Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Creating an Autumnal Design - FREE TUTORIAL

Hello my lovelies...
Following on from my last blog post, as promised, here is my tutorial on how to use Mother Nature's inspiration to help you with designing a project....

The number one question I am always asked is "As a textile artist, how do you know where to start when designing?"
the answer is simple... I don't!
I'm a firm believer in letting a design evolve in an organic way and apply this philosophy
to all my designing but I know that many crafters find this concept quite hard to follow.

If you love stitching, by hand or machine, you will want to experiment with colour, texture and of course think of your own designs.
Once you have gained confidence in your actual stitching from using a pattern you will want to move on and start designing your own projects.

I've previously written a tutorial on how to gain inspiration from Mother Nature to help you get started which you can read here

Today I am showing you how to use those ideas in the next stage of your designing...
Using elements from Mother Nature...

I hope you will gain some ideas from the following tutorial....

Creating an Autumnal Design

Last week I collected these leaves on an early morning walk not knowing quite 
what I wanted to do with them.
I simply loved the colours, the smells, the shapes and the textures!
I wanted to capture their beauty for future projects.

So, how to get started transforming them into a design?

Start by photographing each leaf in turn to show more detail and finer points to include in your design.

 Take time to look carefully at the colours, the shades and how the pattern emerges together

The next step is to capture your leaves actually onto paper for future reference.
You do not need to be an artist to do this....

Using a normal HB pencil and piece of plain white paper, simply trace a fine line around each leaf in turn to help you become familiar with the shape of each leaf.

Please do not worry about being exact because you can add a little more detail once you start shading.
You may want to only use the outline of your leaf for a particular design rather than a full leaf so try experimenting with ideas.

I like to use Derwent Artist's drawing pencils but you can use any medium you prefer.
You may prefer to use felt -tips (for a firmer outline), charcoal or even watercolour pencils
that you can later add more detail to.

The process is simply to take things back to basics and look at the shape of the leaf
and how the shading alters the actual look of the leaf.

Allow yourself permission to take time and focus on the leaf itself.....

These doodles will form the foundation of your designs however you decided to use them.
You can keep them as a visual reference and if you combine them with your original photos
you will have a choice of designs.

I chose a few of my leaves to combine to compare shapes and designs....
Here are a few questions that may help you decide what to look for when doodling...

Do you want to capture the glossiness of the surface?

Have you looked carefully at the leaf veins?

How many colours will you need to use?

Don't forget you DON'T have to use the exact colouring...
It is your interpretation.
You are simply using this as part of deciding how you would use your leaves in your design.
There are no right or wrong ways!

Even if you have no idea of how your leaves will be used in a design as yet you will have your doodles in your reference library that you can use time and time again....

You may want to use them for 
- hand embroidery
- free motion embroidery
- machine embroidery
- mixed media collage
- card making

I have used my designs on a piece of calico with some free motion embroidery
which I may make into a bigger piece of textile art

You can see that I have used the actual size of the leaves but you can of course reduce or 
increase your sizes to suit your project.

I often draw with my enbroidery threads creating shading as I work but you may want to work on top of your designs if you have maybe painted them onto fabric.
Of course, you will need to make sure you use washable markers if you intend to launder your actual project.

If you would like some more inspiration for Autumnal projects you can check out my Pinterest board

I hope these few simple rules will help
when starting to design...

I would love to see some of your lovely projects...

Happy stitching...

x x x