A pattern-making journey!

For over a year now I’ve been working on my style, taking online classes on Skillshare and even taking part in Creative Bug’s 30 day drawing challenge. The 52-week illustration challenge has also been another avenue for working from prompts.


Little did I realise it back then, but my challenge pieces would provide me with inspiration for the pattern-making journey I am now on.

First, though, came my pet portrait style, which came about via my first use of alcohol markers. I wanted to see how I could blend them, as well as combining them with ink outlines and other finishing touches such as white gel pen and colouring pencils. The above portrait of the cat was completed with alcohol markers, whereas the dog on the right was built up using watercolours. Similar, eh?


Natural, then, that I also turned to watercolours. The challenges not only got me trying different illustration styles, but becoming more adept at using my watercolours. The next step, for me, has been to take my illustrations and turn them into patterns…


This has been made much easier thanks to Skillshare classes for teaching me the know how, and the arrival of Photoshop in our house to allow me to implement what I have learned. This, combined with Adobe apps like Capture and Draw, as well as other apps like Infinite Painter, has really revolutionised my workflow.


Creating shapes as vectors has made days out even more interesting. A weekend visit to Shuttleworth was a huge inspiration for my “propellers and engines” pattern collection (in development).


Working on my tablet has never been so productive for my art –  now, I can mock up pattern ideas and even transfer my physical art into digital format for manipulation or colouring. The above fruit patterns were created entirely on my tablet!


This exciting journey that I am now making just keeps getting better and better. My goal is to build my portfolio such that I can apply my surface pattern designs to my handcrafted products, as well as licensing them out. Check out my progress so far on my portfolio!

Plus, if you’d like to see lots of my challenge responses, check out this week’s Youtube video of my completed watercolour Moleskine sketchbook…




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