Friday, 29 January 2016

Exploring repeating patterns - I've been 'guest blogging'!

As a child I was fascinated by repeating patterns on wallpapers, wrapping paper and fabric. I spent hours trying to find where each one started and stopped and trying to workout what sort of weird shape was being used to make the seamless tessellation. I was in awe of the creativity and wizardry that made it happen. 
My curiosity never really abated and being part of the wonderful 52 Week illustration challenge on facebook has spurred me into action. 

I have written a full tutorial for the #illo52weeks challenge website - it's quite long, but I hope will inspire others to get pattern making. 
You can read it here: full tutorial

Here's a walkthrough of my latest pattern: 

The prompt for the challenge was 'swimming'. I  decided that an underwater scene would work well. I dithered about the subject and decided firmly on using Koi. However as you can see, I got distracted by mermaids!
I scrolled through story books and stock images, and made a series of sketches (I also made sketches of fish to swim with the mermaids, but I had a word with myself).
I used them as a basis for my ink - a brush pen. Taking photos of the pencil work meant I felt freer with my brush strokes. If it had all gone pear-shaped I could have used the photos as a guide for digital drawing.
As it goes, I wasn't too unhappy with it, even though the characters of the mermaids changed a little.

Pencil lines were erased and the ink drawings were scanned, cropped, layered, flipped and coloured. Backgrounds came and went. The repeats were swapped around to be checked, tweaked, swapped and checked again.

Finally I committed to a pattern template - which I found fault with straight away. I could endlessly make adjustments and it pains me to see things that aren't quite right - but it is a time pit!

So here is the pattern template and the pattern repeated one and half times:

It is available on t-shirts, large silk scarves, duvet covers and a whole a bunch of other stuff in MY REDBUBBLE STORE

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