Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photoshop Repeats, Handwriting, and Painted Backgrounds

A couple of the painterly backgrounds Declan and I have been making.
Do you ever look up--after several hours surfing the web--and wonder: "how in the world did I end up here?" Since switching all my collage sheets over to my instant site a couple months ago I've found myself with a bit more time for "research." It might start with the amazing cards by Fiona of Cartolina, who was once repped by Carina of Crow & Canary, who tweeted about a kickstarter project, where I then found Jessica Swift's successful rainboots campaign and signed up for her newsletter, who then mentioned this great book by Mati Rose, who teaches an online class with Lisa Congdon, and on and on and on. It's a bit like the Kevin Bacon game of the online design world, or perhaps more like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, but way more fun.

Along the way I've become enamored with three new skills I want to learn more about: hand-lettering, hand-painted backgrounds, and creating repeat patterns from some of my vintage imagery. Here's some of the fun designers, tutorials, and classes I've been enamored with lately:
Creating Repeating Patterns

The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. I just finished this online class and it's pretty good. I wish it showed more than one way to make repeats in photoshop, especially with highly complicated designs, but still a good place to start and especially helpful in terms of knowing exactly how to prep files for fabric production, which is something I haven't found anywhere else.

Lynda's Online Software Training Videos. My first lovely intern spoke highly of Lynda.com, which seems like a good way to go if you're the type that can learn well through videos. I think my next step is to sign up for their 7-day trial and learn a couple new techniques for photoshop repeats. update: Lynda didn't have what I was looking for. It seems to be more for complete online classes rather than quick tutorials. But I did re-find this great online tutorial for photoshop repeat patterns at Mel's Brushes.

The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. A good fit if you're just starting out designing patterns and prefer to work with vector-based images in Illustrator. There are some tips for layers and photoshop and such, and so I'll be keeping this class on my radar (especially since Beth was so helpful in answering some of my questions when deciding to take the class or not), but I'm not quite ready for it yet. The Do What Your Love crew also has a new online surface design magazine called Moyo that's quite lovely.

Hand Painted Backgrounds
Daring Adventures in Paint. My husband bought this for me for my birthday (yea) and it was a very fun and quick read. I especially like all the messy layering of various paint colors since it's something I can do with my 5-year-old.

Kelly Rae Roberts makes beautiful artwork that she licenses to a variety of products. I'm just starting her book now and have found her sharing of all her favorite art supplies to be especially generous and helpful (though shhhh, I'm still using all my 59 cent acrylic bottles of paint from Joann's and Michael's quite happily).
Image from Luca Barcellona
Hand Lettering
Lisa Congdon has been posting one new piece of artwork in her hand-lettering a day project throughout 2012 that has been fun to follow. Moyo also promises a how-to section on hand-lettering in their next issue which will probably be here in October 2012 or so.

Uppercase has an inspirational column called "Type Tuesday." Some favorites of mine include pens to improve your handwriting (what a great excuse to get a special pen) and lots of the posts featuring handwriting.

General Inspiration
I splurged a bit and picked up Jessica Swift's digital book Jump, Trust and Repeat. It's probably 60% biography, 40% practical tips, with a running through-line of inspiration. While it's more money than I would normally spend on a book--especially a digital one--I find myself continually coming back to reference different sections and am glad that I made the purchase (and you can get 10% off, too, by signing up for her newsletter).

By the way, if you'd like to download some of the new painterly backgrounds I've been making for free (along with some other vintage imagery), sign up to receive my September newsletter here.


Tiffany said...

Wonderful post full of information! Thanks so much :)

Captivate Training Tutorials said...

Is that really effective in the photoshop. I have done so far on the Painted Background and integrated with the Adobe Illustrator. It help me to create an vector but its simple as usually seems to be.