EXERCISE – FIRST STEPS – Digital collage and evaluation


1 – Start sketchbook to show exploration

2 – Look at the work of artists such as the Russian Constructivists and Richard Hamilton

3 – Create a digital collage –

– use cut, copy and paste methods in Photoshop

– use a collection of my own scanned images ( photos etc.) around a theme covered previously in course – sustainability/ biomimcry/ hand and craft techniques or a new theme to demonstrate creative identity.

– consider the combination of hand process and digital tools

4 – Practise with drawing tools – consider quality of line / hardness variations / different effects of tools

5 – Create folder on OCA website to store digital artwork – Digital exercises and outcomes – use for part 4.

6 – Print final for sketchbook

7 – Write evaluation

Link to separate post on Russian Constructivists and Richard Hamilton is here


Link to OCA website for digital designs is here




I was starting this section as a complete novice – excited to be learning a new technique and all about a new software programme but I soon became frustrated and disheartened at not being able to just “use” Photoshop. Online tutorials were irritating and they zipped through processes quickly and I also discovered that the very basics of my tool settings were not the same. I persevered using Yahoo for questions, YouTube for tutorials and purchased 2 books. “Digital Textile design” Melanie Bowles and “Textile printing and design” Laurie Wisbrun. Even within the 2 books I fell at hurdles as pop up screens that I was supposed to see I did not but I have achieved an end result that I happy with through my own exploration, frustration and a very steep learning curve.

My chosen images were scans and my own photographs that I had taken of “old” textiles focussing on details. The photographs were taken at the TALES OF THE UNFINISHABLE exhibition that I visited (see link below) at New Brewery Arts as I felt it was a good connection to previous projects thinking about textile upcycling and sustainability and also hand and craft techniques. It was also a link to using hand processes with digital tools as eventually the hand techniques, having been digitally photographed and manipulated with digital software would be printed digitally and used with hand processes once again if this idea was to be continued.

The final design is below showing the photographs that I had scanned and used first.

1 3 4 9 19 32

Final Design



Photo to show hand stitches and digital print stitches.

Photo to show hand stitches and digital print stitches.

I experimented with drawing lines and also gained an appreciation for hardness variation of line through changing the pixel quality. This helped me to learn how to cut in close to the images that I wanted to extract. I made a tentative start at looking at other features like filters but didn’t feel it was necessary for this exercise to include it. With regards to the drawing and painting apps, I have Brushes and My Brushes on my iPhone but feel my finger is a bit clumsy to use and so I would like to investigate drawing tablets but realise these vary enormously in cost and function.

I like the collage that I have produced as it doesn’t pretend to be anything more refined than a digital assemblage of images as all these hand techniques would not be possible to achieve in real life using knitting as a substrate so in just this one lesson I can see the possibilities this kind of image manipulation has to offer. As with a regular paper collage I was aware I needed to visualise what I wanted to achieve beforehand and not randomly paste and import images without consideration to placement. I haven’t enjoyed it and its far more complex than I had first thought but and I have found a new respect for graphic designers who methodically work their way through the various steps to achieve a desired effect. I hope as my skills improve so I enjoy it more!


Link the exhibition review TALES OF THE UNFINISHABLE https://rawtocreativeedge.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/personal-learning-exhibtion-tales-of-the-unfinishable/

This entry was posted in LEVEL 2 - P4 - Digital textiles - Assignment feedback - Digital textiles, LEVEL 2 - P4 - Digital textiles - Project - Exploring the digital world - Exercise - First steps, LEVEL 2 - P4 - Digital textiles - Project - Exploring the digital world - Exercise - First steps - Russian Constructivists, LEVEL 2 - TEXTILES 2 : Contemporary Practice. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to EXERCISE – FIRST STEPS – Digital collage and evaluation

  1. Pingback: EXERCISE – FIRST STEPS – PART 1 Richard Hamilton/Russian Constructivists | rawtocreativeedge

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