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ask an expert adam painting liberty fabrics

Print Design with Adam Herbert

Lead designer Adam Herbert talks us through the creation of a Liberty print.
By: Jess Johnson

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By: Jess Johnson
Print Design with Adam Herbert
Ask A Liberty Expert

Print Design with Adam Herbert

Lead designer Adam Herbert talks us through the creation of a Liberty print

Shop Liberty Fabrics

Our artists have been staying creative while working from home during lockdown. Our Design Manager for Liberty Fabrics Bespoke, Adam Herbert, shows us what he’s been working on in his home studio – from choosing the flowers that inspire his initial drawings, to arranging the final print artwork that will eventually finish its journey as a Liberty Fabrics print.

Step 1: Collecting Flowers

“The very first step is collecting the objects that you’re going to work from. Liberty is synonymous with florals, so today I will be drawing some flowers that I have collected.”

Step 2: Inspiration

“Matisse’s bold use of colour and his paper cuts have always been a particular inspiration to me – on my desk I’ve got a book of his work that I absolutely love, and that I always go back to.”

Step 3: Drawing

“I create the initial drawings by working very loosely and spontaneously, looking at different shapes and compositions. At this stage I try not to get too weighed down with what the finished print should look like – by working in this way it enables me to work freely and expressively.”

Step 4: Painting

“Using my drawings as a starting point, I start to paint compositions of flower forms that I think might look interesting when turned into a print. Here I am painting them into a repeat with gouache.”

“It’s helpful to develop a colour palette early on as it helps you to separate yourself from the flowers’ real-life shapes and colours. It also helps to be less literal and more unexpected, and makes the process itself more spontaneous.”

Step 5: Colour Library

“I have collected a colour library over the years, it has all sorts of different colours in it. I house the library in some glass sweet jars, and each colour has its own jar full of scraps and bits I’ve collected. One of my favourite colours is blue, so the blue section has quite a few jars!”

Step 6: Different Compositions

“To start to move the design towards becoming an actual printed artwork, I try different compositions. I paint from the drawings using my colour palette, and I start to think about how this composition might repeat on a fabric before I scan the artwork into my computer.”

Step 7: The Final Print

“When creating the final print on my computer in Photoshop I try lots of options to plan out how it will repeat across the fabric. Then I try it in different colourways – normally we make a design in three colourways, but we create lots of different options to get to the final three.”

“This print still has more of a journey to go before it will be made into a finished fabric – stay tuned!”

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