BRIEF Choose image based material from the visual resource portfolio in part 3 (Henry Moore/African/Artefacts) to develop a digital textile design. Objective
- Produce and upload to OCA website more than one repeating design
- Produce, upload and print a repeating final design.
- Produce, upload and print colourways
- combining hand and digital techniques
- in sketchbook consider how scanned images ( as above) may be used – present ideas and samples.
- quality – painterly or digitally produced
- seamless repeat /how to achieve, use clone stamp tool
- perhaps draw on top of image
- filters – use with care/consider use in small areas
EVALUATION Link to OCA to see designs http://www.oca-student.com/studies/my-galleries rather than upload all to here.
Having completed this exercise and looking back at the designs to organise for the upload to OCA website I can see the stages of learning.
- Group 1 – ( sketchbook /but not OCA website) My first attempts, outcomes 1 – 6, were random in approach and colour and lack cohesion and certainly don’t represent a collection. I have included these in the sketchbook and also uploaded those to my blog and OCA website as, although amateur in appearance, are valuable to measure my progress against. And to think I was pleased with my results at the start!
GROUP 2 – (Sketchbook and OCA website) The second set of designs, the repeats, are much more organised using and building on what I had learnt with the first outcomes but still very unsophisticated. Some of these designs I sent off to a print studio as fat quarters in preparation for the next section when I need to manipulate them. This proved to be worthwhile as it exposed so many errors in my design.
GROUP 3 –( Sketchbook and OCA website) This final group shows the most dramatic growth in skill as I have used imagery in various and repeated ways using a similar colour pallete. I have tried to be methodical and organised as much as possible in my sketchbook by making notes of my design choices for future reference and also to explain my learning path but, as suggested in the exercise instructions, it is very easy to become absorbed and loose track ! There are some designs that I feel were “overdone” and have taken a step backwards to choose a final design. These are still included to demonstrate my experiments but discernment must prevail to provide good design.
FILTERS GROUP -( Sketchbook but not OCA website) I also experimented with some filters but didn’t explore these fully as designs as by this stage I felt I had a fair understanding on how an altered image may repeat but still wanted to demonstrate my exploration.
COLOURWAYS -( Sketchbook and OCA website) The final set are the colourways which I approached in 2 ways. I chose one design and explored 2 paths. The 1st is using the original design and using bucket fill for background colourways that I felt were sympathetic to the feel of the design and then others using other colouring options to change to single colourways. The 2nd path was to alter the original by choosing invert (to produce negative) and then use bucket fill for changing background colourways to give a different feel. These are some of the colourways and samples of the colourways were printed onto cotton as finished samples.
I feel that I have presented these ideas clearly for others to understand, however, I did become quite confused whilst creating the designs as I am not totally sure how to create colourways “correctly”. It appears there’s more than one way as I started to do this before I put the image into repeat and then “cheated” but changing it once the design was set. For this exercise I am happy with the outcomes but if I were to produce designs professionally I would need appropriate training. I did look into finding a local course however the emphasis for all of them was to manipulate photos and not what I was looking for. With these difficulties in mind I chose a “easy” design to create in colourways as many of my designs were too complex in stages and couldn’t be changed with much ease to give different colours, this was because I was using textural scanned images and not flat computer generated images.
My chosen material from the visual resource portfolio in Part Three was using scanned drawings from my Henry Moore sketch book studies. I scanned these before sending off and took photographs and scans of samples to provide good source material and also to incorporate that element of hand produced work. The samples have a 1950’s feel which I am not sure is this happened subconsciously as a result of using my studies from his work or simply because the shapes are typical of the 1950’s. I am, however, pleased with the outcome as I feel I have continued to develop my ideas within this theme as having used hand produced methods previously I have now used a more commercially viable method.
I have learnt
- How to repeat, colour and alter.
- That concentration and maths are both very important
- That recording steps accurately is important to be able to repeat the process again
- Understanding repeat structure is useful – stripes are much harder to work with.
- That one design structure was not enough for this exercise in order to say that I understood the process.
- Using white backgrounds or creating a white background with brush tools or extracting and pasting helps with colourways and also with putting a design into repeat more easily.
- Using bucket fill as a background can help with repeating designs as it disguises tell-tale lines but it does produce a very flat design and doesn’t take full advantage of what digital printing has to offer.
- Filters are fun to try but I prefer to use the drawing tools at this stage to alter the designs.
What problems did I encounter?
There were so many !! The first was I didn’t like the appearance of my scanned and photographed drawings and samples and so wasn’t inspired to use them but I worked with them until I found a way forward. Obviously learning a new software package was a difficulty with many mistakes and frustrations along the way. I tried a stripe design which I believed to be straight however once repeated it was clear it was not. This told me the design and image was not sympathetic without further adjustment. A useful exercise in making me assess beforehand what possible issues there maybe.
My initial repeats showed flaws and lines – so these needed to be corrected and further skills learnt before I was happy to say I had completed the exercise. I also wasn’t entirely sure how I had made them and couldn’t move on until I was confident in this technique so I continued to create designs. I did speed up with the technique but it still remains a labour intensive approach especially if you are trying out an effect so I rather suspect that I would probably use computer software as a secondary method to make a structured repeat once I had played around with paper pieces as it’s much quicker to see an effect. Also, despite following instructions and tutorials I still made errors as I didn’t understand what some of the terms meant. For example, “set your height” I worked in multiples of pixels rather than creating a metric format to fill. So, rather frustratingly, it wasn’t until the end that I discovered how to save to A3 format and to a fat quarter format. This learning curve took a huge leap in progress once I had received delivery of some fat quarter samples that I had ordered as it was instantly clear what my errors were, so although costly I feel it was invaluable to my learning (photo on blog to show samples). I also think that were I to produce designs commercially printing a sample would be useful to check for colour, scale and even minute flaws in designs which seem to be clearer once printed than on the screen.
What else would you like the tutor to know?
Some of my repeated designs intentionally show the repeat line and also large in scale as I really liked the idea of texture blocks for printed cushion panels and also fabric wall covering and decals but to make it clear that I do understand the repeat process I have included samples of both a good repeats and an obvious repeats. I found that once I was confident with the process I started to look for other ways to use existing imagery and mix different scales or different versions of the same image all within one repeat image. It became quite addictive! ! For the sake of interest I will include a USB stick for the tutor will all my explorations as I have not uploaded them all to my blog or to the OCA website. I also learnt that Photoshop files use a considerable amount of memory and so I have saved these all to jpegs for ease of uploading as only high end magazine production only needs that level of definition and it can be converted back to Photoshop quality if needed.
I am pleased with the direction I took for the final design as I had started to think about a repeating design in my sketchbook for the previous assignment and so it was a good opportunity to develop this idea further using the software available to me.
I think if this were a commercial project producing a collection I would need to design some simple complimentary designs as these designs are very busy and some others would be needed to work alongside these in a fashion or interiors visualisation.
I have started to build a small separate file of print bureaus that offer sampling on different fabrics and have added these to the file I created in Part One Traditional materials in the database of fabric suppliers that I may use once I am practicing professionally. This has also taught me another digital skill of using a dropbox to upload designs.