I've read a few blogs lately where they posted some sketches of their work. Some take these sketches further, others are just ideas or notes to oneself. I have a sketchbook, and I've always considered it for "my eyes only". If there was one skill I'd like to do better, sketching would be it. I just don't feel I'm good at it- it doesn't flow, I'm critical, it's labor intensive, and mostly, it's a mess.
Still, I was inspired to share with you one of my processes for when I create a print. I have many methods from conception to end, but for the most part, I follow this progression. Here as an example is my graphic take on Coral Bells. A new print hopefully destined for a quilt fabric line named Shade Garden to follow my Dogwood Collection. (You heard it here first, people!)
1. Rough sketch. Often times this is done on the train either to or fro the Big City. I look out the window of a NJ Transit train, eyeballing all the filth in the water, cars on the highway, graffiti flanking the old decrepit buildings and I daydream (note title of my blog!) I actually have very good moments of lucidity on the train. If nothing else from the rather dull experience I gain this time each day.
2. Drawing it out in Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is hands down my saving grace. I honestly don't know how I'd get half the work done without it. I get it... it gets me. It's a good relationship.
3. Refinement and Repeat. Giving some extra detail with line brushes and putting it into repeat. This may look a bit deceiving because it doesn't usually just "pop" into place as shown here. In reality, there were about 10 tries before I got #2 just right in order to make #3.
4. Coloring it up. This may/may not be one of 3 final color ways for this print. I'm considering blues, greens, browns for the main core palette. While this is far from finalized, where I stop on this today is the main image of the print, in repeat, refined, color positions defined and ready for business.