How To Mask A Cushion...

 Initial rough drawing of design.

Initial rough drawing of design.

Designing the cushions would have to begin with a few rough sketches, just to get an idea of how shapes can form and work together to create a complete image within a square frame. It would also require lots and lots of research into different African tribes across the ages and the art associated with them. It proved to be a very fun and rewarding task.

On the left is an initial image of a design you will recognise. It proved to be one of my favourite designs once completed but at the time I wasn't convinced by it and it was almost shelved! It just goes to show when we continue against out better judgement good results sometimes come from it (other times you just waste paint, spill your paint water and destroy your work space). 


 After reproducing a digital copy of the rough sketch, it's easy to splash in  colours to see what goes together, and we end up with a series of rough  ideas  as to what it will look like. It also allows us to easily plan our colours  to come  up with some complementary tones. I like to simplify and limit to  three tones  at a time, even if the urge to go nuts comes about (it's way too  easy).  Once I  get kind of a rough idea what goes I move to the next  step. Creating a 'film  negative' that I will use to create my photographic  stencil. To do this I will  need to colour each layer in black, with each colour  tone being a layer. The  rest of the design will be whitened out (as  seen below). The print is then done in three stages  (one for each tone) to  create the complete image. Sounds pretty simple yet lots of hiccups can  occur, such is the joy of working by hand. It is a true labour of love but as  some famous singer probably sung love is a cruel fleeting mistress that's  in the air.

There we have it, how to mask a cushion... kind of.

Remi Akinfoyeku