It Started With A Limited Colour Palette Of Yellow and Grey,

And it ended with a colourful set of surface patterns teaming with budgies!

Back in February 2022, I decided to enter into one of Spoonflowers challenges. I don’t often do so but once in a while I make some time when a challenge particularly takes my fancy.

The brief.

The brief for that particular challenge was a limited colour palette of grey and yellow. Imagery for the theme was not set, the only rules were stay within the given design palette and the company submission rules. It could be any shades of yellow and any shades of grey but no other colours.

I can’t tell for certain why, but this palette made me think of budgies. Yes budgies! Those tiny little parakeets that come in multiple colours including yellow. I have never owned a budgie myself, but I once owned a cockatiel. I also have memories of my Great-Uncle breeding budgies in his avery. Birds do have a soft spot in my heart.

Budgies waiting for homes at the pet store.
Budgies waiting for new homes at the pet store.

Initially I just played with my digital apps to draw a repeat floral pattern in a basic line art style, then I drew in the budgies. I opted for three different stances for the budgies, one in flight, two different perched positions. And the pattern is multi-directional.
In sticking to the challenge colour palette (only using shades of grey and yellow) I opted to leave the leafy vines as dark grey line art and only coloured in the flowers and budgies in shades of yellow.
This was my final submission to the challenge.

My February 2022 yellow and grey limited colour palette submission.

Unfortunately for me there was a lot of strong competition and I didn’t place high enough to win, and I moved on to creating new colouring pages. So it sat unpublished and on it’s own for a year. No accompanying patterns no edits, just forgotten for other projects.

A revisit and reflection.

Then a year later I was looking through my past patterns for new colouring page ideas and I came back across my budgies submission. After realising that it could turn into some rather pretty colouring pages, I decided that I wanted to completely revisit the design, not just for colouring pages but also revisit the pattern and create a full pattern collection suitable for surface and textile design.

Firstly I looked at the colour palette. I decided to not stick with the limited palette of last year and make a larger colour palette. I also made the original pattern my “hero pattern” for the collection.
Then I looked to adding more colour, I gave the leafy vines a pop of green and I changed the flowers to red. Finally giving the budgies a little more colour like their real life counterparts. Creating a final product like this.

Hero pattern for my budgies and florals 2023 collection.

From my hero pattern I created four more co-ordinate patterns by removing either an element or some colour.

Budgie floral line art pattern.
A single pattern can inspire or give birth to multiple new designs.
Remove an element or two have another design variation.
Remove the line art and you have a something quite unique.

More than a hero pattern and four co-ordinates.

After that I drew more accompanying designs in the same style and theme taking one element or two or an element that supports the main theme. These designs were in a different perspective, pattern and scale than the hero design or had an element that whilst it matched the theme was not present in the hero pattern. The designs required freshly drawn patterns from scratch. I intend for these to be additional co-ordinates or blender patterns.

Basic leaf pattern.
Newly created element.
New perspective, pattern and scale for the flowers.

I even created two new elements to accompany the collection. As well as colour solids that match the colour palette.

Digital water colour feather element.
Blue because not all budgies are yellow.

Of course once you finish a collection you need to create a cohesive display of the collection together.

The collection together.

What I originally came looking for.

And now I can’t forget that I originally re-found my budgies pattern whilst looking for artwork to create new colouring pages. Which I did along side working on the Budgie Florals collection I created three different colouring pages form the original hero pattern.

Printable colouring pages give you the opportunity to decide what colour my budgies should have been.
There are three pages colour.
The three pages are available in my Etsy store as a downloadable three page bundle.

The colouring page artwork also lent well to being used as large motifs for surface pattern design as seen on this Zazzle pillow.

Overall I am rather happy with how far I was able to take one pattern. Which end result was your favourite? The surface patterns or the colouring pages?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *