Friday, October 9, 2015

A Repeat

Over the last couple of months, I've been dipping my toes into digital art.  After taking a couple of online classes, I've gained some basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and am able to make a repeating pattern.  Right now, it's just playing around and trying to figure out how to use the software.
This was my first "project".  At the time, I didn't have a graphics tablet so the flowers were hand drawn using black ink and then AI image-traced them, creating simple vector graphic.
 Those vectors were then colored in and turned into simple patterns.
 and a few more complex patterns.
I wasn't super pleased with my initial color palette, so I recolored them with a new one and created another very simple pattern in those same colors.
It's been somewhat fun to create these.  Since I've just started it's not an entirely comfortable process, and I frustrate easily because the vectors aren't as painterly as I'd like. The learning curve is quite steep with Adobe products.  While I know there are ways to get the wanted look, actually making it happen is another matter entirely.


  1. Wowza woman. WOW-ZA.

    But there's a real masochistic in you if you did all this without a pen tablet. You should watch that :-).

    1. Well thank you, but no the tracing of the sketches were done automatically by the software. Live trace in AI is a tool that looks for black outlines and creates the vectors on its mouse work at all, other than a click of the button. The only downfall is that the sketched image has to be a super clean black on very bright white for it to pick up the image correctly. But not very labor intensive on my part digitally. Once they were vectorized, coloring them were easy, and just one of each color had to be done since they could then be easily reproduced. The patterning is what amazed me. After creating a small box and placing the vectors in the spot to create the basis for the pattern, the program picks up the pattern and will reproduce it into any size space on its own. So again, far less labor intensive then doing a pattern on a piece of paper by hand.
      I'm finishing up another set that I sketched, scanned in, and created vectors using the tablet. I'll share that when it's finished. I've not created anything by hand only using the tablet. Everything I've done without a scan has turned out looking like my 2nd graders have done it. It's easier than on the iPad with that stubby stylus, but I've not gotten the hand/eye coordination down well at all.

    2. (chuckle) And how many hours did it take to get to the point of making the program do what you wanted. I don't know your program, but none of them are fecking easy. And intuitive isn't a word you'd ever use with any of them.
      You must keep in mind that you are deploying lordy knows how many study hours to these pieces. And not only the program but everthing else too.

      You might want to check the drivers for the tablet are apt for your machine. It seems Wacom has generations of their programs to fit best with older systems.
      Did you get a art program with your one ?.

      In the above comment 'streak' is missing. :-)

    3. Oh, for sure there's no denying there might be a bit of obsessiveness to it all. As a friend pointed out to me last night, "You relax by doing more work." So yes, there is some truth to that, but it's enjoyable in the sense that it's creative and something I want to learn, not something I have to learn.
      And no, Adobe products are far from intuitive although I do find that a lot of the shortcuts and tools in illustrator are similar to photoshop which I have some understanding of.
      The tablet came with Draw, which I don't know anything about since I'd already been using AI in the class.

    4. Dear heavens I was complimenting you !. I'm saying that you are bringing years of knowledge and expectations to this form. And yes of course there's a skinny line between tenacious and obsessive but I'm sure as shooting not one to be calling it.

    5. Of course! I wasn't offended in the least. :)
      Being self aware is one of my BEST qualities! ;)
      I don't know about you, but I only want to work on learning about these graphics right now. I have to write sub plans for this next week and I don't want to, wishing to play around with patterns instead!!!

    6. I've seen Art done on them that you'd miss for paintings. But in truth, I find when I go about learning something a bit unusual it makes learning the normal stuff easier.

  2. I think this all looks great! It reminds me of Laura Ashley or Vera Bradley. :)

  3. I was a graphic designer and ran my own business for years and although I used all the software I never really mastered Adobe Illustrator. You've done really well!

    Popped over from Kelly's to check your blog out.

    1. Oh thank you for saying so. It's definitely quite different than anything I've done up to this point, and I struggle with pushing forward in order to learn the software even when I don't like the way things are looking. But then also spend a lot of my time "researching" how to do more and more things before mastering anything in particular. It has been fun figuring it out, even though it comes out a lot different than I was imagining in my head. :)
      Thanks for coming by!

  4. Awesome! Every time there is a software update the program I use changes...and it means learning all over again how to work all the tools....and I don't use it often enough to remember each time is like starting over.

    Your flowers look awesome :)

    1. Oh that stinks! What are you using?
      Using enough to remember is important. Sometimes there are so many steps that if they are not done regularly they will NOT be remembered!!