Pattern Postcard Challenge Manual Repeats

manual repeat red flowers
Manual repeat red flowers

Hi there, how are you?

There has been more fun with patterns as I try to catch up with the pattern post card challenge run by Jules Mckeown of @thepatternsocial and Anna of @oravska_house on instagram.

This week she showed how to make a repeating pattern on a piece of paper.

The design is drawn into the middle of the page, cut the paper in half vertically and stick the outsides together in the middle with masking tape.

Continue the design in the centre of the page. Cut the page in half horizontally and stick the outsides together in the middle with masking tape.

Continue the design in the centre of the page. By now you should have completely filled the paper and the pattern should repeat if you lay it next to itself (photocopies or a printed copy helps here).

I’ll link to one of her instagram videos so you get a better idea if your interested.

I started with simple flowers to get the idea (see above), it went a little Skew-whiff, obviously my measuring was not as accurate as it could have been but I like the overall look of it.

The dulled square with a blue outline is the pattern, I put them next to each other in the computer to test it out.

Next a kind of abstracted animal print in happy colours.

manual repeat abstracted animal print
Manual repeat abstracted animal print

Fishes – this is an idea I seem to keep coming back to, something in my head likes drawing schools of fishes, it is long rather than square, I wanted to see if it would work on other shapes. It does hehehe.

manual repeat fishes
Manual repeat fishes

After scanning the fishes I decided to place it into illustrator and turn them into colourful fishes.

illustrator pattern from fish pattern fishes
Illustrator pattern from fish pattern fishes

I think it’s a fun process and a nice change from looking at the computer all of the time.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x


Pattern Postcard Challenge Pt. 2

leaf collage
Leaf collage

Hi there, how are you?

Jules Mckeown of @thepatternsocial and Anna of @oravska_house have been posting the second part of the pattern post card challenge on instagram under the hashtag #patternpostcardparty.

Last time we made lots of quick postcard sized pattern following the daily prompt. This time we are using the postcards we made in collages to make repeating patterns. It’s a very interesting process.

1. chopping up the postcards and some coloured paper, sticking them down randomly to make some kind of abstract pattern. It looked like a mess to me but I followed along anyway hoping it would all work out in the end.

1st collage
1st collage

2. cutting out and collaging leaf shapes. (see top image) I didn’t stick any of these down ( I only have so much coloured paper.) I just placed down the shapes and took a photo with my ipod, this way I could keep rearranging the shapes and make lots more without having to spend all day cutting out shapes.

3. collaging plants in pots. I made the leaves a bit big so had to use four pieces of black card as a base, needled to say I didn’t scan it so the colours aren’t as vibrant as they should be.

collage of pot plants
Collage of pot plants

4. making repeat patterns. Below is the half drop repeat pattern using the collage from day one. I like this one a lot more as as a pattern than a single sheet.

1st half drop repeat
1st half drop repeat

I decided to have another go at exercise three and using some of the items from exercise two and made a few smaller plants in pots then made them into a pattern too, so far this is my favourite.

2nd collage of pot plants
2nd collage of pot plants

If anyone is interested in pattern making this challenge is free for anyone to follow along with just go to Jules Mckeown’s instagram account to view the prompts and videos, so much fun!

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Peonies On Toned Paper

peony drawn with a brush pen
Peony drawn with a brush pen

Hello, how are you?

I’m drawing in my sketch book and now I have worked out which media works best on this paper I’m really enjoying it.

I have taken loads of photos of peonies over the years so I thought I would make some use of the photos and use them as reference.

Normally for peonies I would paint the shapes of the petals with watercolour as I seem to work much better with shapes than I do lines so this is a bit of a switch for me. I’ve picked simpler flowers with out too many petals so I don’t get lost in the details.

an ink drawing of two peonies
An ink drawing of two peonies

They were all blocked out in pencil then drawn with a brush pen, a grey tombow marker was used for the shading and a white gel pen for the high lights.

I don’t always get the highlights in the right places but It’s all good practice.

peony ink drawing
Peony ink drawing

Once drawn I made the peonies into a pattern.

Sometimes my patterns are a bit samey so I thought having only three flowers and keeping them quite large would be interesting; maybe it’s a little busy I’m not sure yet.

a pattern of peonies
A pattern of peonies

So many thoughts, so little time hehehe.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Feeling Blue (Lots of blue patterns)

dotty flower
Dotty flowers

Hi there, how are you?

This was the last and final week of the Victoria Johnson class – explore florals and we’re working in blue.

I played a little with masking fluid; mine is pretty old and gloopy so I ended up with lots of dots using the back end of a paint brush.

Next I tried some simple brush strokes it’s uneven and wonky which I like. I made two colour ways for this pattern. The cool thing about this is only the background was changed but it made the coloured brush marks look completely different.

brush stroke petals
Brush stroke petals

Some loose chrysanthemum flowers in this next pattern, painted in watercolour with simple brush strokes it was a strange flower to make a pattern out of but I think it works.

chrysanthemum flowers
Chrysanthemum flowers

The last set of flowers were something I had drawn in the garden with a fountain pen containing blue ink. I hadn’t intended to make anything out of them but since I was in pattern making mode I thought it would be fun to have a go.

delicate garden flowers
Delicate garden flowers

It’s been an interesting three weeks, I’ve used art techniques and materials I probably wouldn’t have other wise so altogether a very good learning experience.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Gouache Flowers

pink hibiscus flowers
Pink hibiscus flowers

Hi there, how are you?

It’s been a week phew!

Last week I was supposed to be drawing tropical flowers for Victoria Johnson, explore florals, I like tropical flowers so no problem eh?

I drew and painted loads and loads of flowers and leaves, looked at it all and decided I didn’t like any of it. Then started again.

Gouache had been suggested in the class notes so I broke out the gouache and painted some hibiscus flowers.

After my little melt down I sat outside in the garden for a while drawing flowers. There is a nasturtium growing in a pot by the door, grown from a seed off last years flowers and made a quick drawing with some watercolour brush pens. These pens work well on this sketchbook paper, the colours aren’t brilliant but it was just nice to sit in the sunshine for a while.

Huge surprise I didn’t make mud! (I usually feel like I’m painting with mud) I tried making some highlights and shadows to give the flowers a little dimension, they don’t look too bad.

nasturtium sketch
Nasturtium sketch

Back to the class work, I painted a monstera leaf and needed something else to fill it out a bit. Nasturtiums are tropical right? Lucky I had a nice drawing in my sketch book hehehe. I re-drew the nasturtium and painted it in gouache too.

hibiscus-flower in cream & navy
Hibiscus-flower in cream & navy

They were all cut out in the computer and put together into a little poseyish thing. The blending modes are a quick way to change the colours up. Next to make some patterns.

stripey pattern
Stripey pattern
same pattern two colour ways
Same pattern two colour ways

I think I like them, I’m not sure but I learned stuff and completed the week, even if it was a little late.

Hoping for something easier next week.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Folk Art Flowers

red folk art flower mandala
Red folk art flower mandala

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been taking a class with Victoria Johnson called explore florals. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love drawing flowers and I thought this class would be a way to look at them from a different perspective and even be a bit more experimental with my drawing.

I took the create collections last October and learned a huge amount so I’m going to see where this takes me.

Week 1: folk art. I’ve always liked folk art but never gotten around to doing any. I spent a day researching then made lots of terrible sketches, cos apparently that’s my thing.

There are so many styles to choose from, colour variations, from all parts of the world!

I decided the monochrome designs were speaking to me the loudest.

I didn’t know where to start so I made lots of shapes in illustrator and pushed them around till something worked.

The mandala above started taking shape. I may have gotten carried away with the decoration a little. I blew the image up a little to show the details.

red folk art flower mandala detail
Red folk art flower mandala detail

The little flower below is the same style, I like the simplicity of the design in this one.

red folk art flowers
Red folk art flowers

I wanted to make a pattern so I switched the shapes around to make similar but different flowers so the pattern would match, one of the good things about illustrator is you can change anything even the colour in just a few clicks.

red folk art patern
Red folk art patern

This took most of the week then I had the bright idea to do something more traditional (really!)

these are painted in gouache, not my favourite medium but it needed to be opaque and solid. I used blue this time. I painted just a few sprays and flowers, scanned them in and made them into a little pattern.

blue folk inspired flowers
Blue folk inspired flowers

I played with the blending modes a bit and found three more colour ways that I liked.

Note to self I think the orangy yellow flowers would look awesome in gold leaf.

1 pattern 4 colour ways
1 pattern 4 colour ways

Now my head is buzzing with folk art ….

Next week another exercise, more fun with flowers. Whoot!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Fuchsia Flowers, Not As Tasty As You Think

fuchsia sketch(watercolour and gouache)
Fuchsia sketch (watercolour and gouache)

Hi there, how are you?

A month or so back I bought two little fuchsia plants from the supermarket, (it’s the only outing we have at the moment besides a walk.) They were very small pots about the size of a plastic drinking cup.

One plant is a trailing variety (I’ll need to find a way to raise it up somehow to keep the flowers off the ground) the other says its hardy, we’ll see if that’s true in time.

I potted them into bigger pots to give them room to grow, they are now are much bigger and producing lots of lovely flowers.

The big news is that slugs and snails are not eating them, whoot! They’ve been in the garden over a month and not so much as a nibble.

The weather has been rubbish, baking hot sun that left us melting into little puddles and rain with a side of thunder storms.

watercolour fuchsia sketch
Watercolour fuchsia sketch

Ive nipped outside when I could to quickly sketch my new flowers.

These are a bit scrappy, mainly studies to get used to the shapes and give a general idea of the colours.

I was using watercolour with a spot of gouache, fighting away with it then I found a brush pen in the pencil case, I had forgotten how much fun using this pen was.

fuchsia sketch with brush pen
Fuchsia sketch with brush pen

After scanning them into the computer I thought some of the flowers might make a fun pattern so I cleaned them up and made a doodly fuchsia pattern.

doodly fuchsia pattern
Doodly fuchsia pattern

This is a sketch of something I’m working on. The idea is to work out the fuchsia flowers then break out the watercolour paper and paint them with maybe this little guy.

hummingbird brush pens sketch
Hummingbird brush pens sketch

Its a work in progress at the moment, in my head it looks pretty good, we’ll see if reality matches the idea though hehehe.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x


buttercups watercolour and ink
Buttercups drawn with a fountain pen and watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

There are buttercups everywhere at the moment. Last time we had a walk I picked a few and when we were home I put them into some water.

I’ve spent some very happy hours drawing them.

I started out drawing them with a fountain pen, the intention was to use watercolour but the ink ran and as you can see in the first flower, the paint beaded up so I just pulled out some of the ink a water brush to shade the leaves.

This page was drawn with a fine liner, I like the ink in fine liners but I wish lines had more variation, at least the ink didn’t run as I scrubbed the watercolour in. Some of the flowers were a little past their best by this time and they made some very interesting shapes.

buttercups watercolour and fine liner
Buttercups watercolour and fine liner

I vectorised one of the buttercups in illustrator, I like playing around with this program but everything I make looks so very flat so I was trying to give it a little more “personality”. It looks a lot more interesting, less polished, a little more like a drawing. I may play with it a bit more in the future.

buttercups illustration
An illustration made with my buttercups

Since the single flower turned out so well I vectorised some others and made them into a pattern this time using buttercup colours. I didn’t have many flowers vectorised so I used solid shapes to fill out the pattern

buttercup pattern
Buttercup pattern

Buttercups are such cheerful flowers they always make me happy.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x