Free Materials For Teachers
Image©2021 ABS ClipSafari logo
1,000s of public domain clip art images!

The FREE clip art on ClipSafari is all licensed CC0 (public domain). You can use, modify, combine, and distribute this art without attribution. It’s even free to use for commercial purposes. That means you could include it in the designs for items to sell at your next fundraiser!

First Impression Of ClipSafari
I was contacted by Nathan Story while he was setting up ClipSafari, and he asked me to take a look at this new resource site. I gave it a heavy workout! I like the clean, easy-to-use interface, the license information on the home page, and the excellent Search function. And of course, I VERY much like the public domain licensing!

All the images are of excellent quality, varying in style from cartoony to photographic and including line art, silhouettes, and full color images. Besides the Search box, there is a tag field on the home page to quickly pull up commonly searched-for terms.

Each image can be downloaded in your choice of .svg or .png formats. SVG is a vector format which you can enlarge or reduce without loss of quality. Recent versions of Microsoft Word® and other business software can load SVG. PNG is compatible with most anything, including web pages, but changing the size does affect the quality.

No Choice In Size Of PNG Format
One limitation of this site is that the .png version of each image is offered in only one size, and the sizes vary greatly between different clip images. Check the size (pixel dimensions), which is noted on the Download button, to be sure it’s somewhere close to what you need.

If you have to either enlarge or reduce the size of a .png image by a large amount, the result probably will be disappointing. Generally, I’ve found 2X larger or smaller to be about the absolute limit to preserve the appearance.

The reason for this effect is that each PNG image has a set number of pixels. In contrast, an SVG graphic contains instructions for drawing that image at any size. If the original size of a PNG image doesn’t have many pixels in its width and height, there isn’t a lot of detail to work with when either enlarging or shrinking. If the original size has lots of pixels, it may look okay when enlarged a moderate amount. But to shrink it, some (or many) pixels must be thrown out. The pixels themselves don’t shrink or enlarge.

Image©2021 ABS Screenshot of results of search for summer
16 0f 478 Images For Summer

Excellent Search Function!
I was very impressed with the Search function on ClipSafari. This is particularly important because of the enormous number of images available. I tested Search with misspellings (a common feature of my typing), and it made logical guesses. I found that you can make the search more specific by using two or three words with spaces between, for example: pine tree, palm tree, green sports car.

Experiment with adding a color word to your search terms to avoid images you can’t use. Example: I searched for blue flower, and got an entire page of blue flowers, some solid blue and some blue with one or more other colors. Black and white horse gave me a page full of line art and a few black horse silhouettes, but no horses in other colors.

Adding the word realistic usually eliminates cartoony images, but may only fetch complete scenes, not individual figures. The only limitation I found with Search is that I can’t find a way to filter out specific words. For example, I couldn’t get lions without also pulling up a few sea lions.

ClipSafari is a work in progress, and it’s growing rapidly. The last time I looked, it had over 100,000 images; but there will be many, many more by the time you try it!

Bonuses: Fancy Frames and Coloring Lineart Tutorials

Borders wild, wacky, and wonderful
Finding all this high-quality clip art enticed me to try some experiments (or, play around and waste time, if you want to get technical!) Anyhow, the results are three tutorials. I did my experiments in good old PhotoShop®, but many other graphics applications could be used. For example, Gimp®, on the computer, and Art Studio Pro® on my iPad® have the Bevel and Mask functions needed for Fancy Frames and Coloring Lineart, respectively.

The wide assortment of ornate border designs on ClipSafari inspired the Fancy Frames experiments. I’ve found a way to use these line art frame designs to make very fancy borders, which could be used to frame a portrait photograph or title page. They’re easy, creative, and fun to do, and the tutorial gives you a chance to try out filters and effects you probably haven’t used before.

After you finish the CSFancyFrames.pdf tutorial, download the Fancy Frames Collection, a set of 22 finished frames I made using just three different clip art borders. Also work through the short tutorial in to steal the tricks I used to make these three frames.

Add color to antique art
A second starting point for items to turn into customized clip art is to search ClipSafari for wikimedia lineart or wikimedia black and white. This pulls up hundreds of old, detailed pen and ink drawings. You can add another search term to filter for exactly what you need, for example wikimedia lineart animals or wikimedia black and white musical instruments.

When I say there are hundreds of these excellent little drawings, they include the entire line art collection of an old textbook publisher, Scott Foresman. Add some color, and these antique drawings are ready to use in modern projects. Download a short tutorial (Coloring Lineart Tutorial) on the easiest way to do the coloring.

I’ve added a link to ClipSafari under FREE STUFF in the sidebar. I’m sure I’ll meet you there often, gathering clip art for a project or just exploring the site.

Applications needed: Acrobat Reader, PhotoShop, Modern web browser.
Subject area: Tips, Resources.
Level: Author.

Online Link-Resources

Clip Safari link: Click Here. Thousands of high quality clip art images to download, all licensed CC0.



CSFancyFrames.pdf (2.7 MB) Fancy Frames tutorial to print. Download a line art decorative border and turn it into a colorful 3D frame. Acrobat Reader, Preview, or other PDF reader. (133.5 MB) LearnFrom3FrameExamples.pdf tutorial to print and 3 examples as .psd files. Tutorial analyzes the three examples in detail. Acrobat Reader, Preview, or other PDF reader, and PhotoShop. (5.3 MB) ColoringLineartTutorial.pdf tutorial to print and example files. Quick tips to add color to antique line art images for high quality clip art. Acrobat Reader, Preview, or other PDF reader, and PhotoShop.

Downloads-Resources (61.5 MB) Collection of 22 ornate borders in png format. To preview the collection, click here.

June 1st, 2021 at 7:43 pm


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