Sophia Caldwell

Just Here to Learn and Loving Every Minute!



Tools in Watercolor Pattern - for Renee

Another brilliant Skillshare class. Hard work, learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Sandra!


Different colorways:


And applied to products:




Here's my story about this project:


On my last Skillshare project I painted watercolor flowers. I think flowers lend themselves beautifully to watercolor, but this time I wanted to challenge myself to paint more mundane, everyday objects.

I was inspired to paint tools by my friend's daughter. She is a wonderful little girl with a unique personality and magical spirit. The first time I met her, she'd just had a birthday and had been gifted a toolbelt (adult size). It was all she wanted for her birthday and she was wearing it proudly even though it kept falling around her knees because of her tiny frame ... adorable. She's having her bedroom decorated and I thought about the kind of textile she might like. Pink and flowers ain't gonna cut it for this little lady; naturally, I thought of tools :).


Initial sketches -


Color palette -

I didn't want babyish colors for my pattern, but I wanted my palette to be cohesive, vibrant and fun. So, I chose a very limited palette of primaries yellow and red with secondary orange and neutrals black and brown.


Icons -

I'm really pleased I chose this subject matter because I had to experiment a lot to get all the various textures I needed. Through experimenting and trying things out, I feel I'm beginning to understand the many ways you can use watercolor to get different effects. I tried to paint realistically, but with a looser style then my flower painting because I wanted the overall feel to be fun.


Pattern Making -

This was a real challenge for me, not least because I've never attempted to make a pattern before, but also because my computer is 8 years old and it kept crashing working on the large file ... LOL!

At first I placed the items in randomly, but because of the nature of the subject I felt it worked best keeping the icons structured vertically and horizontally. It was difficult at first, but got easier as I went along filling in the gaps, etc.

I used a large Photoshop watercolor brush to make the background in layers. I varied the opacity of each layer to create the blending and then worked on making it a seamless repeating pattern ... again, challenging!


I learned so much working on this project. I practiced my watercolor, discovered a lot about Photoshop, and made my first pattern. Applying the pattern to a couple of products was so much fun - it brought my project to life and made me consider whether I could produce something commercially viable (my ultimate goal).


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