I just finished submitting my entry for the Spoonflower Large Birds contest, from which I also created a little collection of coordinating designs from. I also posted one last week for the Quiet Spaces category too.
I have started to notice now that my designs are getting more engagement as the weeks go on, usually each post doing better than the last which is exciting because it must mean I am refining my style and doing something right. I could go back to the start of them and notice little problems in the first couple of patterns, such as the Pastel Cafe one, was too pastely, it needed some more dark in the design to add more of a colour balance into it, which I did struggle with a little in the foliage coordinating designs from the Large Birds one, I used a lot of dark browns in the birds so the lighter blues and pinks in the actual pattern were good being lighter, but I do wish I had made some a lot darker, as I much more often than not choose a light background for my designs.
I used some similar plant pots for the Pastel Cafe design challenge weeks and weeks ago, so I took some inspiration from them and kind of repurposed them with newer techniques I have learnt on Procreate, such as easily adding pattern and shading to motifs. I originally had a wite background on this design and I think it looked better in the blue, but there is not much white at all in there and something is not quite right with the colour balance I think. I was working hard last week on my sketchbooks and I left this one a little later than usual, but overall I am happy with it as a simple repeat.
The Large Birds contest was one I thought a lot about with the content, I floated some ideas with my friends in a groupchat, penguin, peacock, eagle, all good options but I was not particularly excited about any of them. I started looking in some of the bird books we have around the house, they come in handy when spotting weird birds in the garden and for situations like this. The bird pages have facts about wingspan, sometimes having the birds flying next to other popular ones to compare sizes. This is when I noticed how big the snowy owl actually was, and looking at some of the other species I noticed they were not that much smaller either, such as the long eared and short eared owls, the tawny owls were bigger than I thought, I thought they were tiny!
Anyway, I love owls and how recognisable they are, and very attractive birds that have been on trend before, and just seem to be one of those patterns that does not go out of fashion, but I knew I wanted to go with my more graphic digital painting approach to get some texture and detail into it. I created blue and pink foliage around it because I thought about how my colour palette is usually involving a lot of greens because I use a lot of nature in my work. I actually really like the foliage secondary designs I created, but I do think they do not look like they go perfectly with the owl design by itself. I did try and correct the colour balance using some space filler dots, which I think worked out really well to add more colour in the designs.
The next contest I believe is Ice Cream Truck, so I think for that one I want to try and go really out of the box with my usual colour schemes and try something bold and bright!