Tag Archives: fabric

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.

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T-shirt stencilling

I made this the other day – Sainsbury’s sell fairtrade cotton T-shirts for £3 each. Still horribly ecologically damaging, but there aren’t really any practical alternatives to wearing cotton. And cheap, so I picked up some to experiment with.
Gold & blue T-shirt 1

(I tweaked the brightness and contrast a little, to adjust for the domestic lighting and make the pattern more visible.)

Following a friend’s suggestion, I made a screen from net curtain fabric (£1.50 a metre from Walthamstow market) and spread it taut on my tambour frame. Some viscous grey acrylic worked nicely to block it out, after drawing on the design with a Sharpie (note to UK people – you can get authentic Sharpies at Ryman’s, and they are indeed as good as people say).

I mixed up the paint, using 1:1 acrylic paint and textile medium, but managed to overestimate and dish out far more than I actually needed. I ladled it out with the brush and vigorously rubbed it in (with the same brush – this makes it, technically, stencilling rather than screenprinting) going over and over in several patterns.

The first layer – the gold – went on nicely, but I didn’t have complete coverage. Some areas of the disc were a bit patchy. I ended up taking the screen off and hand-painting over it, since it was such a large area and no fiddly bits to deal with, and deliberately doing texture effects. I’m not sure either way about the rough, frayed edges of the disc – I rationalise it by thinking of it as deckle.

After leaving that to dry for 24 hours or so, I put the second screen on (the first was a simple circle) and repeated the procedure with the blue. This time it didn’t need overpainting except in a few small areas – I didn’t want to risk putting the screen back down and ruining the registration.

I’m rather fond of the distressed print effects and broken lines, and I’ll freely admit to being a sucker for this particular colour combination.