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 inspiration🎨😃🌷

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 😆

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… 😆

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 😆😁😂

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 🙂

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?😀

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 😆🐞🐞🐞🐞🐞🙄

78. Up-cycling Furniture

79. Comic speech bubbles

80. What’s in my bag?

81. Summer cookout

82. Craft

83. Farm

84. Bugs

100 days of doodles

These doodles were partly inspired by the Spoonflower contests. Not all of them, but I figured it was a good idea to get me thinking about how I’d design a Pattern for one of the contests. I haven’t actually entered any but I’m feeling pretty good feelings about Art Deco so I might go wild with that one 😁

The other inspiration has come from something I love – housey things! In fact I’ve discovered a new hobby. Furniture up-cycling and restoration – exciting times! 😆😃

71. Music

72. Art Deco

73. Significant Otters

74. Frames and borders

75. Trunks and chests

76. Bedroom

77. Office

Hygge Design Inspiration (and drawing tips!)

It seems like everyone is talking about hygge at the moment (pronounced hoo-gah and its fun if you say it in a good slow deep voice 🙂 ). I actually love it! This post will give you some tips on how to draw it (and maybe live it) by showing you stunning hygge photos which I’m sure will inspire you to draw more hygge, doodle more hygge, use more hygge in your pattern design (if that’s what you do), or live more hygge.

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The two photos above are by Alisa Anton on Unsplash which I have just discovered – free images donated by generous photographers!

The Danish word hygge isn’t necessarily straightforward to define – it is a particular feeling that you get from certain experiences. That feeling you get when its cold outside and you’re wrapped up in a blanket with a hot chocolate watching the world outside. That cosiness you get from big fluffy socks. The warm glow of a candle – or fairy lights. Snuggling up with a good book… It is how the Danish increase their sense of well-being by enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

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Photo by PICSELI on Unsplash

So how do you draw hygge? First, you need to feel hygge. Try getting a bit of the outdoors in your life – go for a walk, bring some foliage/flowers back with you, get your favourite hot drink, cosy up and spend some time appreciating the moment. Its very hygge to enjoy these moments with friends. If you feel inspired by this concept I recommend getting The Little Book of Hygge which is an adorable book full of ways to fill your life of hygge. Another good one is Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness.

Second, lets think about what are the elements that made you feel hygge? Cosy candles, hot drinks, knitwear, snuggly blankets, socks, plants outdoors, leaves that have fallen from the trees?

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Photo by loli Clement on Unsplash

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Finally, lets not forget that hygge is a Danish concept, and that right there instantly gives you a unique and recognisable style to base your drawings on – I recommend searching for ‘Danish folk art’ on Pinterest and using that style at as a starting point. Here are a few from Pinterest to get you going:

Remember, your hygge drawing can be in any style you like – not just the Danish way. I can also recommend checking out Spoonflower – they recently had a hygge theme contest and there is  a good variety of styles:

My design came in at number 24…

The contest design theme really inspired me – I had heard of Hygge before but didn’t know much about it. It has inspired me to learn more about Hygge and live more Hygge. I’m currently working on a few Danish Hygge inspired drawings, using these images (and many more…) as inspiration.

Using the images here, and in books, the great outdoors, other pages on the internet (and so on…) what are you going to draw? Socks, blankets and cushions? Hot drinks and kettles? Danish style botanical drawings? Log fires and candles? All of them together…

I encourage you to look back over some times in your life where you have had a Hygge moment, and may not have realised it at the time. What moments were they? Did the past ‘you’ capture any of these moments in photos that the present and future ‘you’ could use to inspire Hygge moments and drawings? Let me know – I’d love to hear about them 🙂

These are a few of my hygge moments:

These last images are my own.

(If you have an Instagram or a blog with a lovely Hygge image let me know what it is and if I can use one of your images – I’d love to have a new featured image for this post which supports one of my followers – obviously I’ll give you credit and a link to your page❤️)

100 Days of Doodles: Week 8

Things are starting to get more wintery as the days get colder and we approach December! These were all drawn in November (last week) but I love that festive feeling so I couldn’t resist a few adorable festive penguins tangled up in fairy lights (string lights) and wearing cute bobble hats 🙂

Hygge – pronounce ‘hoo-gah’ (fyi its fun to say it in a caveman voice – try it out, you wont regret it) was drawn as a mini start point for my Hygge spoonflower contest entry (voting is open for that contest now, if you want to see mine it is under the shop name of The Peach Tree 🙂 ). Anyway I’m mega super inspired by Hygge so I’m looking into that a bit more. If you know of any Hygge sources of inspiration or information please please tell me! Instas, Pinterests, websites, blogs…? Share the knowledge please 🙂 🙂

Day 50  – Have you seen my glasses?

Day 51 – Birds

Day 52 – Hygge

Day 53 – Birdhouses

Day 54 – Oh deer

Day 55 – Festive penguins

Day 56 – Succulents in Pots