on my square auto shape, Then pressed paste, I now had a clip-art of my entire composition that I could re-size without losing any shapes or details.
It should be noted that when you are in your Excel ® workbook and you press the paste option on the auto- shapes that Excel ® will automatically paste your clip-art in the first cell location of your worksheet (i.e. A1, or upper left- hand portion of the worksheet). After much experimentation you will learn to utilize the drawing order on the toolbar to send shapes to the back or bring to the front of your design. You will also find the flipping options useful as well as the rotate option. One word of WARNING, for any complex drawing that you create on Excel ® (especially earlier versions of Excel ® ) do SAVE your work often! Sometimes Excel ® may get temperamental, crash or freeze when you least expect it to. It can be very frustrating to lose your work (and time spent). If you save often while drawing, you can usually pick up where you left off and continue on.
I have noticed more problems with my earlier Windows ® operating system and earlier versions of Excel ®. Since I upgraded to XP, I have not had these occurrences. However, I also have a bigger hard drive, more memory, better graphics card and speed which I feel helps tremendously! REMEMBER that... I think that the most challenging drawings are those made from photographs, because you have to imagine where the lines should be placed and how to draw them (straight or jagged). While the photo is used as an inspiration sometimes it will not be identical to the final drawing. After all, artistic interpretation of anything will be as individual as the artist (or person) doing the drawing.
Creating DRAWINGS with Microsoft ® EXCEL ® is limited only by the POWER of YOUR,
Hope you enjoyed the SHOW!! DAG Original Designs Crittenden, NY Email: DagOriginalDesigns@msn.com www.DagOriginalDesigns.com