so...this is my *very* lo-tech approach to design, there are no bells, no whistles, and no computers involved, just paper, a pencil and a black pen. oh, and a ruler and an eraser is useful too. disclaimer: this is how *i* do things. it's probably not the best way, or the quickest, or the most sophisticated, but it's the way that works for me.
i'm going to show you how my new design 'town' came about - i really wanted an update on my 'avenue' design, incorporating shops, building and vehicles and with a little more detail. the first image is of the scribbles i made during a trip to our local 'biggish' town (ie, one with a pizza express!) as we couldn't park in our usual places, we parked down a side street...the shops in my design are very much inspired by that little side street, a higgledy piggledy row of cuteness! i don't carry a sketchbook (though this is the very reason why i should!) so i used a couple of crumpled sheets of paper i found in the glove box . luckily i did have my trusty faber castell pit pen (size f) on me, so while sam was getting a ticket from the parking meter, i very quickly sketched the shops...
...i added to this theme whilst waiting for our pizza, sketching little lorries, trucks, cars, tower blocks and the like. the next stage was drawing out a more constructed design onto paper - i always draw the exact size the silkscreen allows, which in this case is 14" tall by 10" wide. i usually design in 1" increments - it makes it much easier working out measurements (i'm not good at maths) but this time i decided i wanted my buildings 2 inches tall and the vehicles 1 inch high. i draw on a nice creamy thick paper by daler rowney that's a touch under 10 inches wide which is perfect. (please excuse the pic, it's very hard to photograph pale pencil marks!)
so...after drawing in my design in pencil, i fill the design in with black pen - you don't want to make a mistake doing this bit, so it takes some time. mistakes can be disguised by drawing slightly thicker lines which has the added bonus of adding a bit of charm! one thing to note is that i don't design in repeat - these are single, stand alone designs, i think of them as panels rather than allover designs. this will change as i have learnt recently how to easily put my drawings in repeat using photoshop (i only have photoshop elements - i told you i was all about the lo-tech approach!)
once the design is completely filled in and i'm happy with it, it gets photocopied and sent to my little screen-making fairy (uk-ers check out committed to cloth's resources list to find your own screen-making fairy) and it comes back with the design burnt on to the screen like this...
...all ready to use! this is the first print i made with it...
i use water based ink by permaset - it's easy to clean up, it's environmentally friendly and it's virtually odourless. it also comes in a great range of colours, and they're all intermixable. after ironing on a highish setting for a few minutes, it's heatset.
for those of you who are interested in screen printing, i would recommend reading as much as you can about the subject - books i have found invaluable are:
dying and screen printing on textiles by joanna kinnersly-taylor
complex cloth by jane dunnewold
screen printing: layering textiles with colour, texture & imagery by leslie morgan and claire benn