How I Create My Spoonflower Fabric Designs- Part 2
February 6, 2017
For this week’s post, I will continue discussing how I created my Spoonflower fabric designs. In my last post, I mentioned there are two way I create my designs, the first is by creating a full drawing while the second is creating a half a drawing. The difference between the two is a full drawing is the whole drawing is drawn while half a drawing is only half a drawing’s lines are drawn, then I edit the drawing in Photoshop to make it a whole, complete drawing. My last post was dedicated to how I create designs using a whole, complete drawing. This post is dedicated to how I create designs using the more complex half drawing.
Creating a half drawing design is more difficult to create than whole drawing because there are more steps involved. In addition to the similar steps to the full drawing, I need to copy, reverse, and match the sides so the drawing will be one complete design. Despite the complexity of these designs, half drawings are my favorite designs to create.
The first step is to draw the design on a piece of paper. The design I’m using as my example is called Jack o Lantern…
I made many variations of this design in different colors (They can be seen on Spoonflower here, here, here, here, and here) but they all originated from one drawing…
This drawing is an example of a half drawing. I do this because I’m very bad about freehand drawing both sides of a drawing the same. I think it’s normal for an artist to need rulers and other tools to draw a drawing to make a drawing symmetrical, but I’ve seen some artist not use tools to make their drawing symmetrical. Because of this, I think the ability to freehand draw symmetrical is based off the way the artist sees/draws the world around them. Although I drew drawings freehand symmetrical, they are so uncommon for me that I rely on rulers and grid paper to make my drawing look the way I want it to.
Although I do use rulers, grids, and other tools to help me draw symmetrically, I sometimes have an idea I need to get out of my head before I forget about it. Since I can be impatient when I have ideas like this, I draw quickly and without rulers, grids, and tools so I won’t forget my idea before I get it down on paper. An example of this time is the Jack o Lantern drawing I did on paper. As you can see in the drawing, the pumpkins are not exactly the same size and shape. This is because I forgot to sit down and draw my idea for Jack o Lanterns three times before I did it. So, I wanted out of my head before I could forget it again.
In order to speed up my drawing process, I draw on paper (It’s transport friendly and I don’t need to turn on my computer to draw) and use the edge as a line to identify the middle of the drawing. Sometimes, to use all the space I can on the paper, I draw a line (Almost always freehand) on the paper and make that the identification of the middle of the drawing.
Here is an example of a drawing that I freehand drew the lines and covered the paper with drawings (None of these are finished or for sale as of this post)…
If I have more time or I want to take my time drawing lots of detail, I draw a grid using a ruler and pencil. Once I’m done with drawing, I erase the lines so it will look clean. I drew a grid to help me for this clock design drawing (This design is also not finished nor available for sale)…
Please excuse the wonky looking perspective of the drawing in the photo. It looked ok when I took the photo, but it really doesn’t look at all. :/
Anyway, once the drawing looks the way I want it to, I scan the drawing and begin to work on cleaning up the drawing. In the case of the Jack o Lantern drawings, I scanned the whole entire drawing in sections.
The scanner I use (Which I talked about in my last post) can scan an eight inch wide paper. When I draw designs, I like to use paper larger than eight inches so I will have the freedom to draw many details as I’d like without worrying about running out of room. Because of this, I need to scan my drawings in sections. As you can see in my scan, I was able to scan only two pumpkins and the edges of the other two.
If I have a large design drawing I need to scan, such as the clock drawing in the photo, I need to scan it in sections so I will have the whole drawing scanned. After I scan the drawing in sections, I overlay the sections in Photoshop to create the whole entire drawing. Despite this, I sometimes need to rescan sections over again because they didn’t come out right. It’s one of the most frustrating parts of making designs (Or any art) like this and is the reason why some drawings, as of this post, are still waiting to be finished a year after I drew them. (An example of this is the clock drawing. It’s beautiful and I’m very pleased with the work I did on the drawing, but it’s a pain in the butt to scan and combine.)
Fortunately for the Jack o Lantern designs, I worked on the pumpkins one at a time so I didn’t need to combine the scans into one file. 🙂
After I cropped the drawings into their own individual files, I began working on the outline of the design and, once they look the way I wanted them to, I colored them.
During the coloring process of the first pumpkin, I realized I didn’t like the way the groves in the pumpkin looked when colored and shaded. Since I wanted the design to look like a cartoon, I decided to erase the grove lines in the scan and colored the pumpkins with flat colors and no shading.
After I finished coloring, I began to work on creating a mirror image of the pumpkin. There are tutorials online describing how to do this, but I cannot find a link to one the describes the way I create a mirror image in my version of Photoshop Elements. I’ll keep searching for one and edit this post with the link if/when I find one.
Once I finish creating the mirror image, the pumpkin design looks like this…
Now that the image is done, I can now upload it to Spoonflower! I’ll cover that part in the next blog post about how I make my fabric designs.