Watercolour Pattern by hand

Friday, April 17, 2015

I'm back today with a pretty floral pattern I created, by hand! I've really been enjoying exploring pattern design (you can check out a great course on Creativebug) but I'm not a huge fan of spending ages on the computer and I'm still not so keen on the very flat and lifeless look you get with Illustrator (or maybe I just don't know enough yet!). Luckily it's not too tricky to create patterns by hand, you can see how to create a repeating pattern tile here. I think it's probably a good idea to get used to just creating patterns by hand anyway before you dive into the computer, that's my excuse anyway. I love the simple tools of paper and paint!

Anyway, I was inspired by the little floral motifs on the 90th Birthday Hand-Lettered card I made a couple of posts back. I thought they would make a cute pattern! I love ditsy florals and Forget-me-nots are one of my favourite flowers.

So I sketched out the pattern in pencil first and made my repeating tile. Then I outlined it in black pen, so it was easier to trace over. I used a big sheet of paper and traced the design lightly in pencil, I didn't want too many pencil marks.

Then I just started colouring in the elements, starting with the roses. It looks like a lot of work but surprisingly it didn't take that long!

Then I added the basic shape of the forget-me-nots. There's something very therapeutic about colouring a pattern by hand. Seeing it emerge from the white paper is quite thrilling!

 Then all the foliage was added. You do have to make sure the watercolour is dry before you start the next colour, you don't want to smudge your design!

Then I painted in the darker detail on the roses and it really came to life! Very satisfying. This would make such a cute wrapping paper, cover for a notebook or even a cotton fabric!

Here's the full finished pattern. I love how it turned out! I can't wait to do another but I've some commission work to do first.

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a great weekend! We're still enjoying dry, sunny weather here in Ireland, I'm not sure where the April showers went to!! : )


  1. Love forget-me-nots, too, Clare, and your floral pattern here is just darling!

  2. Love your patterns, Clare. Thanks for sharing it......Linda E.

  3. I love the pattern, really pretty. God bless the patience you have, I wish I had an ounce of it, lol. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. You have really inspired me to make some repeat patterns. Thanks for showing us this.


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