My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


6 Comments

Swimming. A Creative Muse

Swim Meet
The competitive swim season ended a few weeks ago. With only a week left in summer, we will probably visit the town pool only once or twice more. The pool and swimming has been a source of creative inspiration for me for the past few years.

This summer I designed fabrics in the swimming/pool theme:
Pool themed fabric designs - Swimming Laps, Pool Tiles, Goggles. Fabrics for all the swimmers!
Click
here for more info on the fabrics.

and did two paintings:
Watercolor Swim Race by Eileen McKenna.
Swim meet warm ups. Painting swimming pools in watercolor.

Here are other swim inspired pieces from previous years:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The last item in the slideshow (the “Vets” cards with goggles) was the first time I added ink to a watercolor. It was a turning point for me and has become something I do often.

Want to read more about the place, artists and makers, etc. inspiring me? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here! My goal is to inspire you! Learn more about the newsletter here.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Free Pattern: Sew a Super Deluxe Drawstring Backpack!

Free Pattern: Sew a Super Deluxe Drawstring Backpack
Mary Earle-Sigler of the Daily Sew, 
has created a drawstring bag “that you could sew with little experience, with ease, that could be sewn in almost any type of fabric and possibly some you already own. A carry-all for any size, any gender, and could be made for any personality or in any style with the choice of fabric (did someone say suede?) Plus there’s plenty of surface space for embellishing, painting, patching or bedazzling.” Mary says, “You can sew this bag. It isn’t difficult and I provide you with very detailed, step by step instructions with a lot of photographs.”

Visit thedailysew.com to download your Super Deluxe Drawstring Bag pattern and instructions for Free! I couldn’t be happier that Mary chose my “Swimming Laps” fabric for the bag! But not just any bag! A drawstring bag with a pocket so your keys don’t get lost in the bottom of the bag and another pocket for your phone. A bag with enough room to carry your stuff plus your water bottle, and still, have space for more!”


Leave a comment

Goggles! Another pool themed fabric

Pool themed fabric designs - Swimming Laps, Pool Tiles, Goggles. Fabrics for all the swimmers!
Hot off the Spoonflower press! My “Goggles” fabric has arrived. So excited for the addition to my pool themed fabrics. The “Goggles” design joins “Swimming Laps” and “Pool Tiles.”

Where are all the quilters? These fabrics would be great for a quilt for a swimmer. You can order them on Spoonflower, just click here to visit my Spoonflower shop.

I’m waiting patiently for the swatch of the newest addition to my beach fabric family! Stay tuned. 😀


Leave a comment

A Painting from Start to Finish

Watercolor Swim Race by Eileen McKenna.

On your mark, get set, go! First, I painted the swimmers, lane lines, etc.

Step 1 Painting swimmers

Then I added the water.

Step 2 painting swimmers

Then more water, especially around the swimmers.

Step 3 painting swimmers

Lastly, details to the line lines and white gouache for splash around the swimmers, and I reached the finish line. 😉


11 Comments

Painting swimmers

Swim meet warm ups. Painting swimming pools in watercolor.

A few years ago I did the painting below. Since then I’ve thought of painting another version of it. Yesterday, I finally did.

Swimming Laps watercolor painting

As I started, I decided to tape off the edges with thick painter’s tape, to create a white border. First I painting the swimmers, so I could add blue (water) over parts of them.

Process for painting swimming pool in watercolor

When they were dry I painted the water. I had marked where the swimming lanes would be and tried to keep the blue in these areas lighter.

Process for painting swimming pool in watercolor

I painted the swimming lines next using a flat brush and red paint and white gouache.

Swimming Laps. Painting swimming pools in watercolor.

I added more blue to darken the water in spots and added white gouache around the swimmers for splash.


2 Comments

Swimming Laps – a fabric print

Swimming Laps fabric print. Swim team, swimmers https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/6301733-swiming-laps-by-eileenmckenna

I’ve loved the pool since I was little. I swam on a swim team all year round as soon as I finished lessons, and continued all the way through high school. My mother was from the city and can’t swim well. When the family moved to the beach she decided all her children had to learn to swim. I’ve done the same with my kids. They pursue other things during the school year, but come summer they all swim for the local pool.

Swimming Laps fabric print. Swim team, swimmers https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/6301733-swiming-laps-by-eileenmckenna

This print pattern was created from swimmers and watercolor areas in my sketchbook, combined and overlapped in Photoshop. I’ve lamented before that I can’t sew, but I’m determined to make something with this fabric – maybe a drawstring bag or headband. I’ve been pinning patterns on my Pinterest board. I just need to find a friend who sews!

Interested in making something with this fabric? Order it from Spoonflower. See my other print designs here.


Leave a comment

A swimming pattern…perhaps

Swimmers in my sketchbook. An idea for a pattern design.

My goal this year is to design a pattern a month. So as the month starts to wind down, I’m thinking about swimmers.

Last month I created an ice cream truck pattern from illustrations in my sketchbook. It’s available for purchase on Spoonflower here.

Ice cream truck print pattern / fabric

Ice Cream truck treats fabric print on a pillow

In January I designed a penguin polar bear pattern. Available here.

polar bear penguin Christmas pattern with Christmas trees, wreaths, and mistletoe

See all my designs in my Spoonflower shop.

Want to learn how to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop? Read:

How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop. For fabric prints, gift wrap, wallpaper and more.

 


7 Comments

Summer = Swim Team

purplegoggles
I can’t believe summer is just weeks away. School is ending, and summer swim team will be starting! If you’ve been following for a while, you know I find a lot of inspiration at the pool. Here’s a recap:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


10 Comments

Forcing myself to finish.

nodiving
One thing I’ve learned about myself as an artist, is that I dive into a project with enthusiasm. I think it’s the Aries in me [read more about that here]. It’s great for starting a project, but for me, a couple of things can get in the way of finishing a project.

  1. I lose enthusiasm.
  2. A new project grabs my attention.
  3. I get worried about ruining a project.
  4. I’m not sure how to proceed because I haven’t planned things out.

When I started my creative resolution I forced myself to finish a bunch of forgotten projects. I also forced myself to finished most of the new projects I started. And I adapted to work within my personality. Most projects I work on, I finish within a few days – before the enthusiasm fades or I get sidetracked (or I get paralyzed worrying about ruining it or I start to overthink the next steps).

Recently I started this pool painting. I forced myself to paint, what I thought of as the hardest part of the painting – the lane lines – before I left for a short trip. I knew that if I could get that step out of the way and left only the pool water and a few minor details, I’d be much more likely to finish this painting when I got back.
nodiving1diving2

Some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned in the last year and half, have less to do with painting and technique, and more to do with how I work. And how to get things finished.