Monday, May 5, 2014

Adding Patterns

I've been working steadily on my Wicked Women paper doll.  Last week, I cleaned up and modified the outlines in Photoshop.  This week, I'm adding patterns to some of the outfits and then printing them off to transfer to watercolor paper.

I decided to paint this doll in watercolors, especially after that last image-heavy post about my Karl Urban paper doll.  That was Photoshop & it was fun, but nothing compares to actual paint with an actual brush!

A while back I wrote about combining digital and traditional media in order to add patterns to a painting.  That's the method I'll use here.  It's not foolproof so I'm going to leave myself some options in case it doesn't work perfectly.

Open your image in Photoshop.

I'm working on the sorceress outfit.  The story of Rapunzel has some Persian roots and I wanted to express this in the sorceress's costume.  I want an Arabic influenced repeating pattern.

When choosing patterns or brushes or anything for your projects, be careful.  I believe in copyright and try very hard to make sure that anything I use is available for commercial use.  I may do a project for personal use and then later on decide to sell it.  I don't want to have to remember if I CAN sell it! Just assume your projects are going to be commercially available!

Anyway, I found a Creative Commons pattern and opened it in Photoshop.  Instead of using the pattern fill option, I like to create a new file and fill it with my pattern.  I do any edits to the pattern in the new file.  In this case, I make the pattern black and white.  Once it's adjusted, I copy and paste it into a new layer over my doll outlines.

I'm not really concerned about resolution at this point, so it's ok it the pattern gets stretched into a block, low res image.  Remember, I want to trace this onto watercolor paper.

Once the pattern is adjusted and positioned, I remove the excess sections.

The pattern is now on the skirt.  I decided (after the fact, of course) to add the same pattern to the top.  I added it to each section individually: the bodice and arms needed to be adjusted so that the bent with the figure.

Here's the final placement of the pattern.  I added patterns to any dolls that I felt needed pattern and then printed the pages out for transfer.

A note about printing: watch your print settings! It doesn't matter if you print at 100% or scale or whatever.  Just make sure it's the SAME for every page.  If you print the doll at 94%, print all of the outfits at 94%.  If you don't they won't fit correctly.  And you don't want to find that out after you transfer it to your expensive, $50 a block Arches watercolor paper.  Trust me on this.

So next week I'll transfer this to paper.  I'm not sure which paper yet.  I've been testing out some new papers so we'll see what happens there.  And I'll go over how to keep your options open in case our pattern transferring doesn't work perfectly.

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