Elena Wilken

card designer & illustrator



Hot Air Balloon Ride over the French Countryside

• update 08/17/2015 - The original pattern I created in the challenge, evolved as I worked on a full collection. This is an updated version of the hero pattern of the collection. The learning experience was fun and frustrating at times, but I am really pleased I pushed through! Since I wasn't able to create the watercolor look and feel I was going for, I ended up with a full second Photoshop collection of patterns. I will update with links once I upload the 2 new projects. I do welcome any constructive criticism and feedback. Thank you.


* update - I used one of the hot air balloon spot graphics I created in this challenge, for a work project, and had it etched on a photo album wood box. It's such an awesome thing to see something go from digital format to something tangible!


* * * * *

I loved the class and it was such a great introduction to surface pattern design. I felt like the information presented was just enough to get one started and equipped with the necessary tools, without getting overwhelmed in the process of learning something new. Thanks for all the info you shared Elizabeth!

As I sat down to think about a theme, hot air balloons kept coming back to mind, along with thoughts and images of France, specifically the country side.
I am scared of hot air balloon rides, but extremely intrigued with them - working on gathering the courage to go on one with my husband in the next couple of years. The french country side - because that's one of the places to visit on my bucket list. It reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in Europe, on my grandma's tiny farm, in the country. Wild flowers, sunflowers, wild life, old bicycles, birds, nests and memories of them, make me very happy :)

There are lots of ideas and elements that came to mind, and they will not all make it in one pattern. I started this project with the thought of growing it into a collection, so my board tells more of a story of the collection I guess.
I envision birds and hot air balloons built out of secondary elements (flowers, birds), line art work with hand drawn qualities to it and splashes of brushed watercolors, all in warm, strong colors, with contrasty splashes of cool color. A sunset color palette, with a little bit of a modern twist to it.

Super excited about the class and about the challenge. Such a great opportunity to get started and working on a pattern!



//// Step 2 - Sketches



//// Step 3 - Digitizing - work in progress


//// Step 3 - More sketches rendered digitally. Building the repeating pattern.

Initially I wanted to add a watercolor feel and look to the pattern, using actual vector brushes, but all my experimenting didn't really work out and all my results lacked the organic feel of real looking watercolors, that I was going for. This is the style and feel that I envisioned initially for the artwork - http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-243556372/stock-vector-summer-tea-time-watercolor-vector-painting.html

Planning to go back to it and experiment some more once I get some time (by painting in Photoshop first and then bringing the artwork back to Illustrator to vectorize it)

Meantime, I am happy with the results I got using Illustrator only! :)






//// Step 4 - Mockups









Please sign in or sign up to comment.