How to turn your watercolors into clip art

clip art

Clip art is the best way to bring any object to life. They can be used almost anywhere, from decorating greeting cards to creating visually appealing presentations.

Most clip art is copyrighted. However, in some cases you can use them for free, but only for personal non-profit purposes.

Unfortunately, in new versions of MS Word, the familiar clip art has been replaced by Bing images. However, there are still ways to insert clip art into a document. In particular, there are online clip-art programs that help users choose the images they like.

Those who want access to exclusive images should invest in software to create them. Many such programs are available not only in paid versions, but also in free versions, which saves users from any legal problems. The great thing about what they offer, though, is that they offer entire collections of ready-made free images of all genres.

Here we are going to tell you about the best programs for creating clip art that will help you save time and money.

Adobe Illustrator

Vector graphics software is exactly what those who want to create beautiful clip art need. Such programs contain everything you need – from vector graphics tools that let you enlarge your “artwork” to the size you want without losing quality, to sophisticated drawing tools and great typography with stunning effects. And they’re packed with styles, color palettes, and unlimited font libraries.

Let’s take a look at the key features of Adobe Illustrator:

  • Fast program startup and fast file opening, which contributes to maximum productivity;
  • Improved effects (fast rendering of shadows, Gaussian blur, and feathering effects);
  • Simplified vector paths (just delete unnecessary points to speed up workflow);
  • Freeform gradients to create rich color transitions;
  • Step-by-step instructions to help you get the job done easily.
clip art


Edraw is one of the best graphic design software that works on all major platforms. Edraw allows users to create different types of diagrams (block diagrams, floor plans, link diagrams, etc.) using its own gallery full of templates and examples.

It is a handy tool for drawing vector images. The powerful application is packed with advanced features that help you create stunning clip art.

This software contains more than 8,500 ready-made vector images that can be used to personalize greeting cards, flowcharts, business diagrams, and much more.

Other advantages of Edraw include compatibility with an extended set of software, the ability to scale images without loss of clarity, and the ability to export files to TIF, GIF, JPG, and PNG formats.

SmartsysSoft Label Maker

SmartsysSoft Label Maker is considered one of the best programs for creating clip art. It offers a wide variety of designs from greeting cards to CD/DVD labels.

The program comes with a set of pre-designed templates, images, shapes and symbols. Users can choose something from the library to their liking, and then modify the item using their own logos and images.

This program is ideal for vector graphics that allow users to create their own high-quality images ready for printing. If you wish, you can print the created clip art on your local printer.

Moreover, SmartsysSoft Label Maker allows you to save images in various formats including PDF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG and TIFF.

The program provides tools for visual editing of outlines and smooth coloring of elements. Best of all, SmartsysSoft Label Maker allows you to edit images layer by layer.

Greeting Card Builder

PearlMountain’s Greeting Card Builder is another great program that offers a quick way to create personalized greeting cards and clip art using your own images and text.

The program is easy to use. Even beginners can cope with it, it does not require any special experience or computer skills. With Greeting Card Builder you will create a greeting card with a custom design in just three easy steps.

The program offers a good set of editing options with simple controls. Its WYSIWYG editor allows users to see any changes made to the design being created.

Greeting Card Builder comes with a set of tools that help customize light and color, resize images, crop them, apply masks and more.

Ready-made templates for all occasions, the ability to save, publish and print images are some of its important features that we haven’t mentioned yet.


PhoXo is a compact, fast and easy to use program that is rightfully among the best clip art software. This free software is quite lightweight, but it can be used as a mini alternative to PhotoShop.

The main features of PhoXo include the ability to undo actions, add layers, batch processing,more than 50 special effects, and a wide range of handy tools. These tools help users perform a variety of actions, including cropping images, painting, retouching.

In addition, users can apply effects such as shadows, gradients, etc. to images. PhoXo comes with a huge collection of different elements: patterns, textures, ready-made clip art and more.

Other valuable PhoXo features include photo enhancement tools and multilingual support.

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1

Open the project with the video composition in the editor. Use color correction or curves if the image does not have enough contrast.

Step 2

Apply the effect. Two styles are available – Classic Watercolor and Contour Watercolor.

In Adobe After Effects: in the Effects & Presets panel (or in the Effect menu) select AKVIS Plug-ins -> Watercolor Video Сlassic (Watercolor Video Contour) and drag to the composition window.

In Adobe Premiere Pro: on the Effects panel choose AKVIS Plug-ins -> Watercolor Video Сlassic (Watercolor Video Contour) and drag it to the Timeline, to the clip you want to apply the effect to.

In Adobe Premiere Elements: in Effects choose AKVIS Plug-ins -> Watercolor Video Сlassic (Watercolor Video Contour) and drag to the Timeline.

Step 3

You can use the ready-made AKVIS presets by selecting them from the list.

You can change the effect settings on the Effect Controls panel.

To reset the settings to their default values, use the following controls:

  • in Adobe After Effects: Reset button;
  • in Adobe Premiere Pro: icon;
  • in Adobe Premiere Elements: icon.

Step 4

The conversion settings you like can be saved as a preset (a set of effects) and used later.

In Adobe After Effects: select the desired item on the Effects panel, choose in the Animation -> Save Animation Preset menu, specify name and folder. The created effects set will appear on the Effects & Presets panel in the *Animation Preset -> User presets folder.

In Adobe Premiere Pro: select the desired list items on the Effects & Presets panel, right-click to call the context menu, select Save preset…. and specify a name. The created effects set will appear on the Effects panel in the Presets folder.

Step 5

Save the finished video.

In Adobe After Effects: select Composition -> Add to Render Queue in the main menu. A rendering window will appear, where you can select a folder to save the video, as well as set the file name and conversion settings. Click the Render button.

In Adobe Premiere Pro: select the clip in the Project panel and choose File -> Export -> Media in the main menu. This will open an export settings window. After selecting all settings click on OK and finish the export through Adobe Media Encoder.

In Adobe Premiere Elements: click the Export & Share button on the toolbar and select the export type. Another way: select File -> Export and Share in the main menu.

Tip: Make sure to use the optional Frame Exclusion filter, which sets the frame rate during processing. The recommended value for this parameter is 5-8. It allows you to avoid flickering of spots.

In editors where this option is absent, set frame rate in video file properties to 5-8, and use 25 frames when rendering video.

Clip art is especially useful for creative people who use images to enhance the artistry and emotionality of their texts.

If you need a good clip art program, you’re sure to find it in the list above.

Posted in Art