From Sketch to Print: A Step-by-Step Look at Our Art Print Production Process

From Sketch to Print: A Step-by-Step Look at Our Art Print Production Process

All of my art prints are designed and created here in my Connemara home. Looking out at a beautifully green hill, topped with trees, I sometimes spot a fox in the top left corner of my view. In reality I’m only paces away from the village, but with this view I could be anywhere in the wilds of Connemara. Here is where the magic happens.

Inspired by nature, my art takes its time to develop and evolve. From sketch to packaged print, there are many steps and I’m going to bring you along the journey here.

Step 1: Inspiration and Sketching

Before I put pencil to paper, I usually have a clear idea of what the finished illustration will look like. I start with a light pencil and outline the basic shapes and proportions, adjusting as I go. Once I’m happy with the basic outline, I’ll add any other smaller shapes or details in pencil.

Step 2: Refinement and Detailing

This step can take days or weeks, depending on the size of the illustration and how detailed I want it to be. If I’m trying something completely new, like a new leaf or a new shape or shading, I may have to do some practice efforts along the way. Filling in all of the detail in my designs takes time and patience but it is what makes my designs so special and unique to me.

Step 3: Digitalisation

Once I’m happy with my design, I erase any remaining pencil markings and the design is ready for digitising.I take a scan of it and upload it to my iPad. Here I’ll clean up the background so it’s a crisp white, and make sure the proportions of design to page are correct.

Step 4: Proofing

Next, I’ll do some test prints to see how the finished product will look. I may adjust the size, and reprint, but in general this is a quick step. I’ve gotten better at digitisation so that my proofing stage doesn’t take as long as it used to.

Step 5: Printing and Packaging

My final step is to print and package. I ship my prints flat, so they all get a sturdy backing board and a protective film. The film I use is made from compostable corn starch. No plastic over here thank you! Lastly, I pop my logo sticker on - made from sugar cane fibres, so it’s also compostable, and the print is ready to be shipped out to my lovely customers!

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