Make like a Leaf

Make like a Leaf - student project


So I kind of wanted to do a polka dot with flora integrated into it.
I didn't take the picture that served as my color inspiration but I did want to stick with colors found in nature. So I gathered various pictures and thought I would use a few to draw colors from but then I saw this image of citrus fruit and wanted to see how far I could get with this spectum.

Make like a Leaf - image 1 - student project

Here is the spectrum I pulled from the image (plus a slate color I had been working with from the previous color palette):

Make like a Leaf - image 2 - student project

And here is my first attempt at a repeating pattern with these colors:

Make like a Leaf - image 3 - student project

I gotta say I'm not crazy about it. There are some elements I like but it definitely needs tweaking.

So I'll move things around and maybe add some texture to the dots and see where that gets me.

Some of the other color options were interesting. I'll keep playing.

Make like a Leaf - image 4 - student project



So the next day was much less rainy and I was feeling less enthusiastic about the leaf sketches I had done the day before so I went on a walkabout outside to Pier 39 where they always have tons of planted flowers everywhere.

There was a ton of variety and I took many many pictures. Came back and started sketching from them.

I also had a brush pen I had been looking for an excuse to break out so I decided to trace over my sketches with the pen to add more variation to the line width and some better contrast.

So I'm still using some of the leaves I sketched before but now it's much more flower-centric. And I also started playing with the palette I had pulled from my pictures but it didn't really work the way I wanted it to. All the colors were too muddy and looked not-so-good in combination so I'm going to get together some other mood board imagery and try again.

New Sketches

Make like a Leaf - image 5 - student project


I've had this class in my saved classes forever and decided now was the time to do something about it.

I'm a designer by trade but my drawing skills have gotten rusty from neglect and while I'm comfortable sketching I've never done a repeat pattern before.

I'm very interested to see what comes out of this process.

Color Palette

I had just done some color study pictures for fun so I thought it would be easiest to start with picking a color palette. Here were the ones I'm leaning towards using:

Make like a Leaf - image 6 - student project

As far as what kind of nature motifs I'd like to explore I think I'd like to focus on something that isn't so traditionally sweet as a floral. Maybe leaf patterns. I'll use the plants around the office as my models. It's an especially cold day today and I think I'll try to find some inspiration in the great indoors and use what's around me instead of getting bummed that I don't have access to a lush environment to draw from. To paraphrase a great poet—when you can't draw the one you love, draw the one you're with.


sketches based on the photos I took around the office.

Make like a Leaf - image 7 - student project