Many years ago a co-worker was starting to sell scrapbooking materials as a home-based business, and she invited me over for a selling party. The attendees were to bring a few photos for a scrapbook page. I ended up cutting out my own shapes from the cardstock, such as bright yellow stars. Some of the other women were horrified - "I can't do that!" My friend had to explain, No, Lisa's an artist, no you don't have to do that, here are the premade shapes you can buy.
I don't like using premade shapes - cut-outs, stencils, not even rubber stamps. I prefer to make my own stuff to use.
Recently Julie Prichard over at the Lost Luggage blog launched an effort to publicize the respect of copyright. The internet makes it easy to steal other people's images (which doesn't mean people should). Julie launched a project called Artists for Respect (see badge on my sidebar) - it also has its own Facebook page. Artists should use their own images, and everyone should give credit for anything they use that is not their own. For how I make my own images, see below.
When I was finishing up the Velvet Pussy I decided I wanted some shapes to put on the Pink Panties. These are sometimes called masks. Given the subject matter, I wanted a cat shape, and a woman shape. For the cat shapes, I printed out some old photos of our cat Emmett (RIP 2003). I then shaded over his shape in pencil and used that to make the patterns on heavy paper, so I could trace around them.
Bikini Girl is from a photo I took when we went to a Blackhawks hockey game. Women in bikini tops and miniskirts came out to sweep the ice, and I tried to get photos of them. Only after I downloaded them did I realize I took a great photo of the blond one. You can see above I printed the photo, cut around her shape, then changed her ice skates to high heels. I made some masks out of contact paper, flipping the image so she is facing both left and right. I also enlarged the image (I haven't cut that one out yet).
Here is a mermaid shape I drew - pattern on heavy paper, plus two contact paper masks, one facing each direction. A note about contact paper - when I cut out shapes, I immediately put them between the pages of a heavy book, or they will curl and not adhere properly (and paint will leak around the edges). I haven't yet decided if I like using the contact paper, or if heavy paper does the job.
This next image was based on a drawing I made. I dug out this pencil drawing, wondering if I could turn it into a mask shape. The drawing originally had her arms at her sides, but that wouldn't make a good solid shape, so I redrew her arms above her head. Then I scanned her - the drawing was too big to fit on the scanner bed so it got cut off. I then shrank the image, printed it, and shaded it with pencil, adding her hands at the top. Then I made my pattern.
I also shrank her so I had a tiny one, which ended up on the pink panties.
I decided I needed a butterfly shape. I did a Google Image search for Butterfly, which brings up lots of images. I then drew an outline in pencil, looking at the various images as reference, adjusting until I liked it. It's not based on any one butterfly - I just used those images to give me an idea of the general shapes.
To get a symmetrical image, I divided the drawing in half and adjusted one half until I liked it. Then I cut it out and traced it first on one side then the other, so that I ended up with a symmetrical image. Just today I scanned it and shrank it - I need a smaller butterfly. Here it is in use:
There are three contact paper butterflies on there, buried under paint. However, I am using five paper butterflies to paint over. The paper works just fine (held on with tape underneath, plus holding it in place). I'm not sure the contact paper is worth the trouble.
Also, I may cut out some paper butterflies and glue them on. After painting/layering over, the butterfly shape would show through. Still experimenting.
BTW, do you like the blue colored pencil guide lines? I measured wrong so there are some extra lines.
I had some pink paint leftover, so I put some butterfly shapes on this one:
If you want to make your own images or shapes, stamps or stencils and masks, it's not difficult. You don't have to rely on premade shapes or designs. Design your own world!