This blog has been a bit quiet over the summer so far – my youngest son did his A levels then as soon as they were finished we had a few days in London, followed by a blissful fortnight at Limone on Lake Garda in Italy (if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the ginormous ice creams we consumed in Sirmione at the south side of the lake, plus various picturesque photos of lakes and mountains).
To get my pattern-creating mojo going again, I signed up for the Make it in Design Summer School. This is a free course which consists of three assignments at two-week intervals. It has three tracks: beginner, intermediate and advanced and we could sign up for as many tracks as we wanted to, so being a sucker for punishment I signed up for all three. It has been great fun! There is a really chatty and supportive Facebook group where we have all been sharing our struggles and emerging designs where people’s skill levels range from complete beginner to seasoned professional! Even though I’ve been using Photoshop and Illustrator for over a year now, there are still aspects which I struggle with (lots!) and this group has been great for solving some of the questions and problems – especially making mockups of patterns on product images to see how they might look when manufactured.
The galleries of the first brief are here:
The beginners’ brief was a Tropical theme. In true contrariness, I actually found the advanced brief the easiest and did that first. Last weekend I had a nasty fluey type lurgy and really didn’t think I’d get any of them done but in the end they seemed to come together. Before I got ill I got the paints out and had a lot of fun splashing round making water marks and generally playing. This tropical pattern actually started with the background. I did it a couple of months ago when I had some paint to use up – I had drawn a couple of circles to start me off and I sort of doodled the paint around. I then added the other elements which I’d already scanned into Photoshop – the texture started off as a tiny homemade stamp carved out of an eraser.
The Intermediate brief was for a geometric, retro style pattern that could go on a swimsuit. I’m not sure if this really qualifies as geometric but it was a sort of painted mark making exercise with a flat brush, much more my style than graphic geometrics produced in Illustrator.
The theme of the advanced track was water and for this one I used some of the painted marks that I had had so much fun with, combined with some bubble prints that I did about a year ago.
We were given suggested colour swatches for the three patterns and as mine match fairly well across the levels, I’ve made it into a Tropical collection: