Color Me This...


I am finished! Yay!  I  have learned so much. Through many trial and error sessions and constant problem solving, I can finally manage to create with Illustrator much more competently.  I am not exactly in love with my patterns, but I am happy with them as they function as patterns, and that was my goal in this learning session.  My next goal is to create a handrawn pattern, scan it in Illustrator, and tweak it with the software.  Here is my collection:

These samples are all done from pattern swatches that I saved. 

This has been fun! Thank you Jenna!

I  always seem to do things the hard way, but after hours and hours of trial and error and playing with colors and patterns, I came up with a set of ten colors-could not get rid of one- and named my color story "Sunny Day."  Bright reds and fuschias are not my favorite colors, although I do like deep blue-reds and deep purples.

HERE  are my first three geometric patterns in different color ways. I call the pattern "Camp Ground." The first Colorway I call Shade Garden:

The second I call Seaside Garden:

And the third I call Pumpkin Patch:

I did a lot of work on more complicated patterns, but used up most of my colors, and could not think of a way to do a third color combo on the other patterns, So, I went to this simple pattern and found it much easier to change out the colors.

Here are my three organic-type patterns. I call the pattern "Kickin' Leaves".  I did add a couple of lighter values of the deepest hue, the violet. The background is the violet at 11%, and the next leaves are 19%, and then there are a few white leaves. This is 4 tiles put together. This is the "Shade Garden" color way. If I had to change the name due to the additions of the tints, I would call it "Light Shade Garden."

Here is my pattern in "Seaside Garden" color way:  (Lighter Seaside Garden???)

This colorway has the addition of of the turquoise in two lighter values. The 11 & 19% (why didn't I round those off???) values did not work well with the turquoise nor with the deep teal. The teal became too blue, and the lighter values were too light in the turquoise. The background is darker in this one, at 50% 0f the turquoise hue, and the lighter leaves are at 20%. I also have white leaves in this pattern, and again, this is 4 tiles grouped together.

Last of all, "Pumpkin Patch."  Looks like I have not quite lined up the tiles correctly in this picture...

I had to play around with the colors a lot with this colorway. (YAY  magic wand tool!) The deep green needed to go in back, because it jumped out too much on top. I used lighter values of the Yellow Green, because lighter values of the deep green looked like gray. Yuck. I knew I did not want yellow or orange in the background because those hues move forward, and a whole field of yellow or orange ruined the look of the pattern, and took away from the pumpkin patch idea. The values of the lighter yellow greens are 40% and 60%. White leaves did not work against the deep background, so I converted them to the 60% value of the yellow green. I was not that aware when I started how much I would have to play with the colors in the different color ways. Simply plugging in different colors for the same pattern did not work.  I learned a lot with this lesson....a whole lot!  I am finally beginning to feel competent with the software.  I am not completely happy with the Leaves pattern yet. I can still see a  gutter area that runs between the tiles, but for some reason it is more obvious in the pumpkin colors than the other two, and more obvious in the seaside colors than the shade garden colors. I think is because of the stronger contrast of the background color to the motif colors.

Here are my patterns all together:




Here are some things I spent a lot of time on. The first I c all "Bee Flowers", and the second I call "Persian Square".

So, now I start back to my day job.....


So, now we work with color!  I went to Pinterest and found some colors that I am attracted to. I like greens and blues and especially blue greens mixed with yellows and oranges. I also like deep reds and violets with their complements. It took me several hours to work comfortably with Illustrator CS2. I would work and work and struggle, and then I would finally get it, and start over!  I spend a lot of time learning the technology, but not so much with the actual creativity. The creativity will come when I don"t have to struggle with the tecnology so much.

These are examples of color combinations I am attracted to:


Here are the color combinations I don't care for:

Bright pinks, oranges and fuschias,  and the color-barf effects of muddy yellow-green with bright blue and orange and light violet and pale pink...just YUCK! 

Here are my color blending exercises:

Here the exercises mixing grays and browns:

Here is one Mandala done with the Victorian Colors Palette in my swatches library. I do like these color combinations:

Here are the Repel-Attract Pattern Coloring Exercises. The first 6 are examples that I am not fond of:

These are the colors I liked:

Now to apply colors to my patterns and do color ways and stories and so on.  MORE TO COME!


The First Exercises in Beginning Pattern Design:

Iwas finally able to accomplish this task in a program call "Seamless Studio", which is available on COLOURlovers.com. I am very frustrated as I cannot download Illustrator because my laptop has VISTA as it's operating system, and the new Illustrator won't work on anything older than Windows7. My laptop is not suitable for upgrade, and I am not ready to buy a new computer and cannot afford the older versions of Illustrator ( $400-500.00), so here I am. 

(I plan on speaking to my computer guru about configuring my lap top for Windows 8)

At any rate, I did find this handy little program that is designed for pattern creation, and was able to choose some images to create my dot, stripe, grid exercise. I played around wih the size of the cat, and found that I did not like a solid row of cats. Then I looked for a contrasting shape that makes sense with a cat, and found this cute tree. I darkened the value of the tree to create interest.  As I looked at it , my eye wanted to see a moon-like shape in the "sky", so I made a very small circle and gave it a lighter value than the tree or the cat. Placing it was tricky, as this program does not give you coordinate values, and everything has to be done by sight. I know that the placement is not strictly uniform, but I am pleased with the result.  This is my dot, stripe, grid exercise.

This is Sam, my funny kitty who died unexpectedly and suddenly a few days ago.  The cat silhouette shape reminded me of him.

Below is a drawing i worked HOURS on in INKScape. It is soooo much easier just to draw stuff with pen & pencil! I tried to find a way to save it other than .SVG, but I couldn't figure it out, so I used my SNIP tool to capture the image from the computer screen and save it as a JPEG.

I saw some clothes on lines hanging between buildings in a photo from Italy, and I loved the visuals, so I incorporated that idea in my pattern, using contrasting patterns on the "clothes."  This would look a lot better  in color!

This is another 5X5 pattern. I have contrasting shapes, values and sizes, but the theme is unified.

Ok. The "Bubble Stripe" was done with Illiustrator CS2 (Thank you Jacqueline!!)  I am a little confused about the assignment:  Should the contrasts be within each pattern, or separate patterns that contrast with each other???  At any rate, my Bubble Stripe definitely contrasts with my other patterns, and there are contrasts within each pattern. My natural preference in my artwork is curvy lines and natural, organic forms. Bubble Stripe was more of an exercise for ne in learning to use Illustrator.  I think I will eventually scan my artwork into a program and tweak it using the software. I cannot see myself drawing the way I love to draw on a computer. 

I worked on the fish pattern some more. I didn't like it that all the large fish were going the same direction...

I dunno...... Well here is my next pattern:

Yay! This was also done on Illustrator CS2. I had some problems with my last two rows, the one on top and the one on the far right edge, not quite matching up correctly, but I spent hours figuring out how things work, and I am mostly happy. I could crop off the top inch and the right inch and have a good 4X4 square!  This is a pattern similar to one that I designed for Zentangle, but with Zentangle, the grid shows and is a part of the pattern. I call it "Spyz".  I painted this with "live paint", but could not get the buttons on the edges to fill because they do not have enclosed areas. I compromised with bold white strokes, and like the result. If you were to repeat this, there would a grid (a large grid!) made up of the dark buttons with the square of gray buttons inside.  Next time I will need to color some areas before grouping them. The problem I had with the last two rows was that I grouped and copied and pasted and ended up with a four inch square. In order to make the last two rows, I had to un-group enough to isolate one grid square and copy it. That proved difficult to do. I think in un-grouping things, I may have distorted the original shape. Live and learn!

Well, I did put some tiles together:

And here is my last design.....

So, here is what I call "Bee Flower."  This was done on a drawing program a friend told me about called  DrawPlus Starter Edition (free) from Serif , www.serif.com.  They have an edition with more bells and whistles for $59.99, which they offer after you download the free one. This is such a good program! They actually let you crop easily without having to do those stupid clipping masks, and a help menu pops up when you click on tools and options to tell you exactly how to use and manipulate things. I dumped Inkscape and installed this. I still have Illustrator, but like having the both.  I made a 5x5 pattern as a repeating tile,and then reduced it to 2.5 in square and put them together. Not seamless yet, I think it may have been my cropping.  I am feeling more and more confident, and ready for color!

Ok, here they are together. I cleaned up the seams:


Please sign in or sign up to comment.