Using the Digital Camera as a Design Tool

Most of my art is designed at least to some degree as I work on it.  When I am working on a teddy or other artwork, I frequently come to a place in the making, where I am stuck on a design decision.  I may have several options I am considering, but am having trouble picking the right one.  I try adding the different options temporarily and going back and forth looking to see which I like best, but it is hard for me to tell this way. Recently I started taking digital snapshots of my various design options.  This way I can quickly go from one to another and view them in the camera.  This also puts an extra step in the viewing (like looking at your work in a mirror) so your view is less biased and more distanced.  I have found this so helpful.  If I am really still stuck, I can upload them to my computer and view them at the same time in a photo-editing program.

Here are some snapshots I used when designing the face of a mohair rabbit and the accessories for a bear.

rabbit line mouth

rabbit upside-down v mouth

When I was making this rabbit, I couldn't decide what type of mouth to make, even after trying out one then the other using pins to hold the mouth in place.  Finally I took a digital snapshot of both variations and by comparing the photos was able to choose the upside-down V mouth.

isabel bell

isabel enamel ingle bell

isabel flower

isabel button collar

Here is Isabel before her accessories were added.  I tried two types of bells and a flower with a tarnished copper chain, and then a fabric collar with a large vintage pearl button.  I took digital photos of each variation and was intrigued to see that they all (except the flower variation) seemed to give her a boyish quality.  I had already decided that Isabel was a female bear.  My final solution came from a combination of ideas from the flower pendant and the button collar as you can see here.

isabel