For my final illustration project I wanted to do more surface design and create another repeating pattern collection. My last collection included very detailed elements so I wanted to go more loose and abstract here. I wanted a fairly neutral and natural color scheme and was envisioning patterns that could be used on a variety of things in a kitchen area. I thought herb plants would fit this description well so I picked 6 herbs to use in my hero pattern: oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, and cilantro. Then I painted each plant with watercolor.

To compliment the herbs, I made a few different marks with my paint brush with the colors in the plant paintings to use to make more abstract support patterns. I scanned all of my paintings, removed the backgrounds in Photoshop, and constructed the pattern swatches in Illustrator.

To select background colors for my swatches, I just pulled a bunch of color options from the designs in the hero pattern’s elements to ensure the colors would be consistent and cohesive throughout. Then came the hard part; I had to pick which colors worked best for each pattern individually as well as across all the patterns together as a collection.

I selected a background color for each pattern and began placing them on mock ups to show them in the environment I imagined them being used.

I had a hard time creating mock ups for a few reasons. For one thing, I could not find many free kitchen mock ups that worked how I needed them to online. I ended up just using photos of the things I wanted to put my patterns on for all but one of the mock ups. I also struggled finding a way to make my patterns appear to be wrapped around the cylinder shape of the jars in one of my mock ups rather than just a flat pattern filling the shape of the jar. I tried many different strategies and tools to achieve this effect, but with some assistance I found a way to form the patterns to the round shape better.

I always find surface design and creating patterns to be a fun and rewarding process. It is exciting being able to make something that can be turned into so many different products and textiles.