My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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I’ve hired myself :)

A while back I mentioned that I started a marketing/graphic design blog for my business. What I didn’t mention is that I’ve been creating illustrations for most of the posts! I did share one of the illustrations here, in the post Painting Digitally. That illustration set the tone for the style I’ve used for the rest of the illustrations. I decided it was wise to keep things somewhat consistent and I like the motivation to work digitally. I usually avoid the computer when I’m illustrating, because I spend enough time on it when I’m doing Graphic Design.

Although it takes time, I enjoy creating the illustrations and I think it is good practice if I’m to have a future in editorial illustration. Plus I only charge myself a small amount – ha ha.

Illustrations for Marketing/Graphic Design blog:

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Which pattern is your favorite? {Online poll!}

dahliapatternv2
I’m curious…here are the patterns I’ve designed so far this year. Which is your favorite? I’d love to hear! Just a simple click to fill out the poll below. Thanks for your input! 🙂

#1. Dahlia revised. I couldn’t help tweaking the Dahlia/April pattern!
See image above.

#2. Original Dahlia Pattern (April)
dahliapatterngreenw

#3. Gardening Pattern (March)
gardeningrepeatfinal2

#4. Love Pattern (February)
valentine'sdaypattern

#5. “Draw, Paint, Create” Pattern (January)
artpatternrepeat

Thanks for participating in my poll!


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Dahlia flower pattern {My pattern for April}

dahliapatterngreenw
Whew! Just in time! I’ve been contemplating April’s pattern for awhile now. I originally thought I’d use some of the flowers I created separately with watercolor and put them together in Photoshop. But it wasn’t working – too stiff looking:
otherpattern

So I went back to what has worked in the past. I sketched some flowers and leaves with Sharpie on Bristol (nice and smooth) and scanned them in. I pieced them together in Photoshop, added color, and repeated the pattern. I’m happy with how it came out. I love the loose sketchy feel.
dahliasketches

I tried to stay true to the colors of the plant I picked up at the supermarket. I think it’s a Dahlia. This little plant has been my inspiration all week! I do feel the color comes across a little Christmasy. Maybe it’s the shape of the leaves? I tried adjusting the hue in Photoshop and liked the results, especially the blue!

pinkdahlia bluedahlias

If you’d like to see my other patterns click here. 🙂

 


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Painting Digitally

citybike

I’m still playing around with painting digitally! The original idea for this illustration was a quick sketch in a lined notebook. I intended on redrawing it more carefully, but I liked the messy one better!

Original sketch:
citybikescrap

I scanned it and opened it in Photoshop. I’ve been using Photoshop for years as a Graphic Designer, but I’m learning and practicing great stuff with brushes that I never used before. This previous post links to an awesome video tutorial. It opened my eyes to another side of Photoshop. Before watching it, I didn’t know it could be so quick and easy to add texture.

In Photoshop, I first went to Image > Adjustments> Levels and made adjustments so the paper didn’t show and some of the blue lines disappeared. Then, following what I learned in the tutorial, I made my sketch one layer and put the “multiply” effect on it. (When you select multiply all the white stuff disappears, only the black remains and the layer underneath shows through.) Then I did all the coloring in a layer underneath it.

My color layer:
citybikejustcolors

The sketch is visible on top of the color layer because “multiply” is selected:
citybikecolor

To give it character, I applied a mask to the color layer, and filled it with black. (The entire layer disappears.) I selected the Soft Oil Pastel paintbrush and painted white onto the black mask. (The white parts of a mask is what shows through.) This gives the effect you see at the top of the post.

It’s fun! Give it a try and let me know your results. 🙂