The Ditsy Debutante | Skillshare Projects



The Ditsy Debutante

An Introduction...

I'm a little late to the game, but none the less eager and ready to hit the ground running! I've had a chance to do some of these elements (mainly moodboarding and sketching) earlier, but am finally getting them up on Skillshare!

My DREAM is to be a surface pattern designer, and this class has been such a great way to face my fears and just get my hands dirty already! Elizabeth, I've had the pleasure of following your successes as a surface pattern designer, and you inspire me to do what I love. What a dream come true this must be for you! Thank you for hosting this awesome class and encouraging all of us to seek out and refine our passions. Wow, there is some GREAT stuff on here. 

Okay, okay. Let's get started already!


I had a really hard time coming up with a name, but I think this one works. I found that several of the images on my moodboard were from advertisements, fabric, or designs from the 1950's. And for some reason, whenever I think of ladies in the 50's I think of refined, young, and vivacious debutantes. Well, that works out just fine for my ideas of what this pattern will *hopefully* look like. I'd really like to push floral and leaf patterns as well as hand drawn lines of some sort. I'd also like to keep the color palette limited, but still add bright and exciting elements. For some reason, working in black and white with a couple punch colors sounds nice, but we'll see what happens when I get there. And lastly, the ditsy part is more of the type of busy pattern I'm looking for rather than a ditzy debutante...

There's lots of potential here, and I'm so excited to share my progress! Here we gooooooo!

Sketching & Rendering

I started with a few brush sketches. For some reason it appealed to me more than pen or pencil; it was definitely easier to see values with my brush and ink. I was also trying to achieve an organic, hand-drawn yet graphic style with my sketches. Something like cut paper I guess. I ended up REALLY liking the images where I used a light value for the leaf and a dark value for the stem. After sketching, it was time to load the photos into my computer and start re-drawing them in Illustrator. 

Rendering always takes the longest for me because I want to make sure every line is as close to perfect as possible; that way I don't have to go back in and tweak illustrations as I work. I can focus on rendering, then layout, then color, etc. 

After rendering, it was time to lay out the components. At first, I was a little afraid that I had too many long elements and that I wouldn't be able to fill the artboard evenly. But you gotta jump in at some point! Here was the first round of the pattern grid...

Not bad, but also not quite right. My eye kept getting distracted by the really long and leafy part. Things just weren't flowing like I wanted to. So, I jumped back in and tried again. I shortened some of the long pieces and varied the angles of each. This time...voila! Much better! 

Since I didn't want to get distracted by color when I was supposed to be focused on composition, I only used two colors to render the artwork. Colorizing the file actually took the second longest since there were so many things I could do with the color. I tried to focus on choosing colors that went with my title (The Ditsy Debutante). After doing some research about popular colors in the 50's, I stuck with a periwinkle, a lavendar, a teal, and a bright red. I didn't want the color to be too feminine, but cool and collected and just a little soft. I also wanted to keep it bright. Below is the result!! 

Final Artwork & Mock-Up

And here she is! I must say this was quite a labor of love. I started out a little aprehensive, thinking I wouldn't be able to make a worthwhile design, but still determined to give it a try. After sketching and moodboarding, the rest was easy and fun! It's always the best when things just start to gel and you get in a groove. I'm really proud of myself. This is honestly one of the first serious pattern designs I've done as a personal project, and I'm very happy with it. I'll definitely be making some secondary and blender patterns even after this class is over. Thank you so much Elizabeth for inspiring me to do what I love. I have really enjoyed learning from this class and from you. I can't wait to do more now that I've tackled this first design! The creativity and the possibilites are endless :)


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