Hedgerow chintz – a peek at my design process

During the autumn school holidays we spent a week on the island of Texel. I was inspired by the beauty of the island. From our holiday home we looked out over sheep pastures, and we went on lots of outings to the beach and to various farms. I had one morning to myself, first drinking in the sunlight and quiet, and then I went outside to the hedge around our property.

What fascinated me was the way all the different plants were growing together, and I picked different twigs and brought them inside to draw. Here are a few pictures of the design process.

I wanted to keep the feeling of the different plants intertwined, and used the trellis pattern as a base to arrange the different twigs. This also gives a design a nice flow, which is important for a repeating pattern, especially one used on wallpaper, which needs both interest and a place for the eye to rest.

Using the fishnet / ogee shape, I arranged the twigs and then was also able to bend them slightly while drawing to make them curve how I wanted them. As I sketched the design, I could also pay attention to the overlaps of the different leaves and do some initial layout work to make the design flow well.

Once all the leaves were sketched with pencil I turned to the computer. First scanning the sketches, then arranging them in an overall pattern, printing the pattern draft out and then tracing them with a fine black pen. During this stage of the process I also did some clean-up: deciding which leaves should overlap others and where things needed to be deleted or added.

Finally, I again scanned my ink drawing and digitalised and vectorised it. I could then do some more line clean-up, and also colour the design. I used the original photo of the leaves to get realistic looking greens.

I love it when a design just unfolds, when I take the time to be quiet and then an idea comes and it just flows easily. I‘ve entered this design into this week’s spoonflower contest „chintz“, and it will soon be available on wallpaper and fabric.

karin

I'm a fabric designer fascinated with the intricacies of seamless repeats. I enjoy creating vector designs as well as working with linoprint and watercolour. I've lived in 5 countries and love to use special places and memories in my designs.

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