I've often been inspired by the beautiful paper cut work of Su Blackwell and this week I spotted one of her artworks while I was browsing on Pinterest. (Check out her website and work; it's phenomenal! http://www.sublackwell.co.uk) I was thinking about it today when I sat down at my computer.
First, I needed to choose my subject. It's been a beautiful sunny day outside, so I thought a summery dragonfly was nice and appropriate. I drew the vector shapes for my motif and kept it very simple so that it would be easy to collage.
For fun, I quickly popped it into a repeat pattern and added a coloured background. I copied the silhouettes of the dragonflies, coloured them in a darker teal and offset them from the originals to create another layer of interest. The result is very simple but quite fun.
Sometimes I find that playing with the layout early on can give me a better idea of how I would like the final design to look.
For this design, I wanted to use paper textures to build my dragonfly, inspired by the paper sculptures of Su Blackwell. I found an old folder on my computer with scans of various papers and used these. Adobe Illustrator has a fantastic tool for creating collage effects using Clipping Masks. This allows you to use a vector shape as a 'stencil' to cut out an image or a collection of images underneath. Using each vector shape in turn, I created my collage. I also added Drop Shadows to give the design some depth.
I layered up some extra textures and brushes on top, and then put the motif into a repeat pattern.
Again, I was limiting myself to a tight time deadline, so here's the design for Day Two - Paper Fly.
I enjoyed this style of working, so I'd like to continue playing with this idea of 'digital' paper craft in future designs.