Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Nutcracker for Spoonflower!

Tchaikovsky's most famous ballet was overdue for its own fabric contest so Spoonflower asked it's designers to create a fabric inspired by The Nutcracker for last week's challenge!
A Nutcracker Christmas! © 2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.

Voting will close on December 30th, 2014. Happy New Year! Vote Here!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gingerbread Village Toile!

The design theme this week… 'Create a toile de Jouy - style fabric design using a single color on the theme of winter.'
The first part of my research was to look up the definition of Toile de Jouy. These fabrics are described as a 'repeated pattern of a complex pastoral scene', usually printed in red, black or blue.
The concept for this design came from my daughters. They spent an evening with their friends decorating gingerbread houses over Thanksgiving break from university and I used their creations as my inspiration.
I researched and drew sketches of gingerbread houses, trees, deer, etc. When I had my rough sketches I  took a picture of them with my iPad and opened them in the Adobe Ideas app and drew cleaner versions of my sketches in black and white. I opened the PDF in Photoshop where I 'built' my icons in layers and in color. I know there has to be an easier way to do this but I like the hand drawn look that I get from doing it this way.
This design required loads of details in order to give it the traditional Toile feel. Details like the roof tiles, icicles, trees, fences, the deer and their blankets, window details, the bicycle, sleigh and the two fancy ladies, took a lot of extra time. I think I spent about 25+ hours from start to finish on this print!
Gingerbread Village Toile! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved. 

Previews will be sized as quarter yards (21" x 18"). Voting starts today, December 11th, 2014 and continues until December 18th. Please Vote!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kittens in mittens

Spoonflower's design this week is cat-themed, again.
I'm more of a dog person myself, but here it is…
Kittens in mittens on ice!  ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. 

'Kittens in Mittens' is the theme provided so I put my kittens in mittens on skates then put them on a pond in a forrest. I don't know, where would you put them?

Voting starts on Thursday, December 4th, 2014. Please Vote!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Retro thermoses + lunch boxes for Spoonflower!

'Retro thermoses + lunch boxes!' ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. 

The challenge for this week… thermoses! 
     I decided to go with the old school thermos and lunchbox combo and did my research mostly on Pinterest. Many of the Pinterest images have copyrighted icons on them I just used the shapes as reference and added my own icons of old cars, planes and camping themes. The Polar Bear was added just because he makes me happy!

Voting starts on Thursday, November 18, 2014 , and continues until until December 3rd, 2014. Please Vote! 

Ink for Spoonflower and Uppercase Magazine!

'Ink'  ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. 
The challenge for this week… Calligraphy and Ink! 

Spoonflower  partnered with UPPERCASE, magazine for a special Design Challenge. Designers have the chance to be profiled in an upcoming issue of UPPERCASE by creating the winning calligraphy-themed print. Designers had to create a monochromatic pattern using varying shades of black, white or grey. "Go graphic with calligraphic messages and flourishes or be illustrative with pens, inkwells and other tools of the craft."

I raided my ink drawer (yes I have one), and drew as many of the items as I could with as much detail as possible. I drew the line art on my iPad in the Adobe Ideas App (with my finger), and then imported it into Photoshop where I built my 'icons'. Next came the placement of the icons keeping in mind that I would use a 1/2 drop pattern with this layout. When I was pleased with the composition I added ink drops to fill in the open spots (which I scanned in), and last came the ink dot pattern behind the completed design! I mistakenly thought that this assignment might be a bit easier because it was 'monochromatic', but it was pretty challenging!
Voting started on Thursday, November 13, 2014 and continues until Thursday November 20th, 2014. Please Vote!

Friday, November 14, 2014

'A Retro Christmas' gift wrap design in the Top 10 at Spoonflower!

©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. Photo from Spoonflower on Flicker.
My 'A Retro Christmas' gift wrap design made the top 10 at Spoonflower !!
Thanks to all of my friends, fellow MATSies and family for the votes!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Retro Christmas!

Ornament Gift Wrap for Spoonflower!
A Retro Christmas! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.

I love this theme because Christmas ornaments come in so many shapes, styles and traditions. I chose to illustrate some of my favorites from the ornaments that my family and I have collected over the years!

I started by just drawing as many ornament shapes as possible on my iPad with the Adobe Ideas App. (I love this app, I can take my iPad anywhere and draw without being tethered to my desk.) The next step was to add the details... I drew stars and dots and swirls and spots and hooks and pine branches a hundred different ways. All of the illustrations are just outlines and in black only until I open the PDF in Photoshop. When I get to this stage I make decisions on how many colors (in this case 5 + b&w), and come up with a strategy on the overall look. I decided to make the ornaments white because I wanted the details to be the focus and limited my colors to unify the shapes. Tried to keep it simple!

Voting starts on Thursday, November 6th, 2014. Please Vote!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2015 Farm Friends Tea Towel Calendar

'2015 farm friends calendar' ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.
It's time for the annual Tea Towel Calendar design at Spoonflower!

This year I decided to use some of my favorite animal illustrations, most of which haven't been used in other designs this year. A few have been used in my 'Farm Fresh' fabric but most of my farm friends are new to the market!

I drew all of these characters in black and white with Adobe Ideas on my iPad and then opened them up in Photoshop where I assembled and colored the parts of each icon. I also used my old Quark Express to layout the calendar dates. I have inDesign with my Adobe cc but still haven't learned how to use it yet (embarrassing but I am also just learning illustrator).

The Calendar is larger than the usual Spoonflower entries to fit on a fat quarter-yard of their Linen-Cotton Canvas fabric (27" x 18"), the preview had to be oriented horizontally to fit 4 calendars per yard.

Voting starts Thursday, October 30th, 2014. Please Vote!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Calaveras for Spoonflower!

Calaveras for Spoonflower!  ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.
This week at Spoonflower
Designers were asked to design a pattern celebrating Day of the Dead and All Souls Day with traditional sugar skulls, called calaveras. This is my design! Voting started on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, Please Vote!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cuckoo for Spoonflower!

Cuckoo for Spoonflower! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.
The Spoonflower Design Challenge this week is featuring clocks or timepieces.
I did a bit of recycling on this one. I designed this cuckoo clock for my Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells e-class in the Spring of this year and thought it would be fun to use it for this assignment.

In order to make the illustration work better with a fabric pattern, I added a few other elements. Starting with a new clock tower with grand doors, a spattering of stars, a tipsy moon and a wandering bear just for fun. Last, a textured element to the 'wallpaper' behind the clocks. :)

Voting starts on Thursday, October 16th, 2014. Please Vote!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ballet Bears for Spoonflower!

The theme for the Spoonflower design challenge this week was ballet!
Ballet Bears! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. 

This was so fun to do. I knew I wanted to draw bears for this challenge because nothing is more perfect than fancy bears wearing tutus and pointe shoes.
I started the design by drawing bears in about 15 different sizes and dance positions, then narrowed them down to the two seen above. Next, sketched dance outfits and accessories like tiaras, crowns and magic wands and assembled them in photoshop. I placed the characters into my ribbon-like design to complete the repeat pattern! :)
Voting starts on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. Please Vote!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Retro Tables + Chairs for Spoonflower!

This week Spoonflower asked their faithful designers to create a design that features tables and chairs.
Retro Tables + Chairs! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Design. All Rights Reserved.

For this prompt I didn't even have to think…I am just drawn to mid-century modern chairs.

I researched photo's of chairs from that era and sketched about 25 different styles before narrowing the field to the final five. The color palette was chosen next... olive, smokey blue and white. When designing fabric, I like the color story to be as important as the images. The olive color really reminds me of a sofa and the appliances my parents had when I was a kid, and the blue was chosen to bring this retro design into today. The white allows you to see the unique shapes of the chairs and to unify their look. If I had put patterns on all of the chairs, it would have looked too busy.
The next step was to arrange the elements into a pleasing pattern and add a pop of color with the tulip flowers in a vase. Finally the dot pattern was added to give some texture to the piece.

Voting starts on Thursday, September 25rd, 2014. Please Vote!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Creepy Kitty! Halloween Damask for Spoonflower!

Creepy Kitty! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.

The Spoonflower design challenge this week didn't start off well. The assignment was to 'come up with damask-inspired prints that incorporate illustrations of cats.' I couldn't think of why they chose 'cats'. Not particularly a cat fan. I procrastinated. My procrastination grew into a trip to Target where they were putting out the Halloween decorations and it inspired me to take that direction with my design.

Creepy Kitty!
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs.

I got home and drew damask-like swirls, spots and dots, and bats, pumpkins, skeletons, ghosts and of course cats! Imported the drawings from my iPad into Photoshop and built my design shape by shape.  It is sized as a fat quarter and placed it into a 1/2 drop repeat.

Voting starts on Thursday, September 18th, 2014. Please Vote!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Marching Band for Spoonflower!

Marching Band for Spoonflower! ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved. 
The design contest this week at Spoonflower… celebrating marching bands!

I started this design as I normally would, with research on the internet and Pinterest. The most interesting bits that I found were vintage ads for band uniform catalogues. I took note of the details on the vintage uniforms and decided to incorporate them into my design. I wanted to use certain instruments associated with a marching band and drew them and my marchers in my usual loose fashion on my iPad.

Next, I opened the Adobe Ideas file in Photoshop and chose my color palette. Most of the band images online were using the same theme of red and black uniforms, so I chose a palette that was a little different. The blue and yellow worked well together and the green was a natural for the background.
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs.
All Rights Reserved.

I wanted the colors of the marchers to reflect a real marching band, so diversity was important. I built the characters in Photoshop and then placed each one in proper marching position on a new 4.5x10.5" file, the idea is to set up for a 1/2 brick layout. I added my green in the background and a dot texture for interest. Finally adding the notes to help with the overall pattern design!

Preview on the 1/2 brick pattern is a quarter yards (21" x 18"). Voting starts on Thursday, September 11th, 2014. Please Vote!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Feathers, Jewels & Intricate Chaos!

Wrapping it up!
Jewel Inspired Design.
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs.
All Rights Reserved.
The Summer of 2014 is wrapping up and so are my  summer classes from the Make It In Design Summer School! I love to take classes as often as I can to add some new pieces to my portfolio. Here are my submissions for the third round of assignments!

The Beginner Track took aim at designing a 'jewel-themed' pattern. Using geometric shapes, beads, circles and embellishments.
I started with simple shapes using the suggested palette and built this design in photoshop.

Feather Inspired Design. ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs.
All Rights Reserved.

The Intermediate Track was to design a decorative 'feather-inspired' pattern using ornate embellishments and the suggested color palette. I started this assignment with many, many drawings of feathers, birds, and rough ink marks. I drew these in black and white on my iPad with the Adobe Ideas App. and then opened them in photoshop. I added the color, built my elements individually and then assembled them into the pattern below. I tried to push the scale of the elements and marks to develop an ornate layered look. 
This design or elements of this composition can be used for clothing, wallpaper, fabric, cushions, etc. 

The Advanced Track required a pattern design with 'intricate' shapes and silhouettes. Inspiration could be tiles, lace and mosaics layered and detailed using only 4 colors and black & white. 
I usually work with simple shapes and that is how I started this pattern. Many simple shapes in multiple layers. I limited my palette by only using 3 colors plus white to keep the wild factor in check. If I play with scale, this type of pattern can be used for garments, scarves, notebooks, wallpaper, rugs, lampshades or really any application! 

Intricate Design. ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. 
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Getting Buggy for Spoonflower!

'Buggy' ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs.
All Rights Reserved.
Last week Spoonflower got Buggy!
Just a simple design last week… I took the week off to take our eldest to college in Boston and this is what I came up with on the road. Beatles, ladybugs and roaches inked with a spot of watercolor! All done on my iPad using the Waterlogue and Adobe Ideas Apps!!
Now available as fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap at!
'Buggy' ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer School Gets Tropical!

Summer School!
I am taking three classes at the 'Make it in Design Summer School'.  Here are my submissions for the first round of assignments!
The Beginner track participants were to design a tropical themed pattern using your own color palette and I chose to explore a summer fruit theme!
I drew the fruit shapes with a black marker on copy paper and then scanned them into Photoshop where I added my chosen color palette. When the fruit shapes were assembled I opened a new file and created a scattered overall pattern!
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. Beginner Track, Brief 1.
The Intermediate track theme was 'Retro Geometric'! Designers were to create a retro inspired pattern using a provided color palette, large scale motifs and strong geometric shapes.
I drew these graphic shapes on my iPad with the Adobe Ideas App. and then opened them in photoshop where I added the required color palette to the shapes. I opened a new file and arranged a pattern and added the green dots for interest. I repeated the process for the coordinating retro inspired stripe. It was suggested that designers mock up the patterns on a swimsuit, so I found a few retro swimsuit shapes that I liked and combined them to design the shape below!
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. Intermediate Track, Brief 1.
The Advanced track theme was 'Water Rays'. Design a water inspired pattern using four colors and black and white, one large motif in the pattern had to be combined with smaller ones and a textured layer should be included (I used the waves in the background). 
My take on this theme was to incorporate the tropical mangrove leaves over a water scene. I drew the leaves by hand with india ink and a brush and then scanned them into photoshop where I colored them and layered a small pattern of dots on top. The waves on the bottom layer are from photo's of the ocean simplified and enlarged. I finished the presentation by mocking-up the design on a pillow!
     ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. Advanced Track, Brief 1.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Herbs for Spoonflower!

This week on Spoonflower... Herbs!
Herb's Herbs!  ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.
The idea for this design came from looking at Pinterest and all of the illustrated recipes that I admire on my food illustration board. I wanted to try one. Seeing as it was herb week I thought a nice Caprese Salad would be fun. A Caprese Salad consists of buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato and fresh basil. I thought I would add a few other herbs as well seeing as it is herb week… rosemary, thyme + parsley. A loaf of fresh bread, olives and olive oil were also added to complete the menu! Once I had the concept together I started on the execution of the design.

I tend to go at these designs in the same way.
1. I start with reference material, looking at herbs and tomatoes and bottles etc.
2. Sketch the items in my moleskin sketchbook.
3. Photograph my rough sketches with my iPad.
4. Open the photos in my Adobe Ideas App and do cleaner sketches over the roughs. (With my finger). This app allows you to draw freeform vector illustrations virtually anywhere!
5. Send the clean drawings to my desktop computer and open them in Photoshop. (I put them in 'the cloud'.)
6. Choose a color palette and color the drawings in layers.
7. Open a new file in the size that I want my final pattern to be and build layers of colors to make my images.
8. Burn and dodge to add depth if needed.
9. Adjust the individual images to make a good composition for a repeat pattern.

I don't know if this is the right way to do this, but it works for me. I like drawing by hand and this method allows me to keep a hand drawn look to my illustrations.

Voting started on Thursday, July 24th, 2014. Vote here!

Encaustic Coffee... MATS Bootcamp Wrap-up!

I've submitted my last MATS Assignment Bootcamp project for my Lilla Rogers class. This month we were given a mini assignment to draw our favorite beverage and then asked to produce a personal piece of art, something that we would make for ourselves. 
'Encaustic Coffee' ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.

I drew coffee cups and the stuff that it takes to make the coffee in my moleskin for the mini. I knew that I would love to get into my encaustic art supplies (it's been a while) and also incorporate some digital art to complete the final assignment, this is what I came up with...

This is a multi step project and the best way to describe the process is to list the steps…

1. photographed a vignette of coffee making supplies in the morning light from my kitchen window.
2. used the Waterlogue App. on my iPad to give my photo a watercolor feel.
3. printed the photo onto a silk organza fabric sheet and embed the silk photo
into my prepared encaustic medium on a wood base
4. painted over the silk with encaustic paint heating and smoothing the wax to adhear the layers.
5. used graphite to draw the "outline" illustration onto tracing paper and transfer the graphite by rubbing it into the wax from the tracing paper. The tracing paper is then removed and the graphite stays on the wax.
6. heat the graphite transfer to embed in the wax… done!

 Lilla Rogers Studio!
Lilla Rogers Studio!
I'm sad to see MATS Bootcamp end! I've learned so much in the past year through the Make Art That Sells A+B Courses and now Bootcamp. This year has been about updating my portfolio and I've been building a website to hopefully attract some attention for licensing deals.  In the past year I've been able to place in the top 10 at Spoonflower 8 times and even win once, and I got my first licensing deal with a clothing manufacturer! Thanks Lilla + Beth!
The next step for me is to take on the challenge of the 2014 Global Talent Search! Wish me luck!!

1. photo vignette
2. photo after waterlogged app.
3. silk organza printer sheets

4. encaustic paint palette aka electric pancake griddle

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Rhino for Spoonflower!

This week, I've created a fabric design that celebrates rhinos!
'Rhino + Friends' ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved. 

'Rhino + Friends' (1/2 brick repeat)
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved. 

My inspiration for this assignment comes from these photo's that I took at our local zoo… Lion Country Safari. It is a drive through zoo so you can get up-close and personal with the animals in their own environment. The rhino area is large and they have many white rhino's of all different sizes including some of the babies pictured here. 
The Design… Started with sketches of my inspiration photo's on my iPad (Adobe Ideas App). My family was on vacation and I did all of my sketches this week while on or waiting for airplanes. When I got home I opened the illustrations in Photoshop and colored and arranged the elements into a simple layout. The 1/2 brick repeat is sized as a fat quarter (21" x 18"). Voting began on Thursday, July 10th, 2014. Vote Here!

Monday, June 30, 2014

'Nautical' wall art for Lilla Rogers Bootcamp!

'help sometimes'  ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs. All Rights Reserved.
June with Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp was all about the Nautical theme. This was my entry.
I've posted before about MATS Bootcamp -  a portfolio building group for illustrators and designers looking to push their style into different directions. The category was 'wall art' but something like this would be great for cards, journal covers and maybe even a theme for a children's book as well!
 Lilla Rogers Assignment Bootcamp
Lilla Rogers Assignment Bootcamp

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

'Sewing Circles' for Spoonflower!

'Sewing Circles' Collection ©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs

The Challenge -
This week at Spoonflower… 'sewing notions' in a special 'Coordinates Design Challenge'!  Designers were asked to design four coordinating prints with the sewing notions theme on a full yard of fabric (42" x 36"). This contest is extra exciting because guest judge Denyse Schmidt, designer, quilter and author, will pick a winner from the top ten community voted designs to be featured on the pages of an upcoming issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting!

The Design - 
This challenge was fun for me. My love of fabric is what started my Spoonflower design obsession. I am a member of my local Modern Quilt Guild chapter, and a huge fan of Denyse Schmidt

I started with research, first going to Denyse Schmidt's website to check out her new collections of fabrics and her quilt patterns. Then of images from my Pinterest board on the subject . It has tons of pictures of buttons, threads, and vintage scissors and such. I drew an enormous amount of images in my sketchbook and on my Adobe Ideas app on my iPad.

When the drawings were done I opened them in Photoshop and chose a color palette. The tomato pin cushion was an image that I wanted to use in my final composition, so the red and green were the first colors chosen. I didn't want the pattern to look like Christmas, so I auditioned some darker colors. Plum, aqua and two tones of grey seemed to be working pretty well so I went with it.

The first composition to be completed was the tossed tomato pin cushions. I assembled the color layers in Photoshop and used 4 different drawings in varying sizes and directions, then added the stitching texture to have a hand quilted feel. The sewing circles and the check were done with a hand quilted look. These all went fairly quickly and then I wanted to do a layout with some of the leftover drawings on my screen. The last layout has so many detailed drawings that it took way longer than I wanted, but I am pleased with the result. I have so many images that I actually came up with two completed collections for this topic and could probably do many more!

'pins and needles' Collection
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs.

Voting starts on Thursday, June 26th, 2014. Vote Here!