Watch your bots because these robots will take a byte out of your Halloween candy!
Sorry, I just couldn’t resist all the puns.
They’re just so darn fun.
No more rhymes now, I mean it!
…Anybody want a peanut?
If you don’t know this classic, please pause and take a moment to get acquainted with this cinematic gem.
Okay, enough 80s movie awesomeness. Let’s get back to the sweetness at hand – these charming little Halloween robot fellas.
Halloween Candy Robots
Many of my latest patterns and collections such as All Aboard and Sing for Your Supper reflect a lino cut or stamped and carved look. The lines rest in the details instead of demanding center stage. For this year’s Halloween collection, I decided to explore a new style that would create visual interest primarily from inked lines.
A little background on the subject of this latest mini collection…
I live with three boys plus an electrical engineer husband, so we are all things nerdy and tech around here. Robots are SUPER cool in our house – but they’re also a major trend in design. People LOVE robots.
They also love candy which seems pretty obvious when you consider how many BILLIONS of dollars are spent on Halloween sugar every year.
A New-To-Me Line Art Style
During a morning sketching session with my oldest son, I suddenly had the idea to marry the two – robots and candy. The idea felt slightly weird and quirky without entering super creepy territory.
Full disclosure: This is a Halloween collection, but I personally am only a Halloween dabbler. I don’t go crazy decorating the house, I don’t buy costumes (homemade only!), I don’t do any Halloween projects, and I just leave a bowl of candy on the porch for neighborhood kids while I take my own kids trick-or-treating around the block. Scary is NOT my thing, so anything I make for Halloween has to be HAPPY or at least friendly. Candy robots seemed just the ticket – keep ’em quirky and odd but not freakishly spooky.
Using a pencil, I sketched the different kinds of candy and added various buttons, knobs, switches, wheels, arms, and antennae. When I was satisfied with the characters, I went back over the lines using a lettering pen (this one, my absolute fave!).
One of the most beautiful things about hand lettering is the line variation – thick and thin strokes. Achieving this effect is simple with special pens designed to increase stroke width with increased pressure. I used the same lettering techniques to trace over my pencil drawings.
Swoon-worthy strokes that can stand on their own, even without color.
Tone it Down
I asked my Insta-friends whether they preferred a more traditional orange-and-black Halloween palette or a broader scheme that included hues like green and purple.
The results were mixed.
Personally, I prefer a more limited range of colors, but other people enjoy a varied palette with plenty of bright, happy hues.
When approaching color for this candy robot collection, I started with five colors: orange, yellow, green, purple, and black. Other than candy corn (which I absolutely feel should only ever be white, yellow, and orange – serious debates, here, folks!), I assigned hues randomly to each candy bot.
I figure if a pumpkin can be a robot, it can be a green robot.
My favorite little guy in this color palette just happens to be the wind-up Smarties robot. I can just see him waddling door to door on Halloween. Note for my international friends – these colored sugar American Smarties are NOT the same as Nestle Smarties made from chocolate. Chocolate Smarties taste much better, but American Smarties are Halloween icons.
Halloween Candy – in Limited Color
After I splashed the droids in five colors, I decided to reduce the rainbow to only three – orange, yellow, and black (plus shades of gray).
Honestly, I would’ve liked to use only orange and black… but, candy corn. I’m a complete sucker for candy corn, and as I mentioned above, it should only EVER be orange, yellow, and white. None of this ugly brown harvest corn business. Or unicorn horns candy corn. Seriously, what?!
In order not to distract from the dynamic black lines, I chose to not use pure black as a robot fill. Instead, I went with about 60% gray. The gray really gives structure to these ‘droids while keeping the colors constrained to the three.
The marshmallow Peep ghost really pops in this three-color version. His arms curl unevenly, and his mouth is fixed in a dramatic O.
Color My (Halloween) World
While I pieced together this pattern, I kept thinking how well this design would work for coloring books and coloring book fabric. You can really make it your own, and shade it according to your own brand of fancy.
Maybe you’re not into apple green or fuschia-tinted purple. Perhaps you prefer your pumpkins pink or your Lifesavers lilac.
Get your holiday coloring on in the dramatic black-and-white, color-your-own versions of my Halloween Candy Robots.
Stacked or Scattered?
Because I drew each candy critter in a linear, stacked fashion, my first iteration of this design resulted in the same look – vertical bots all facing the same direction.
However, a sewing friend of mine (hi, Jillian!) mentioned that scatter or tossed patterns are so (sew!) much easier for sewists to work with than stacked patterns. Please know that if I ask for opinions and advice, I literally read and take to heart every suggestion that comes my way (really!), so a scatter version of this print was an absolute must for my sewing buddies.
Again, I started with my five-color palette, tossing and turning each sugary robot to fit in nicely with the next. The three-color job came second, followed by the coloring book version (see it in the pillow above).
Patterns on Products
My dream for this collection is to adorn trick-or-treat bags that would be cute enough for little types but funky enough for older elementary and tweens. The coloring book version would be fabulous as a table runner or tablecloth. Decorating napkins, pouches, placements, and purses would be such a fantastic way to spend a Halloween party – and would be a fabulous party favor to boot.
So tell me, what’s YOUR favorite Halloween candy? Did you find it in my robot pattern or did I leave it out?