Spoonflower design challenge:  Surface Pattern design with Watercolor Seashells

Spoonflower design challenge: Surface Pattern design with Watercolor Seashells

One of the goals I set for myself this year is to get serious about surface pattern design and create a presence on some of the print on demand sites.  Spoonflower a great fabric and wallpaper (and home good) artist focused company.  I have used them in the past to print some photos on fabric and their quality is super.   They also have a great design challenge program each week where you can see how your patterns compare and resonate with people.   I decided to enter their seashell challenge and got to work. 
Oh My Gouache! Playing with Gouache and Ink

Oh My Gouache! Playing with Gouache and Ink

After doing the watercolor and ink florals in February, I wanted to continue exploring pen and ink . 

With Spring coming, I was ready for flowers and lots of color

I got out my gouache!

Gouache is an Opaque watercolor paint. With traditional watercolor, the paint is transparent allowing the paper or paint underneath to be seen.  After drying, both will reactivate when water is added.  Gouache can be transparent like watercolors with enough water added so it gives you a lot of flexibility!

Here is a quick comparison 

Traditional watercolor is on the left, with Gouache on the right in similar colorways.  The Gouache can be transparent like the watercolor but is much more vibrant and opaque in the top of the swatch at full strength. 


Watercolor Agapanthas and Ink with watercolor palette and Floral book with photo of agapanthas

Watercolor and Ink Florals- Finding New Techniques

I am really trying to take time this year to take classes and learning new things.  While some are stand alone paid courses and others are quick online free tutorials, I am finding my Skillshare membership has the most value for money for art and tech courses. (And I have no affiliation with them).  

Back in February, I saw Ohn Mar Win's course "Organic Expressive Florals with Watercolor and Ink" and put it in my queue.  I love following her Instagram feed with fresh illustrations and unique sketchbooks while using all sorts mixed media.  I received a Winsor & Newton Calligraphy set and a Phaidon Flower Color Guide for my Birthday in January; I was ready!