To create artwork for my Nutcracker Sketches fabric design, I first had to learn more about the story then began to select which scenes I wanted to include.
I selected color schemes and a light on dark value strategy to suggest both the mood and night time scenes of the story, and the impression of stage lighting for the ballet performance.
I used the hard and soft chalk pastel brushes in Corel Painter for the artwork.
I worked towards keeping an emphasis on gesture in my illustrations and a minimum of strokes to not overwork them and maintain a sketch-like quality.
I created each illustration separately using a shared palette in Corel Painter. I then used Adobe Photoshop to assemble them all together into the final design.
During assembly, I uploaded my design to Spoonflower and used their pattern tile repeat tool to test the basic layout and decide what type of repeat I would use before working on the transitions between the separate illustrations.
I used some soft and dry brushes in Photoshop and some layer masks to refine some of the transitions in the final design, and in some instances went back to Corel Painter to refine some details in the figures.
In the final printed fabric, the figures range in size from 1″ for the seated figures in the sleigh to 4.25″ for the Mouse King. The design printed nicely on silky polyester faille from Spoonflower. Now I can’t wait to sew something up with the fabric.
©2014 Alice Frenz all rights reserved