Monday, June 13, 2011

Keeping up with my Images

I have been working on getting all my drawings ready to move from stencil to fabric and thought I might share how I keep my images organized - both on paper and in the computer. 

When I decide to do something like a swan or a poppy, I google images of the subjects I intend to make.  

When I am going through images on the web I am looking for a wide variety of pictures to use together to form exactly what I want.  I'm looking for shape, color, and shading.  I usually download and save 10 or so images at a time, then print them as guides for the final images.  (I put all the color images I will be basing my colors on up on my design wall to help me choose fabrics and as a guide for shading.)  I try to ONLY use non copy written images for my images - even though my stencils are not direct replicas.  It is always better to be safer than sorry later.

I have a big file I save them under on the computer named quilt images.  This is where anything I download for a quilt is saved in case I loose the picture or it gets messed up or I need to redo my initial sketch.  This way I don't have to go looking for the original picture I was using all over again.

Then there are sub-files for specifics such as flowers, birds, trees, shapes, ect.  Again, this just helps cut out time.  If I know I have already used a hawk picture  and it is in the bird folder; I can cut out a lot of useless web browsing and spend more time working on my quilt.  BIG plus for me!

I even took it one step further. 

Under the flower folder there are more sub-folders of the specific types of flowers, birds, and trees. (For example, there is a folder for each of the following:  poppies, iris, daisies, ect., or under the birds sub-folder there are the following specific birds: hawks, eagles, hummingbirds, swans, ect.  )

This last step makes finding what I'm looking for specifically VERY easy. 

Then folder that contains hummingbirds, for instance, has them flying in varying shapes and directions as well as sizes so hopefully, my starting point will be something I have already found and if I am really lucky, something I have already drawn.

By having it organized this way, I know when I need something I have used before there are images already there for me and I have to spend less time searching the web for the "perfect" ones to pick from.  

Less computer time means more sewing time.

I also have an accordion style folder that I keep all my drawn images in organized the same way.  By keeping my already made images I may or may not have to re-create something for the project I am currently working on.  It may need blowing up or shrinking for the desired size, but that is a lot less work in the long run than having to start from scratch.

I seldom use an image just as it is when I download it line for line.  For one, that is illegal, and secondly, I'm only looking for inspiration with the images I am using.  I may trace wings of one bird and put them on the body of another bird.  (unfortunately at this time, I don't have an example of this.)  

Another reason I print images of the pictures I'm using is to help me translate the colors and shading.  Making my quilts look like the real thing isn't all that important to me right now, but translating the over all plant properly is. If I am making an image up from my imagination completely, then the sky is the limit otherwise I like having something to reference.

I have my poppy templates drawn, but I have now run into the obstacle of needing them to all be around the same size which they are not right now, so my next project is to attempt to get them all relatively proportional in size with the scanner and editing software.  I've never had to do this before, so we will see how it works out. 

Once I accomplish that, I will heading to the print shop to have them blown up to the size I need them all to be.

Until tomorrow!  I'm off to scan my poppies into the computer!  Wish me luck!

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