I am finally back to the blog after a few weeks of absence. And I am really excited because I have made a whole new collection of prints.
You may remember my first collection Flying Leaves. It was made of 9 prints with hero prints, secondary prints and blender prints. Although the prints had different colours, sizes and patterns, I can now say that it did not make a complete collection because of the lack of diversity in motifs and scales. It does not really matter in itself but I really wanted to challenge myself by creating a more complete collection.
During the last few weeks, I have worked a lot on the process of creating a full collection. I will develop this process in more details in my next post. I followed the process step by step and tried to add more diversity with regards to the style, shapes and colours. And today, I’m glad to present you Paris Botanical Garden, a rich collection of floral motifs!
This collection is inspired by a walk I had in the Botanical Garden in Paris. I was visiting my parents in May. It was a lovely day, the kids were not there so we decided to wander in Paris. It is such a lovely city and the relatively small size of its center makes it easy to walk and go past some of its jewels. We started by the Botanical Garden. The sun was shining and illuminating the alleys bordered with farandoles of flowers and plants. The rose garden was offering a delicate smell to the visitors. The poppies were dancing under the sunrays.
The garden and the shapes, colours and smells it offered to my senses, left a deep impression on me. I took some pictures and later decided I would make a collection inspired by this walk.
From the photos I collected, I made the following moodboard:
The aim of a moodboard is to collect pictures to support the development of a collection. It is where the designer gathers his/her inspiration and it is used along the whole process of development. The pictures can represent any object, animal or plant but also drawings from other artists or colourful images to inspire a colour palette.
The moodboard I made for this collection is particular. I would say it is incomplete because the pictures in it all come from one same source: the photos I took from the garden. The colour palette is directly extracted from the photos. The reason is that for this exercice I wanted to work on my personal drawing style and interpret the pictures in my own way.
As I said, I wanted to test my personal drawing style. I started sketching the flowers and plants from the moodboard. Then I digitised the drawings and vectorised them in Illustrator. I coloured the different elements using the colour palette from the moodboard. Finally I put them altogether and arranged them to make my pattern tile.
The following picture represents the repeating pattern with the initial colours.
Secondary and blender prints
I created 2 secondary prints. For the first one, I used a few elements from the hero print (small flowers without the stems) and arranged them by groups leaving some negative space to have a less dense pattern. For the second one, I made a geometric shape based on the succulent from the moodboard. It results in a very different style, much less organic. The consistency with the other patterns of the collection will be ensured by the same choice of colours.
I created 2 blender prints. The patterns are more basic. The first one is inspired by the classic polka dots where the dots are replaced by the small flowers. The second one is again inspired by the leaves of the succulent. The leaves are hand drawn to give a more organic effect and are aligned. It results in a very dense pattern.
Once the patterns are designed, the next important step is to colour them.
As I said, choosing the colours is very important in the creation of a pattern. A very basic pattern can get all its character from the choice of the colours. A more complex pattern can become more subtle by playing with colours and contrasts. It may look simple but I find it very difficult and in the same time exciting because this is the step where the pattern finally comes to life.
I must admit that I spent a lot of time working on the colours. There are so many directions you can take, so many possibilities. During this exercice I was completely free to choose whatever colour I wanted. Indeed, there was no reference to colours in my moodboard apart from the original colours. This made the work even more complicated for me which is the reason why it took so much time. At some point, I was completely lost and desperate! For my next pattern, I will work on the colour from the beginning in the moodboard, I promise!
The initial palette was very realistic and fresh but I found that it did not result in a very eye-catching pattern. I spent a lot of time to find colours I liked and create colour palettes which would give more character to the pattern and make it more attractive.
I finally opted for 2 colour palettes presented below:
As you can see, they are pretty simple. They are made of a small number of colours:
- 2 dominant colours: gold and blue for the first one and peach and blue for the second;
- gradient colours from these 2 dominant colours (Note that I haven’t put all of them in the picture above).
The reason why I chose 2 dominant colours is that I found the pattern pretty heavy with many different elements. I wanted to lighten it by using less colours. I used the gradient colours to add contrast.
The use of a small number of colours gives a particular style to the collection. This is the choice I made for this collection but it is completely possible to use more colours to get a different style.
The choice of the colour is very important but not only! How they are used within the pattern is also an essential step to work on. Using the same colours but with a different order can result in very different effects. To help me colour my patterns, I used a very powerful tool within Illustrator, the Recolor Artwork tool. It suggests colour combinations using a predefined set of colours. I was so excited with the output that I finally decided to create 2 colour options for each print.
I think I’ve told you enough on my development process. It is now time to discover the collection. Tada!
I’m going to be quiet here and let you contemplate…
(Note that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them).
What do you think of this new collection? Any pattern or colour way that you prefer? Please, leave your comments below!