‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

Categories: Art | Children | Design and Architecture | Photo project | Society | World

Children are known for their huge imaginations. It doesn't matter if the stories they tell us seem unbelievable; often, we're left wondering how they even came up with them. Most kids enjoy art activities, like drawing, for instance. We've all done that when we were little. Regardless of the outcome, we were all doing our best to draw or paint our favorite toys, animals, or family members. Some of these artworks are very cute, some surprisingly accurate, especially considering the age of the artist, while others are unique in a way that we can't really tell how the child ended up producing an image so different from the original.

Today, we'd like to share with you the most recent collection of images created by a dad from London, Tom Curtis. He was inspired by his own children taking their first steps as artists at an early age. We've featured some of his past works in our previous posts, so be sure to check them out. Scroll down and enjoy this funny adventure provided to us by this artist.

More info: Instagram | thingsihavedrawn.com

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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Pictolic reached out to Tom again to find out more about his unique work. We asked if he ever noticed any common themes or elements in the drawings he received to recreate. Curtis said: “We’ve always got a lot of the classics – elephants, giraffes, dogs and cats. And there are certainly loads of unicorns. The best pictures are the ones that aren’t inspired by other styles of drawing. It seems a shame when young kids start copying famous cartoon characters and animals rather than drawing from the real thing or using their incredible imagination. But that’s unsurprising given how much content they’re watching from a young age. The best drawings tend to come from kids between the ages of 5 and 8. It’s when their drawings have clear form, but still have a lovely naivety that’s understandably lost as they get older.”

‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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We have also learned more about the most challenging aspect of recreating children's drawings Tom faces: “There are few things. Starting with the pictures themselves – generally speaking, the more detailed the drawing, the longer it takes to create the ‘real’ version. That’s because I try to represent all the lines the child has drawn – no matter how complicated they all are. So, if they’ve drawn lots of individual hairs, for example – I’ll try to represent all those individual hairs in some way. It does require some interpretation sometimes, though – like for example, if I can’t tell if it’s a tail or a back leg. In those instances, I’ll try to find out from the artist who drew it. It also very much depends on what type of animal it is. Reptiles tend to take a lot longer because it can be surprisingly difficult to get all the scales to join together in a convincing-looking way.”

‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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Curtis continued: “Next is the amount of time they take. Time - or lack of it - is an enemy of all artists and creators, of course. My pictures take absolutely ages. A lot of people think that because my son is called Al (short of Alistair) – and especially when I say ‘this picture is by Al’ – I must be using AI to create them. It’s not though - it’s nearly all Photoshop. I wish I had more time to do more pictures, especially when the algorithm demands content!”

Tom also mentioned that the third challenging factor is often choosing the right pictures to use. He shared with us: “We get loads sent to us, but I can only use a surprisingly small number. Over time I’ve been able to spot the ones that will make the best ‘real’ photos. They tend to be simple line drawings (not with loads of coloring in), and with one or two funny features – like one massive leg, or, if it’s a bird, a beak as well as a smiley mouth. But unfortunately, lots of the pics I receive are poor quality scans, too dark or low resolution – nothing to do with the actual kid’s drawing at all. But if I love it, I’ll do all I can to tidy up the drawing in Photoshop before I begin the ‘real’ version.’

‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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We were also curious about the most memorable reaction Tom received from a child whose drawing he brought to life. We found out: “In 2021, I was fortunate enough to win a competition for a charity I’m an ambassador for called Rays of Sunshine – and the prize was to have huge digital posters around the UK featuring our pictures. Rays of Sunshine grants wishes to seriously ill children, so I thought it was a nice idea to take some of the drawings by these wonderful kids and display giant versions of them across the country. One poster site was in London, and we invited a little girl called Phoebe-Grace down to see her awesome red supercar up on this huge screen. I’ll never forget her face as she stood there looking up at her brilliant drawing as it came to life in front of her.” If you’re interested to find out more about Rays of Sunshine, you can click here.

‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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evolved as an artist since then. He told us: “I’ve had very little formal training in Photoshop, so I’ve very much learnt as I go. I still only really know the basics, but I know them well. Over time I’ve got more particular about how my images look. I’ll often focus in on tiny details that nobody will ever see in a compressed version on Instagram, but I’ll know! I’m keen for Things I Have Drawn to develop in other ways too. As Gen-AI has started to make everything easier and quicker, I’ve begun to focus more on craft-based skills such as drawing and painting – in other words, creating detailed versions of kids’ drawings in pencil or paint. I’ve recently started featuring these on my Instagram feed. The problem is, they take ages as well, but I love doing it, so I’ll stick with it for a while yet, I think.”

Tom added: “The other thing is that I’ve become increasingly aware of how important it is to encourage kids to draw. There are so many distractions these days – so many reasons for them not to pick up a pencil and paper and start scribbling away – that I’m determined to carry on doing Things I Have Drawn. If it inspires just a handful of children to draw a picture of a bird, animal or flower – I’ll be satisfied it’s doing some good.”

‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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‘Things I have drawn’: 13 Times Dad Used Photoshop To Bring Children’s Art To Life

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Keywords: Photoshop | Funny edits | Children | Art of kids | Art of children | Family | Imaginations

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