At first, I opened a simple blank canvas, about an inch and a quarter wide and ¾ inch high, 300dpi. I set the rulers to ‘pixels’ and drew some vertical lines at intervals which might produce a good effect. I then coloured in the bands of various widths which had been produced. The result looked a bit like your grandfather’s war medals. Next I dragged those ‘template’ forms onto a bigger canvas and pasted them in side by side to make a wide horizontal array. Then I ‘flattened’ the image, rendering it all into one background layer. Using ‘Free Transform’, I ‘stretched’ the image vertically, to produce a page of stripes. All that remained was to select colours for the stripes of different widths, so as to achieve a pleasing effect.
To dress the paper off nicely I needed a frieze to paste along the top, for use in case we didn’t have a molded plaster cornice in the area in which we were working. For this I made another template, this time with horizontal stripes. After blocking out the various bands with colours to match the already made wallpaper, I was left with a central field needing some decoration. In this area I inserted elements that I had designed and created years ago for a totally different project ~ a photo of a plaster urn, a roundel, and a swag that I had made in the Georgian style to decorate a fireplace. I photographed the details of this fireplace and extracted the architectural elements. After enhancing them in Photoshop, I cut and pasted them in at intervals to produce a long band.
Some other papers I produced by photographing existing old wallpaper from the Victorian era and ‘restoring’ it by cleaning it up ~ in effect repainting an area of the paper, then re-assembling a page from the restored illustration.
As I proceeded, I began to learn new techniques, such as working with layers and textures. Ultimately I found myself able to build completely original paper designs that looked to me very professional. With a little more effort, I think we shall be able produce some finished papers which may be enjoyed for generations.
I have posted more pictures on my ‘Flickr’ photostream, showing aspects not illustrated here.