Author: KristinLaudicina

To.Be Gif Art – Kristin Laudicina

For all of my Gif animations I chose to work on the website.  For some strange reason I had many issues with NewHive including just being unable to log in at random times.  Frustrated, I decided to stick with  A lot of my ideas stemmed from an initial drawing, which I then animated as a Gif, which I then created a little “scene” for.


The one below, my first attempt, was inspired by my first 2D project. Since I took so many selfies and my piece was a self portrait painting, I thought it would be fun to animate the many selfies along with my “selfie” artwork. I chose to put it in a frame and have a few onlookers enjoying the “art”.

One thing I noticed, and I’m unsure if it behaves the same way on NewHive, is that opacity in gifs does not show up faded on the website, but instead looks pixelated (see light in above field). Something to keep in mind when creating gifs.

The one above, which I kept calling “O Captain, My Captain” in my head, sprung about from a piece I created in Illustrator and Photoshop of Captain America. From there I wondered what could the old captains scene should be and voila, buildings and fire were born.

My next creation came from the animated gif of a giraffe I drew many years ago. Where else might you find a bad ass cigarette smoking giraffe but locked away in a jail cell. The poor child can hardly believe what he’s seeing.

The above began with the fish, which I painted and then edited in photoshop to have see through “bones”. I decided to animate the fish, put it in the ocean, and add melting skittles from a previous project that I just really enjoy.

This was where I began to try to breakaway from the whole “scene” I had been creating thus far. I wanted to just make something, anything, that didn’t look like a little, well, scene. I used a graphic image I had created and a background I found online. A simple gif of an inverted background flashing can give anything a cool effect (imho).

The one above was from a graphic design course I took during my undergrad. We created “pop out” images, and while the initial static image I made had the woman with her leg dangling from the frame, but I felt animating it slightly gave it that little something extra it needed (aaaaand I’m back creating tiny little scenes).

So I created a Gif from another drawing and thought, “wow she looks worried, what could possibly be going on?” Earth on fire? That’ll do it.

Okay back to simple. Again I took an image I had created (melty lightbulb) and found a nice flame Gif on Giphy.

So for this guy I used an Gif I had created for my 3D project and edited it on Giphy to create that cool drippy eye (this will be used again in future fields because I really like it).

And theres the eye again. That eye, was my inspiration. I initially wanted to create an outline of a girl that looked as though she was holding up her arms and holding a frame in front of her face (I used this in a future field) but once I put the drippy eye behind it, I liked that it was simple and left the frame off.

So this was my collage which is just a wish mosh of craziness made even more crazy by animating a few pieces. I used already created gifs to give it a little something extra.

Back to trying to keep it simple, we have the girl with the frame and my Gif selfie. The background is a song I had stuck in my head all throughout class when we initially learned how to create Gifs. There are two versions, this one, (which I suppose is the original and plays during the end of The Darjeeling Limited) and this cooler remake by NoFx.

3D Self Portrait

Create a 3D Self Portrait 

Supplies Needed:

  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Card Stock
  • Computer with Photoshop and Printer
  • Air Dry Clay
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Adhesive (TBD)

Step 1: Cut Hole in Card Stock and Construct Convoluted Set Up for Photo Taking Process

Once I decided I wanted my 3D portrait to look as if I were coming out of a hole in a chair, I felt that having the image at the angle I wanted to portray would make the 3D aspect more believable.  In order to create a “hole”, I used card stock and, ideally, would have used a compass to make a perfect circle.  Realizing I did not have a compass, I attempted to create my own (Image 1) which failed miserably and so instead I free drew a circle as best as I could (Image 2) (This circle can always be adjusted in Photoshop anyway).  Once I set up my “hole”, I put a timer on my phone and slid into place.  Be sure to make the strangest face possible, wait for flash, check to see if photo is acceptable, and repeat as needed.

Step 2: Adjust Opacity in Photoshop to about 30%, then Print Photo

It’s helpful if you remember to take photos of each step, however, I did not.  Therefore, you can’t see my initial light print out, but you can see that after I printed the light print out, I then colored over it with colored pencil.  This is a great way to get comfortable with drawing realistic portraits, and by using your own original photo and editing it in Photoshop yourself, it feels less like “cheating”.

Step 3: Pick a Place to Animate, cut hole, and film animation GIF


For my eye, I used the GIPHY CAM app on my phone.  When it came time to display my final project, I placed my phone under the hole and had it loop indefinitely.

Step 4: Add Depth with Clay and Paint

I had the idea that sculpting parts of the hand out out clay then painting them to blend into the photo would be a great way to add to the “coming out” effect of my portrait.  What I did not take into consideration was 1: the clay takes 3 days to dry. 2: painting wet clay makes it a gross grey color, not the color of the paint, and 3: the clay will not stick to the paper.  I, of course, discovered all this the hard way, so learn from my mistakes and allow yourself sufficient time for clay to dry, be painted, and of course, experiment with adhesives in order to attach “hands” to paper (hint: hot glue will not work).


2D Self Portrait Watercolor

Create a Watercolor (Selfie) Self-Portrait

Supplies Needed:

  • Camera (phone is recommended to instantly begin working)
  • Computer with Photoshop
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Brushes
  • Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Step 1: Take a Million Selfies.

Step 2: Pick your Favorite and Upload to Computer. Open in Photoshop.

As shown above, you may choose to to edit your photo prior to printing it.  After opening my photo in Photoshop, (Image 1) I chose to experiment with Filters first (Image 2) then adjust the color (Image 3).  This is, of course, optional.  Once you’ve edited and/or framed out your photo, print it.  If you’re inexperienced when it comes to copying a drawing, I recommend printing your photo the same size as the canvas you plan on painting.

Step 3: Copy Your Drawing (Optional: Using a Grid)

If you’re fancy (or just up for a challenge), simply use your print as a guide while you draw your photo on your watercolor paper (Image 1).  If you’re a bit nervous about accuracy, feel free to use a ruler to create a grid on your photo (Image 2), then a grid on your watercolor paper.  Drawing within these smaller boxes can be extremely helpful when it comes to accuracy.

If you’ve never used a grid for drawing, the following resource may be helpful:

Step 4: Paint

Set up your work station with brushes, water, watercolor paint and a paper towel.  I prefer to use to cups of water, one for wetting my brush as I begin painting and another for washing the paint off my brushes in-between colors.

Step 5: Add Details with Pens, Markers, Paint Pens or Other Medium

For me, the eyes in my painting were lacking after just the watercolor.  To amp up the detail in this area, I added more detail with blue marker and a white paint pen.  While this is technically optional, I recommend it as it can give the painting a little something extra than just watercolor.  You may choose to focus on the lips, the hair, one eye, or anything else using any medium of your choice.  The possibilities are endless.

Above is a beautiful example of a watercolor portrait by Maryam Gaber.  More of her work can be found by following the link below: