Repeat repeat repeat!

I’ve been thinking about making a repeat pattern for a while, but was unsure where to start. The trick it seems is you need to do two designs then combine them. ILearnt how do it here. I wanted an ornate pattern of kingfishers and foliage, I thought it would be tricky getting it lined up perfectly at the end. Because I use watercolour the paper will stretch as the paint goes on. However I knew I could use my old Photoshop skills to tweak it if necessary.
This illustration was a bit of a journey as you’ll see I had to abandon the first effort because I made a mistake with the permanent rose, it was too much and drowned out the kingfishers head. so I started again…. groan!
Drawing in progress fro a kingfisher repeat pattern
This was the first drawing and at the time I was happy with the design, but upon reflection I wasn’t sure about the position of the kingfishers head!
watercolour in progress of a kingfisher  repeat pattern
I started the painting and all is going well, the blue on the kingfisher is mostly magnesium blue which is a lovely hue.
kingfisher watercolour repeat design
Then Disaster! I added the permanent rose in the cloud shape in the background. In my mind’s eye this was the perfect colour,I was to strong and it is pretty much the same tone as the kingfisher so it all stated to look a bit like on big splurge. I went a bit further with this design adding a green background but the damage had been done! So I started again, This time with a different design. I thing I’ll come back to this design as I liked the meandering foliage.
kingfisher reapet design in progress
This is the early stages of the second attempt, I kept it much more geometric this time.
kingfisher watercolour repaet design in progress
This time paying much more attention to the harmony of the colours!
kingfisher repeating pattern
And the finished illustration That I did have to tweak in Photoshop to tidy up the repeating
You can see it in all its glory as my twitter background or her on my website
images © Daniel Mackie
Check out Daniel’s illustration portfolio

2 thoughts on “Repeat repeat repeat!

  1. Well done for persevering Daniel, repeats are tricky and thats coming from a textile designer lol There’s a great function in Photoshop called offset which makes the process a lot easier to work out. You might find scanning a b/w into photoshop and then offsetting it and printing out, a good way to get your initial repeat sorted. Happy designing

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