4 Ways to Use Adobe Capture Shape Tool

Adobe has continued to roll out updated features to Adobe Fresco and one of the latest is the Capture Shape Tool. As of this post there are 4 Capture Shape categories; “Comics”, “Typographic”, “Floral”, and the original “Berlin”.

Using Capture Shape Tool as a Stamp or Repeat Pattern

Select Capture Tool Icon on left side tool bar and choose the shape you want. I’ve chosen one from the Floral category.

Select a color and chose the Fill button on the bottom toolbar and select which fill option you prefer…I chose Pixel fill.

Move the shape tool to next location and select the Fill option again. If you want to change the size of the stamp or the color do you can do so before selecting Fill.

Using Capture Shape Tool and Brushes

Capture Shape Tool Icon and select your desired Shape.

Using any color fill in the shape with the Fill option on the bottom toolbar.

Chose the Select option on the bottom tool bar and marching ants will appear around the shape.

Turn off the layer and add a new later. You should see the marching ants without any color.

Select the brush of your choice and the color and paint over the selection. This will allow you to fill in the shape with your own texture and color.

Once done Deselect from the bottom toolbar.

Using Capture Shape Tool as a Cutout

Fill background with selected color.

Chose shape from Capture shape tool options and position where you want the cutout.

Select Erase on the bottom toolbar and the shape will cut into background color.

Using Capture Shape with Masks to Apply Color

Fill background with selected color.

Select Capture shape tool and chose shape.

Select Mask option on the bottom tool bar and the color will apply to the shape.

Select a brush and using the “Hide” and “Reveal” buttons on the bottom tool bar you can add texture or alter the original shape.

History of Commonplace Books

The history of the Commonplace Books goes back to the Middle Ages. It’s believed that the concept originated in ancient Greece and Rome, although they become most popular during the Renaissance and early Modern Period, when students and scholars used them for study.

In 1706, John Locke wrote  “A New Method of Making Commonplace Books” where he gave specific advice on how to arrange material by subject and category. Much the way a database may be used today.

Eventually Commonplace Books found their way into private households where they were used to collect recipes, medical formulas, along side informative text.

Many famous thinkers and leaders kept Commonplace Books including:

Thomas Jefferson – kept commonplace books for literary and legal matters. He kept track of quotes and passages from books he’d read.

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau – shared a Commonplace Book of poetry. Both were taught how to use Commonplace Books at Harvard.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton – An American Suffragist – kept a Commonplace Books with private notes, correspondence and literary transcriptions.

Patrick Branwell (Emily and Charlotte Bronte’s brother) – kept Commonplace Books that included drawings, quotes, and ephemera collected from his day-to-day.

I’m teaching a new class all about Commonplace Books. Here’s the post I wrote all about the class.

7 Benefits of Commonplace Books

I spent years frustrated by my journaling habits. I would promise to keep a specific book for each theme and within days I’d be jotting down everything in one notebook. It wasn’t until I learned what Commonplace Books are that I realized they were what I’d been creating all along!!

These special books are a place to collect all your musings, ideas and experiences. I love to keep a Traditional or Multi-Use, as I like to call them, notebook. But I also have specific Commonplace Books for projects, research projects, and books I’m studying. I have a gardening notebook, a grief notebook, I even create a notebook for each class I create.

Over the many, many years I’ve been creating these books I’ve found there are such wonderful benefits to Commonplacing…yes, it’s a thing 🙂

1 – To Remember

The world is moving so fast and it’s so easy to forget the interesting passages or turn of phrase. I always think I’ll remember, but I don’t! I keep a small travel Commonplace Book in my purse and car so I have a notebook close by at all times.

2 – Helps You Focus

I can’t tell you the number of times I’m working on something and a great idea comes up or I come across some piece of research that would be perfect for another project or idea and it distracts from what I was working on. I’ve found that if keep a Commonplace Book with me I always have a place to jot down the information and then return to the project at hand knowing that special tidbit is safe and I can’t return to it later.

3 – Get To Know Yourself

When you look back at a completed Commonplace Book or even one that’s mostly filled in, you’ll begin to see your own unique take on things. It’s like a snapshot of your life.

4 – Saves Time

If you use Commonplace Books for research projects, whether for class creation, novel writing, lecture notes or a project, having a place where all your research is collected will save time when you need to find something.

5 – Contemplate Your Ideas

When looking back over your notebooks, you’ll be able to see the connection and insights you may not have seen otherwise. You’ll get a big picture of the information that inspired you.

6 – Increased Awareness

The more you Commonplace, the more you become aware. You’ll start to find quotes, figures of speech, and inspirational lines or lyrics in your everyday.

7 – Keeps Your Brain Sharp

The physical art of writing things down keeps your mind sharp. As a person ages they need more brain exercises and writing things down, especially things that you connect to, will keep you sharp as a tack.

The benefits of Commonplace Books are so vast. I’ve found that Commonplacing has helped me with Self-Care, especially when working through Grief.

Having a Grief Commonplace Book allows me to collect all the things that connect to me and offer support and guidance all in one place. I can quickly flip through it to see things I know will offer support and sooth during difficult moments.

I’m teaching a new class all about Commonplace Books. Here’s the post I wrote all about the class.

New Class: Commonplace Books for Self-Care

Commonplace Books are a journal…for keeping ideas, quotes, notes, and ephemera. They’ve been used since the Middle Ages to collect, organize and store information for later use.

I’ve been keeping Commonplace Books for over 30 years and over that course of time my notebooks have taken on many forms, but the thing that remained the same with each was how they inspired me and helped me to focus. They let me write something that is relevant at the time, to ponder on it and return to it at a later time.

Using Commonplace Books for Self-Care during times of stress or loss will give you a record of what you’ve gone through and how you have changed. Over time these books turn into a personal anthology of thoughts and reflections.

In this class I’ll share the history of Commonplace Books, how to use them as Self-Care, the different types of Commonplace Books and then I’ll demonstrate the two ways I use Commonplace Books. One being lines and lines of text and the other a collage style that combines visuals with bits of inspirational text.

The lessons include:

  • What is a Commonplace Book?
  • History of Commonplace Books
  • Using Commonplace Books for Self-Care
  • Types of Commonplace Books
  • Supplies Needed
  • Project 1 – Text Commonplace Book
  • Project 2 – Collage Commonplace Book
  • Commonplace Book Flip-Through
Class Preview


This class is currently being offered on Skillshare.

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Follow the link to get 14 free days of Skillshare premium if you’re a new student!!

Income-Producing Activities for Creatives

I’ve created a fun eBook that shares a ton of Income-Producing Activities (I.P.A’s) for Creatives and I’m giving it to you for FREE.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the ideas and way others are making an income as a creative person. We usually hear people speak of making “passive income” as a creative artist, but there are many steps that are taken before those passive incomes begin to work. I’ve created a combination of daily, weekly and monthly task lists, along with detailed information about the different ways a creative can earn an income.

Income Producing Activities for Creatives eBook – $0.00

Charcoal with Digital Elements

I’ve been working on a new Series of Charcoal Drawings mixed with Digital Elements. After taking Renee Mueller’s Collected Stories class I explored drawing with Charcoal again, but I found that bringing those drawings into Adobe Fresco or Procreate I could then add digital elements to finish the illustrations.

By adding the digital elements I can add textures and colors with the brushes, as well as ephemera and handwritten text that can be incorporated into the background by using layer modes.

These techniques are the same as the ones I use for the Mixed Media Graphic Art illustrations that I teach in my class.

I’m loving the level the emotion I can create in these illustrations by combining the analog drawings with the digital elements.

Mixing Charcoal and Adobe Fresco

I’ve been taking the “Collected Stories” class by Renee Mueller, so I’ve been doing a lot of charcoal drawings.

Charcoal drawings are a bit intimidating for me. I’m not sure why since it’s how I started as an artist when I was a young kid and I always make my way through a drawing, but there’s something about it that always makes me a bit anxious at first.

My beautiful daughter has become my muse for this class, which I love because I get to draw her over and over again.

Renee is such a wonderful teacher and encourages her students to explore ways to incorporate the things she’s teaching with our own style, so I took one of the drawings of my daughter and uploaded it into Adobe Fresco where I added digital elements. First I started by adding tons of live oil brush strokes on different layers and then changed the layer modes. (I teach all how to do this in my class Mixed Media Graphic Art).

Then I used a smudge brush to smooth out the charcoal lines in her face and then with a large brush and broad strokes I blended out the edges so they merged into the oil brush strokes I had added.

I added a couple layers of ephemera and then some handwritten text and it turned out better than I could have planned.

Playing with different elements and techniques, mixing things you don’t normally and trying techniques outside your comfort zone is so important to our growth as artists.