Camping and Patterns

creating patterns while campingI think I have mentioned in another blog post that I blue floral with hearts repeating patternalways travel with my "tools". Well, it is camping season here in Manitoba, and that means we are gone 50% of the time from our home, and we travel in our "home away from home", our camper. We are surrounded by nature when we are out. This last weekend I was possessed to use my water-colours in creating arrangements inspired by my environment at the time. This was great as I could practice making good patterns that I could repeat and use in my surface pattern design for art licensing. "What does that mean?" you may be asking. Well surface pattern designs are the patterns you see everywhere, from fabric to napkins, dishes to blankets, and on goods too numerous to mention. Though the patterns may be anything from a simple polka dot to an elaborate damask pattern, there is a trick to making them work, and I can tell you, it is not as easy as it looks! But it is so much fun!

I like the way many of these worked out, though there are still hours to go before I can use them (for one thing, I just did these experiments with a photo of the pattern, and of course I would scan them for the final product!). I particularly like this blue floral with hearts! I can see myself painting many more of these now that I see how they have worked out. Now, one of the fun things about being a graphic artist, and knowing how to use Photoshop and such, I was able to check out different color ways for this pattern:

color way #2 for floral

color way #1 for floral

I LOVE this magenta and teal version! This floral pattern was a straight repeat, meaning it is simply copied and moved over without flipping. It still takes plenty of work to balance the composition so that when it is repeated there are no overly busy areas or spots that seem like a hole.

This elaborate brush marks pattern is an example of flipping the pattern for the repeat. If it was flipped and repeated more, those square of darker marks in the corners would be double in size to help balance light and dark. The second picture illustrates the effect. As a large repeating pattern you can see the "checkered effect" it creates with the light and dark areas. This would be a great complement to a floral as a co-ordinate.

My other two experiments are here and I also like the way these are going.


It's so fun to be an artist! I do something new every day! Stay tuned for more on my processes! I see a co-ordinates set about to be born ... do you?


  • Love these patterns. I found you on Skillshare today!! I love your style. I can’t wait to take more classes.

  • Your still amazing… your ideas….

  • Love it!


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