Since I thought I would ease myself into 2016 with something a bit different, I planned myself a bit of a fun little project - and with a good healthy dose of nostalgia, I turned to one of my favourite design books to set me off in the right direction, and created a collection of patterns, (very) loosely based on sixties and seventies influences…
Here I share a little behind the scenes look, with some of my original drawings, and the final patterns...
I’ve been thinking about creating this design for quite some months. I did a peacock feather design a year or so back, but since my technical skills weren’t all they needed to be, I didn’t know how to make it how I wanted it to look… but now I can…
I love the flamboyant patterns and exotic influences in sixties and seventies designs – such a sense of freedom and fun – so I decided to create a vibrant peacock feather pattern.
I’m lucky enough to have a few real peacock feathers at home (which we got from peacocks on the Isle of Skye, of all places!) so I drew the feather motifs in a stylised way, concentrating on putting a bit of a kick into those curves and swirls…
I coloured them with my promarker pens, but really tweaked up the colour saturation once I’d got them into Adobe Illustrator to get that full-on, vibrant feeling.
My husband really loves my exotic feather design – Groovy Baby!! ;)
Simple Feather Pattern
A simple feather pattern, in a swirly stripe, to go as an interesting co-ordinate to my peacock feathers.
This design was inspired by the memories of a gorgeously coloured, sheer scarf my Mum had in the seventies, and which my brother and I used for dressing up when we were children. I’ve always loved it (and I’m very tempted to go rooting around for it next time I’m at my Mum’s house!)
The colours of the scarf were actually more like those in the peacock feather design that I created, above – rich blues and greens. But the pattern was created from lots of big, overlapping butterfly wings – very swirly, since it was from the seventies.
I drew just one set of butterfly wings, enjoying creating lots of elaborate swirls, and coloured them with contrasting colours.
Once I'd got my drawing into Adobe Illustrator, I overlapped and overlapped and really played about with the colours, to create a joyous abandon of colour and pattern.
Taking inspiration from the mandalas which were a popular motif in the late sixties/early seventies, I decided to draw my own spirals and mandala-esque designs to recreate the swirling, kaleidoscopic effects of the psychedelic sixties and seventies patterns.
Once scanned into the computer, I varied the sizes, and overlapped the motifs, to create a sense of energy and movement in my design.
I’ve also created a simple spiral co-ordinate, to complement this design (not shown).
No sixties collection is complete without some ‘Flower Power’. I already have a retro-style daisies design, so to do something different, I drew some simple florals in a groovy, flower-power style.
It’s quite a different thing for me, as normally I draw flowers (which are my favourite thing to draw) directly from nature. But these came straight from my imagination. To be honest, I’m not sure I like them as much, and don’t get as much out of the process, as when I draw from a real flower…
But these do take us back to nature in a ‘groovy’ way…
I do love drawing trees, so this was fun for me to create a tree pattern inspired by psychedelic fantasy landscapes.
This tree came straight from my imagination, and it has a child’s drawing of a tree kind of style about it, with some flower-power blooms in it – and of course, lots of retro swirls.
Once scanned into the computer, and transferred into Adobe Illustrator, I enhanced and changed the colours, and created the repeating pattern. I feel like it has a psychedelic, art nouveau style to it now.
Although I wasn’t so keen on the original drawing, I actually love the finished pattern – with the dark background that makes the colours really pop.
I also created a simple ‘tree’ co-ordinate for this design...
These patterns are now available for licensing - please get in touch if you're interested in putting these, or any of my other patterns and designs, onto your own products.
If you’re feeling inspired by sixties and seventies patterns, click here to take a look at my review of this excellent book by Marnie Fogg – which has so many gorgeous images to get you grooving…