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Picnic repeats

Hi,

I'm an illustrator/design graduate interested in honing and diversifying my skills and exploring the world of repeat patterns. I usually work in a very detailed and involved way, and I think it will be interesting to try another approach, a simpler approach in pattern making - still using traditional skills of pen, paper, paint, collage and then manupulating them within Adobe Illustrator.

I'm interested in looking at the quintessentially 'British' experience of picnics. What does that mean? Do we enjoy it, do we pretend to enjoy it? The humour/hardiness of a British picnic, the resolve to have fun no matter what the weather throws at us.

Here'a the first moodboard, using the words I was drawn to in my brainstorming session. I love the retro prints on the thermos flasks and the graphic weather symbols, I think these could be used well in my print design. I want to give a retro feel to my design, and communicate the idea of a less-than-ideal picnic... (bad weather, gloomy, maybe a scotch egg, gherkin etc.. a typically British picnic of my childhood perhaps?)

Here i've started to look at colour palettes and patterns. I love the 70's retro patterns, I think these would work well on the flasks. I just have to be careful not to over-complicate and add too much detail. 'Less is more'!

Just started to sketch a few ideas, still very rough...

  More experiments... (the weather symbols are clip art for placement and inspiration purposes at this point - but I will draw my own weather symbols later on, once I'm sure I want to follow that idea)

Playing around in Illustrator, seeing what colours and patterns work... some a bit dark, some too light!, some too busy, some... just not right.. will keep experimenting until i'm happy, then spend some time going over how to actually create a repeat pattern. It's been a while since i've tried it, and i'm sure it's changed a bit. I have CS5 - shame, because i'd love to try the new pattern tool in CS6... maybe i'll download the free trial.

This one's way too murky, but it's fun trying things out. 

Just installed CS6 trial so I can follow the tutorials more easily than in CS5. It's great! Trying out all the patterns and playing with transparencies. I like the burlap as a background as it keeps with the retro feel of the motifs and adds a little texture. I'm not sure about the weather symbols now, I feel like they don't really work with the flasks. Too much going on. The flasks are almost enough on their own, but I like the retro food and the scotch eggs... it is a picnic theme after all.

Next I will try out the pattern tool and play around with the flasks some more until I am happy with them...

Just starting to play around with basic patterns. Don't want to overcomplicate things and get in a muddle later on, so i'll take it  s-l-o-w. :)

Ok, i've spent hours playing around in Illustrator, driven myself crazy at times... made mistakes, edited my flasks.. then gone back to the originals! But I now feel i've come up with a pleasing pattern. I've taken away the burlap in the background as I feel there is so much going on with the flasks, that I don't want to detract from them. Still unsure about my colour choice. I have 3, the blue, grey and brown. Muted colours that re-inforce the lovely British picnic weather :) and also help the flasks and picnic nibbles to stand out:

Trying the pattern tool for the first time...

Just been looking at the Ogee tutorial. Really great, and another way to organize my motifs into a pattern, the Ogee style suits my retro flasks... damn, it makes me more confused now...!! Too many good ways to do things. Here's my experiment... 

Can't make my mind up anymore! Just added a screenshot of my pattern with weather symbols included. I think I like this the most now... I think. It has all my initial elements & the weather symbols really do reinforce my idea of the less-than-perfect British picnic of my childhood :) Thanks so much to everyone who commented, I've really appreciated the input, it's helped solidify my ideas and given me the confidence to pursue them!

It's so hard to decide. I like the blue too, without the outlined flasks and weather symbols. 

After much indecision i'm FINALLY going to go with this one. I just prefer the layout without the weather symbols, it's cleaner and more pleasing to the eye (mine at least!). 

Here's a screen grab of the bigger picture...

Here's a link to it on Spoonflower: (once again, a great class, I learnt so much and my fellow students have been really inspiring. So sad that it's coming to an end!

http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2178929

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