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Spoonflower Contest – Sports and Leisure

When I saw the name of this contest, I thought it was one that I might have to skip, as I do not like sports and I could not think of anything beyond different balls or rigid sporting equipment. Then I thought of swimming, which is kind of a sport and also leisurely as a lot of people do it for fun and exercise. The leisure part I think is important, it could be anything from walking a dog to doing yoga, leisure time covers a range of things.

I developed from swimming and thought of snorkelling under the water, where you could interact more with sealife and animals, so I decided to go with this, as it gave me a chance to think about a variety of underwater animals too.

I drew up some girls exploring underwater and used this to show the idea of someone doing the activity, I liked doing this as I do not do a huge amount of people and this gave me a chance to practice, by hiding the faces with their big goggles too, it was great. I surrounded them with sealife, and I think this gives it an interesting and busy look to it. I entered the large bottom one here into the contest.

I created a lot of coordinating designs to go along with this, which I will work on more and repeat to give a better idea of scale.

I created quite a large collection from this and I think I could probably still do more, I played with all the different motifs, experimenting with colourways and scale a lot throughout.


Mushrooms and Berries Motifs

I wanted to start some patterns now, and I thought taking some of the elements that I wanted to play around with as motifs in the animal patterns would be a good place to start, while I slowly draw the more complex dormouse images.

I have been developing my motif style as time as gone on while working on Spoonflower contests, where my style has slowly adapted while I have been learning how to do things in Procreate and make more detailed motifs without them looking too realistic. I also made sure to include a few colours for the motifs because sometimes when in a pattern I found I needed more of a certain colour to balance it out, then realised that I had originally drawn everything in the one colour and it was hard to change. Another thing I have learnt how to do better on Procreate.

My pattern contests can be found here:

Procreate Creating a Brush

I decided to watch some tutorials on Skillshare and take some classes to learn to make the most out of Procreate, as it is a media that I use a lot and I am sure there are so many tips and tricks for using it more efficiently. One thing I have seen is using an Alpha lock, this means that the layer is locked on the shape you have created, so no strokes can be added outside of that area, this was really useful when I wanted to add a darker shade to the edges of the leaves and blend it out, without loosing that sharp edge I had drawn. This was really helpful and just meant that I did not have to go through a long process of working on a really small scale or rubbing out the edges around the motifs.

So I also followed a tutorial for creating burhses, as the watercolour brushes selection on there is not as good as it could have been, so I followed a tutorial to make my own, and learn how to make them so I could try and experiment with my own creations too.

The Painting Brushes

So firstly you need to bring up the brush panel and click the plus sign in the right hand corner of this.

The New Brush page

The first step is to choose a shape and grain for your brush, and this will make all the difference to the final result. For the Shape for watercolour I went with a circular kind of design, and looked through the grain for one that looked watery and stained to me, because the watercolour brush they supply on here, just does not look like watercolour.

The Grain Shapes

By clicking ‘Swap from Pro Library’ it takes you to all this preset brush grains and shapes to choose from.

Next, you go through each of the bottom panel sections, choosing variables on the stroke, shape, grain, dynamics, pencil and general, which just edits how the stroke looks and how it behaves with different pressures and movements. The strip at the top shows how it will look. The important thing to see is on the dymanics here, giving it a glazed or wet look completely changes the outlook of it and shows up a lot more texture which I think was a great trick to know how to do.

Editing the pencil pressure here you can see what editing the size does to it, it gives it this nice tapered edge so it can end in a more realistic way.

The Final Brush

So this is what I ended up with, it is not perfect and it can be a case of playing around with the sliders to achieve what you want to, but I think I am heading in the right direction here for the kind of watercoloury effect that I want.