Glimpses of Spring in the ATL | Skillshare Projects



Glimpses of Spring in the ATL

I live in New York, where winter has dug in, once again despite a fleeting and sweet respite of 60+ degree weather.

So when I got the opportunity to go to Atlanta to visit my boyfriend's family, I was so thrilled that spring had sprung.  I always forget how beautiful Atlanta is.  So different than cities in the Northeast, with curving streets connecting hilly neighborhoods, and flowering trees bustin' out everywhere in the spring! 

After walking through Grant Park, I was inspired to create a pattern that showed the contrast between the often humble flowers that grow on the ground, vs. the more showy blossoms of the trees.

Lil' groundlings:


Since I hadn't taken photos against a white background, I was frustrated when I learned about the Image Trace feature which seemed so cool!  

After playing around with the Blob Brush, I produced some nice outlines...but still wanted to try Trace to capture elements like the creamy/decaying textures of the magnolia petals.  So I figured out how to use the Image Trace, and then isolate for just the shape I wanted (played around with Masks too, but later that proved to not be what I wanted!)

Magnolia Petals, Blobbed and Traced:

Raw Traced Shapes:

For smaller flowers, I was fine with using the Blog Brush tool to produce simple colored shapes.

I also made pencil sketches of elements that were simpler, like leaves and branches, that I wanted to appear graphic, but still graceful:

Pencil Sketches:

I also threw in a few really quick line drawings that imported directly with Image Trace, as I thought they might come in useful as I went on in building the pattern.  

In total, I had a nice variety of drawing styles at work on my artboard, which I was hoping would convey the difference of flora that appears in early spring!

Drawing Styles Used:

Motifs & Color:

For me, it was VERY hard to narrow down my color palette until I created motifs and saw things actually "come together".  

I had initially created a palette that contained what I felt were the most representative hues from my original photos...

When I finally got to recoloring my motifs, though I realized they weren't working for me - somehow, the "realistic" colors from the photos looked garish together, and I had too many pinks and greens.

Two Early Motif Recolorations...

I decided to whittle the palette down to fewer shades that would work more harmoniously together.  Two inspiration images that I used to get closer to the right mood - a look that was vibrant but subdued and on the cooler side.

Color Swatches for Color Try #2:

This is where I ended up for producing my next generation of swatches:

Round 1 Pattern Swatches:

I wanted to go through another iteration, since I was still not happy with the palette - the colors harmonized better together, but rather than looking faded out and mysterious as they did in my swatches, the look became too pastel-y, due to the graphical shapes of my pattern.

I also went back and re-drew a few of my elements, where my original Blob Brush or Image Trace were causing funky things to happen with the borders and fills of my images.

In the end, I went with a much bolder color palette, since it seemed this was the best way to go given the drawing style of the pattern.  I was inspired by a painting I'd saved on Pinterest by Paul Klee of a moon over the ocean at night.

Final Color Palette (whew!) and Inspiration:

Final Motifs for Pattern 1:

Pattern 1 Swatches:

Final "Bouquet" for Pattern 2:

Pattern 2 Swatches:

Thank you so much, Bonnie, for this amazing class and community!  

I came in with zero Illustrator knowledge, and this class and challenge were exactly the motivation that I needed to actually push through and learn some new skills.  I am happy enough with my patterns, but much happier with the thought that I can keep getting inspired by both the web and the world around me, and experimenting with my own patterns :)


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