Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Honey Bees

Here is my latest design for Spoonflower.  The contest theme is "Bees".

I love to garden and one of my favorite perennial flowers is russian sage.  The honey bees love it!  The first thing that came to mind when I started to think about this design was my russian sage.  I love the way that the sage looks with echinacea and honey bees love echinacea too.  My neighborhood deer love to eat the flowers of the echinacea so I do not have a lot of success with it.  The sage is not appealing to the deer so I have it planted everywhere.  It's really beautiful when it's planted in large groups.

I thought that I would show the process of my thinking through this design.  I took some photos along the way to illustrate how the design came to be.

Here is my original quick sketch.  I was thinking about the elements that I wanted to be in the design and the colors that I would use.  I made a little note that I thought that it would be fun to hide a four leaf clover in the design.

This is a more detailed sketch of how it would repeat.  I was picturing the honeycombs being more of a background texture.

This is just the beginning of the painting.  (I can't tell you how many times over the years that I've put my paintbrush into my coffee/tea.  You would think that that would be a lesson learned the first time.)

I like to paint big.

Messy, messy palette.  I keep thinking that I should wash my palette and start with fresh new paints.  I never do.  My paints are all dried up and mixed together and it always works for me as it is.

I make a lot of print outs along the way to check for repeat and also because I like to sketch onto the printouts if there is an element that I want to add.  Sometimes I cut them up and arrange the elements differently.  I know that I could do the same on the computer but I like having the big print and having it in my hand.  I do not have a large format printer so I piece together 8.5x11 prints.

Finished design!  After scanning in my paintings, this design was pieced together entirely in  Photoshop.  (Sometimes, I flip back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop.)  The honeycombs ended up being a more prominent element rather than a background texture.  The clover was cut because I wasn't crazy about the way that I painted them and they were not offering enough of a contrast of color, even after I tried to adjust the color to be different.  I also added a linen texture to the design so the background is not a flat grey.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  It's not exactly what was in my mind in the beginning.  My designs almost never come out exactly as I originally picture them.  I'm looking forward to ordering a swatch to see how the color and texture prints.  I hope you like it!  Jill


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spoonflower love

I love Spoonflower for so many reasons.  Let me count the ways...

1 - I love seeing my designs printed on fabric.  I'm not sure why fabric is more exciting to me than a print on paper but it is.  The fact that I can then take the fabric and sew something from it makes me happy.

2 - I love the Spoonflower community.  I've never personally met any of my Spoonflower connections but they are just the nicest group of supportive, happy people.

3 - I love the feeling that I get every time I make a sale!  I don't think that feeling will ever get old.  It's so nice to know that someone likes my design enough to actually purchase it.  I'm so thankful.

4 - Last but not least, I love the weekly contest.  Even when I'm not entered into a contest, I still log in each week and cast my vote.  I don't think I've ever missed a week.  I'm always amazed by the creativity.  If you're looking to challenge yourself, I highly recommend jumping in and entering a design.

Recently, I've started to get back into entering the contests because they have had a few themes that have interested me.  I think the contests are a great way to challenge myself.  Here are some new designs that came about because of the Spoonflower weekly contests.

Hot Air Balloons.  (I know, I need to get more creative with my names.)  This design was entered into the "Flying Machine" contest.


Summer on the Islands.  This design was created for the "Islands" contest

I'll be back soon!  I'm working on next weeks theme "Bees".  I'm really loving my sketch.