Learn how to turn a drawing into fabric – how to design fabric through the story of my first full fabric collection
Hey y’all, today I’m excited to share my first full fabric collection, Blooms and Bobbins with Riley Blake Designs. But instead of just showing you pictures of the fabric, I thought I would take you behind the scenes and show you how this started then evolved – in other words, how to design fabric. Or at least, how I design fabric.
These 15 quilting cottons should be shipping to shops any day now, and when I find links for you to buy I’ll update this post. But until then, enjoy the video below for a look inside the process. You can also watch on YouTube here if you prefer.
The whole line started with a couple of watercolor paintings I did and a couple of digital watercolor paintings I did on my iPad Pro (I use the Adobe Sketch app to do those). Then I scanned the paintings that were on paper so that I could work with them digitally. Below on the left you can see the two paintings. The second picture on top is what the scan of that painting looked like. Then I take this image into photoshop and use the color selection and replacement tools to reduce the number of colors in the drawing. You can see I also erased the leaves from this drawing.
Above you can see the peony painting at left, then in the middle what it looked like after I reduced the number of colors. At far right is what it looked like when I took the image into Illustrator and further reduced the colors as well as turning the pieces into vectors and smoothing out edges.
Once I have the elements I want to use in a print, I start re-coloring and combining them. Below left you can see the elements that make up the main floral print. I re-colored one of the peonies to make it blue, added the gray/green leaves and pink anemone from my iPad sketch, and re-colored the rose to yellow and the peony leaves to gray. Once I combined these into a bouquet, I tossed them around to create the print repeat, below right.
The video above shows how I created print repeats digitally, but you can also do this in a very low tech way. All you need is your drawing, scissors, and a camera. I show how to create a print repeat with those simple tools in this post.