Teaching yourself pattern design

I’ve started Anne LaFollette’s pattern design mini course, ‘From Doodles to Dollars’. For day 1, I created sketches to use in a pattern. I drew them on my iPad Pro using Procreate and Apple Pencil. Anne works on paper and photographs her sketches to digitise them.

I took inspiration from my daily walk in the woods with my dog and baby boy. I collected leaves and berries to sketch at home. I find it much easier to sketch what is in front of me than from memory.

I have started with simple shapes, Anne says we can always get fancier later!

Having already taken Anne’s course, ‘From sketch to wrapping paper’, on Skillshare, I can see this is the same course spilt over 5 days.

The design is created in Adobe Illustrator, I have downloaded the free trial to have a go. It is over £200 a year to buy though, and I already pay for Photoshop and Lightroom so I think I will just a play with it for now.

I’ll upload what I’m creating on the course soon.

Take care,

Michelle

Learning surface pattern design

I’m starting Anne LaFolette’s surface pattern design mini course ‘From Doodles to Dollars’ on Monday!

I’m excited to learn about this area of illustration and design and to see if it’s something I would like to delve deeper into.

It is a 5 day commitment, Anne will be setting homework assignments! I’m a bit nervous about that, as I struggle to fit my art in around my home life at the moment, with two little ones running around!

But even drawing for just 30 minutes each day is helping me learn and progress. I’ve heard it so often, but consistency really is the key. I believe that if I keep practising and keep creating everyday, I will a career is art and design 🙂

I’ll write about what I do on the mini course and post on my blog.

Until then, here is a little surface pattern doodle.

Take care,

Michelle

Learning to draw on an iPad using Procreate

I got an iPad for my birthday and started to learn to draw.

I have always wanted to draw and paint, but never thought I could. So I never tried. Watching videos of people using Procreate on Instagram inspired me to have a go, and learn something new.

Making mistakes

What I love about drawing on the iPad, is how easy it is to make mistakes. Mistakes are so easy to erase! One mistake on a canvas or paper and it could mean starting again, and again, and again.

What the iPad allows me to do, is make mistake after mistake and erase it with ease. I learn best through experimentation and trial and error. I am not going through tons of paper and ink during this process.

Using layers

Using layers in Procreate helps me to work in a less destructive way, and play about with different elements of my drawing. Because I have used photoshop for years, picking this up in Procreate was easy and there are many similar tools to both programmes.

Following others artists on social media

I don’t have an art background, but following people on Instagram is great not just for inspiration but also for drawing tips and tips on using Procreate. There are lots if digital illustrators using Procreate and putting their processes online.

I have only been drawing for a couple of weeks but I am hoping to develop my skill enough to work in the field of illustration and design.

The first step is to start, and I’ve done that.

Take care,

Michelle

Why I love Surrealism

What do I love about surrealism? 

I love that there are no rules and no boundaries to what I can create. I love that I can create fluidly and freely

I love that it doesn’t have to have a deep message or hidden concept, and I love that it can have both.

I love that is challenges my understanding of reality and extends it.

Sleepy Head

As an INFJ on the Myers- Briggs scale, my inner world is rich and complex. I’m introverted and get lost in my own thoughts and imagination. I could get away with it more as a child, but my staring into space haze gets noticed as an adult!

Inside I work in pictures and feelings and it can be hard to articulate. Working within surrealism gives me a free reign to communicate without explanations without trying to make people understand. Because ultimately, as an INFJ, people find me difficult to understand, and so I don’t share myself with many people. I create a persona which functions well in society instead.

I’m grateful for having art and surrealism as a means to express myself, in what I feel as a safe way.

What are you grateful for?

Take care,

Michelle

Husband Of Woman

The third image in ‘Daughter Of Woman’ series is finished!

Husband Of Woman

I love the patterns and colours in this image and the contrast between the two.

The lightbulb is original, only cut out and not warped or anything. I hunted down all these unusually shaped lightbulbs in the series.

The wallpaper is a book of scrapbook papers based on designs from the Natural History Museum in London. They resemble more closely the vintage wallpaper I had in mind when I was conceptualising this series.

Many thanks to my almost husband for modelling the shirt!

I’ll post some information on how to get your hands on limited edition prints soon!

Take care,

Michelle

Using Lightroom for commercial photography

I did some commercial photography recently. The first time for years! The images were for the website of a new business, plus marketing materials. 

I edited the majority of images in Lightroom and used Photoshop to clean up a few with the clone and healing tool.

Lightroom

Lightroom is great for editing lots of images that require similar changes. It speeds up the process and is non destructive to the original photos. I hadn’t used Lightroom since I shot weddings a few years ago, and it has had some nice updates since then. The spot healing brush and gradient tool were particularly useful for brightening and cleaning up images quickly.

It is simple to import images into Lightroom for editing and to export the finished photos to a folder on your computer. Collections are a useful way of dividing up your images into sub-categories or clients. Particularly if your are processing groups of image differently.

I like photographing objects and spaces. Finding interesting compositions and perspectives appeals to me. I’m more nervous photographing people!

I enjoyed a step away from fine art photography and it felt great to help someone with a new and exciting endeavour. However, I do love the freedom of fine art photography, and the fact I am only accountable to myself!

Take care,

Michelle

Designing a business logo

I was asked a few weeks ago to design a logo for someone about to launch a new business.

I have zero experience designing logos, but I said yes! There was no expectation, if they didn’t like it, they would find someone else. I was happy to see it as an opportunity for my own creative development, and if it didn’t work out, never mind.

We discussed the nature of the business and the client wanted the logo to show the theme of “growth’, the core value of her business. She shared colours she liked and we agreed a colour palette.

I showed her some of my illustrations (not photographs this time!) and she picked out things that she liked. This gave me some solid graphics to start with.

Finally she decided she wanted the logo presented square.

I did three preliminary sketches, and she chose her preferred design.

I refined and polished the design and gave three subtle variations. Would you believe it? She liked them!

Taking away the pressure of expectation made the whole experience easy to learn from and fun. I’m happy to try something new. You never know what you will take from it or where it might take you.

Have you tried anything new, lately?

Take care,

Michelle