Fox in a Meadow Illustration

Drawing foxes is probably one of my favourite things to draw – maybe that’s because I haven’t tried drawing many other animals yet…. or maybe it’s because I find foxes are just so beautiful! As part of a two week post everyday Instagram challenge I posted my ‘Fox in a Meadow’ illustration (she could do with a name) with two backgrounds, white and black. Here they are:

Black seems to be the most popular colour choice – I can see why, the colours really stand out against the strong black background. The white is lovely and ‘fresh’ though.

I used the Procreate app to draw this and Procreate has an awesome function where it records every thing you do and replays it as a time lapse. Hours and hours of drawing squished into 44 lovely little seconds.

Any ideas for what name might suit her? πŸ˜†πŸ¦Š

I hope you’ve enjoyed this illustration of Esmeralda Fox (or Mabel Fox… or neither, I don’t know I’m just throwing ideas out there). I’m entering her into a Spoonflower tea towel competition which is open for voting from Thursday 27th September and even if she doesn’t make it into the top 25 or 50 or whatever I’ll still be proud of her 😍

Until next time x

5 Steps to Choosing Colours for your Project

Choosing the ‘right’ colours for your art project (whatever project that may be) can sometimes be the hardest part of the project. Sometimes there are no ‘right’ colours and you are left with too many options to decide between and end up lost in a rainbow coloured limbo…

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Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

I’ve been researching colour (casual, like) and this blog post is my way of putting the multi-coloured contents of my brain into something nice and simple and ordered. Lets apply a bit of colour theory to something practical. Start by thinking about your ‘project’ – be it a logo, fabric surface pattern design, advert, or art for your bedroom wall.

Step 1 – The Who and What: First you need to think about the who and what. If you don’t have a who and what yet then… there’s no time like the present to figure it out!

  • Your target audience. Who is your project going to be aimed for? What sort of colours are they drawn to? Are they likely to be attracted to bold, bright and cheerful colours, or something softer? Don’t forget different age groups react to colour combinations differently.
  • What is your project for? A spa, for example, will probably benefit more from calmer colours with a more muted tone. Be as specific as you can – if you are designing a fabric pattern then try and have a purpose in mind. Are you envisioning that your fabric will be used on children’s bedding or more grown up clothing? Keep in mind that if you are creating something to go with an existing brand then you’ll have to consider that brands colours/theme.

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Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

Step 2 – Tea and Science: Okay that’s great. Next step is to get a cup of tea* and think about colour psychology. This great little colour wheel image is from a good blog post on Creative Bloq and I found it on Pinterest when I searched for colour psychology:

Colour Association

*tea is completely optional. 

Its a pretty simple colour chart so if you want to dive deeper I recommend looking into colour psychology.

Step 3 – Inspiration gathering: With all this in mind go and find some colour palette inspiration. Put yourself into the mind of you target audience and see what you are drawn to. Pinterest is obviously awesome for this (although I’ll admit now that I am a Pinterest addict) but there’s also books, existing artwork, the garden, life in general or whatever else floats your boat… I can recommend creating a Pinterest Board and filling it up with everything that you are inspired by that also fits your target audience. Its useful being able to search for ‘bright colour palette’ or ‘romantic colour scheme’ which can be helpful if you don’t know where else to start.

Here is a screenshot from my Pinspiration board:

Step 4 – Revisit your goal: It’s probably wise to do this now in case you are at risk of getting carried away with all the lovely colours and inspiration you have found. You are knowledgeable about colour and you understand your audience and it’s almost time to piece together your colour palette. But first go back to the first three steps and think about whether your new ideas for your colour palette are still in keeping with the who and what, and the meaning you want to get across with your colours. Then with this fresh in your mind take another look over your inspiration compilation and make sure it all ties in nicely.

Step 5 – Put your palette together: Hooray – you have made it this far! Your colour palette is so nearly ready I can almost see it already. Here are a few tips to help you get started in creating some beautiful colour palettes that work for you:

  • Depending on the project choose between 3 and 6 colours. Obviously take this advice flexibly – if you are designing a logo then one colour (plus a white or black background) will work out fine.
  • You may prefer one colour but different shades of it – don’t forget about that little gem called ‘monochrome’
  • Add a dark colour and a light colour. Sounds simple but what I’m getting at here is that you need enough contrast so your art can be seen – so drawings or text drawn in white over a dark background or vice versa. Its very popular to have a light or white background but don’t forget the power of a dark background.

Hope you have enjoyed these tips! Here is a parting splash of colour to kick off your colour inspirationπŸŽ¨πŸ˜ƒπŸŒ·

Making a Design More Awesome (Tips for self- critique)

This is actually something I drew up aaaaaaages ago and I thought I had finished it. Then I thought it might look good printed out and framed. So I printed it out. It was only then that I saw that it actually wasn’t quite finished. Here it is:

This is an example of why self-critiquing artwork is a good idea, even though I’m not sure I’m keen on calling it ‘self-critique’ because it sounds like it could be misunderstood for criticism in a not so good way… actual design self-critique is meant to be a positive way to look at your art work and find areas that you can tweak to make it even more awesome that it already is. I thought I had finished this but after reviewing it more closely I realised I could improve it so much more.

The big space around the edge of my Hello Pumpkin is intentional – the design is intended for a tea towel and space is needed so when it’s sewn into a tea towel then none of the design gets lost in the hem.

Questions to keep in mind

  • Does it meet the intention – go back to the brief and check that it still fits with the brief and that you haven’t gone off on a tangent too much (easy to do when you get going with a creative flow)
  • Would it look just as good in other colours? Or monochrome?

How to spot areas to improve

  • Turn it upside down
  • Look at it up close
  • Look at it from far away

Things you’re trying to spot

  • Look at the balance/spacing between the design elements – are there random busy patches and then random spaced out areas that need balancing out?
  • Layout – ok this is similar to balance, check if the balance is neat and in proportion
  • Typography/lettering – if this needs to be readable, is it? Check on things like kerning and font size as well as font type, would it look better in script, or serif, or sans-serif?
  • Focus area – is there a part of your design that needs to ‘pop’ and if there is, then does it stand out enough (in a good way). Maybe you need to tone some things down in the background

Self-critique might sound like a bit of designer jargon but it’s a really great way improve your art work.

After I had looked at my Hello Pumpkin in this way I made a few changes.

Spot the difference! πŸ™‚ ok so I didn’t make huuuuge changes but the gentle and subtle tweaks to the lettering on ‘hello’ (well I re-wrote it but in a similar style) and balancing out the hearts and flowers in between ‘hello’ and ‘Pumpkin’ makes a big difference.

I’m still no expert but getting better πŸ˜ƒ I’ll be ordering a tea towel sized piece of fabric from Spoonflower and when it’s all made up into a tea-towel I’ll share the picture of the finished product πŸ˜ƒ

Birds and Butterflies – pattern design

Over the last week or so I have been working on a new design, you might have noticed my new style that I’m going for in my cycling design. Bright and cheerful and cute!

This is for the Spoonflower contest ‘animals by air’ which is coming up on May 24th. This gorgeous little design is the reason why I haven’t created designs for the last two contests actually but I love it so I think it’s worth it:)

I used Paintstorm – my trusty app which I use for pretty much all of my iPad art. I’m trying to get the hang of Procreate as well as I hear that’s pretty good (if you use these I’d love to know what you think!). First I opened a two ‘canvasses’ – one for my drawings, the other to paste the individual drawings and place them where I wanted them. Here you can see all the layers and the canvasses I have open (there’s actually three open here as when I took the screenshot I was also looking at my cycling design).

Here are a few of the individual drawings. Techy tip: to save them like this just hide all layers apart from the one layer that you want to save, then save as a jpeg. Only the visible layer will be saved as the jpeg image.

I tend to struggle with layouts… so this is what takes the most time. When I’ve done my drawings I start the layout ‘process by arranging them together in a fairly simple way (below).

When I’ve done this a dozen or so times (really) I turn on seamless mode and start adding in more if the drawings to really fill the space (I’ve made a whole post about creating a seamless repeat – here). You can see in the layers that I have the central design (layer 1) and the seamless design (layer 2). Layer 0 is empty so just ignore that one!

When it’s all done there’s nothing left to do other than load it up to Spoonflower and check out mock up images πŸ˜†

As I said earlier (up there somewhere) this design is for the ‘animals by air’ Spoonflower contest. I’m really loving this style so I’m thinking I’ll do something similar for the contest afterwards ‘animals by land’ (I know I keep going on about Spoonflower contests but they are great motivators). What animals by land do you think I should try out? Foxes maybe? Cats? Maybe I should jungle style?! The art of possibility… πŸ˜†

Cycling In the Park – pattern design

A shiny new design – how exciting! It’s quite different for me as well, I’ve gone wild with colour which is a new experience. It’s inspired by sunny days and bicycles. There’s actually a Spoonflower contest coming up and the theme is ‘cycling’ so that’s a good motivator for adding some bicycles into a design.

I played about with a bunch of colours on Coolors until I settled on this:

It doesn’t look so good like that… but I figured with a white (or black) background it would be ok, I can always change them later anyway (I have an urge to include a lavender type colour in there πŸ™‚ and maybe tweak that green…).

I created the whole thing on Paintstorm, I had two documents open, in one I created each different design element – in a different layer. I then copied and pasted these into another document where I played around with the layout.

After about a whole day (no, really) I was happy with layout! For now I’ve decided to settle on the colours, maybe I’ll come back to it in a few days with a fresh head and try it with a few different colours but I do really like it as it is (and so does my boyfriend 😍).

I couldn’t help trying it out on a bunch of different mock ups (I always find this part really exciting).

What do you think? Do you reckon it’s contest worthy yet or shall I try out a few other colours first? Orrrrr maybe even turn it into a chalkboard style design? The possibilities are endless! The design contest closes on the 1st May so I have a little while to try things out… watch this space πŸ™‚

Ps. If you have a Spoonflower account – you can ‘like’ my design here (hint hint). I still consider myself a bit of a newbie and still get really excited when people like my stuff πŸ˜†πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Until next time ❀️

100 days of doodles 85 -91

Only 8 doodles left until I’ve reach the big 100!!! I’ve actually already done them, except the number 100. I feel like I need to do an extra large doodle page for the 100th one and I can’t decide what the theme should be…anyway. Here are the doodles for 85-91

85. Celebrate

86. Bunting

87. Fairy

88. Horse racing

89. Nature

90. Gardening

91. Amsterdam

Summer Cookout Doodles into a Repeat Pattern

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This has been a work in progress for a while but I’m glad to say it’s now complete! I think. I have a bad habit of finding little things to tweak or adjust slightly every time I look at it…

Here’s how it began:

You may recognise this from my 100 Days of Doodles days 78 – 84 πŸ™‚

It was a doodle inspired by the Spoonflower contest – theme ‘Summer Cookout’. To me it means barbecue and burgers – veggie or meaty, the choice is yours.

Then it progressed:

And then it progressed further:

I had now moved on from the paper and into my app of choice for creating repeat patterns – Paintstorm. I use the ‘edit, seamless repeat’ function to draw across tiles and turn the pattern into a technical repeat pattern. I imported photos of my doodles into the app and, in a new layer, traced over them making little tweaks as needed. The barbecue was drawn using the ellipse tool to draw a perfect circle and then I cut it in half and angled the top half so it looks like a basic open barbecue. Everything else was either traced or drawn straight in the app (I definitely need my stylus for this – not an expensive one, just a cheap one from amazon).

The intention for this design was to do a chalkboard style and, if you hadn’t guessed from the drawings, my plan was to create a chalkboard ‘menu’ design. I might still do that but I decided it wouldn’t work here in a repeating pattern.

As much as I like the simple black and white chalkboard style I wanted a splash of colour to make some of the items really pop out.

I’m quite happy with it however I can’t decide which if I prefer a black or white background… I tried it on a few mock ups but that just made it harder to decide…what do you think?πŸ˜€

100 Days of Doodles Days 78 – 84

The doodle ideas this week came from a whole bunch of places. I’ve been doing a lot of furniture and general ‘stuff’ up cycling lately (making an under bed storage tray out of an old pallet), ‘what’s in my bag’ actually came from Instagram and I was going to link into the Instagram account I got it from but I’ve totally forgotten who it was (doh!) if you happen to know – please tell me (!). Although it’s snowing so heavily here 300 schools have been closed, ‘Summer cookout’ is in here too. That’s actually a Spoonflower contest coming up so I was just getting a feel for it. The burger with all the components drawn separately is my favourite bit. Unfortunately the bugs doodle is inspired by my life right now – lots of ladybugs are determined to come in live around my southerly facing bedroom window… they aren’t the scariest of bugs but still it’s a bit awkward πŸ˜†πŸžπŸžπŸžπŸžπŸžπŸ™„

78. Up-cycling Furniture

79. Comic speech bubbles

80. What’s in my bag?

81. Summer cookout

82. Craft

83. Farm

84. Bugs

Leibster Award

A little while ago Soren and Fox commented on one of my posts nominating me for the Leibster Award – this is awesome and I’m really excited to be involved in this! (Thanks Soren and Fox!). Due to moving house and getting stuck in to my job it’s taken me aaaages to actually write it but better late than never eh?

Q1) If you were to drop dead right now at this moment what would your last thoughts be about?

This is pretty intense – I guess the jokey answer would be wondering if I remembered to tick everything off on my to do list. The serious answer would be just hoping that my friends and family are OK.

Q2) What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d probably tell myself to chill out, and that everything is going to be just fine πŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

Q3) Why did you start blogging and what is the reason behind your blogs name?

My first blog was joint with my boyfriend and it was to document our backpacking adventure through South East Asia and beyond. It was great to have blogging as a hobby on the beach, on a bus, waiting at the airport. Then I started doodling and designing fabric patterns and created a new blog dedicated to that (thepeachtreehandmade), however when I decided the name of my blog ‘thepeachtreehandmade’ I had intended the blog to also include sewing and knitting which it hasn’t yet. That’s why the URL says ‘handmade’ but if ever change the URL I’d have design or something in it instead.

Q4) That one situation/circumstance that shaped you as an individual

I’m torn between Uni life/studies and backpacking (!). Both awesome, both ‘individual-shaping’

Q5) What regrets do you have in life?

I think I regret not saving more money when I was younger – if I had I think I could have bought a house by now 🏑

Ok that’s it from me – my nominees are:

1. https://chaoticshapes.com/blog/

2. https://brilliantviewpoint.com

3. https://theempressmagic.wordpress.com

4. https://thestoryaddict.blog

5. https://apalettefullofeunoia.wordpress.com

My questions are:

1. If you could choose to have one superpower, what would it be and why?

2. What is your motivation for blogging?

3. If you had a time travelling machine, what year (or what decade) would you go to? (In the past or in the future)

4. What, or who, makes you laugh the most?

5. If you were cryogenically frozen for 100 years what would your first question be when you woke up?

You can learn more about the Leibster Award here: https://theglobalaussie.com/liebster-award-2018/

Thanks for reading! I strongly encourage you to choose a question that I’ve written above and answer it in a comment πŸ˜ƒ

Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash