Blog, digital art, Illustration, Running your own art business, surface pattern design

Unblock your creativity!


I’ve been stuck designing pattern collection. Complete creative block!

So I decided to park it for a little while and do something else. I’ve had the urge to paint for a while. I have painted with water colour in the past but wanted something with a bolder pigment, but not as thick and messy as acrylic or oil. So I chose gouache and looked up a Skillshare class. I found Beyond Watercolour: Learn to paint with gouache by Leah Goren.

Why Procreate?

With my two little ones a part time job and a side hustle, I couldn’t find the time or space to experiment with paints, so decided to follow on my iPad in Procreate

I have always steered clear of the painting brushes in Procreate. I could never think how I would use them in my work as I favoured inking.

I had an under water theme on my vision board for ages so decided to use it as the focus for painting with gouache in Procreate.

I experimented with brushes for a bit – watercolour, fresco, wet brush, dry brush but settled on the gouache brush because of its stronger pigment and soft strokes.


I also changed up my inking brush. I always use ‘fluid ink’ from Liz Kohler Brown, but settled with the monoline in the basic calligraphy set. I wanted these paintings to have a detailed element with ink and this brush was fine enough not to overpower the painting and was also nice and fluid to draw with. It encourages quite spontaneous and freeform movements as it’s really light and fluid on the page. So I went with this inking brush and embraced a looser, more spontaneous style.

Imperfections are a good thing!

Something that Leah Goren said in her tutorial stuck with me – ‘imperfections are part of the charm’ – and I wanted to make this a focus. It was a move away from precise and perfect joins and shapes that I tend to prefer. Embracing the mistakes as part of the design was quite tricky at first but also liberating. I can get stuck creating through bouts of perfectionism – it brings me to a complete stop!

Trying something new was a great way to get my creative juices flowing again. I enjoyed this mini project and it has inspired me to try some new approaches to my work! My real take aways from this have been:

imperfections are part of the charm

When using technology in the creation process it can be easy to forget that the imperfections in our artwork and designs are often the parts which show our uniqueness and personality. They make us different from everyone else.

Will you try something new? I’d love to hear if you do, maybe I will try it too!

Take care,


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