I have been taking an online class Designing with Circles 1 and 2 by Gail Harker and wrote a post a while ago showing some samples from my sketchbook. Of course, I just showed you the pages that I liked. As part of the course, I and other students had an online discussion with Gail going over questions we had sent in and showing pages from student work. It was a very interesting discussion and I learned that you shouldn’t give up on a design if you don’t like it, you should see if there are ways to change, crop or enhance your design to improve it.
One of the class assignments is to doodle. I have a very hard time doodling and the photo above shows what I called “The Ugliest Doodle Ever”. The background was done with breakdown screen printing and the doodle was done with colored markers. I sent a copy to Gail and said she could use it as an example of what not to do. But Gail saw something in the doodle that I hadn’t even noticed. She saw a prehistoric bird in a cave drawing. I never saw the bird before she pointed it out. During the class discussion, she showed how she had put the image into Photoshop and made some changes making the drawing a considerably better design. So I was inspired to take this really ugly design and improve it.
The first thing I did was erase the big “femur” in the middle of the design going over the bird’s legs. That made a huge difference for me because that part really bugged me. But the design was done in ink and I had given up because I didn’t know how I could make it any better unless I just painted over the whole page.
Then in Photoshop, I filled in the background pattern and redrew the green legs. Now I was ready to play with filters, lighting and color.
This is using the “posterize” filter. It highlights the edges with black. Another thing Gail pointed out was the “alligator” on the right side of the design. She suggested that the design could be cropped in different areas to take certain parts and use them as a separate design.
I don’t remember all the filters and steps I did in Photoshop but just played around and saved the ones that I thought had potential.
As you can see, it really changes the look of the design and gives you thoughts about how you could use the design differently.
I think this one is neon glow.
Or how about purple and black?
This is my favorite one. I can actually think of how I could use this in a textile context. It was really an eye opening experience. I think that we might all have a tendency to give up too soon on certain designs that don’t work out the way we intended. What do you think?