Poor Barbara had caught a cold from her grandchild, so we've had no City and Guilds for March (yes I know it's April now, but keeping up was never my strong point)! So she sent us a sheet of design exercises to play with. They all relate to paring down images, or designing new images to use in repeating patterns. I started with some photos that had interesting shapes in them
I traced the shapes out on tracing paper, reducing the original images to simple outlines and shapes. Then I scanned the tracings into the PC and did some faffing about, tidying up and generally making the images clean, before filling some of the outlines to make a basic black an white image that I could manipulate by flipping, mirroring and otherwise playing around. There is a really good free programme that I use to do this called Paint.Net. Recommended to me by one of our techies at work, you can download it from here. It does all sorts of good things like layering, resizing, recolouring, transparency and has some interesting special effects.