Working in the past as an art director for a local children’s publisher, I had the lucky opportunity to work with a number of the talented illustrators represented by the Lilla Rogers Studio. When her Global Talent Search competition was announced, I decided to try my hand at becoming one of those illustrators. Hey, what have I got to lose!
The first assignment was to create a 5” x 7” journal cover with the theme of "retro playground". I started by noodling in my sketch book. My train of thought went to jungle animals and fun hand lettering. The monkeys were speaking to me so I decided to use them in all my motifs.
I wanted the lettering to be bouncy and friendly to match my motifs. To accomplish this, I played with my letterforms to make the vertical bars go from thick to thin and gave most of the letters crescent moon shaped serifs. As I designed the words and phrases, I played with the position of the letters to nest them and also make them bounce off each other.
Next I refined my sketches by drawing them on tracing paper. To make the lines easy to see, I inked over them. I scanned these sketches to put together a a rough grayscale layout for the journal cover in PhotoShop.
Then I taped the sketches onto artboards and transferred the linework onto the boards. Now came the fun part of painting them up with gouache!
From there, I scanned all the painted boards and did touch up in PhotoShop making sure all my colors were flat and consistent over all the motifs.
Now for the line work. I taped transparent, multi-medium, dura-lene film over my painted art boards then used a small brush and gouache to paint the outlines around the motifs. These I scanned separately and refined in PhotoShop.
To finalize the motifs, I combined the linework and the colored motifs as separate layers into one PhotoShop file.
I composed all the pieces into my final layout, re-read the submission guidelines to make sure I did everything right, and then with a little trepidation, hit the submit button.
Even if I don’t make it into the next round, I was happy to go through the experience of creating these joyful motifs. Perhaps they can be used in a future pattern design. I also learned how much I love creating and painting my own letterforms!
Do you have surface
pattern design related news, information, or tips to share? We want to hear from you!