Pattern Design Workshop: 3 Focal Point Prints

Hello, everyone!

I have a background in interior design and graphic design, as well as some experience with Illustrator, but I'm very new to the world of surface pattern design! I haven't yet discovered my personal style, so sketching and illustrating my motifs is the part I'm most nervous about. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I'm hoping this class will be the push I need to get over my fears and begin making beautiful patterns!

You'll see my work below, outlined by pattern theme. I'll be adding content as I go along. Thanks for stopping by!

PATTERN #1 | Cabin in the Mountains

My fiance and I are planning a trip to the beautiful mountains of Colorado. As we day dream and plan our vacation, I was inspired to create this pattern. I currently live in Kansas where the land is only flat fields and prairie - no mountains to be seen - so I have little opportunity to source my own inspiration. I'll certainly take many photos when we do get to Colorado, and be inspired to finish out this collection. If you're interested, you can see my Pinterest board for this theme here: https://www.pinterest.com/hwarlop/pattern-inspo-cabin-in-the-mountains/

Descriptive Words: forrest, mountain, green, secluded, serene, relaxing, outdoorsy, chimney smoke, hiking, romantic, woodsy, cozy, warm, deep/rich colors







PATTERN #2 | Veggie Garden

Descriptive Words: bright, crisp, fresh, refreshing, natural, green, eat your greens, produce, rinse/wash, nutritious, earthy, sprouts

I also made a list of object and specific veggies to be sketched later on, including: watering can, gardening tools & gloves, overalls, seed packets, wheel barrow, rubber boots, carrots, onions, etc. 

Another student recently mentioned that they used Photoshop templates to create their mood boards, so I thought I'd give that a try! This process is much more efficient, as I spent quite a while arranging the photos for my cabin moodboard above. A quick google search and I found my templates here, along with a quick video tutorial on how to use them: http://neshawoolery.com/blog/free-moodboard-templates 

See my mood board below. I don't feel that my overall concept for this is quite as strong as my "Cabin in the Mountains" theme. In other words, I don't have a crystal clear image of what I want this theme to portray.. I'm hoping it will become more clear as I progress through sketching, illustrating, etc.





Illustrated motifs. My color palette has evolved from what I origianlly started with. I also decided to go a bit more rustic and add some subtle texture. 


Grouping my illustrations (still a work in progress). Next stop, pattern!


Focal Print. There's still a little tweaking I want to do, but overall I'm happy with this one. It was a bit tricky to put into repeat. I grouped my motifs first, but I didn't want to do much resizing or rotating of the groupings, since I wanted it to be a fairly uniform directional print. To hide the repeat more, would it look okay to scale some of the groupings differently (rather than having them all the same size)? Also, does it look too "busy"? I'm worried there are too many elements going on. I'm always welcome to advice or ideas! :) 

PATTERN #3 | Backyard Blooms

I've been dying to create a floral pattern and try my hand at sketching flowers, and this was the perfect opportunity! From years past, I have a good collection of pictures of flowers from my parent's backyard. I decided to name this collection "Backyard Blooms" and use these pictures as both inspiration and drawings reference. I'm happy to say that my mood board is made up completely of my own photographs. I love my mom's patch of zinnias, so you may see them pop up quite a bit in this pattern.

Descriptive Words: bright, happy, natural, floral, feminine, blooms, vibrant, green, growth, soaking up the sun





I've fallen behind a bit for Phase 3 (I came down with a cold last week that slowed me up), but I've had SO much fun illustrating. I've been playing with Bonnie's shortcuts and new tricks that I haven't used in the past, and also getting used to my Wacom tablet, which I love! I'm happy with where these are headed and that they all seem to have a consistant style. If time allows, I'd like to add more motifs, add a larger variety of color, and play around with texture. Now, I'll be working hard to illustrate motifs for my other two themes!


Update for Phase 4: I added another illustration and tweaked the coloring before putting into repeat. It's not quite as complex or dense as I'd like for a focal point print. I also feel like the repeat is fairly obvious - Would resizing some of the elements help with this? Any constructive criticism or advice is always welcome!! I'm sure I'll be coming back to this pattern (even after the workshop) to add and perfect, but for tonight my eyes need a break. Regardless, I feel accomplished to be this far with it. :)


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