2-Week Spring/Pattern Design Session: Mid-Century Succulents | Skillshare Projects

Michelle Clement

Design & Illustration



2-Week Spring/Pattern Design Session: Mid-Century Succulents

2-Week Sprin/Pattern Design Session Progress:

I started this for the last pattern design session but I think I'm getting hung-up on drawing digitally. I've been avoiding it! I feel like my moodboard full of succulents and plants feels pretty 'spring' to me, still, so I'm going to keep working on this theme for the 2-week 'Spring' session:

Phase 1: Inspiration/Moodboard


I have the print in my kitchen that's on the far left and it's really inspiring me, so I started from there: I really like the idea of using bright colors on black and the playful illustrations. I was drawn to interesting use of lines, and lines overlapping blocks of color. I looked at a lot of fifties and sixties patterns and wallpaper, and found this in common with my favorite images, so I want to play around with that. I looked at a few groupings of plants, too, because I want to do either succulents or cacti for my pattern.

Phase 2: Sketches/Drawings



I started sketching some ideas, looking both at my moodboard & googling succulents to see what shapes I could come up with. I'm hoping to take my favorite shapes from this and make a tighter sketch, but I wanted to be sketchy and loose at first. I definitely want to play around with color blocking in the shapes I end up making, too: I was trying to see what some shapes would look like half-colored and things like that. I can't wait to sketch more and then digitize them!

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Pattern Design 1: (My Original Class Project)

Hi, everyone! I watched this class a few months ago to start to practice my pattern design. In a crunch, I wanted to make a pattern for the inner cover jacket of my grad project (a little magazine intended for creative introverted gals) - so I'm just catching up on posting it here. I had the topic & art direction of the magazine to go off of for the design/motifs I wanted in the pattern, this was the moodboard I worked off of for that:


From there, I started out with rough ideas/sketches of what that might be: what do introverts like to do? I did a lot of research (lol - but really), and reading, hanging with pets, and just generally chilling out were at the top of the list. My rough thumbnail sketches were how I worked out what that might look like... 

Initial Sketches:


I was a few weeks from having to print the project, so there wasn't much time to play with sketching. As you can see, I drew lightly with pencil first to get proportions right and get the girls looking how I wanted - and then I cleaned them up with ink. I added some motifs to fill in the pattern, too: iphone, diary, pencils, etc.

Pencil Sketches:


I then scanned them, got rid of the pencil line, and live-traced the drawings (I know, I wish I had time to draw over them in Illustrator! I find that I like live trace, sometimes, though, since my drawings are pretty clean-lined anyway). Here's what that process looks like on one drawing:


Clean Vector Motifs:


At this point, to get motifs and give the line drawings some visual interest, I started filling in parts of them and arranging them so I could play with the repeat/colors. (Looking back, I love the goth vibe these all-black drawings have!) And then I started making the repeat, trying colors (tone on tone), and pulling out to see if there were any parts that were unbalanced or weren't working well.

Repeat Pattern & Color Tests:



It took a few iterations, but I had the colors of the publication all set so it ended up being easy to do, that way: for a while it was between pink or turquoise. I think I managed to get the darks and lights working, and enough contrast between the girls and the background in the end...

Final Pattern:



I want to go back to it now and maybe do a less girly, more 'skater-girl version of it: maybe black and white or grey tones, with more texture or a hand-drawn feel? Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for tweaks that would help give it more attitude...

Thanks so much for looking at my project!


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