Sunnies, passport stamps, popsicles, thunderstorms, and swimsuits – all my favorite summer vibes.
Well, maybe not swimsuits, because any mama with three kids is WAY past letting it all hang out.
September peeking around the corner signals that summer fun is nearly over. As August bids adieu, the days grow shorter, the air feels crisp, and Pumpkin Spice madness surfaces once again.
Let’s just give all the fall feels a time out and extend summer just a bit longer, shall we?
New Collection: Indigo Vibes Watercolor
My new collection, Indigo Vibes, gives you a little dose of summer all year long. Breezy blues and undulating hues give this collection a laid-back feel that will relax you no matter if the weather outside is frightful or full of sun.
I mentioned in my Floral Watercolor post that painting intimidates me. I am at a loss as to where to begin, what to do first, and how to tackle such a broad skill. But, I also know that if I want to grow as an artist, I have to do hard things.
So, I’m choosing to pick up my brush and give it a go.
Will I make perfect watercolor portraits right from the start?
No chance of that, and that’s okay – because what comes out of my style and where I’m at on my journey is beautiful in its own way.
Indigo Vibes began as an exercise in color, pattern, and texture. I just painted whatever came to mind in whatever color spoke to me. I naturally gravitate toward green and blue, though in the original paintings I also used gold and a deep maroon.
Each pattern utilized a different geometric shape, and I played with color, hue, saturation, repetition, and symmetry. You’ll see in this collection that the patterns are very organic – they’re not too perfect, and each one is unique.
I scanned my paintings into Photoshop and then the real work began. Then, I erased the original watercolor paper background in order to work with the painted motifs in isolation. Later, I added a watercolor – and chalkboard! – paper background in again.
Let me just say that creating a perfect seamless repeat from geometric elements did NOT perfectly line up proved to be an exercise in patience.
However, I am absolutely charmed by the results.
I nicknamed this design watercolor Cheerios… though, in reality, water + Cheerios would actually be a super soggy mess! As I worked with the shapes, these O’s also began to look like pool floats, and then donuts.
In the scan above, you can see the original painting in a dark maroon as well as my amateur water spot mistakes. Thank goodness for Photoshop which allowed me to clean up the scan, change the color, and create the repeat.
Btw, I just noticed that gigantic grasshopper in the photo – ewwwww. Good thing grasshoppers aren’t included with floor pillow purchases!
This geometric print begs to splash itself on canvas beach bags, throw pillows, pouches, and stationery. I really love it as a duvet, too, which you can see here on this Roostery mockup.
The Basket Weave
This basket weave design was probably my least favorite idea. But as I painted it, I began to appreciate the repetition of the design and the harmony of threes. Also in the realm of “least favorite, but…,” yellow remains my least favorite color of all time, but for some reason, the warm gold of this hue really looked lovely to me.
Of course, in Photoshop, I canned the yellow and turned it turquoise. Old habits die hard..!
This basket weave pattern first gave me the idea to add glitter to my watercolor. I swapped in a chalkboard background for the watercolor paper and added a sparkly overlay.
The result? A stunning festive background. This has holiday written all over it!
The Three-Corner Canyons
What in the world is a three-corner canyon?! Hang with me on this one. You see, Germans call a triangle, ein Dreieck, meaning a “three-corner.” As a hiker living in Arizona, I traverse a lot of canyon trails. If you think about it, a canyon is basically an upside down mountain. At least that’s how it feels when hiking!
These three-corner canyons started out grass green with a twist of lemon-lime. You can see how awesome I am at painting in a straight line, too – not!
After a bit of editing magic, I colored these upside down triangles to match the deep blue sea. Everyone could use a little more sea in their summer, right!?
This pattern looks amazing on home goods like duvets, tea towels, dinner napkins, throw pillows, and blankets – so cozy!
The Mermaid’s Tail
I see mermaids in the children’s market all.the.time. Scaly tails appear on clothing, dolls, stickers, stationery, and even those faux tail blankets and swimwear. I can’t say I love mermaids as much as the average ten year-old girl, but I do adore this turquoise scale pattern!
These scales began – and stayed – turquoise. The original color seemed a bit too flat and dark. I played with the hue, saturation, and brightness to get this happy, radiant blue-green.
For a grown-up mermaid look, I designed these leggings. Halloween costume…? I would totally wear these!
After all the fun I had with glitter on the basket weave design, I decided to make a glitter mermaid version as well. Isn’t this absolutely glam?
And for those with a dark side or who appreciate a classic black-and-white palette, there’s even a noir version.
The Dippin’ Dots
These polka dots give off such an upbeat vibe. They make me think of delicious Dippin’ Dots ice cream, shady picnic blankets, and penny tile floors. This print would totally rock as a wallpaper backing inside white furniture.
As you can see from the scan, these polka dots didn’t change much from the scan to the finished design. I kept the light to dark linear gradient because it gives the pattern so much movement.
This pattern freshens up any table as a runner, place mats, or cloth napkins. It also looks rad on tea towels, curtains, and giftwrap.
The Triangle Trees
I mostly grew up in hot climates – the deserts of the west and the swamp also known as Florida. I never spent much time in lush forested mountain landscapes until I moved to Germany in 2010. Our city sat on the edge of the Black Forest, and it was here that our family fell in love with hiking. Before 2010, I never would have been caught dead in zip-off pants. Like ever. And now, I buy them for my kids for Christmas!
This triangle tree design gives homage to my love of the woods. I used triangles both for the foliage and the trunk. Again, I just let the paint flow, and I fixed my crooked rows in the editing process.
I like this print best for kitchen textiles – place mats, napkins, tea towels – but it also looks lovely on curtains and canvas bags.
Freebie Coming Your Way!
To celebrate the release of my Indigo Vibes watercolor collection on Spoonflower and another exciting step in my business which you’ll just have to wait to hear, I’ve got a freebie coming your way in my next post. To be the first to get your hands on that freebie, just enter your email address in the Hello Bar at the top of the page. I don’t spam, and I don’t have a newsletter (yet!). You’ll only get posts as they are published. No more, no less.
To keep the summer feels going, tell me YOUR favorite thing about summer. What would you add to my list of summer favorites (sunnies, passport stamps, popsicles, thunderstorms, and swimsuits)??