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


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