Monday, 1 October 2012

From sketches to finished pattern

We've just come to the end of the first module of the art and business of surface pattern design ecourse and I'm already looking forward to starting module 2 in November. Module 1 was all about finding inspiration, mark making, creating motifs, understanding pattern design, homing in on our own style, colour choices plus loads more. I've loved every minute of this course and have met (virtually) so many lovely inspiring people from all over the world. One of the things I've enjoyed most is turning my own sketches into patterns so I thought I'd share a few pictures showing the stages from scanning my original drawings through to a completed pattern.

Scanned motifs from my sketchbook.

This is a physical box repeat tile I created by printing my motifs in varying scale and doing lots of measurements to ensure the correct positions to work as a repeating pattern.

Which I later scanned to check it worked... and to my astonishment it did!  I discovered playing around with cut out motifs and re-positioning them is a great way to come up with new pattern combinations.

A couple more weeks into my course we started looking at colour and various ways to come up with new  colour palettes. I chose a colour combination of navy blue, mustard and greys for my motifs, and digitally coloured them.

After playing around with positioning and scale here's my finished placement pattern.


  1. Well Nicky I think that is fabulous, what a great result from working through the first module. xxx

  2. Hi Nicky - interesting to see your 'process' - and I know what a lot of work blog posts like this can involve!

    I'm looking forward to Module 2 as well but I need all the time I can get in between modules to make my embryonic ideas into fully fledged patterns and their coodinates!

    I'm struggling with finding my 'Signitate Style' and hoping that gathering my 'presentation boards' together on pinterest may give me some clues. Do you feel you've found yours? Or maybe you had already defined it in your stationery designs?

    1. Hi Judy,

      Thanks for visiting! I could do with getting a few more patterns to add to my very small collection to get a bit of a head start on module 2.

      I think I had already found my signature style without realising it. I found by doing the 'pattern love moodboard' exercise confirmed the patterns I'm drawn to and would have in my home. I see them as simplistic, contemporary and timeless but others may see them differently. I think your patterns are recognisably you, and just because you haven't thought of a name yet for your style doesn't mean you haven't got a style. Some words I would use to describe your signature style are delicate florals, cottage kitchen/garden and classic.

      I've mainly designed straight onto the computer in the past and now I'm loving creating patterns from my original sketches, so I'll probably mix both and I'm sure my style will change as I go along.