October 1, 2020
Monochromes are primed to explode this summer, with their bold, bright, beautiful colour ways ready to catch our eyes and force our credit cards out.
For textile designers, they are exceptionally fun to create. We narrow our focus to the three basic principals of negative space, defined shape, and contrasting tone (we love creative boundaries around here!) We also love them because we can repurpose our old hand-drawn elements for speed and, they add a new, fresh note to any print collection.
Ready to design your own monochrome floral? Senior designer Lydnsay shows you how to pull one together in four simple steps.
You can of course draw your elements from scratch however here in the studio time is money and re-purposing motifs makes us very happy! If you don’t have some handy at home, you can pick up a set of ours from The Creative Elements. Lyndsay is using the Flat Floral Pack, US$12, for this tutorial.
“Key things to consider here are finding interesting flower and foliage shapes that have a bit of definition when used as a silhouette,” she says.
Much as with any design there are some general ’rules’ that will help you pick shapes – look for a larger hero bloom, smaller supporting flowers and a variety of foliage.
If you’re using elements from The Creative Elements all the work of cutting out your motifs is done for you however if you’re using your own, check out our blog Cut A Scanned Motif Like A Pro for the inside scoop on how to prep your elements for design.
When your elements are all cut out you can fill them by selecting the transparency lock on each layer and the shortcut OPTION+ DELETE. This will flood your shape with the colour in your front swatch on your tool bar. You can do this in black whilst you fine tune the details of your shapes.
“Pay attention to edges!” Lyndsay says. “When the flower is reduced to a silhouette, the edges of your shape become essential details within the design. Make sure that they are smooth and also that there is enough definition between petals to make an obvious ‘flower’ shape rather than a vague blob!”
You can also alter any of the shapes to create flowing leaves or long stems at this point and select points of interest to include from your blooms. Centres of flowers are a great way to create small focal points within the artwork. Do this by selecting them with your magic wand or lasso tool and deleting them from the element before you fill.
“These prints need a flowing composition with a strong consideration of negative space to create maximum impact!” says Lyndsay. Create movement in your layout by making bunches that include a variety of scale and interesting shapes. Add long sweeping stems to link the flowers whilst leaving breathing space. “When you’re only working with two colours you have to think about the negative space as a design feature rather than a background!”
It’s also always important to consider your scale, thinking about where the design might land on the body.