Painted Daisies, Take 1

Another week, another fabric design challenge…  Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics are sponsoring the Fabric8 contest.  The challenge is to create a modern fabric design that evokes the style of pen & ink drawings colored with watercolor paints.  This isn’t my usual style, so I thought it would be a good challenge to tackle to stretch myself.

When I think of modern fabrics, I think of bright colors and bold styles–again, not exactly what I’d picture for pen and ink drawings colored with watercolors.  So, anyway, here’s my interpretation of the theme.

I started in Adobe Illustrator and drew some daisies using  “pen and ink”.

I copied the daisies into Photoshop (each to its own layer).  Using a watercolor brush, I started painting the flowers.

I figured I’d better limit my colors, so I picked pink, orange and yellow for the daisies.

Here’s a version with them all painted.


Here’s the same version with some of the daisies unpainted.

I like the version with the unpainted flowers, but I wanted to have a watercolor background, and I don’t like the effect with a painted background.


On a separate layer in Photoshop, I created a background blending blues and purples with a watercolor brush.


After playing around with the placement and colors of the flowers, here’s the final pattern.


And here it is in repeat.

I like it, but I’m not crazy about the design–more work to do…

Kathleen Kelly: I love daisies.
Joe Fox: You told me.
Kathleen Kelly: They’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?
–Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in
You’ve Got Mail