In my second fabric design class we spent some time making a fabric design and then painting with our gouache (pronounced go-wash). These paints are opaque watercolors, and very expensive if you want to buy many.
First, we were to draw a “natural” design (i.e. a flower or something alive) to fit on a 6” square of paper. That was easy enough. I looked at my water bottle, and there were little curvy waves, which reminded me of water lilies. So I drew water lilies with water rings. When the teacher came by, she said it was pretty, but I needed to change the direction of the water lilies. The logic dawned on me – prints are supposed to be multi-directional, and have movement. So I redid the drawing.
Next, we were to copy our design three more times, exactly, onto 6” squares, to make a 12” square. Now suddenly, there were gaps in the design near the edges, and my water lilies created unforeseen diagonal lines. They aren’t supposed to line up at all. So I rearranged the flowers and redid the drawing, again.
Next, we were to play with our paints, creating a sample palette of colors we wanted to use. That was fun – squirting out paint colors into little cups and mixing to get a color I liked. I mixed up some of my favorite colors - green and cornflower blue, violets and light blue. We were limited by being able to choose 3 colors for our design – the fourth color was our paper. Of course there’s logic in this too. Fabric manufacturers probably love a limited number of colors in a print – it’s cheaper to make.
Our homework is to paint our “full drop” design with our chosen colors, and bring natural items like food and leaves for nature printing next Saturday. So that's my completed design above.