Before and After Dog Portraits

At Paint my Pet, I create a custom digital pet portraits. Submit your favorite pet images and how large you would like the image to be. Will it be used as a t-shirt, mug, or wall art, for instance? I will send back a quote for a digital file. You can take this image to your own favorite print on demand site or simply keep as a digital file.


Designer Summer Tank Tops

I am abstract artist, Laura L. Leatherwood. I am a California artist. With weather getting warmer, I decided to create summer tank tops this morning. Enjoy!


Digital Files

How is a digital file so much cooler than a single print?

  1. Well, if you order a 4″x”4″ image, it would look great as a profile picture, mug, or ornament. You are free to use your own print on demand site.
  2. If you order an 8″x10″ image, it fits great on a t-shirt or a gift for a friend.
  3. Larger images would, of course, be great on a blanket or as wall art.

You can always still make prints up to the image size purchased. I just ask that you do not sell the image. It is for personal use only.

5 Reasons Abstract Art can Improve your Website

By Cheryl Olmstead

Abstract art may be the perfect solution to all your web design problems. By definition, abstract art is a form of art that does not attempt or represent reality. Left to the imagination, it flaunts its artistic fluidity through the use of shapes, forms, colors, mediums, and textures.

It can breathe life into any website and complement any existing design.

It is fascinating, dramatic, alluring.

When considering improving your website with the use of abstract art graphic designs, you may immediately envision loud, bold designs that don’t fit into your existing site or message. But abstract art graphics are much more than the flashy pictures that intrigue the mind.

They can:
1. Transform your website into something beautiful while enhancing the branding your company
2. Send visual messages to consumers to stimulate a call to action
3. Help you tell your story
4. Create atmosphere
5. Draw customers deeper into your site

While bold designs can certainly enhance a website, whisper soft designs that trigger a myriad of emotions in your customers may be just as valuable to branding.

Why use Abstract Art on your Website?

Imagine graphic art so powerful that in a single glace
• your customers are captivated by your uniqueness
• the story you are telling is complemented without distracting from your message
• you are memorable

That is the power of abstract art and it has been telling a story through the ages.

Originating in the 19th century, it began to mark the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science, and philosophy.

Remaining wildly popular today, it is deeply valued part of history. Evidence of its existence before the 19th century can be found on the textiles and pottery of earlier cultures. It is an art form that communicates the past, present, and future.

It is amazing to consider that today; abstract art can be custom painted or created through the use of digital art and showcased on any website around the world.

Existing design, branding, and your story should be taken into consideration when choosing abstract art or purchasing custom art.

A professional graphic designer and educated fine artist can help you choose abstract art that is perfect for your website and uniquely yours.

It is truly for those who are tired of the typical and long to be extraordinary; who want to get noticed; and those who are not afraid to show off their uniqueness.

California Plastic Bag Ban and What it Means for Your Business

Custom Designed Tote Bags

Pen & Ink Magic is a great source to have custom designed tote bags created with your company branding in mind. With a ban of free disposable plastic bags in California, consumer’s will often opt to bring in their own re-usable tote bags. What better time to up your marketing presence than with consumers carrying totes with you company message. Offer free reusable bags to your customers with a coupon, and you will have them flooding your store for free merchandise.

Even if you are not a box store or grocery outlet, advertising on a tote bag is still very beneficial as a means of advertising whatever type of business you own. Mom and Pop local business owners can take advantage of this marketing item as well. Regional businesses can benefit from B2B advertising. Present your logo, map your location, convey a message about the benefit of protecting the environment or your company plan. This bag is your canvas. Use it to show your vision. Create a series of bags for each season or sales event.  The possibilities are endless.  Let me help you create an image that is right for you.

–Laura L. Leatherwood, Artist

Current Branding Techniques

The process of branding your company is a simple one, with a little bit of knowledge. First, you need to be able to develop a business plan, outlining the goals of your company and the needs of your client. Develop the length of time required to achieve this business plan. Second of all, if you do not have a business name, chose one that suits your company. Be sure to check the internet to see if a domain name is available and make sure no one in the state claims that name. Next, you will want to consider the look, feel, and emotional response you wish to gain with the client’s first contact with your business.

Color Psychology

One of the most important things when branding a company, is to appeal to color psychology.  Choosing the right color palette to reflect your business is crucial to the emotional and psychology feel of your product or service.

Hot, Trending Colors

An easy way to find the latest trending colors, is to visit your local big box home improvement store.  They have paint chips with colors paired together that work well together and appeal to the current market.  But, go there with the basic understanding of color theory and knowledge of what colors inspire your clients.

Basic Color Theory

Study the color wheel to help you choose the right color combination for your design.

Roy G. Biv

In college, I learned the color spectrum as Roy G. Biv. These letters represent the colors of the rainbow. First, I start with the warm hues. I have red, orange, yellow, and move toward the cools with green. The cools are blue, indigo, and violet. When I see these colors, I immediately think of:

RED – hot, passion, drama, suspense

ORANGE – warm, cheerful, positive

YELLOW – hot, sunny, happy

GREEN – calming, nature, fresh

INDIGO – corporate, loyal, trustworthy

VIOLET – spiritual, luxurious, creative

Color Value

If I look at any color wheel, these colors will fill the same places around the perimeter of the circle. The color value demonstrates the intensity of the color. In computer graphics, I would probably refer to it as the saturation of color. The best demonstration of color value is most easily seen between black and white. Black would be the full saturation of color and white would be the opposite. The gray scale, making up the colors in between are the value of black. Each color around the color wheel has its own value. In another example red would be the most saturated and pink values would lighten as it approached white.

Analogous Colors

I use analogous colors in my design work. I choose colors that are side-by-side on the color wheel. For instance, I combine warm colors, like red, orange and yellow. Or, I might want to use cool colors together instead. I just chose the next analogous color and go for it. I either go clockwise or counterclockwise on the color wheel to choose my next color. I might go with a blue-green next. I continue in the same direction around the wheel.

Complimentary Colors

A complimentary color is a color on the opposite side of the color wheel from the one you used last.  They are harmonious with one another.

Advanced Combinations

This is where going to the paint center can help out with more advanced combinations. Take a look at a booklet and see how the colors are used in a room. Take notice of which color is used as just an accent color and which is most dominant. It can be quite helpful in your own branding design.

Interior Design Inspiration

Take a hint from interior design on using texture and pattern. Look at interior design magazines to get a sense of how these elements are used. The viewer moves around the room using all senses to explore the environment. Take notice of what the latest trends are. It could be fabrics on a sofa, bedspread, accent pillows, or carpeting. The repetition of an element can create a tactile sensation. Embossing an item can create and actual tactile feeling. The room can be busy with patterns and textures with various neutral spots to give the viewer a visual break. Or, it could be very sleek with focal points of texture or pattern. Another thing to observe is whether the current trend shows a tight pattern, loose pattern, or a combination of both.  Additionally, note if the elements of the texture are large or small. For instance, does a fabric have large printed flowers or does it have several very small ones paired together?

Pattern and Texture

Pattern and texture are observed through many methods of design. The pattern could be made from the fabric itself. The material could be textured by the tightness of the weave or the product used, such as burlap, rattan, loops, shags, or die cuts. The pattern can also be created by what is printed. Textile fabrics are designed in a repeating pattern. It can be drawn to simulate texture or be drawn as flowers, stripes, polka dots, or various other illustrations. Another way to create pattern and texture is through tiles. Kitchen counters, bathtubs, and floors are laid with tile. Take notice if the trend is to have tile that is all alike or if a pattern is created with contrasting pieces. Natural elements are also common in creating texture. Wood has natural grains and is usually laid horizontal or vertical. Rocks are often used, such as in a stone fireplace or floor of a shower.

Mood and Tone

So, now that you have observed the latest styles and trends, apply it to your own design. Make sure to set the tone and mood of your company by adding texture or pattern. How will they be used to serve you best in creating a little spice to your overall branding experience?

Branding using Architectural Design

As a designer branding your own company, you may want to take a look at architectural design. To understand architecture, you look at both the inside and the outside of a structure. The design may not even stop there. An architectural designer has also studied the environment and location of the structure being built. How it is positioned on a lot is also considered.

Check out what is trending currently. It might be a historical revival period or maybe a sleek modern style gaining popularity. The structure may be extremely ornate and luxurious. Or it my have simple lines and stick to basics.

Look at the scale of the structure.  It may be popular to go large or maybe conserve resources and go small.

Analyze the spatial relationships of the structure. It could be a pattern of small cubes or look more like a Piet Mondrian, Dutch artist, painting with various sized spaces. The volume of space may be large and encompass several floors or be small like a Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, home with short ceilings.

Next, observe the use of of positive and negative space. Something may be breaking up a space like a centrally located staircase. Or, maybe you could consider well lit areas and those that are clouded in darkness as positive and negative areas. Even how a shadow is cast through a window is considered in the overall design.

Combine what you have observed and apply it to your branding project. Remember, branding is not just logo design. The design must reflect what is on the surface of your company and the heart within.  Trade show booths, pamphlets, and company annual reports might be best used to demonstrate an overall architecture of a company.

Fashion Show Inspiration

Catch the latest fashion shows to see what look is new this year. This is a great place to see what colors, texture, and patterns are trending. Study the outfit and accessories. The clothing demonstrates the base and the accessories are the embellishments of the design. Apply what you see to your own branding design, whether it be the luscious designs of Oscar De La Renta to Calvin Klein’s sophisticated apparel. Notice what style of clothing is popular. It could be high society, fifties swing, modern goth, shabby chic, and so on. Apply this style to your own design.

Building your own Outfit

Creating your own brand is in essence building your own outfit. So, think about what is the main focus of your business and how it is assembled. The branding you create, like an outfit, is a reflection of your product or service. Make it current and sought after. You are looking for that magical something. It could be used for shock value or is thought provoking. It needs to be present in your branding design to send a message to your customer or client.

Apply Principles of Design

Be sure to include the principles of design in relation to color, texture, pattern. You can scream at your client in a big, bold, red color, with lots of texture. Or, you can speak softly in small patterns of muted colors with a splash of bold color to focus your attention on one item. Look at how a trendy outfit is put together. Use this arrangement in your own design. This outfit can be used as an example of negative and positive space. An outfit may be top heavy, swing to one side, or flow out the back. The look and feel of your business branding should reflect the feel and mood of the current fashion trend.