Pattern Process

To create the elements that make up my patterns, I use a wide range of techniques. Pencil sketching, doodling, painting, printing, markers, pastels, scraping, scattering, splattering, photography and scanning. My most satisfying designs usually begin with some kind of organic, artistic process. Here are a number of examples.

Scratch and Scrape Textures

In my ongoing hunt for unique texture possibilities, I decided to experiment with some scratchboard, or scraperboard as it’s known in the UK. It’s a heavy foil-coated cardboard with a scratchable matt-black top layer and is generally used to craft intricate and laborious metallic engravings.

Alternatively, you can drop it and scrape it (and your knees) around on the floor and up the walls, attack it with sandpaper and maybe even a fork. This enjoyably experimental destruction created an unusual variety of ‘scratch and scrape’ abstract textures.

I then digitised the boards to create a set of forty black and white ‘scratch & scrape’ vector textures. These are available to buy from Adobe Stock.

The following thumbnails show the full variety of textures.

The following are close-up details of a few of the images.

These textures are perfect for adding scratchy damage effects to your design or illustration.

They also make it easy to create strikingly grungy abstract backgrounds.

Create unusual and unique abstract images by combining, colourising, filling and blending.

I had a lot of fun creating this texture pack and the final results were definitely worth the effort.

Digital Collage Experiments

I’ve been drawing, painting, tearing and scanning a variety of textures to make digital collages.

Preparation materials for digital collage experiments - Quirky Mundo
Preparation Materials for Digital Collage

I spent a long time retouching scanned torn paper, then I layered and arranged them into colourful collage backgrounds like this.

Magenta torn paper striped collage - Quirky Mundo
Magenta Torn-Paper Striped Collage

I’m looking forward to experimenting with some more varied colour combinations now I’ve thoroughly explored the monochrome palette options. These will be for sale within my stock image offerings.

Printable Craft Papers

I opened an etsy shop to sell my patterns as printable craft papers. It’s a surprisingly time consuming process but I figure once each listing is up there it’s done and can be used repeatedly in the future. Here’s an example.

Printable craft papers full set preview - Quirky Mundo
Printable Craft Papers – Full Set Preview
Concentric Polka printable papers first 4 colours - Quirky Mundo
Concentric Polka Printable Papers – First Four Colours
Concentric Polka printable papers second 4 colours - Quirky Mundo
Concentric Polka Printable Papers – Second Four Colours
Concentric Polka printable papers third 4 colours - Quirky Mundo
Concentric Polka Printable Papers – Third Four colours

Hand-Drawn to Vector

I’ve been going through some more of my older hand-drawn patterns and making vector versions of them. It is pretty time consuming but I really like the results.

Hand drawn to vector versions of a lime and blue floral pattern
Hand-Drawn and Vector Versions of a Lime and Blue Floral Pattern

I love the pattern making tools in the latest version of adobe Illustrator, they are an efficient way to create complicated and accurate pattern repeats. I’m having a hell of a time getting the pattern tiles not to explode when the file is saved in a legacy version though. Stock agencies like Shutterstock want the file saved as an Illustrator 10 eps so it’s a problem I need to solve. I have some ideas on how to do that which will keep me busy.

I think this one will be good as a fabric pattern too so it will eventually end up on my Spoonflower collection too.

Oodles of Doodles

One of the fun things about going down the stock image route is that I can get out all my old illustration experiments. I’ve always had problems settling on one creative style so there are a few of them. Here’s a pattern I made from a loose doodle style made with watercolour and fine liners. I like the light-hearted brightness of this one.

Doodle pattern using watercolour and fine liner
Doodle Pattern Using Watercolour and Fine Liner

Tasty Textures

As part of my stock selling mission I’ve decided to include textures in my portfolio. I have a long habit of scanning anything I think might make an interesting texture and then tinkering with it in Photoshop. This week I have mostly been making two-toned lino textures.

These are for sale on Shutterstock and the red one has already had some downloads which is an exciting start. More textures to come soon…

Coloured lino print background textures
Coloured Lino Print Background Textures

Inverted

Here’s an inverted version of the lino textured concentric circle pattern.

Lino rings turquoise inverted
Lino rings turquoise inverted

It’s my definition of inverted because the white on blue version came first but it could be¬†argued that this is the positive version really.

I love the scanned lino print texture. I printed multiple versions of an uncut A4 lino sheet to get an authentic and convincing effect.