I’ve had my head into making beautiful papers for different projects I’ve been working on. Thought it would be nice to give a peek at the different ways I go about making these papers. This, sadly, is not a “how-to” post, as each technique has so many steps.
The one thing that these all have in common is that I create them using the computer.. While I have great affection for making decorative papers by hand, it’s been my experience that if I want to use the computer to print papers that it’s best to create them on the comupter.
The paper at the top of the post is created in Adobe Illustrator, using patterning I’ve learned from Islamic Geometry tutorials. These patterns are great to when I am teaching folding methods, as I can size the designs so that the designs line up nicely when the paper is folded precisely. This has made teaching certain things so much easier.
Here’s an origami box, folded with my papers. More boxes below. Same pattern, different colors.
I use Islamic Geometry a great deal on my papers, but not always.
Sometimes I just create from the tools that are unique to the programs I am using. Illustrator’s flare tool is very fun to use.
This one is made by overlaying, resizing and recoloring a rarely used tool in Adobe Illustrator, called the flare tool. It’s hidden at the bottom of the menu that contains the rectangle and circles tools. I love having an excuse to play around with flares. This one I used to build a shape in which I placed the design inside the shape so it only showed when the light inside of it was activated.
Another way a create designs is by starting with graphs of equations. Even if I don’t understand the graphs that I’m working with, I have figured out how to play around with equations then work with the resulting graph.
Playing around with graphs isn’t hard once you get the hang of it. You can do it right now. Click this link https://www.desmos.com/calculator/b9bjax0qjf and then click the little arrows to start and stop the animation. See what happens. When I get something I like, I copy get the lines in Illustrator, create tessellations, and add color.
The pattern with the orange in it comes from the desmos graph. The blue pattern uses another set of equations. I like that the colored and uncolored versions are showing here.
This flower-like image is made from trig functions. Gold and silver embellishments were added by hand. This one ended up being a thank you card.
Now might be a good moment to mention that I just put a set of beautiful notecards up for sale in my etsy shop. https://etsy.me/3EGgXY2
While Illustrator is my program of choice, I do dip my toes into photoshop once in awhile.
I’m pretty much a novice with Photoshop. Maybe that works to my advantage? (Wishful thinking.)
I’ve discovered I can lay down a gradient, use some filters and the gradient tool and sometimes make some really gorgeous papers. It’s quite a random activity. Soon as a design shows up I save it. There is no recreating these.
These Photoshop generated papers have become all sorts of shapes.
With the holiday season coming, I’ve been using my Photoshop papers to make these paper ornaments.
I could go on and on with the different ways I put designs on paper. Here’s just one more.
The design above started as black and white lines on Dave Richeson’s computer, which then made its way to twitter https://twitter.com/divbyzero/status/1415049185573879817?s=20 then made its way to my computer. I did the coloring with Sharpies, colored pencils, and other markers. I did try scanning this, but I knew, from past experience, I wouldn’t like the scan. Here’s what I do when I want to make copies of hand drawn designs: instead of scanning the images I simply lay them on the glass of my copy machine and make copies.
Using the copy machine retains the feel of the hand drawing, which can be really nice, as long as no one looks too close.
There, so I’ve shown you the Islamic Geometry designs, the design made from graphs, flare overlays, random Photoshop gradient washes, and using my copy machine.
Now I need to figure out how to package up some of these items that I’m making so I can justify all this ink that I’ve been using! So easy to just have fun, the business part is still in process.