Woolly socks, broccoli, sourdough, wintery people… This last week I’ve been drawing patterns for a challenge on Instagram. I thought I’d share the 7 drawings here plus some words about my creative process.
My inspiration and motivation to draw this month has been The Pattern Challenge by Mélanie Johnsson – check out her Instagram here:
The challenge is to post a new pattern design every day for the month of February. You base your design on Mélanie’s list of prompts for every day of February 2022.
Getting started on the first, eh, second day of February
So far, I’ve been drawing everything on my phone, using the app ibisPaint X (that I also talked about earlier in this post ) I might switch to some analog drawing later, for the sketching phase, who knows.
I didn’t manage to get started on the 1st, so Feb 2nd was my first pattern, for the prompt “WOOL”:
I found it really difficult to figure out how to make a good pattern.
I had almost zero experience with designing patterns before starting out, so I was kind of lost!
In the beginning there was also a sweater and a star in the pattern, as you can see. But it was a bit too lumpy and busy, and threw everything off I think 😄
I don’t exactly know why I chose to add a drop shadow, and I’m not in love with the effect in the final version. The pattern is busy enough without it, I think. But I really like the shape of the objects and the simplicity.
The idea for my second drawing was simple – broccoli trees (for the prompt TREE). We had broccoli that day, so there you go. Sometimes it’s easy to think of something to draw!
I spent a while trying to get the broccoli to look realistic and even looked at photos of our dinner 😄 The pink background was added on a whim, and I really like the result. It’s a different, more realistic style than what I usually make. I copied and mirrored some of the bits to add variety to the pattern.
A family of three floating heads
Drawing #3 is a cute little self portrait of me, my bf and our baby girl – all wearing HATS. In fact, I spent a long time trying to draw us and overworked it so much that we all looked creepy and not like ourselves.
So I started over and quickly drew this doodle that became the final pattern:
The upside down heads are kind of silly, but I was experimenting with how to make another different type of pattern.
A blue favourite
My 4th pattern is probably my fave so far. I didn’t spend too long fussing over the details, but sketched it out and kept a lot of the sketchy bits in the final version.
It was very fun to draw something invisible for the prompt WIND.
I also got a feature in Mélanie Johnssons Instagram stories and a lot of likes on this one. So I guess it resonated with others too! That’s incredibly cool. And it gave me a massive boost to continue drawing.
And now to something completely different… My pattern #5.
This idea came to me immediately when I saw the prompt CANDLE. I didn’t spend too long on it and decided not to overwork it this time.
It has more of a painting vibe than the other drawings, very cozy and wintery. And without a precise repetitive pattern this time.
Not Harry Potter
For my 6th pattern, it was a very tough decision not to draw something Harry Potter related for the prompt MAGIC.
I felt it was a bit too obvious and that there would be many other patterns with wands, wizard’s hats and lightning scars on the hashtag. So I chose something almost as close to my heart as HP: baking!
Feeding my sourdough starter, mixing different flours with water, salt etc and then watching the dough develop and later turn into bread in the oven feels almost like magic. Other bakers will agree, I’m sure.
For this pattern I decided to do a mirror effect, and I had a lot of fun with it. Mirroring really changes a little doodle into something different.
Confusion and tongues
Pattern #7! Wow this one really threw me for a loop.
As I write in the post, this pattern hurt my brain 😂 Generally my drawing time is in the evening after work and when the baby sleeps, so probably not the best to think out intricate pattern options.
One of the first things I thought of for SNOW was sticking out your tongue and tasting a snowflake 😂
I also started drawing a dog with its tongue sticking out that never ended up in the pattern. Only the tongue got to stay. Anyway, the result is quite fun, isn’t it?
I don’t know exactly why I tried to make a pattern this way, but maybe I got inspired by looking at all the fantastic and amazingly different patterns I’d been seeing every day at #thepatternchallengebymel .
What I learned from drawing these 7 patterns
After a week of drawing my own different patterns and looking at all the amazing creations by other artists and designers on Instagram, I feel like I really got hooked on pattern design.
I knew I wanted to participate in the challenge if I could find the time since I got Mélanie Johnssons Pattern Paper last year. But I had no idea I would get this obsessed!
Besides pattern drawing being a heck ton of fun, I’ve learned that I don’t need to overthink my drawings. Just to get started on sketching the first idea that pops into my head, and maybe try to keep bits of sketch in the final version. And also just to go with the colours that randomly pop into my head. I can always change them later – one of the major advantages of digital drawing.
Did anyone read all the way through these ramblings, I wonder?
If you did, wow thanks!! You’re awesome.