I just discovered The Graphics Fairy website where you can download beautiful vintage clip art for free! I used this cute vintage rabbit for my Facebook Easter cover I posted yesterday and I was inspired to write a little tutorial on removing a white background from clip art. This is just one way to do it in PSE or Photoshop Elements, but it is an easy technique and can work really well.
2. I selected W for my magic wand and made sure that it was set for new selection (first box on menubar), set the tolerance to 10 (this can be adjusted) and made sure Contiguous was not checked (because there is white in the middle of the rabbit I want to remove). Then I clicked on the white space around the rabbit to select all of the white in the image.
3. I then double-clicked on the Background layer (rabbit) in the layer pane and when the New Layer menu popped up, I clicked on OK. You can't remove the white from a layer called Background. Then I clicked on Delete on my keyboard and all of the white was removed. Then click on Command-D to remove the marking ants.
4. The rabbit is now on a transparent background and you can save it as a png to keep it that way. Don't save it as a jpg or the white background will come back!!!
5. I dragged the rabbit (V for move tool) and dropped him on some vintage paper and free transformed him to fit (Ctrl-T). Make sure you hold shift in PS/check Constrain Proportions in PSE or your rabbit will get distorted.
6. Now you can play. If you put the rabbit layer in soft light or blending mode it will fade into the paper.
7. If you want to add color, add a color fill adjustment layer above the rabbit (keep the rabbit in normal mode), group it, and then adjust the color to taste.
I hope you have fun downloading free clipart from The Graphics Fairy!!! And thank you so much Karen for sharing your designs.
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