Hey everyone! So I thought I'd return with a 'My Process This Week' that I decided to document from last week. I'd just got back from visiting my parents in Coventry. Seeing my mum's jungle of a home, sharing the spare bedroom with a multitude of cacti and succulents always renews my feelings of love to those little desert plants and well, plants in general.
I've always been terrible at looking after plants, so my weird obsession with them is as much of a surprise to me as anyone really, and I've somehow managed to remember to water my plants enough to keep them out of the abyss, so far.
So with the watery little things on my mind, and a tupperware box of cuttings from mum in my hands, I set to work on a pattern inspired by my new green friends. I've wanted to do a pattern for a while, and my cacti and succulent obsession seemed like a good subject matter.
To begin with I sketched out my planties. I like to keep things quite flat and minimal so I didn't add a huge amount of detail. I've also come to find that sometimes detail looks much better when added 'spontaneously' rather than painstainkingly marking where you will paint each bit of detail. This works particularly well with gouache, which is one of my favourite mediums: it lets you layer really well without showing the colour underneath through.
Next, I painted them in with gouache. I was trying to keep to a relatively minimal colour palette, so I went with pink and green, which I have been loving at the moment. One thing I love about being an Illustrator and doing work for your own enjoyment is playing with colour. Just because Cacti are green, doesn't mean you have to paint them that way. I took a lot of artistic license here with colour, as you can see. Also, like I mentioned before, I added the detail to the inner-left succulent afterwards & it tends to look a bit more natural. It took a lot of time to trust myself not to mess it up, but it definitely works better.
Then I scanned the images in, cleared up any pencil marks, and fiddled with the colour a little to get them as bright and 'cohesive' a colour palette as possible. Then it was just a case of artfully arranging them into a pattern. I could have worked out how they would fit as a tile and repeat the tile, but I mostly just wanted to fiddle with them until they fit together nicely. If I make anything bigger than a4 with them I will probably make a repeating tile of them instead.
Then I simply fitted the pattern onto a a4 page with a little border and printed it to see how it printed. All Done!
I hope you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes. Like I've said many-a-time, I believe that creatives need to share and support eachother more, so I like to share my process on here. If you want to see more posts check out my My Process This Week tag.