I want to introduce my latest collection – Whimsical Garden Paths. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
Creating Whimsical Garden Paths
I have been trying all kinds of new things with my art in an attempt to learn new skills and find my groove. I had a lot of fun with this project and I wanted to share some of the things I learned with you.
I started with a random doodle with my Wacom pen and Adobe Illustrator. I made a technical repeat of an 8 inch square with trend colors. There were too many colors and nothing to tie it all together. I tried different color palettes. I liked where I was going, but felt I wanted to push it further.
When I started thinking about limiting the palette and doodling over it all in white I realized that it would be perfect for the Spoonflower contest. I was not going to enter the latest Spoonflower contest because I really was NOT inspired by the restricted 4 color palette – Mint – Coral – Black – White. You had to use all of those four colors, no more, no less. I didn’t like those colors last year when they had a similar contest (and I still don’t like them) but I fell in love with my finished design.
So the doodle – top left image – was all filled in using just those three colors. Then I doodle on top using only white. I had NO PLAN. I let this picture evolve completely on its own. I am not going to tell you how many hours I spent on this project, but we will say there was at least one 12 hour session (drawing through the night) and it was worth it.
I finished the doodle as an 8 inch repeat and then I enlarged it to 18 inch. I will be trying this style again and I will start with a bigger palette because increasing the size was a pain (even though it was a vector image). When I put the design on Spoonflower I made it a mirrored repeat because it looked even more whimsical that way.
Here are some other things I learned during this project.:
Once the bottom layer is built and repeated, it needs to be grouped (or made its own layer) and locked so I can build and repeat the doodles over top. For me it was not so much about accidentally moving anything as it was about making the doodles easier to repeat.
I can use this process to get more depth and detail in other types of designs by building the background first and then building another layer (or layers) on top. I always wondered how people created the really complex designs.
I really liked working in abstract and not knowing what was coming next. Some people like to plot out their whole project ahead of time, but I love letting color and texture and shapes guide me as I work. That was the real fun behind this project.
This is a style that I really want to continue to explore because it was so much fun for me. I even went so far as to brainstorm a page of ideas to try.