Hi Alison - the class was fun to do and I like the "retro" look of these ladies.
I had a couple of goes at this. For my first try I chose a character from my favourite (old) TV show - Teyla Emmagan from Stargate Atlantis. This is the reference pic I used:
And this is the Pattern Lady portrait I made with it. I used things that symbolised her for the patterns - the crossed rods are bantos (her fighting sticks), and the rest is about fruitfulness and nature imagery. It's okay but the pattern went a bit wonky on me and is too busy. Also my natural watercolour style tends towards gouache, so I find it hard to demarcate the portrait from the pattern as much. And man, that background was fiddly - I had to paint around everything with the light green because I didn't trust the lighter colours to sit on top of the green properly, and I figured the opaque green would cover up the pattern I'd drawn.
So I thought I'd try again with a random reference so I could be a bit more free with the patterns, and I used aspects of both of these pics from picsabay:
This is the portrait that resulted (I liked the retro buns, so incorporated them, and I used the peacock tail colours/design in her dress).
I like it better than my initial portrait, even if the background pattern's pretty wonky again and not a true repeating pattern. This one was a little faster to do as I used light green watercolour for the background leaves. As it was more transparent the pattern showed though fine and was easy to paint around. Also, with a thin layer of watercolour there was no risk of the dark green reactivating the pale green underneath. Inks for the underlayer would work well for that, too.