Seashore Skies

This series is inspired by a memory of a day spent at the beach, marvelling at the vastness of the sea and observing the moody sky reflected in the water’s surface, carrying rolling, marshmallow clouds, threatening to burst into spits of rain at any moment. Saturated with the echo of the ubiquitous sound of squawking seabirds and the disheveling scent of salty, sandy wind. 

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.

Pattern Design Development

This design forms part of a mar­ine series inspired by the won­der­ful abund­ance of sea life. It cov­ers a total of three pat­terns com­mis­sioned for a client’s Spring-Summer col­our group aimed at boys. Here you may view the oth­er two accom­pa­ny­ing designs : Shoal of Jellyfish and Underwater Landscape. Aside from the theme that runs across them, they’re also uni­fied by the same water inspired palette, which was com­posed by the trend and col­our expert Kidspattern and con­sisted of a set of soft greens and blues con­tras­ted by a touch of rich, deep ultramarine.

This design was inten­ded to rep­res­ent a sum­mery, slightly over­cast day, hence the pat­tern focuses on the por­tray­al of skies. Techniques used in this pat­tern involve a col­lage effect, which was achieved by adding pho­to­graph­ic images of clouds. I spread the clouds out against a light blue back­ground and wove in seagulls nav­ig­at­ing their way in between- which adds to the design’s sense of air­i­ness and dimen­sion­al­ity. 

Drawing Elements

At the centre of this series are two main, hand-draw­ings of seagulls, which are one of the most pop­u­lar mar­ine birds. Full of char­ac­ter they bring a breeze of unapo­lo­get­ic independence.

I also used tex­tured, digit­al brushes to cre­ate the shad­ing, which was layered on top of a plain, flat white sil­hou­ette. This assured that the shape would cut out from the back­ground and allow the ele­ment to be placed on dif­fer­ent col­oured backgrounds.

Alternative Colourways

To explore the tur­quoise side of the palette with this sim­pli­fied design, I removed the clouds and jux­ta­posed sat­ur­ated bird shapes against a tex­tured cur­tain of small rain droplets. This provides an inter­est­ing con­trast and makes this design a great sec­ond­ary pat­tern. 

Dark Background

The ultra­mar­ine back­drop makes this ver­sion the most strik­ing and bold. The remain­ing ele­ments are in much light­er shades, thus they firmly stand out against the dark blue. With this strong con­trast, they now read almost as cam­ou­flage shapes.

Final Pattern in Print

Below, please view images of the final use of this Seaside Shores pat­tern in print. These are the client’s first cloth­ing samples, made to launch their Spring-Summer col­lec­tion and dis­play at trad­ing fairs. On the right hand side, you may see examples of this print used in their Newborn Collection as a bib and a baby grow.

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

« Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the let­ting of a little water.«

Christopher Morley American journ­al­ist, essayist