New Surface Designs – A time to grow

I have been quiet the past few weeks as I have been busy working on a fantastic online course run by The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.  The course is a seven week course on building your professional portfolio and is jam packed with informative posts with everything you need to know about building a professional design portfolio.  There are very useful and helpful exercises to build on your design skills.  They include prompt cards to help build up on drawing and I have to say these prompt cards have been so helpful for my development in drawing and I have almost finished my new sketch book already!

The course also includes six live client brief’s which have been such a good learning experience for me to do.  Last week was a busy week with three of these client brief’s due in and at times I did feel slightly stressed and a little out of my comfort zone as they were all stationery based briefs, something I have very little experience with.  That said, I am really pleased in the most part of the work I have completed.  The first brief from Card Crazy was to create three birthday cards for a female with the focus on a character or object.

birthday card

Before I started on this brief, I made this card for a friend, it is the first card I have hand-drawn and wasn’t so sure about giving it to my friend at first for fear that it would be deemed too amateurish but I did give it to her and she really loved it.

flower with button and stick

I decided to stick with a flower theme for the first card so did a sketch of the petals, added a button and a twig from the garden and scanned in to the computer.

photo (217)I did this love heart sketch and scanned it in and edited it to create a butterfly.




I love the colours in this picture and based my colour palette on those colours.

happy birthday

Out came my vintage letterpress blocks and I had some fun stamping these. I’ve decided I need to use these letterpress blocks more often as I do enjoy using them and I have a good variety of types.


I put all the elements together to create this birthday card. I did use a chevron design I already had for the background to give it more interest.

The next card design I created was using three main elements, a tree, an owl and some bunting.


tree cut out

happy banner

I wanted to keep an organic look with this card by keeping the hand-drawn pen element to it and just adding a touch of colour to compliment the design.


For the final card design, I had in mind that I wanted to use a bicycle as the main focus of the card.

bike inked in

Bicycles aren’t as easy as I thought to draw, I do like this one but I know technically it is not accurate.

watercolour splodges

I was looking for some textures to put in the background and I came across this watercolours splatter which I did several years ago and it worked perfectly for the background texture.  It is a good thing I keep everything I do, you just never know when they may come in handy!


I used these flower sketches to add to the card.


I created this pattern to be added to the hand-drawn flowers.


The final version using the vintage letterpress blocks for the Happy Birthday and I also added my little bird which I had from a previous design.  A bit of shadow on the bike gives it a bit of dimension.

I am pleased with my first attempt at designing birthday cards and I have learnt so much from the process of doing these designs.  I have found that my drawing skills are improving although I am not technically accurate with my drawings, I don’t feel that I need to be to create the style of work I want to create.   This course has taught me to be true to myself and put a bit of ‘me’ into my work and that is what I am focussing on for future designs.

I shall be showcasing more of my new designs in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

If you have any thoughts, opinions, feedback on my work, I would love to hear it, please drop me a comment.

About Melanie Paul

Welcome, I am Melanie, a freelance surface pattern designer and mum of two gorgeous children. This blog is a journey of discovery and appreciation into the world of arts, crafts, design and everything in between. I keep everything real and honest in everything I do. I hope you enjoy reading and please do comment or share, if you share, please link back accordingly.
This entry was posted in Fabric Design & Illustration and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to New Surface Designs – A time to grow

  1. craftysorcha says:

    Those are beautiful cards and not amateurish at all!

  2. Biral says:

    Wow amazing designs. Did you use Photoshop or illustrator to create these?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s