Day 13 of #100DaysofInk

Today is day 13 of my #100daysofink challenge and I decided to have a little fun with a circus theme. I'm planning on turing these illustrations into a fun and colourful surface pattern collection with the apparel/fabrics and paper markets in mind 🎪

Kissy Kissy Jazzy Lips Ink Play

Today I am continuing with my #100daysofink project and working on a fun piece using masking fluid accompanied by my furry Design Assistant, Poppy 😂

I painted the black lips and and words before applying masking fluid over the lines. Once dry, I inked inside the motifs and allowed this to dry also. I added a second layer of making fluid over the motifs to protect them before adding a wash of grey ink.

Masking fluid: be sure to put your brush straight in water after use!  

Masking fluid: be sure to put your brush straight in water after use!  


Butterfly Flutter Pattern Tweaking

I've been working on a collection of prints for a fabric manufacturer the last few weeks and though I can't share how the designs turned out just yet, I thought I'd let you take a sneak peek a little look at my work in progress. Here I am tweaking a butterfly repeat pattern.

If you'd like to catch more behind the scenes and new design previews, hop on over and follow me on Instagram. 

Until next time :)

Succulent sketches

Image from great site, check it out!

This week I am focusing on design for the home decor market. Florals are always popular and (excuse the pun) spring up every year. That said, it's no good churning out the same old same old print. The trends evolve and a new and fresh take on an old favourite is always well received.
I'll be focusing on the weird and wonderful shapes, colours and vibes of succulents. They're gorgeous, unique and a little odd - the perfect subject matter for an updated florally look. 

Thanks to Lilla Roger's coaching in MATS, my approach to working on a new design or print of a specific theme or object has changed. I begin by taking time out to really look at details and shapes to get familiar with what ever I'm drawing. I do this by sketching observations, looking at key things that stick out to me, jotting any notes, ideas or thoughts down as I go. I'm not concerned with having any of these sketches for the final piece at this point. The main focus is to experiment, warm up and get confident with the subject matter.

Then I can step back, see what's working. Have any interesting shapes become apparent, does a certain sketching style work well? What do I need to redraw? 
I tend to switch between pen, pencil, brush pen, and watercolour (used more for line work than anything else). I also so some sketches digitally, working on my Wacom Cintiq away from the computer, then saving the sketches either as pdf layers or a flat png if I know I'm going to take the drawing straight into illustrator.

Once in Illustrator I live trace all my images, playing around with the settings until the traced images are a true enough representation of my original sketch. Sometimes this just doesn't work, so I will re-draw the object in Illustrator. 

Now comes the tedious part. Ungrouping, deleting, manipulating, regrouping and organising onto layers. Time consuming but I actually enjoy creating multiple variation of my icons using, the different segments and creating silhouettes. 

At this point I should be left with only my favourite pieces and a few "hmm maybe you'll work somewhere" objects ready to be arranged and recoloured. I upload my colour swatches or create new ones and off I go! Here is a quick tutorial on how to create colour swatches in Adobe Illustrator CC.