beginnings with surface pattern

The Surface pattern e course is great but I am struggling to find time to actually do much of it. I have kept up with the reading but because my job is hand painting personalised items for people and have two small children its been hard to make time for it particularly as I have taken on a branding course as well.

I worked really hard yesterday from 8.30am - 6.30pm, only stopping to eat, to finish painting 14 orders and parcel them up, so that I could start work again while my husband put the children to bed. I did manage to post on my branding course ( I am building up some homework behind the scenes) and then at 9pm carry on designing for an excersise on the surface pattern e course

Things come along like buses and I can't resist. Still I am getting a lot from it and am downloading all the excersises to go back to and practice in the future.

I think the doodles below have potential but have realised that although I understand repeat ( I used to design giftwrap for International Greetings) technically to turn a delicate pencil or fine felt tip pen line into a line I can select in Photoshop is a challenge!!

Is the answer only to use a fat pen when you draw? I will try ink and brush next  - I am sure that will be exciting and easier to then play about with colour.

Seriously someone please give me some tips?!
I'll be working on this as a diary cover - you see if I don't.
Hand drawn and or painted is the only way I want to go  - it's important to me to be able to translate that into images I can manipulate. This is where my skills fall down. In the distant past I used light box and acetate overlay to hand do every aspect of my gift wrap repeats  which were all hand painted - computers didn't come into it. I wonder if anyone works that way any more? Probably not.

I shall work on this brief further and come back with some finished style board/ image examples next week -  in the middle of half term *@!* - wish me luck...


  1. looks like your having fun, do you have adrawing tablet to 'draw' straight into photohop or illustrator?

  2. I don't have one - although actually on my computer ( just bought a PC laptop) there is a notebook with drawing pen... I should try that too. Having never done it and not yet familiar with illustrator ( do have though) I suppose I felt it was all too much to learn that too! Somehow I feel its too big a leap and want to understand how i can manipulate what I draw/paint on paper. But nothing to stop me trying both :) Thanks for the nudge x

  3. It must be so interesting doing the course, Gabriella and you must be learning so much. I love your doodles and where they are heading. I also love doing my designs the old fashioned way, rather than on the comp, but am also struggling with repeat this way...maybe I should have done the course!

  4. Have you ever tried working with a wacom tablet and pen? And do you use Illustrator?

    Your hand sketched pencil lines are lovely - I'd repeat them by copying whole sections including the background, rather than using the selection wand on the actual line. Keep all your the sections of the design on different layers and make them slightly transparent; then you can move them and arrange them before going back to opaque layers and flattening a copy of your image.
    Does that make sense? Hard to explain in words!


  5. Thanks Karen; how do you prepare your designs for print - scan in once done completely? Doing the course makes me realise how much there is to learn technically that's for sure. It's an adventure. Btw the course is being repeated in April. I may even do the first section as i missed that!!

    Celia that is really helpful - I think I understand what you mean - are you describing what you would do on Illustrator? I don't know Illustrator yet but do know photoshop fairly well.. would it work the same way. Thanks so much for your help.. I think that is the way to proceed for now - even if only on Photoshop.

  6. Hi, yes sorry should have been clearer. The second para is what I would do in Photoshop.
    (I won't confuse you further about Illustrator if you aren't familiar with it!)

    In Photoshop, if you need to tweak and join your scanned pencil lines:
    Use the brush tool in a colour to match your scanned line, set the Mode to 'dissolve' and lower the Opacity and Flow to below 100%. You'll then get a nice broken 'pencil' line.
    Endless possibilities! With Photoshop I find that it's best to imagine what you want to achieve - there's usually a way of doing it!


  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Just wanted to let you know I have just awarded you a little award over on my blog! x


Post a Comment

I love to have comments and read every one.. thank you!

Popular Posts