Monday 30 March 2015

Design Wall Monday - the virtual one!

It feels like a holiday here at the minute.  I've taken a break this past week or two from deadline makes and must makes to just play and I've been having a relaxing, fun time of it.  This weekend I took advantage of Creativebugs free 10 day trial to watch a few episodes from a series  they have put together on Fabric Design.

You have to subscribe and register your credit card but you can cancel if you like within the 10 day time period.  I had looked at Creativebug before and not really liking subscription based sites much I didn't keep up with it.  I had another look though when I saw their series of work-a-longs as some of the classes are basic and the work-a-longs offer a bit more depth.

The one that caught my eye was Fabric design.  Featuring Lizzy House, Denyse Schmidt and Heather Ross, it is a great watch and I've learned lots about thrown patterns and pretty much spent the whole weekend playing with motifs!

The three designers talk you through their different processes and Lizzy gives you an exercise to try to make a repeating pattern.  This is great fun.

You take a piece of paper approx A5 in size and you doodle a simple design.  I did daisies and dogs paws.  You rip the paper up and move the pieces and tape them back together and doodle some more. 

You scan this into a drawing program and trace the pattern digitally so you can move things around and re-colour.  I lost hours this weekend doodling and tracing.  I normally have the radio on or the tv in the background but not this weekend, just me in the quiet, drawing with the pen tool.  It was massively relaxing!

Heather uses Photoshop and Lizzy and Denyse use Illustrator both by Adobe.  I subscribe to creative cloud for Photoshop and Lightroom and thought both being by the same company and the menus look similar that I'd give Illustrator a go.  Wow, talk about the most awkward, least intuitive, could not be more diffferent program from those I used before!  Learning to navigate it took some time and the help menu was useless!
Still, I managed in the end to trace my patterns, colour them in and build a repeat.   I have a very great respect for fabric designers after this process and I'm sure with time it gets quicker but it is a timesuck that's for sure!

This one needs a bit of cleaning up and its a bit linear but I quite like it all the same!

On Saturday evening, I found myself  doodling some more and on Sunday morning back at the computer scanning and tracing.  This may be a new addiction!
My drawing skills definitely need more practice though.  I tried to sketch Wilbur who was stretched out on the sofa beside me.  Normally that dog stays in the same spot for hours but not when I was attempting to draw him.

Gordon took one look at this and asked me why I was mad at the dog as I made him look so terrible!  So much for artistic licence. I was happy I'd just gotten something that looked Bassety!

Still, this whole exercise has been tons of fun and I've really enjoyed the work-a-long.  All three designers are great to listen to and coming this Wednesday is the lesson on colour.  Really looking forward to that one.  So what do you think?  Tempted to give it a try?


  1. This looks like something I will defintiely need to have a go at. I have played around with a few digital geometric designs in the past and have fairly mastered the art of creating repeats using Inkscape but I love the idea of combining doodling with this process. I will defintiely check out the Creativebug workshops.

  2. I'm watching that series too!! I did fall asleep during the last part of the latest one though and that was the most important section for me :S From watching this I've decided I want my hair like Denyse's as well lol

  3. Very neat, I gave a different video course trial a go this weekend too. They're quite fun to get into and now I kind-of see what all the buzz is about!

  4. I saw an advertisement for this course and it does sound pretty tempting, but I don't really have the hours to pour into it right now (or proper software)... how cool to have already made a repeating pattern!

  5. Fascinating. I liked seeing how you built the repeating pattern.

  6. Sounds like a good fun! Love see your fabric range:)

  7. That looks like lots of fun ... I'm always wary when someone wants my credit card to subscribe, so I wouldn't have looked at this twice ... call me tech shy, I haven't even downloaded a craftsy class lol!

  8. Such an interesting post, Ruth!! The process you went through to get to the end product was so cool! You have to go order yourself up some of your very own fabric through Spoonflower!!! ;) I think your end results are really cool and those clouds and rainbows are awesome!!

  9. This is quite exciting and I like what you did so far, you are quite talented!

    I am not sold on Creativebug, I subscribed for a short period of time but I would rather buy a book or an online video class. Although this particular class seems very interesting. :-)

  10. Ruth that is terrific that you had some time to play and doodle and design fabric! It all sounds very interesting. I think you show promise!
    Your drawing of Wilbur in the bottom right corner look very much like I remember James Thurber's dog drawings. I adored James Thurber.
    When I design a repeat, I just space it out so they fill each other in nicely and then copy and paste, I use the Paint program... quite primitive of me, I know. LOL I have Photoshop Elements, but have not gotten the knack of using it for more than a dozen simple operations.


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