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Hand drawn artwork to digital repeat


If you enjoy creating hand-rendered or hand-drawn artwork you may want to learn how to turn them into digital repeats? Or are you are an artist who wants to learn the process of using your art elements to create pattern repeats?

There are a few things that will make the process easier.

Create your elements as islands

When you’re creating your hand painted or drawn artwork it’s a good idea to think about creating each element as a separate island as this will make it easier for you to remove the background when you get it into the computer.

That means making sure you leave space around each element you create. For example, if you want to create four different leaves that you want to use in your design, then you will have more control over the way you use if you create them separately and they are not attached or touching.

If you were to create your leaves overlapping and then wanted to use them separately you would need to fill in the area where they overlap when you brought them into the computer. This would involve fiddling around and filling the missing bit in. If you create your elements separately then it will make the process much easier.

White paper

I also recommend creating your design elements on white paper as this will make it much easier to remove that background once you bring it into the computer. You can use either Photoshop or Illustrator to create your pattern repeats. Each will create a different look and feel to your end result. Using Illustrator will create a vectorised look so if you’re wanting to keep the hand drawn textures and brush strokes to your work, I would recommend using Photoshop.

The process for removing the background will differ depending on the program but by creating your artwork on white paper it will make it easier in either program.

Size of your artwork

Another thing you should consider when creating your design elements creating them at the size or larger than you want to use them. This is especially important if you’re going to use your design elements in Photoshop as enlarging the size of your elements too much in Photoshop will cause them to pixelate and lose quality.

If you do have artwork that you’d like use at a larger scale, another option is to scan it in at a higher dpi setting. Generally, you can scan your work in at 300d dpi if you’re going to use it at the same scale or smaller than you created it.

If you want to use your artwork at a larger scale, the other option is to scan it in at a higher dpi setting. I often scan my painting in at 600 dpi so I have more flexibility with scale once I bring it into Photoshop. Keep in mind though the larger the dpi setting the larger the file will be.


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