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From Artpiece to Repeat Tile

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

This piece was a study in intuitive painting.

From my balcony one warm sunny day I let my intuition guide my paintbrush, the sounds of the neighbourhood meandering into my paint. Layer after layer seeping through the next. My mapping pen scrolling out the sounds around me. A nearby guitarist strumming the sixties into my ears, yellow finches flashing through birch leaves, children on their bikes hollering the way they do. They all had something to say. A labyrinth of colour and flavour I'll never forget. And once I'd finished, my painting showed promise. But where to next? Photoshop!

The first thing I did after opening my scanned image in Photoshop was choose, Filter, Other then Offset in the menu bar, which cuts my image into four pieces making the outside edges become the middle seams both vertically and horizontally. I had to adjust the pixel lines in the offset box to centre it. Next I blended the new seams with the healing brush tool, which means I hold down the option key and drag my cursor across any portion of my painting that I wish to duplicate. I used this technique to blur and fill in the centre seams with new bits of paint.

After that was finished I opened a new document then copied and pasted each motif from my painting and removed their backgrounds. It's a rather long process, but in the end leaves them with a transparent background. Doing this enabled me to move and resize them. Now to the fun part. I began to rearrange them back into the digitally manipulated original painting, careful not to cross the outside edges. This produced a new design to be used on fabric, wallpaper, running shoes or anything you might want to put a repeat design on. The finished tile can then be resized up or down. I imagined it as a large scale splash of pattern and colour on lawn furniture or camper curtains. I learned this process by taking a class on Skillshare taught by a fabulous artist named Nic Squirrel. It was a huge learning curve, but so satisfying when it was done.

My finished repeat tile, ready to place on any product, paper or print out as fabric.

Here are two views of my design, a small and large scale version placed on a little cloth bag mock up. On the small scale bag, you can see the seamless repeat. While in Photoshop I could move anywhere in the design I liked so I settled on this section for the large scale pattern. And that's basically all there is to it. In my next post I'll discuss another way I saved a painting using the magic of Photoshop.


See you next time,

Lenore








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