Watercolour Peonies

Watercolour Peonies - student project

I'm Jo, a professional photographer by trade, and I have always had a real passion for art and design. After shooting my 20th year of weddings, I decided on a career change, and began researching surface pattern design as it seemed to encompass my love for art, painting, design, both digital and by hand, and my ever changing focus on the things that inspire me and colours and feelings that I love.

I'm slowly building a portfolio, and through trial and error and a lot of online learning, I'm beginning to feel that I've found my place. I'm self taught with regards to design, although my background in photography has helped greatly, both in vision and technical skill using design software.

My project was inspired by vintage floral paintings and the delicate layers of peonies, one of my favourite flowers. I looked at vintage china as well as old floral paintings for inspiration. The muted pinks and creams were essential when making up my colour palette.

Although my paintings are not a true representation of the flowers, the layered effects and variation in colour and tone was exactly what I was looking for in order to replicate the vintage feel I wanted.

My first colour way was put together using this muted palette, and I'm really happy with the way it has turned out. It has a really vintage feel, and works well on products. I wanted to give the pattern a really modern vintage edge, so I opted for a bright cerise and mustard colour way with flashes of teal, which I feel brings it right up to date for any modern interior.

When in the re-colouring process, a soft blue background also emerged, and I decided to keep this as an alternative too.

I shared my work from this project on a business group that I work alongside, and one of the members ordered two metres of fabric in the cream colour way immediately! It's certainly given me the confidence to pursue more designs for fabric, and I love the way the printed samples look.


Watercolour Peonies - image 1 - student project

Watercolour Peonies - image 2 - student project

Watercolour Peonies - image 3 - student project

Watercolour Peonies - image 4 - student project

Watercolour Peonies - image 5 - student project

Watercolour Peonies - image 6 - student project

Watercolour Peonies - image 7 - student project