This week Spoonflower is having a design challenge on Instagram, using different media. Every day, you create a design in the designated medium, like ink, paint, pencil, etc.

I do love me some good art supplies, and I just went and dropped a big chunk of change on some traditional media this morning, because, art supplies! But for this challenge, I’m taking the medium into digital format and seeing how closely I can emulate and push traditional results.

I’m working in Procreate on the iPad, (and Photoshop/Illustrator after that) and have a bunch of different brushes for different traditional (and not so) media, and am playing!

This year I’m trying to work smarter, and each piece of art I create has to fill several roles. Other than as excellent art therapy for myself, of course, but also be applied to a repeat design for my Spoonflower shop, saved out as usable/proper resolution files for my agent for licensing, and any other application I can use it for like Society 6, Red Bubble, etc. Make that art go out there and work hard for me is my goal.

Monday’s design theme was Paint.
Seeing as the licensing art world is always hungry for more, more, and more art, I did double duty and created this piece that could be used for things like cards, bags, banners, or a repeat for wrapping paper, fabric, and even wallpaper.

One of the methods I use is that I usually start with a sketch, either in pencil in my sketchbook, or digitally on my iPad, then take it into Procreate and start drawing in layers.
Since Procreate is limited with the number of layers you can get (depending on file size and resolution- and I work high res so it can go out to my agent seamlessly- once I have the elements basically done, I’ll then shoot the file over to Dropbox, then grab it on my desktop computer and take it into Photoshop and finish any painting, additional layers of elements, grunge, and painty bits. So that’s where I’d consider this piece as now done, yasss!

painted Valentine heart

But! Depending on what it’s for, it can be either finished and saved out at this point, or if it’s something like a fabric repeat, I’ll then break the art apart into separate elements saved as separate Photoshop files, then bring them into Illustrator to create a repeat.
So that’s what I did here. (Partly cut off to avoid art theft- yup! It happens!)

I have my own method of creating repeats, and, I don’t use the automated tools built into Illustrator and other programs, I don’t even know how they work! I like to create my repeats more organically/less calculated and less regulated.
So you can kinda see how that works here.


Whatever motifs are on the top must match up on the bottom, and same for left to right.

Moving along, the next theme was Pen & Ink.


I used a Technical Pen brush in Procreate to draw the flowers, and branches, and have a brush that makes inky, painty splats and dots, so used quite a few brushes to get the effect I wanted. Then I painted the shapes with a variety of watercoloury, inky brushes in shades of yummy indigo, turquoise, and blues.
Since this piece can’t really stand alone as a feature piece of art, I just created it for making a repeat. At this point anyway!

The next piece theme is Pencil. You know I love coloured pencils. So I drew pencils with digital pencils. With thanks to my best husband in the world for the idea, he’s clever like that!  


“Glitter” is a colour, right?

Tomorrow’s theme is “Vector” which if you’re not a graphic designer in some way you’re probably like, what? It’s a form of digital drawing, usually in a program like Illustrator, to create shapes and art that is scaleable to any size without loss of quality. You know how when you blow up a photo (aka a “raster” image) really huge and it gets all jagged and pixelly? Well, with vector art, that doesn’t happen, because each part is made of live shapes and effects so you can resize to your heart’s content.
Not quite sure what I’m going to do with that theme yet, hm!

Wanna shop these designs? Find them right here in my Spoonflower shop!

With much love and gratitude as always!!

xoC