Dia de los Muertos Part II | Skillshare Projects

Paula Chan

Designer, Photographer, Baker, Rock Climber!



Dia de los Muertos Part II

9 August 2015

This class continues the "From Pattern to Portfolio" Challenge that I started in Bonnie's first class, Intro to Surface Design.... You can see what I did for that class here.

Here is my first pattern:


The next five will include more imagery for Day of the Dead, including skeletons, skulls and ephemera.

Mood Boards:

Skulls, Skeletons, Catrinas


Papel Picado and Tin Ornaments


More sketches:


I will also be doing one pattern inspired by famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo moodboard:


16 August 2015

After another frantic week of working two jobs, this project, family, etc that left me completely exhausted, I was more than ecstatic when Bonnie announced my request for all of us to have more time for the challenge was granted! Yay! Thanks Bonnie and Skillshare!!

While difficult to juggle all that is going on right now, I am really loving the challenge and Bonnie's classes, and rushing through them just wasn't doing anybody or the project any justice!

So with that off my chest, this week I am almost done digitizing my Frida drawing and am figuring out how best to work that into a repeat. I am using my own photos of dahlias shown above, bottom right. I love how they came out with color live trace! Even limiting the number of colors to my palette, they still look good.

Photo on left, color live trace on right:


Speaking of palettes, I decided to change mine up by one color. I had two neutrals, but found I didn't need the darker one, but I did need a blue.

Old palette:


New palette:


I created the following, right in Illustrator, using Mexican ceramics as inspiration, and colored them with my new palette. I used the pen, reflect and rotate tools to create the flowers, and the blob brush to freehand draw the droplet shapes.


And here are some ceramics that reinforced my color palette and introduced the blue.

Mexican Ceramics Mood Board:


Here are my motifs before creating a repeat:


I also digitized some more sketches, including a catrina, some pan de muertos and some skulls. I will be incorporating those into repeats for my collection.

Hooray! Two more repeats:



I don't know which ones will wind up in my final collection, but at least I'm getting some done to chose from!

23 August 2015

Still working on my collection. Some repeats that I thought were finished need to be reworked in colorways to blend with my collection more cohesively.

My newest fun repeat took forever! The illustrator in me just wouldn't let go! I kept changing the decorations and colors combos for my Sugar Skulls!


I had created quite a few stripes, but getting the scale and color combinations turned out to be much more tricky than first thought. I also had to try more color combos for the two repeats from my previous update. All in an effort to create a cohesive collection where all the prints can work together! Much more difficult than it seems!

Will be getting back to Frida Kahlo idea and finishing the illustration for that this week, then starting to put my final portfolio together.

25 August 2015

Here is a close up of the Sugar Skulls pattern and where my six patterns are now. Didn't get around to it the other day, since Frida wasn't done. She still isn't, but you can see where I'm at for now.



I think I may have to rework my very first repeat with the marigolds to open it up some and try another approach. This is being quite a struggle!

29 August 2015

Reworking my first pattern and continuing work on new ones. Still coming up with more patterns to chose from for my final collection. I may not make the final deadline for the challenge after all, or I will have to rework it later.

Here is a new take on my first pattern. A bit more sophisticated and less busy.


I'm thinking of splitting up this them into two collections: one for children with more fun, colorful and wild motifs, and one that is more sophisticated and understated. The holiday actually lends itself more to bright and colorful, but I haven't been completely satisfied with what I've come up with for my line. It's pretty hard to get "sophisticated" with skulls and skeletons!

30 August 2015

Another, more simple repeat to coordinate with the one above. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this!


But not without a lot of work! I made several attempts before finally figuring out how to make a balanced, symmetrical repeat. Below, left is the first attempt and the resulting, uneven pattern:


After some trial and error, I realized I needed to make a grid:



A couple more coordinating patterns:



Now I need to work on some more stripes. Found some inspo in the colorful Mexican blankets.

Mexican Blankets Mood Board:


Here's the first:


2 September 2015

Frida is done at last!


6 September 2015

Well here we are on the last day of the challenge! Frantically trying to get all my files in order so I can upload them. This has been a very long process, and I have learned SO much! I have enough ideas for several more patterns and collections from my sketches and research based the same theme.


Look at all the stripe combos! LOL. I tried different color combos, different scales of each pattern -- OOOF.

I wound up making a separate collection with a more limited palette and motifs based on the marigolds only. I will use the other artwork for another collection.


Larger views:









Thank you Bonnie!


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