Watercolour and ink

I’ve been experimenting with watercolours and fine liners lately.

With the lockdowns and fading light, photography has become more and more difficult. I love being creative and wanted something I can do in my house, on my own, whenever I have a spare moment.

I’ve been exploring these two media, both very new to me. There is so much variety in the art store – it’s difficult to know where to start!

Experimentation

So I started by drawing and painting the same thing, over again, using different pens, brushes and paint mixtures, to see what I liked.

Once happy with a technique, I then reproduced it on watercolour paper (more expensive than the cartridge paper I was using, so not for experimenting!)

I used a size 4 brush for this. It has a lovely fine point so I can use it for some finer details as well

Digital art

I first created the dandelion in Procreate on my iPad. I then wanted to see what it would look like painted.

That’s what I’ve been up to lately, and some drawing.

Have you learnt any new creatives skills lately?

Take care,

Michelle

My finished pattern design

I finished my first repeating pattern with Anne LaFollette’s mini course!

I’ve learnt lots about Adobe Illustrator, and I’ve come realise I want more! I can see how big this creative program is and how it is the programme used in the graphics and illustration industry.

I going to have to invest in it, as I feel not using it is now a step backwards, away from my goals for my creative business.

I’ve got one more lesson left on the mini course, ‘saving work’. But I want to continue creating patterns and illustrations.

What next?

I’ve started watching Bonnie Christine and signed up for another mini course with another pattern designer.

Anne’s academy course sounds amazing, but I’m not ready to invest $1000! A bit more research and development is required before I invest that sort of money!

Using Adobe Illustrator for pattern design

It’s lesson 2 of Anne LaFollette’s ‘From Doodles to Dollars’ free mini course about pattern design.

As I had thought, the lessons are from her Skillshare course ‘From Sketch to Wrapping Paper’. Consequently, I am running ahead a bit as I know most of the techniques in this course.

I’m using Procreate on the iPad to draw my sketches, saving as a JPEG, and then importing into illustrator using the ‘place‘ tool.

Using Procreate before Illustrator

What’s been cool about using procreate, is that 1) I don’t have to photograph my sketches, 2) I can also import my colour ideas from Procreate into Illustrator using the same ‘place’ technique. I can then place it on the outside of my artboard and use the dropper tool to create swatches to use in my designs.

I find it much easier to find colours and colour plates on the iPad right now.

A screenshot of what I’m currently doing in Illustrator.

The more I’m using Illustrator, the more I like it – I wish it didn’t cost so much!

Adding sketches to Illustrator

Once imported, I used ‘image trace’, selecting black and white logo from the default and ignore white. I then went to object>expand>ok>object>ungroup.

Now the four sketches are separate images and I can move them around using the move tool.

More courses!

Anne mentioned another pattern designer, ‘Bonnie Christine’, who has more in-depth courses on Skillshare. So, I’ve started watching her course, ‘Intro to Surface Pattern Design’.

Many thanks to the member or Anne’s Art Community Facebook group who suggested I add a ‘Genko leaf’ to my design. (That’s the yellow ones – I had to google what one was!)

I’ll update you with the next part of the course and how my pattern is going in Illustrator soon.

Take care,

Michelle

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