Patterns from the sea

In my last post I explained the inspiration behind some new inky seascapes, which developed into pattern ideas. I made one repeat pattern, which was nice but when repeated en masse wasn’t as seamless as I’d like, and was quite linear. I had another try, seen here below, which again was very linear. I didn’t want it to look like one picture repeated over and over.Ink painting_web Seascape pattern 2 repeat_web

The third time I made my ink painting a bit more wild and freeform. The sea-inspired shapes and lines are there, but more abstract and less orderly. You might see waves, watery ripples, seaweed, rocks, seashells, sunshine, or even fireworks and a pier (although unintended). But the beach and the sea have no real beginning or end which should make the pattern work better.

I made the pattern using two ink paintings on watercolour paper: one of the main image and one filling the white space where the edges of the tile meet. One school-girl error was forgetting to work to the size of my scanner – I had to scan the paper in twice and match up the edges, which took ages! This is the first painting:Sea pattern 3 main tile

As it was an awkward size I decided to try an old-school method of making the second part. I photocopied the original, cut the photocopied image in half vertically and horizontally, swapping the pieces around to bring the white edges together.Pattern, making a tile

This I roughly traced, turned the tracing paper over and traced again, before re-tracing it onto the watercolour paper. This left a light pencil-outline for my working area.pencil and tracing papersea pattern middle-web

Filling the centre of the image with marks to complement the existing ones, I really hoped this one would work! I also had to scan the second piece in twice to get it all in, cobbled it together in Photoshop and layered the 2 images together.Sea pattern 3 final tile

So here it is! A seaside-inspired monochrome inky design. With a pattern repeat of 25cm, I think this could be a contender to be printed on fabric… Either way I totally have the pattern-making bug – it’s fun to make a different use for drawing, and learning to think about a composition in a new way.Sea-Pattern-3-repeat-pattern-swatch

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