7 days of pattern drawing

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 Mรฉlanie 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 Mรฉlanie’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 ๐Ÿ˜„

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.

Edible trees

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 ๐Ÿ˜„ 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 Mรฉlanie 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.

Blurry lights

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 Mรฉlanie 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.

7 days of pattern drawing

Lemon in a box

The rules of the game are simple, but the fun isn’t!

Hanging out with a 10-month-old sometimes means making up “games” such as…

… to get a couple of minutes to clean up the house. Or have a sip of coffee ๐Ÿ˜

Yesterday my little one was entertained for at least 5 minutes by a plastic container and a lemon.

It felt like such a โœจ parent winโœจ that I had to dwell on it for a bit (after she went to bed) and draw this imaginary game box design.

It took me about an hour of drawing on my phone in ibisXPaint while watching the Olympics.

Lemon in a box

Meeting a mole (or a mouse?)

This tiny guy crossed the walking path on my evening walk.

At least I think it was a mole. It might have been a mouse. The lil guy looked confused about where it was going. It managed to cross the path (grassy fields on both sides) in kind of a zigzag and stop when hitting the grass.

I walked by carefully trying not to disturb and took this photo:

I made the drawing several days later trying to remember what the creature looked like.

I ended up googling some images of the front end of a mole and changing the placement of its paws a bit ๐Ÿ˜†

What do you think, was it a mouse or a mole? Does my drawing look like either, or both?

Meeting a mole (or a mouse?)

Baby knows best

Or at least she knows how to eat with a spoon in the most fun way…

The baby recently started accepting that food on a spoon is ok. It took about three months of trying mushy vegetables and porridge for her to realise that she in fact likes food.

Letting her practice eating on her own is obviously the next step. So it’s part of mealtime on especially patient days…

It’s very messy. But apparently this is the way to eat with a spoon.

And don’t try to teach a strong-willed 8.5 month-old something different!

Drawing process

I sketched this comic out on paper and then used that as the basis for a digital drawing on my phone. I’m still using ibisXPaint whenever I sit down to draw (not often enough!) and I still really like the app. I used a pencil type brush for the line work and some “watercolour” for the colouring.

I didn’t realise until I was invested in this comic that I had given myself a massive challenge with drawing hands ๐Ÿ˜ณ

It took a lot of alterations and looking at my hands and the baby’s hands before I liked the result of the drawing. Some very good drawing practice that I didn’t anticipate beforehand (hand, heheeeh) ๐Ÿ˜…

Baby knows best

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒค๏ธ

… and then Winter returned ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜„ But here they are anyway.

Here are 3 Spring-themed doodles I made in the first week of March. Still doodling away on my phone in ibisPaint X whenever I have the chance.

I love illustrating food, especially veggies ๐Ÿ’š

I didn’t really plan out this drawing but just added things bit by bit. I try to eat what’s in season (and not grown in heated greenhouses), because it’s a way for me to be more sustainable. That means I haven’t had a fresh tomato or cucumber in a long time.

But living in this country can get a bit boring foodwise, especially in Winter. We love potatoes, carrots and all sorts of kale and cabbage in this house, but do get fed up with it. So we allow ourselves to get imported veg, especially peppers and lots of oranges and lemons, I just can’t live without them. And on rare occasions an avocado, yum!

I think I’m going to be a bit more loose about my “local and in season” food goal, because our daughter will soon start to eat solid food. And I want her to taste everything. But I’m torn, because I also want to teach her about sustainable lifestyle and give her a good Earth to live on!

When you think about it, it’s quite ridiculous that we have become used to being able to buy fresh fruit this far North in the middle of Winter.

Umm, that was quite a blurb about food. Anyway! Here are the other two Spring doodles.

Weeeeee! *sniffle

Just a lil’ Spring flower who is maybe now reconsidering the choice to come up and say hi.

You can find speed videos of my drawing process for both of these last doodles on my Instagram.

It was great to have some days with nice weather, especially since all you can really do is go for walks at the moment. But then the cold came back to bite us all in the, well, cheeks! ๐Ÿฅถ So I think I’ll wait an extra couple months to remove my woolly layers ๐Ÿ˜„

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒค๏ธ

Maternity leave Maksy binge

I discovered Rachel Maksy on YouTube back in September when I was waiting for the baby to arrive. So me and my belly binged all her videos โ˜บ๏ธ And now I made some fanart, I guess!

If you’re at all interested in fashion, vintage clothes, cosplay, hair, makeup or just laughing, you need to check out Rachel Maksy (link to YouTube). Such a hilarious and beautiful lady boss, and so many memes! Of which I understand only a few, but that’s fine.

Yesterday I drew this portrait of Rachel on my phone:

I had fun with a more paint-like style than I normally go for and went ham with different brushes. It turned out fine, I think, but I’m still practicing how to draw properly in ibisPaintX (check out my previous post for more on that).

Makeup or hairstyles are completely out of my comfort zone, so I’m sorry if I messed up the details. Especially Rachel’s wonderful, messy, curly bangs were very difficult to draw!

I watched a bit of video while I sketched the outline but didn’t look a lot at reference images, so the portrait isn’t based on a specific Rachel look.

I put her in a blue shirt/dress because I liked the colour, even though I know she prefers brown, hobbitty colours ๐Ÿ˜Š

You can check out a 1 minute video of the drawing process over on my Instagram.

Btw I’ve decided to try to draw and post something there every day for the month of March, so stay tuned for that. We’ll see if the baby allows it! Maybe I’ll do some roundups here on the blog as well if there’s time.

Maternity leave Maksy binge

Learning to draw in ibisPaint X

I’ve started using a new drawing app on my phone and having fun trying out different drawing styles. Here you can check out some of my first doodles.

After a period of doodling a lot in my sketchbook, I wanted to get back into digital drawing. Mainly for the practical reason that I don’t have to get out any drawing stuff, but can start drawing immediately when the baby takes a nap and I don’t want to get up ๐Ÿ˜†

My first 2 quick doodles in ibisPaint X. Not really meant to be shared but what the heck.

I’ve had ibisPaint X on my phone for months (thanks to my cool and creative niece who recommended it โค๏ธ) but never really got started until now.

A very random and late Valentine’s Day doodle that I shared on Instagram…
Testing out a new drawing style with a doggo doodle! When I don’t know what to draw I go for cats and dogs, food things or people. And at the moment a lot of babies ๐Ÿ˜„

I had a cheap stylus which so far has been okay to use, but I’ve been drawing so much that it already needs replacing. I could just use my finger to draw but I find that very difficult ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

What I think about ibisPaint X so far

I’m really liking the airbrush tools, and generally find the drawing tools in the app easy to use. Especially the handy switch between brush and eraser and the zoom and rotate functions. It’s also very neat to be able to make a process video of a drawing.

Orange airbrush vibes ๐Ÿงก

I should mention I quickly decided to pay for the ad-free version of the app to also get access to more brush options. Which you obviously don’t have to do, but I don’t regret.

I’m having lots of fun playing around with textures and colours. Actually spending time drawing that I could be napping or doing other useful things!

If you draw, do you use drawing apps for your phone/tablet or prefer working on paper – or maybe on a computer with a larger screen? You’re welcome to share in the comments, thanks for following along! More drawings to come!

Learning to draw in ibisPaint X