painting a border print

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's been a snowy messy winter here in the northeast, but I'm determined to make the best of it. The light bouncing off the snow into our little room off the kitchen is just right to do some painting.
I'm an apparel designer by trade and tend to be on the computer a lot drawing in Illustrator & Photoshop. Technical drawings tend to be very sterile when they originate in Illustrator as do prints for fabric. I decided I needed to get back to basics and loosen up my drawing, and the best way to do that is to break out the pencils, brushes, and goache paint.
The other thing I tend to do when snowed in is go a little crazy pinning stuff to my Pinterest boards. I noticed I was pinning things in a certain theme and decided to make a mood board out of them.
Inspired by my mood board, I came up with a rough idea for a border print that would be fun to have printed up on Spoonflower.
Then I worked it out to scale, deciding to make it an 18" repeat along the selvedge. I drew it in dark pen so I can see the design through bristol board using a light box. when I'm ready to paint. I don't like to pencil sketch my paintings because the paint never quite covers the lines. I want it to come out looking clean.
It's been a while since I used my goache paints and some of my tubes were pretty dried out. The great thing about goache is that it is water soluble. I softened them up with a little soak. The other great thing is that you can achieve opacity with them or water them down for a watercolor effect.

I cut my paper into two 9-inch wide pieces for the purpose of perfecting the repeat. I started with the pieces taped together and painted over the seam as if it wasn't there, leaving the far edges blank for about 2 inches along each edge.
Then I reverse the pieces and paint in the missing area along the new seam. This gives a pretty accurate repeat when I scan them in to Photoshop. In Photoshop I make the pink sky blend into solid pink and extend to the opposite selvedge and add some white birds. Then I brighten everything up and make sure the whites are totally white. Even though I painted the seams while butted up to each other, I have to do some fudging with the healing tool to make sure it's perfect for printing. Then off to Spoonflower to be printed onto poplin.
I made some coordinates to go with it too. Those repeats were a lot easier! Gonna make some little sundresses while it's snowing outside.

1 comment:

ThatGirl said...

So where's the finished fabric? (And the little sundresses?) :)

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