Monday, 13 February 2012

Repeating Patterns and Hot Cross Bunnies

Last week I had reached the stage of painting one block of the ‘fleur de lys’ repeating pattern I had designed and intended to place the blocks side by side to make up the complete pattern.

But I found that my painting was too inaccurate to match up properly, not surprising really since accuracy is not my strongest point! I think that tracing the pattern several times for the repeats, and finally tracing it on to the watercolour paper on my lightbox, meant that any tiny discrepancies had been magnified each time, even though it looked fine to the naked eye.  Tracing film can be tricky to work with in any case because of its tendency to stretch if it becomes at all damp – even the moisture from one’s skin can distort it!

All was not lost though – I went back to the ‘Victorian Bathroom’ that I posted last week and coloured it digitally, matching the colours with my painting and then filling in the background in various colours. It took a very long time but I ended up quite pleased with it.

When I used to screenprint, one of the things I loved about it is that you can use one stencil to print a design in as many different colour-ways as you can think of! And it’s somewhat the same with using the computer to colour a design; I’ve made a few different colour combinations so far but the possibilities are endless!

So here are a few of the products I’ve created so far –

And there are plenty more here!

I could go on creating different colour schemes with this one design for months to come! But I’d probably get bored after a bit so I’ll put that on the back burner and come back to it later.

I’m going to be a bit short of time this week because of a hospital appointment so, rather than start a completely new design, I’ll be ‘refurbishing’ an old one, my 'Easter Bunnies'.

I’m not sure what to make of this card design. It’s been popular among my friends and the Portsmouth Cathedral shop ordered some, but it hasn’t sold well online. I’ve always been unhappy with the shape of the Easter Egg and also the fact that the original was too small to enlarge well so the watercolour pencil outlines look a bit fuzzy.

Also, I've discovered that anyone who isn't familiar with UK Easter fare probably won't understand the pun!

So I hope I can make some improvements to show you next week -


Country Mouse Studio said...

That repeating pattern is impressive and not something I'm going to try. It makes beautiful items. I don't know why those cute bunnies don't sell well online could it be the keywords? Sometimes I've changed words or categories around and it seems to get noticed more.

Krysti said...

I like the repeating design! I think it turned out well in the end in spite of the difficulties! :D

As for the bunnies, I agree with Country Mouse Studio about tweaking the keywords. We're permitted up to 40 keywords now, with 10 "power words," but I know I don't always use these effectively, although I do try.

You might also try updating the product descriptions to include an explanation of the pun. Aside from that, creating as many varied items as possible using this design, (and making sure to individualize titles, keyword sets, and descriptions) might also gain this design a wider audience.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you both for your comments and suggestions.

Carole, I think I'm probably making heavy weather of the repeating patterns, doing some of it the old fashioned way and some of it digitally. It's a learning process and when I've discovered the quickest and easiest way to do it, I'll let you know so that you can do some too!

Krysti - thank you for your suggestions. I think I'll still see if I can improve on the design itself but I'll take up your ideas as well and see what happens.

Next week I'll explain the pun for anyone who doesn't get it :)

jane maday said...

Thanks for visiting my blog again, Judy! I hope you like your new watercolor crayons. I can see that the bunny design might not go over so well in the States. We have Hot Cross Buns here, but Americans don't tend to use the word "cross" to mean fed up. (I'm British, but I live in the US so I speak both languages!)

Loubee said...

your repeating pattern is good. I really love your bunnies, the shape is fine, they are so cute!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jane - I really enjoy your blog!

I realised, belately, that Hot Cross Buns aren't eaten worldwide but I didn't know about the use of the word 'cross'! The two things together probably account for some of the lack of interest - but I need to make bigger version of the bunnies for the SendaSmile site in any case so I'll take the opportunity to make the egg a better shape.

I'm looking forward to trying my new crayons soon!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Loubee - thank you for visiting and I'm pleased you like my bunnies.

I see from your blog that you are trying out pastels and that interest me a lot as they are my favourite medium - though I don't use them much for greeting card design.

Jean said...

The repeating pattern is impressive. I love it on the pillow. A very classy look.

Your bunnies are very cute. Hot Cross Buns are well known here in least the bread kind.:)

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jean - thank you for your comment and I'm glad you like the pillow. It's great fun to 'create' household items like that!

And thanks, too, for the info on Hot Cross Buns. I was beginning to think it was just a UK tradition.

Betsy Grant said...

I love the pillowcase and place mat, and the hot cross bunnies is such a fun and funny idea!

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Betsy :)

Crystal said...

Love the pattern Judy and the bunnies are just adorable! :-)

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Crystal :)

All these kind comments about the bunnies are making me wonder whether my new version will actually be an improvement?