Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Design a Day Challenge - Day Two

Along with doodling animals, one of my favourite crafty things to do is collage. Recently I've been experimenting with using the Adobe programs to create digital collage effects, and this was something I decided to try for today's design challenge.

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! 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.

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