Assignment One: Exercise 1.4: Working in a digital Format

Yes, I have the six separate floral prints, plus the collages etc to use.  However going back to my initial drawing work within the Hand Printing project, I found my bee studies (see the video clip too).  I felt that although I didn’t want to extend it at the time, I could now play with the paintings and sketches.  What could I do with them?  Although I never made any etchings of the bees, I have the drawings to scan into the computer and use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to use as editing programs.

Which one to use?  I am used to using Adobe Photoshop and have only got a seven day trial of Illustrator.  I am sure when used correctly Illustrator will be brilliant.  However I want to put the skills I have to good use.  Thus will use Photoshop, unless Illustrator works for a particular job.

 I will now play with many of my drawings and prints, illustrating a few here and printing many out, to show my progress visually (some of this is in screen shot form, so that you can see my development):

I began with the bees….

I played with saturation levels and a variety of filters.  Some worked well and enhanced my design, whilst others were not successful.  Yet this is all a learning process, thus I have pasted the good and the bad within my sketchbook work.

Another idea was area isolation:


This isolating made me think about future designs and how I could play with adding only one or two on a sheet, or many.

Having not really thought much of this painting in the first place, I can see now how much potential it has and it has become one of my favourite drawings.  I think when looking at the previous project, I was so stuck on the floral theme, I rejected better ideas like this one, as they did not seem to fit my “plan”.

I have created an A1 board, displaying a selection of my pieces relating to the bees.  The board shows how I have edited the painting and visually conveys the ideas I could use in the future, maybe in the next assignment when I will be thinking more seriously about the fabric printing process.

I have now gone on to edit the more floral pieces, not just the drawings, but the collages I made and prints.  I wanted to compare all the methods I had used, as in one case the print may be better than the collage, or the other way around.  See below my Clematis.  I liked this collaged drawing, but felt it was too “busy”.  Thus I used editing tools, such as the rubber to take out unnecessary parts.  I also used filters and contrast differences to bring back the original colour of the plant.

See how taking away the leaves, helps to bring out the watercolour hues and overlapping colours.  When there is too much information on one print, this becomes hard to see.




Reviewing my progress so far:

What did I start out hoping to achieve?

My first thoughts and expectations, cantered around playing with the six flowers which I had chosen to develop within the hand printing project.  I expected to use editing programs to tweak and heighten their quality.  However when I went back to look at my folders of source material, I found that there were drawings and ideas I had missed out on, simply because I had felt they did not fit my flower theme properly.

From initial drawings to print samples… digital designs…

Some worked really well and surprised me.  Although the bees were never developed into etchings, they held great potential as drawing and paintings:

I loved the effect of the “cutout” layer below.  However no matter how much I tweaked it, it was impossible to get one bee to stay in the print, as you can see in the middle.  However this print could become successful, if the bees were separated into four, losing the space of the fifth.  They could then be looked at separately as prints onto fabric, or amalgamated in a new way.

The above are just a few examples of the bees.  I have printed out more to present on an A1 board.  Notice that I have used a thicker paper to print these out, to give my work the desired quality.



The one below was filtered with a spray brush.  I think it is one of the more successful ones, however the lines have been lost into more variegated contours.


You will find other examples of this exercise within my physical work and other files.


This technique of slow development in stages, has been used and illustrated throughout this assignment and Log Book.  I have mounted some of this work onto boards, so the story all together can be understood.  Reflecting back on my process, I am really happy with the material I now have to build upon.

Issues?  What would I go back and do differently?

Some issues came about for two reasons:  One, my lack of understanding of Illustrator.  Two, running out of time to realistically move onto the next assignment.  The work “gathering” could go on and on, I find myself always wanting to challenge and progress ideas.  This has to be paused at some point, in order to reasonably fulfil the assignment within a time span.  The lack of understanding of Illustrator and at times Photoshop (no matter how many how to videos I watched, only held me back in one area. I wanted to combine some of my drawings (black and white) with other paintings of the same thing. This is an example:

I wanted the sense of mark and line, to go over the coloured piece.  Yet I cannot find a way to do this as yet.

To combat my disappointment, I used the time to really focus on the editing I could do and learning as many new skills as possible on Photoshop.

I have begun to collect a mass of paper based information, such as tickets, exhibition leaflets etc.  During the course of this assignment, I have not had time to put all this in order, but intend to work on this through the course duration.  This is needed for two reasons; one, it links my work back to inspirational points.  Two, it will form a useful folder for myself, to flick back to at any time. If it stays a pile of papers, it won’t be easy to locate certain things; thus it needs to be orderly.

Do I feel my samples so far are strong enough?

Yes.  I feel I have kept true to who I am as an artist, especially in style, with the stitches and fabrics added in with the drawings and prints.  This made my work personal, yet not in as much as an obvious way; but subtle.  I feel that I have now enough material to take into the next part.

What ideas would I like to develop in the future?

As previously stated, I would like to investigate more personal subjects again, but this may have to be woven into future work, as I don’t want to create any more source material at this stage.  It would make me compromise on quality and also show lack of thought and decision on my part.  Being definite about ideas, when it is correct to do so, shows strong decision making skills.


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