I have found the final project of the Academic Year both a labour of love and loathing.  One of my main strengths has always lain within my independent spirit and my refusal to give up. I am extremely proud of the progress I have made from producing my first design collection up to my most recent and final collection.












I am immensely proud of my Final Collection and am excited to find out more about what Photoshop can offer. I am now a convert of this magnificent tool……WATCH THIS SPACE.



I cannot tell you have frustrated I had become at not being able to create a HERO design up to my usual high standards; nearly all previous attempts had failed in one area or another. However, after two 1-2-1 tutorials with Matt Leighfield (A Programme/Digital Genius), I finally got to grips with the technicalities that would allow me to amalgamate my ideas, concept and designs into the beginnings of a collection.

I had been having a difficult time fathoming out how to cut out elements such as motifs and juxtapose them into a new document but can now undertake the task with ease!!

The process is really simple now that I know how:

Select the LASSO Tool > ‘Draw’ round the specific element required (making sure that the marching ants are on the move) > Drag chosen image (once opened in Photoshop) tab down a few cms > Select MOVE TOOL > Select the area within the marching ants and hold down mouse and drag into/onto the prepared document > To remove the unwanted background surrounding the chosen motif I utilised the MAGIC ERASER TOOL.

My HERO design was extremely complex to create, not only did I colour all the individual motifs by hand but I also scanned them all at 720dpi, ‘cleaned’ them all digitally which could take up to an hour or two each, and then had to measure each to create enough room and aesthetic to look mathematically accurate.

These are some of the elements I combined to create my HERO:

After 5 hours on Photoshop, I was able to create this!!! I am so incredibly proud of my design.


The background colour is #a0bfbd and the Cyanotype motifs were changed to a Hue of -25 and -70, which changed the colour from a dark blue to a rich teal and green. I may toy around the idea of putting an embossment or shadow/glow around the motifs but will ultimately decide if it adds or detracts from the design.

I wanted my HERO design to describe the story of MY CHILDHOOD GARDEN; to describe the wonderful lines, shapes, patterns, and colours of the most abundant flowers I could remember as a child.

Again, I made sure to include:

Top 3 Colours chosen to describe FEMININITY = YELLOW, PINK & PURPLE

Top 3 Colours to describe MASCULINITY = BLUE, BLACK & GREEN

I also made sure that I kept the design SIMPLISTIC and using RICH, yet SUBDUED Colours. One of the key focuses of the Busy Bloom trend was evidence of lush blooming floral corollas, which I believe I have nailed. I believe that I have poured my visual identity all over this design, whilst staying true to the core values of the brief.


Although I have really tried my best to learn the core structure of Photoshop, I have hit a brick wall. The anxiety at not having created any Collection Moodboards is creating a type of fog that I am finding nigh on impossible to break through. Seeing all of my classmates produce board after board of progressive collections has almost made me retreat inside myself; feelings of failure and inadequacy are now commonplace throughout my day. Is Digital Technology my Kryptonite?

I have decided to go back to some of the SKILLSHARE tutorials and try to learn from the ground up again. The first tutorial I am undertaking is ‘DIGITIZE YOUR WATERCOLOURS: Getting Started With Photoshop’ by Anne Butera.

Anne recommends the DPI to be set to 720, not 300. By scanning at a higher resolution the image can be scaled up without losing any of its integrity.

I also discovered the benefit of using the MARQUEE TOOL to crop the chosen scanned image. Previously I have had issues removing more than one type of background when manipulating the image in Photoshop but can now see the advantage of cropping down the design.

The LASSO Tool is also an invaluable tool in a Designers’ arsenal; its a great way to ‘cut out’ individual areas of a design/image.

The MAGIC WAND Tool is also a fantastic way to remove unwanted areas and keep specific elements of design. The ERASER TOOL can then be employed to remove all the small little discrepancies that the MAGIC WAND Tool had failed to remove. A fantastic way to make sure that there are no discrepancies left is to create a NEW FILL LAYER with SOLID COLOUR, ideally choosing Black. This new layer needs to go behind the design/motif to expose any marks etc that have been left. I then used the ERASER TOOL in Black to remove these elements. The NEW FILL LAYER can then be deleted!!!

Firstly I worked my way through Anne’s ‘How to Create A Repeat Pattern’, which simplified the process of creating a ‘perfect’ repeat tile. This tile could then be duplicated to create a perfect repeat. Yes, my repeat is rather simple, but I now understand the core ingredients of this wondrous technique.




I then followed Annes’s instructions to scan other designs/motifs through the scanner @ 720dpi, used the MOVE TOOL to arrange in my desired location, and the FREE TRANSFORM TOOL to alter and set the scale.


This was the result of incorporating some of my favourite elements from different designs and amalgamating them together. I am so proud of this design!!! I absolutely love the contrast of the B+W against the subtle yellow, orange, gold and green. Does it need a colour in the background? I did try to add a colour background, but unfortunately, there are gaps in the lines of the larger rose, meaning the background fill leaks into the rose. Going forward, I will endeavour to use the pen/brush tool to link up these open lines.

Thanks to the additional tutorial by Anne I was able to spend the day both learning and practising on Photoshop simultaneously. I won’t lie, the time it takes to properly edit and manipulate the images to my standard took hours!!! However, through trial and error, I was able to edit all my designs/motifs and create one document layered with each individual element.


This was my first attempt at a preliminary idea for my HERY Design, albeit not quite finished, and I will admit I am rather proud of it. I will add many other motifs and design elements to this idea but first wanted to see if I actually could create a digital design.


Next, I applied a little colour, which I think has brought the design to life!! This design has been completed on an A3 Print Document in Photoshop and will allow a perfect repeat as a tile. The results of my Market Research Survey have played a massive role in my design process, staying true to what my demographic wanted. The colours are specific to what my client base wants and the DESIGN and COLOUR have been purposefully chosen to create a SIMPLISTIC and GENDER NEUTRAL design.


A half-drop pattern was added to the design, and I absolutely love it. I also have made a note of the colour of the background, specifically the numerical value. Making a note of the colour is extremely important, not only will it allow me to remember the specific colour, but will also allow me to create a colour bank for future projects. Watch this space to find out how the design progresses………



I made the conscious effort to skip PHOTOSHOP (3);  the tutorial was far more focused on Web Design and not towards my area of study…DIGITAL DESIGN for TEXTILES.

Going forward, I have decided to make a note of the numerical value of a favourite/specifically chosen colour within the CMYK range. This will make replicating the colour for future endeavours really easy. Clicking on the Foreground/Background Tool will make the Colour Picker Tool to pop-up, allowing the choice of colour.


Wow!!! I knew that this tool would be beneficial eventually to my ongoing creative projects, but found that it can be super useful for my current project. Firstly, select the SWATCHES Tab, which can be found at the top right of the Photoshop screen. Creating a SWATCH LIBRARY is incredibly easy; click on Foreground/Background Tool, which will pop-up the Colour Picker Tool. Simply choose the specified colour for the particular brief you are working on, and press ADD TO SWATCHES.

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I find it particularly useful to rename the colour, to avoid confusion if using at a later date. The colour will now be available in MY LIBRARY, meaning it will now be available to access anytime.

I disovered that I could remove the pre-populated (Default) Colour Swatches and replace them with my own. This feature will be invaluable for my professional career; I can create a range of individual colour schemes for different clients without bulking the palettes together.

By clicking on the tab in the top right corner of the Colour/Swatches Window I found a  menu with many options appeared. I scrolled down to PRESET MANAGER, which caused the PRESET box to appear. By holding down SHIFT and selecting the colours I didn’t want, I selected the DELETE button, removing all the unwanted palette.

Say for example I was working on a brief for John Lewis, who stipulated that they wanted a Yellow Floral Colour scheme for a Spring/Summer collection. Now that I had removed all the unwanted colour swatches I could now create my own.

The wonderful aspect of being able to save this specific palette for a specific client will allow me to have a clutter-free and tailored palette at the ready should I need it.

If I wanted to reintroduce the Default Colour Swatches back I would simply click on the top right tab, scroll down to RESET SWATCHES and select OK to replace current swatches with the default colours.


Application to apply overlay in interesting and specific ways. I began by choosing to create a Rectangle via the RECTANGLE TOOL and renaming it to avoid future confusion. Secondly, I created a NEW LAYER and also created a second Rectangle (overlapping), which was also renamed.

The Blending Mode option can be found within the LAYER section described as NORMAL in the drop-down menu. After allowing myself a few minutes to explore the individual modes, I decided to choose MULTIPLY; a fantastic mode allowing the exact fusion of the two colours.

I played around with the OPACITY; the translucency was dictated by decreasing the percentage via the scrollbar. Although similar to the Opacity tool, the FILL tool could only be demonstrated by applying a border (STROKE) to the second shape.

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The difference between toggling the Opacity and Fill tool is that the Opacity will alter both the border and fill of the shape/design/image, and the Fill will only alter the fill of the shape/design/image, leaving the border unchanged. This could be a really helpful tool/application when looking at my current/future designs.


The majority that I explored really isn’t appropriate for the type of design I undertake. However, I did find a few which may have merit.

The FILTER option is accessed via the FILTER tab, and in the first instance, I decided to choose STYLIZE: EMBOSS. I was really surprised to see how interesting and abstract my design became. I actually really like the EMBOSS mode.

The CRYSTALIZE tool was equally as interesting; I actually played around with the Cell Size, to find that the design looked better somewhere within a median range rather than that of a small or large selection.

Last, but not least was the OIL PAINT mode. I really loved this application and could happily see it being used within some of my digital designs. There are 4 individual elements to explore; Stylization, Cleanliness, Scale & Bristle Detail. The overall effect was really subtle but created a wonderfully painterly effect to what was originally a stylised observational pen study.


An incredible tool to manipulate, add or extend my own designs. The BRUSH mode can be accessed through the WINDOW tab and scrolling down to Brush Settings. The Brush Settings menu will pop-up, but will be greyed out. I simply pressed the letter B, and hey presto I am able to access all these wonderful features.

I must have spent around 20minutes just exploring the settings. The possibilities are endless within this feature, and this is something I am going to exploit when I have more time. Some of the effects that I have shown interest towards are as follows:

(Clockwise) I fell in love with this bold and highly textural ‘split-brush’ (306) tip effect, and strangely enough, the effect resembles the foliage and leaves of some of the flowers I have been trying to capture. Could I use this tool to help with some of the motif elements? The second effect (284) would be an incredible way to create a varied and textural background, not to mention its striking resemblance to the patterns found on some birds eggs. Finally, I love how this effect (60) can be built up to create depth and structure. Could this be used as a wonderful way to create the patterns and shapes of a tree? Exciting times.

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An exploration of Scale, Spacing, Colour, Smoothing, Texturisation, and Brushstrokes.

Always create a new layer when using a new/different brush; quicker to remedy a problem on one single layer rather than altogether.


Seeing how fantastic PHOTOSHOP (1) was, it would be silly of me not to advance my knowledge within this incredible digital tool. What will I be learning today?


‘The Adjustment Layers in Photoshop are a group of a super useful, non-destructive image editing tools that add color and tonal adjustments to your image without permanently changing its pixels. With the adjustment layers, you can edit and discard your adjustments or restore your original image at any time’.

My initial favourite, and LA that I would consider using within my own work are:

HUE & SATURATION – Exactly as described. Allows the user to manipulate colour.

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Anything under the chosen Adjustment Layer will benefit from the manipulation of chosen Adjustment Layer. The COLOURISE box, when ticked, will allow the image to be manipulated to the exact colour on the Hue Slider Bar, and the saturation can be decreased or increased to individual preference.

VIBRANCE – Wonderful tool to add that little extra to the image, design or photo. Gives vibrancy to shape, pattern, colour, and line.

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Vibrancy can be decreased and increased to individual preference.

PHOTO FILTER – I found this tool a really useful addition to my digital arsenal. Not only can it create a warmer/cooler tone to the chosen image, but can also be manipulated to a custom colour of my choice too.

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The PRESERVE LUMINOSITY box should be kept ticked to maintain the integrity of the image and not saturate the image with the chosen colour.

INVERT – Turns all the colours to their polar opposites. I actually think this may be a really great tool when creating some otherworldy designs for future projects.

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‘A layer style is one or more effects applied to a layer or layer group. You can apply one of the preset styles provided with Photoshop or create a custom style using the Layer Style dialog box. The layer effects icon appears to the right of the layer’s name in the Layers panel’.

By undertaking these Photoshop tutorials I am beginning to understand how integral this digital is to my ongoing creative journey. Not only is it opening my mind to the endless possibilities of what I can achieve digitally, but more importantly what I can do creatively.

To create a copy of chosen layer, drag existing layer to the CREATE NEW LAYER (Half-Moon) tab within the LAYERS window. To add a new LAYER STYLE, double-click on the far right corner of the highlighted LAYER box (away from the text).

Colour Overlay – 3 settings: Blend Mode, Color, and Opacity.

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The Blend Mode allows you to set the blending mode for your Color Overlay, while the color box allows you to choose the Colour. The Opacity Mode; smaller number here makes your Colour Overlay more transparent, while a higher number gives a stronger effect.

Incredibly useful tool for design. Some of my favourites are:

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I am really excited to attempt applying some of these LS to my own work. The Opacity should ideally be set to 0% before attempting to apply any of the LS, and gradually increased to suit individual preferences.

Stroke – The LS which will create a border around your chosen image, design or shape. I chose this tutorial element due to it’s possible importance within my upcoming design collection.

To start with I deleted the Copy Layer, created a New Fill or Adjustment Layer (Choosing a SOLID COLOUR, White Background), renamed the layer to the desired title, created a New Layer, and created a Shape (Perfect Circle).

To apply this new LAYER STYLE (Stroke), double-click desired layer to the right of the text. This will border the chosen layer only. The size slider bar will allow the thickness of border to increase or decrease respectively.

Fantastically, the border colour can also be changed!! Not only that but the opacity of the border can be increased or decreased also. This can prove to be extremely useful when showcasing a background layer, allowing the image/design to peer through the translucency. To remove the White Background simply click on the eye symbol and the desired/chosen image/design will appear. By clicking V or the MOVE TOOL, the shape can now be placed anywhere within the layer.

Each online tutorial is allowing me to grow in confidence when using Photoshop, but not only that I am storing a bank of information that can be called upon for future projects.


Probably one of the most utilsed and useful tools within Photoshop.

CMD&T = Transform. I selected a file of my choice by selecting the EDIT tab and scrolling down to FILE EMBEDDED option.

Next, selecting the FILE tab I scrolled down to the TRANSFORM option and chose FLIP HORIZONTAL from the sub-menu.

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I had been trying to suss this out for about a week prior to this tutorial, and now I feel confident in applying the same principle to my Hero design, incorporating a REFLECTED Layout.

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That is how simple it is to horizontally flip the image; would be silly not to try the FLIP VERTICAL option.

I have been struggling to make use of this incredibly textural design of my own, but thanks to this specific tutorial I am able to connect the dots and hopefully create a truly stunning design.

I can even use the FREE TRANSFORM tool to rotate the image!! Hold down the SHIFT key to rotate the image to equal angles and preset factors. If image/design needs only a small rotation then the SHIFT key is not a necessary function.

Exciting times lie ahead.


To say that I am having a problem with learning a new way of working via PHOTOSHOP & ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR would be a huge understatement; I am more of a Fine Art Textile Designer, not to mention age is a negative factor when trying to pick up a new skill. I know which elements of my individual designs I want to incorporate into my HERO, SECONDARY & BLENDER designs, but trying to juxtapose/manipulate into a design I could be proud of is proving nigh on impossible!!!

I am spending hours watching online tutorials looking at the basics of PHOTOSHOP, especially looking at layering and repeat patterns, but it’s like a foreign language; one which is not permeating to the necessary cognitive functions.

My feedback within the first group crit was rather muddy, and to be honest I actually felt more confused after than I did to begin with!! Sian seems to always pick my least favourite ideas/designs/motifs within my body of work, something I find disconcerting; do my tutors understand that I want to create my own path? Or do they want the same generic designs that seem to be churned out year after year?

I have recently come across a really lovely Textile Designer called Anna Jayne, and one of the reasons I share such an affinity with this particular designer is how simple the structure of the design is. I think by viewing her way of juxtaposing her individual motifs and flowers has really helped me begin to understand how my flowers and motifs can be translated digitally too.


This is how Anna begins her initial designs; concentrating on the core elements of floral observational studies allows her to build a portfolio of images that can then be concentrated down to specific flowers and motifs contained within a theme.


Jayne, A. (2016) English Garden. Available at: (Accessed: 23 April 2018)

I was absolutely stunned by this design!! It is all hand drawn then manipulated in Photoshop to create the most delicious repeating pattern……..this gives me hope that my designs could look like this. I tells a story, and a really happy one too. I really want my floral designs to tell a story about me, my childhood garden and how I want to convey my own visual handwriting.

My next step is to immerse myself more within the online tutorials and possibly to print some of my designs out and to arrange them the old school way to find out what works in terms of size, colour, layout and scale. Wish me luck.


Day 3 of teaching myself the fundamental basics of Photoshop. I can honestly say that I am really enjoying these tutorials and have begun to vitally understand the principle of this tool to avoid me within my burgeoning creative career.

Today I am looking at:


This tutorial was short and sweet but really informative and I learnt the difference of IMAGE vs CANVAS SIZE.  IMAGE size adjusts both the size of the image and canvas and CANVAS size only adjusts only the proportion of the canvas………CONFUSED?



Firstly I clicked on the IMAGE tab, scrolling down to choose IMAGE SIZE. A proportion box appeared which could be changed to to a range of different measurement i.e pixels, inches, centimetres, so I chose inches for this demonstrative purpose. The wonderful thing about the IMAGE SIZE is that it will automatically change the proportions to match each other (no warping of image); CMD+Z can be used to UNDO any unwanted mistakes.




Unlike it’s predecessor, CANVAS SIZE will only affect the size of the canvas and the proportions won’t change when altering width and height. The proportion box will look markedly different, but the wonderful features of the CANVAS SIZE means that ‘borders’ can be created to add text, motifs or other images. These borders can be created at whatever side you want; WIDTH creates ‘borders’ to the left & right and HEIGHT creates ‘borders, to the top & bottom.



Holding ALT & The Mouse simultaneously will allow a fluid zoom in and out of the image in Photoshop.

Always try to work/design at 100%


SCRUBBY ZOOM enables a box (moving ants) to be created round the desired area to be worked on/manipulated, which would be a mastic tool when needing to fine tune a specific area.


Fantastic way to organise files!!! Make easily accessible by filing under description and date, for e.g lineflower_27042018.psd (underscore to separate description of file and date).

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The tutorial, MEG LEWIS, informed me to CREATE A NEW DOCUMENT; I chose an A4 size document, chose the measurements in inches and set colour to CMYK. The F key was used to create a wider and more user friendly screen.

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I then decided to create my own preferred colour background, choosing a beautiful light Duck Egg Blue.To create this new layer complete with my preferred colour I clicked on the ‘CREATE NEW FILL OR ADJUSTMENT COLOUR’ icon, which revealed a scrollbar to select SOLID COLOUR.

It is recommended that each new layer is created to describe each layer (to avoid confusion in layers). Before creating any new shapes a new layer must be created, which can be created by clicking on the NEW LAYER icon second from right within the layer window.

The SHAPES can be created within the RECTANGLE TOOL (Hold down to show range of shapes available). Holding down SHIFT can create a perfect square, circle etc; to choose a new colour for the shape double click on the desired layer which will bring up the COLOUR PICKER (FOREGROUND COLOUR), looking like the EYEDROPPER TOOL….and simply choose the colour. I actually found out that the V button is a shortcut for the MOVE TOOL!! By pressing V I can now move the shape.

Follow previous steps to create a new layer etc and choose a new shape too. To create a triangle I needed to choose a POLYGON, but had to amend the sides from 5 to 3.

Within the COLOUR PICKER (HUE CUBE) there is a little box to demonstrate how the previous colour looks against the new colour (New vs Current), which is an amazing tool to see how well the colours interact i.e contrast, harmonise etc and perfect for a designer such as myself.

By dragging one layer under another the shape will now be underneath rather than over the top; invaluable when looking at the juxtaposition of more complex designs in the future.


I created a new layer each time I created a new shape and followed all previous steps. To resize the shapes/images make sure the relevant layer is highlighted/chosen; the FREE TRANSFORM TOOL (CMD+T) was employed, but the SHIFT key must be held down to maintain the shape and avoid warping. The MOVE TOOL needs to be chosen to fix the transformation.

To resize the image as a whole hold SHIFT down and select each layer (minus the background solid colour background). The layers can now move as one and not individually.

This Online Resource Tutorial has been utterly invaluable!!! I have nor grasped the basics of Photoshop and am looking forward to the next tutorials. Like everything in life, I need to practice, practice and practice.