Two attempts at Pattern Ladies

Two attempts at Pattern Ladies - student project

Hi Alison - the class was fun to do and I like the "retro" look of these ladies.

I had a couple of goes at this. For my first try I chose a character from my favourite (old) TV show - Teyla Emmagan from Stargate Atlantis. This is the reference pic I used: 

And this is the Pattern Lady portrait I made with it. I used things that symbolised her for the patterns - the crossed rods are bantos (her fighting sticks), and the rest is about fruitfulness and nature imagery. It's okay but the pattern went a bit wonky on me and is too busy. Also my natural watercolour style tends towards gouache, so I find it hard to demarcate the portrait from the pattern as much. And man, that background was fiddly  - I had to paint around everything with the light green because I didn't trust the lighter colours to sit on top of the green properly, and I figured the opaque green would cover up the pattern I'd drawn.

So I thought I'd try again with a random reference so I could be a bit more free with the patterns, and I used aspects of both of these pics from picsabay: 

This is the portrait that resulted (I liked the retro buns, so incorporated them, and I used the peacock tail colours/design in her dress). 

I like it better than my initial portrait, even if the background pattern's pretty wonky again and not a true repeating pattern. This one was a little faster to do as I used light green watercolour for the background leaves. As it was more transparent the pattern showed though fine and was easy to paint around. Also, with a thin layer of watercolour there was no risk of the dark green reactivating the pale green underneath. Inks for the underlayer would work well for that, too. 

Thanks for an enjoyable class!