Recent Contest Entries

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.

Quiet Spaces Entry

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!

Spoonflower Contest

I chose to take part in the next Spoonflower contest, called ‘Canadian Wildlife’, so the first step was to do a little research and see what kind of animals and trees I could look at. I thought about moose, bears, they seemed a little obvious, and large animals, so I thought I would look for something smaller, which is where I came around the beaver, red fox and arctic hare. I think they worked well because they all have a slightly different colour to them, and with green forest colours I think it gives a nice little natural colour scheme.

The Hero Design submitted

I submitted this design above, using a mixture of the animals and a lot of trees and foliage as well. I was really enjoying using these animals and motifs though, so I decided to create some designs to go along with it, I think this is a good practice to do just to practice making these families of designs. If I was doing this for a full collection I would have taken more time to do some more motifs, smaller motifs and maybe add a more contrasting colour into it. But working from this one hero is a task in itself to see what different things can come from it.

So these show what I was playing with from that main design, and the repeat of it here at the bottom. While I think it is an obvious repeat, I do tend to stick to basic tile repeats for spoonflower as I want it to be easy to see in the tile when people are looking through and voting for designs. I could see this working for stationary or small giftware things like my main collection, I think this has given me some confidence in designing animal motifs that are not really realistic too as I want to be able to show some life and texture to them without them being boring and flat too.

Continuing to enter contests and take a few hours out of my week to do this regularly is helping me expand my work and practice pattern making while I am still in the mark-making stages of my collection.

Bioluminescence Spoonflower Contest

I have been doing a couple of contests with Spoonflower at the moment, what I enjoy about them is that they give you a theme, and it is often so unique you do not have anything that just happens to fit into it, so I enjoy taking a few hours a week to work towards this. I usually start by taking the theme and mindmapping a little, so for this one I thought of creatures that produce their own light, and thought of jellyfish and plankton, I thought jellyfish would make a really nice pattern.

I decide on a colour scheme, this is sometimes dictated by the contest but was not for this one, but I decided to go with a range of blues for the ocean, and a bright contrasting pink for the jellyfish. I used procreate to make my motifs, and used a couple of tools add light and luminescence to them, such as the light brush tool and the glowing dots.

Tile of Entry

I created this repeating tile for it, I quite like it as it has a range of contrast and bold colours in it. I have now entered this for the contest and will be looking into the upcoming contests to be prepared for them, I would like to enter every week but I did miss last week’s due to working hard on my submission, but the previous two weeks, Pastel Cafe and East Fork, can be seen below.

I like that these are testing my skills and making me learn new things, I am trying out new colours and objects I have never drawn before, so I hope to keep this going for my own development.