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Pattern Design Workshop: Create 3 Focal Point Prints

Hello, I'm Kathy. I love to garden, hike, and take photos. I have very little knowledge of Illustrator, but have worked with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements for many years. This workshop looked like the perfect opportunity for me to really learn how to use Illustrator. It has always intimidated me in the past...and I didn't get much further than trying to draw a circle! I hope to really focus on using several different methods to create patterns and not be intimidated by Illustrator any more.

I was very inspired by the nature photos that I have taken over the years...and grabbed a few inspiring photos from Pinterest too to create my inspiration/mood boards. Almost all the photos I used are my own.

Print 1 Winter Garden: My garden here at home is filled with flowers and plants to attract birds each season. Here in winter we usually have a flock of snow buntings in our backyard. This winter has been warmer...so no buntings this winter. Missing them (though we currently have a flock of morning doves hanging out there). My first focal print is inspired by those snow buntings.

Winter Garden Keywords: snow bunting, winter bird, rowan berries, branches, snowfall, winter garden, pine, seeds, shelter, arctic, pine cone

Winter Garden Mood Board:

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Sketches for Winter Garden:

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Illustrated Motifs for Print 1 Winter Garden:

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Focal Point Print for Winters Garden Collection:

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Final Mini Collection Winters Garden:

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Print 2 Summer Fields: Inspired by our hikes in the summer time. Our family loves geocaching when the weather is nice. We also live next to a field and go for many hikes through it.

Summer Fields Keywords: weeds, thistle, wild flowers, field, blossoms, butterflies, grass, blue sky, daisies, purple coneflower

Summer Fields Mood Board:

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Sketches for Summer Fields:

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Illustrated Motifs for Print 2 Summer Fields

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First attempt at creating repeating patterns:

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More motifs needed for a focal point print! So I want back to my sketchbook and made a few more sketches. Illustrated using the blob brush tool. Also edited my color palette, going with my instinct for this collection and choosing pastels.

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Final Focal Point Print for Blooming Fields Collection:

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 Final Mini Collection Blooming Fields

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Print 3 Cottage Garden:

This collection is inspired by my sisters cottage garden at her cottage up north. My sister really enjoys gardening too. She spends as much time at the cottage in the summer as possible and has a lovely shade garden there. Last fall there were a lot of chipmunks around and we were suckers and fed them peanuts. Deer love her hostas for nibbling on too. She's lost more than a few hostas to the deers. I took a tonne of photos this past fall...not wanting the season to end. 

Cottage Garden Keywords: Shade garden, hosta, mushrooms, snails, sage, secret garden, chipmunks, acorns, fall, leaves, fern, coral bells

Cottage Garden Mood Board:

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Sketches for Cottage Garden:

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I did away with my above sketches as soon as I used the Image Trace tool in Illustrator on my little deer photo. Fell so in love with this little deer and have so many photos to work with that I used the Image Trace for all the motifs for this print collection. I first isolated each of the motifs in the photos within Photoshop. The following is a selection of the photos I used to live trace after isolating in Photoshop:

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Illustrated Motifs for Cottage Garden:

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Focal Print and secondary prints:

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Final Focal Point Print for Cottage Garden:

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Final Mini Collection Cottage Garden:

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Notes:
I loved using the blob brush tool to trace over my own sketches the most and may revisit my cottage garden sketches to create a collection in the future. The Image Trace (Live Trace) patterns from my Cottage Garden photos ended up being the largest file by far (+200 MB with 4 patterns and several colorways of each pattern in the same file). If I was to do this method again I would take the time to simplify the traced images as much as possible before creating patterns out of them.

I enjoyed using the recolor art tool so much that I quickly created a few supporting patterns for my focal point prints. Playing with the recolor art tool with these mini collections took up hours of my time! It was very addictive. Can't wait to do more of this.

My goal is to practice my sketching, wacom, and blob brush tool tracing. I feel I am a long way off from discovering my signature style. I have come a very long way during this workshop as I was a complete beginner in Ai when I started just 3 weeks ago.

Bonnie...you are an amazing teacher. This was such a great way to start learning Ai. Thanks! Having deadlines for me really worked and kept me working on this project a little each day.

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