Hummingbird Grove

This rich and multidimensional pattern encourages its viewer to follow the humming sound created by the extremely rapid beating of tiny wings and get enveloped in a labyrinth of tangled vines that seem to be forming an impenetrable curtain that conceals an entrance to a secret passage.

This pro­ject was a part of my ongo­ing col­lab­or­a­tion with Kidspattern. If you’d like to learn more about them please vis­it their web­site HERE. Alternatively, view the archive of our pre­vi­ous pro­jects HERE, in which I dis­cuss in detail the his­tory and nature of our work.

All cloth­ing-mockups presen­ted here are provided cour­tesy of Kidspattern and are used for visu­al­isa­tion pur­poses only.

Brief Overview

This eleg­ant design was com­mis­sioned for our client’s Spring Summer Collection for a col­our group aimed at girls up to 36 months old. The sug­ges­ted, sooth­ing palette com­posed by Kidspattern com­prised of faded blush, warm beige and brown matched against a vibrant orange.

In this dynam­ic, mul­tilayered pat­tern, the palette was enriched by incor­por­at­ing the bright blood orange red to add a pop of col­our to high­light the hum­ming­birds› most eye-catch­ing fea­ture. The bril­liant col­our of the iri­des­cent plumage of the male bird con­trast with the white back­ground and cor­res­ponds with the detail in the out­line of the flowers. 

A tin­ted sil­hou­ette of the vine was placed in the back­ground, in order to deep­en the dimen­sion­al aspect of the design. The reg­u­lar, column repeat keeps the com­pos­i­tion bal­anced and organ­ised. Visualised in a medi­um size on a white girl’s top, the ver­sion that you can view above ended up being the one that got pur­chased and selec­ted to go into print.

Hand Drawn Elements

Above short pro­cess anim­a­tion shows the lay­er­ing of sep­ar­ate col­ours of the main illus­trated ele­ment. The over­all theme for this series was centred around a hum­ming­bird, which has a long his­tory of sym­bol­ism. In legends, it is often por­trayed as a spir­it being, a heal­er or a help­er and a sign of good luck. The Aztecs even saw him as a mes­sen­ger between them and their ancest­ors or the gods.

To best com­pli­ment this nec­tar-sip­ping, New World bird we chose to illus­trate it hov­er­ing amongst climb­ing vines full of ‘Morning Glory’ blooms. Please view a group of the pre­lim­in­ary, hand drawn, sep­ar­ately pre­pared botan­ic­al ele­ments, which I then used alike puzzle pieces to arrange them into trail­ing stems and swirls.

Next, I added a touch of dark out­line round the stem to bet­ter define its shape and to bring all the ele­ments togeth­er. Additionally, I added the hummingbird’s sil­hou­ette into the back­ground to add to the design’s dimen­sion­al­ity. This forms the base for this commission’s repeat mod­ule, which was then fur­ther layered as the com­plex­ity of the pat­tern design grew along with its tar­geted age group.  

Newborn Collection

Selection of two sim­pli­fied pat­terns, aimed at the Newborn Collection (0 – 9months). First ver­sion has the sep­ar­ate ele­ments com­posed in a very spa­cious arrange­ment in small size and a reg­u­lar repeat.

Second ver­sion is com­posed out of a single row of climb­ing vines. Both remain plain and multi-use, with all their ele­ments bal­anced against white back­ground, which is always the most pop­u­lar choice for this age group.

Pink Dream

This light and airy ver­sion was cre­ated by reflect­ing the mean­der­ing vine mod­ule on itself. To com­pli­ment this dreamy vis­ion the design was recol­oured in a range of pale, powder blush and beige for a soft, romantic fin­ish. The res­ult is a bal­anced, sym­met­ric arrange­ment, which plays on the fairy-tale asso­ci­ations com­monly ascribed to ser­pent­ine, vine-centred designs.

Following this, I’ve recol­oured it to fur­ther match a dark­er shade of pink. In this ver­sion, the hum­ming­bird is pared back to a simple, reg­u­lar, single column arrange­ment placed against a sil­hou­et­ted layered back­ground. 

Darker Palette

To assure that the design is applic­able in mul­tiple col­our­ways, I’ve developed a range to fit dark­er back­grounds. Firstly, the hum­ming­bird is reversed against the dark cor­al back­ground and the com­pos­i­tion becomes a little more irreg­u­lar and unruly to cor­res­pond with the dynam­ism of the tor­tu­ous vines.

Lastly, a kal­eido­scope arrange­ment plays on under­lin­ing mys­ter­i­ous aspects of the tangled vines. These recol­oured ver­sions increase the con­trast, depth and over­all weight of the design, which now seems more fit­ting with the late Summer sea­son col­lec­tion, trans­ition­ing into early Autumn.

Pattern in Print

In con­clu­sion, please browse through a selec­tion of examples of the final use of this Hummingbird inspired pat­tern in print. These are client’s first cloth­ing samples made to dis­play at trad­ing fairs as a launch of their over­all Spring-Summer collection.

As well as items from the Kids age group (up to 36months old), these slides also include pho­tos of their Newborn and Homeware groups, hence apart from baby body­suits these examples show match­ing bed­sheets, blankets and pil­low cases.

Please note that these images are provided cour­tesy of the cli­ent and Kidspattern and are used for port­fo­lio pur­poses only. 

« A flash of harm­less lightning,
A mist of rain­bow dyes,
The burn­ished sun­beams brightening
From flower to flower he flies«

Father John Banister Tabb American poet, Roman Catholic priest, and pro­fess­or of English