Tag Archives: digital

Free textures – threadbare velvet & raspberry swirls

I’m terribly sorry these are late – it’s been a hard few weeks. In recompense, here’s a double set of free textures, all of which are Creative Commons licensed (CC:BY) so you can use them freely in your own noncommercial work, and for commercial purposes if you credit me.

First up, here’s what expensive red velvet looks like if you cover a sofa in it and sit on it for several hundred years. (This is from the ballroom at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, so it was almost certainly sat on by this charmingly imperialist chap.)

This one’s an original painting in acrylics, which will doubtless become a much more complex original painting in acrylics at some point, but I always take a photo of the base layers for just this sort of purpose.

Again from Kedleston Hall, here’s some lovely characterful brickwork – I’m not sure whether this is eighteenth or nineteenth century work, but it’s been sheltered under an arch for all its life, so it’s picked up character without destruction.

Two digital paintings: a brown earth texture I made for a dirt path in a faux-mediaeval manuscript, and some loose, grainy blue chalk.

Again from Kedleston Hall, the bark of a tree I’ve tentatively identified as a Turkish tansy-leaved hawthorn.

If you like these, please consider becoming a Patron – not only will it keep me in toast & ink, but some of it will also go to supporting the National Trust and all the other lovely organisations I visit with my camera!

Colour textures – ice, steel, and rain

As always, these are Creative Commons licensed (CC:BY) – you can use them for whatever purpose you like, and all I ask is that if you use them in a commercial project you attribute it to me.
These are all 300dpi at A4 size – click through for the full-size image, or right-click & save.

First, I’ve got some frosted steel for you (a digital painting, rather than a photograph).

And a cloud-frame developed from that:

And here’s a photograph of a steel plate after a few years’ exposure to the rain off the Atlantic:

If you find these useful, please consider becoming a patron – a few dollars a month will help to keep me in ink & coffee, and you’ll get special patron-only downloads as well.

Gaudy Night play script

I & some friends recently spent a weekend acting some classic murder mysteries for our own entertainment. For various reasons, we needed to produce scripts for them – private use only, so this isn’t a copyright issue – and it would have been a shame not to do our own cover designs with original artwork. This is mine, for Dorothy L Sayers’ Gaudy Night (the radio version, adapted by Mary Cutler) and I wanted to share it. (Mine bar the face sketch; that was done by my partner, because I’m truly appalling at faces.)

Gaudy Night cover

The text is my own handwriting; the brick wall is local London Stock, a few doors down from me; the dress pattern & book cover were taken from Lost & Taken; everything else is done in acrylics & assembled in Inkscape.

Laser cutter designs

Laser-engraved hardwood sign

This is a sign I made for craft fairs—it’s a nice heavy block of reclaimed hardwood, thick enough to stand up on its own, and it proved very eye-catching indeed. Commercial laser-cutting is very expensive (I’ve been quoted £1 a minute) but London Hackspace own their own laser-cutter, and £3 an hour covers maintenance, electricity, and replacement laser tubes. I shaped the wooden block by hand, squaring it off with a chisel and smoothing it with a knife & sandpaper. The text is all digital; the font is True Golden from Scriptorium Fontworks, based on William Morris’s Golden Type, while the E is done in Roughwork, reverse engineered from True Golden capitals to show construction lines. Since I’m a big William Morris fan, these are perfect for my purposes… and if only True Golden had proper double-quotes, it would be wonderful overall, but the left double quote is backwards. (This doesn’t match Kelmscott Press originals; I went to check specially. It’s entirely inexplicable.) I did all the designs in Inkscape (free open source vector graphics programme, much recommended) and from there they load straight into the computer which controls the laser cutter.

Laser-cut jewellery blanks 1

I’ve been making jewellery blanks with a scalpel so far, but that means I can’t do curves or complex shapes with small cutouts reliably. The laser cutter, on the other hand, can cut anything it likes quickly and precisely. These shapes are done in MDF, which lacks the romance of paper but was sitting right there in the offcut bin. Since the offcut bin also had a nice chunk of 10mm perspex in, I decided to try re-running a couple of the text designs on that for comparison. As you can see, they all turned out perfectly readable, though with the perspex of course it depends on the light and the viewing angle. I’m looking forward to experimenting with painting all these blanks—part of the reason for this experiment was to see if I could engrave text that would still be legible once painted. Given the shallowness of the engraving (sort of necessary on this scale, if I wasn’t to set the whole thing on fire) I’m a little dubious, but we can see.

Laser-cut text 1

2010 Christmas (and Hanukkah) cards

It’s September, and therefore high time for are-people-talking-about-Christmas-already?-bah-humbug season.

I make & sell Christmas cards, and can happily supply you with some to send to your friends, relatives, coworkers, archenemies, or complete strangers, at the bargain rate of £1 per card, or 20 for £18 plus p&p (from the UK, if you’re not) if I need to mail them. These are digitally printed on high-quality matte stock (Fabriano Ecologica: acid-free, 100% recycled, very white, and made in Italy using hydroelectric power) with pigment inks. The back has my logo on, and the insides are blank for your own message. They’re A6 when folded, so they fit perfectly into standard C6 envelopes.

I’m happy to do versions with custom text on, and I’ll probably be posting at least one more design over the next month or so, and a downloadable PDF for those of you who have your own printer and very little disposable income.

There’s no minimum order, and I’m happy to mix designs in any way you like. If any of you are interested in hand-printed woodblock or linocut cards instead, let me know in the comments and I’ll try and work up a design; they’re likely to work out between two and four times the price of the digital ones.