Rachael Steinberg

Jewelry Designer, Visual Artist

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Succulent

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I really wanted to illustrate succulents as my pattern, so I headed over to DIRT Design Studio and got permission from the owners to snap a few shots for my project. The ones above are the ones I referenced the most, although there are many, many others. 

Here's my moodboard, followed by the palette I ended up with:

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My first palette had about twelve colors, which was an absolute disaster. There are ugly things that colors will do when they don't belong near each other, and I feel like I saw them all. 

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My sketches were mainly done in fine line marker and felt tip pen. The cleaner the line, the better things showed up for me in Illustrator. I don't have a scanner or a Wacom tablet, so I took photos with my iPhone and did a live trace for each sketch. I found that the "black and white logo" preset was the best option for simple black ink drawings.

My vectors in black:

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Here they are as grouped motifs:

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I started with a simple repeat using just one of my motifs in different sizes, just to make sure I was able to do it:

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I could tell from some of these color variations that my palette was not the best:

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Once I got the hang of that, it was time for my complex pattern:

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And, of course, all the color variations I had so much fun with (they ended up being my favorite part! I could really tell when I was nailing my palette, because every time I randomized the colors, I loved what I was seeing): 

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As if I weren't staring at these for enough hours, I went ahead and did a few mockups of some of the many variations, just to see what they might look like applied to surfaces:

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I'm also flirting with the idea of taking these designs to a much larger scale, for murals:

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