Watercolor? Hand painted? No, it’s digital.

This post is from a blog hop that’s a collaboration between 40 different designers who are celebrating Pantone’s Radiant Orchid—2014 Color of the year! In the next year of two, you can expect to see a lot of this color.

We were asked to design a collection of three patterns. Of course, being the rule-breaker that I am, I decided to share four with you. Who am I? I’m Sherry London, fairly new to the surface design world, but oh so experienced in Photoshop and Illustrator. I’ve been working with them since Photoshop 1.0 and Illustrator ’88.

I’ve developed patterns, mostly for my own delight over the years, but I am really loving being part of the surface pattern design community. My work is quirky, involved, and almost totally digital.

This design was an amazing journey that took me through my newest obsession, FRAX, on my iPad and iPhone to discover another world of Guilloché, Butterfly Curves, and some of the other miracles from the brain of one of the FRAX geniuses, Tom Beddard. The background has a number of fractals put together and all of the flowers and leaves are from other fractals. Many of the shapes of the flowers are either Guilloché or Butterfly Curves.

Generated Mathematical Forms

I also created a fractal from a photo I took of an hibiscus in my garden, sent it though FRAX, and then through several other iPad and iPhone apps and finally altered the color and made a composite in Photoshop. I then used it as a texture to tone all of the patterns.

Moving an original photo into FRAX and then to Waterlogue and Popsicolor to generate a texture overlay

How to Create a Texture

My batik image is also created from a fractal that I generated in FRAX.

Batik Pattern created from fractal in radiant orchid

Batik Pattern

It, too, went through a cumbersome (but totally engrossing) project to generate the same fractal a number of times but with different color combinations and then put them together in Photoshop. That was only the tip of the iceberg as I decided to also make it repeat. The repeat process combined the fractal in several ways and a lot of blend modes and luminosity masks!

Several preliminary colour schemes

Getting there is all the fun!

The final two patterns weren’t quite as complex to create. The next one is a combination of a fractal, Photoshop filters, and another iPad application, TileDeck Lite, that creates patterns as you doodle.

another generated pattern

Pattern from TileDeck lite and other embellishments

My last one:

Another one of my fractal images.

Dark Dreams

I used parts of a single fractal made into a pattern and then severely manipulated in Photoshop—which is usually my drug (uh… program) of choice! I can play happily in the Photoshop sandbox for hours without coming out of my trance.

This image shows how the previous started.

Starting Point

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoyed my process and will check back to see what other goodies I create.