Layered Surface Design

Editing to note: I closely copied these rabbits’ outlines from other artists’ images. In this step, I wanted to focus on how one makes a surface design feel more layered.

Last tweak for today — critiques suggested I try grounding the figures more, adding texture underneath them to make them look less “plopped”.

That’s an aspect of surface design that I’m definitely still learning a lot about — trying to give it more of a feeling of interaction between the elements and background, which ends up giving it a little more depth and coherence.

I added some little grass tufts and also lines of grass and dirt under the flowers and shovel (right). I think it’s better! The grass tufts in particular also lends a little dynamism and energy to the print, more of a sense that these characters are actually moving through the landscape.

I’ve spent about 3 hours on tweaking so far — recoloring was the most time-consuming, because I’d merged the layers, and so couldn’t just use color-fill to recolor sections, had to hand-color them line by line instead. It’d be better if I’d gotten the colors right the first time through, before I started composing the design.

My hand is cramping and my iPad is almost out of power (I do all of this in Procreate), so I think it’s time to switch tasks for the day. I also want to let it sit for a bit, see what I think. I’m going to upload the revision to Spoonflower, so I can see it on fabric too.

I wish Spoonflower had an option for showing how things would look on clothing — this pattern in particular would be adorable for a kids’ dress, I think. There are some templates you can use for that — I’ve done it once before, but it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten the process, sigh. I can go look it up, maybe later…

I also want to try it on some other background colors, but I want to be sure I’ve finalized the main colors before I start playing with that. Later.

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