Design Development: Watercolour Mushrooms

A walk-through of the techniques used to create my watercolour mushroom design. Using a combination of traditional and digital techniques to bring the design to life.

Watercolour Mushroom Design

Recently, I created a watercolour mushroom design (available on postcards in my shop). 

The design uses a mix of watercolour effects as well as silhouettes. As a result, this shows the way I can blend multiple techniques into one piece of artwork.

In essence, from start to finish, let’s talk about the lifecycle of my watercolour mushroom design.

Watercolour Mushroom Surface Pattern Design Vibrant Mushrooms on Black
Vibrant on black,
Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Surface Pattern Design Vibrant Mushrooms on Cream
Vibrant on cream,
Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Surface Pattern Design Tonal Mushrooms on Blue
Tonal on blue,
Watercolour Mushroom Design.

Step one: Inspiration

Without a doubt, like most artists, I’m constantly looking for inspiration. Once in a while, I’m lucky enough to find something that will sing to me. 

Surprisingly, the inspiration for my mushroom design came from a simple shopping trip. Previously, whilst mooching through a interior shop, I found a gorgeous mushroom print on bedding. The print featured a scattered repeat of different mushrooms in bright colours.

As soon as I got home, I started putting together a plan to create my own design inspired by mushrooms. 

Aimee Wilder - Mushroom City Botanica aimeewilder.com.
Anthropologie - Mushroom Dish Towel anthropologie.com.
Fabrics & Papers - Forager Medium Wallpaper fabricsandpapers.com.
Coast and Country Crafts - Effie’s Woods coastandcountrycrafts.co.uk.
Milton and King - Fungi Wallpaper, Eloise Short miltonandking.com.

Step two: Watercolour Mushroom - Concept

Of course, each design begins with my trusty sketchbook.

I researched the many unusual shapes of mushrooms, specifically found in the English countryside, and drew my own interpretations. 

Then, using my preferred sketches, I created silhouettes using tracing paper and marker pens. 

Step three: Experimenting

Next, with the silhouettes ready to go, I began thinking about the best way to colour the design. I knew I wanted the colouring to be exciting, so I needed to find the right way of showing that. 

Without a doubt, I’ve always been a fan of the way water naturally manipulates watercolour inks. Using watercolour paper, along with high pigment watercolour inks, I began experimenting.  

In conclusion, using a combination of water, pipettes, brushes, and watercolour inks, I created an explosion of colour ready for the silhouettes.  

Watercolour Mushroom design, work in progress, pencil sketches.
Pencil sketches of mushrooms.
Watercolour Mushroom design, work in progress, marker silhouette.
Marker silhouette's of mushrooms.
Watercolour Mushroom design, watercolour textures.
Example of watercolour textures.

Step four: Creating the motifs

Next, armed with the silhouettes and watercolour textures, it was time to create my motifs. 

First, I scanned the artwork into the computer ready for manipulation. Then, I cleaned each motif up in Adobe Photoshop. Finally, I used the mask of each mushroom silhouette and layered the best areas of the textures on top. 

After a little digital manipulation to elevate areas of colour, the motifs were ready. 

Single Watercolour Mushroom
Yellow & red,
Mushroom motif.
Single Watercolour Mushroom
Blue & purple,
Mushroom motif.
Single Watercolour Mushroom
Pink & green,
Mushroom motif.
Single Watercolour Mushroom
Red & pink,
Mushroom motif.
Single Watercolour Mushroom
Green & red,
Mushroom motif.

Step five: Watercolour Mushroom - Bringing the repeat together

With my motifs ready to go, I moved them over into specialist software to create a balanced layout which would work in both large and small scale. Once happy with the repeat, I added the original sketches over the top to bring the design together.  

Step six: Separation and colouring

With my flat design complete, I needed to elevate the design further to allow me to create multiple colourings to suit different audiences. 

In summary, the separation process gives me the ability to re-colour the design however I want by colouring each layer of the design. 

Separating the watercolour mushroom design has allowed me to offer the same design in different colourings. Ranging from vibrant tones on cream and black; to tonal colours in green and blue, the possibilities are endless. 

Watercolour Mushroom Final CAD Vibrant
Vibrant, Final Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Final CAD Black
Black, Final Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Final CAD Green
Green, Final Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Final CAD Blue
Blue, Final Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Final CAD Vibrant Black
Pastel, Final Watercolour Mushroom Design.

Step seven: Exploring future products

Finally, with the design and the colourings complete, it was time to try the design on products.

I added my designs to different products using digital renders to see how each looked. 

However, these products aren’t currently available but using this digital process has allowed me an affordable way of showing products to potential customers. 

Watercolour Mushroom Mock Up Mug
Mug mock up,
Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Mock Up Cushion
Cushion mock up,
Watercolour Mushroom Design.
Watercolour Mushroom Mock Up Plates
Plate mock up,
Watercolour Mushroom Design.

Step eight: Watercolour Mushroom - Available products

Alongside the digital renders, I have created a set of A6 postcards using the mushroom design. These postcards are available now in my shop.

Freelance Creative Services

Alongside producing designs and products, I offer a variety of creative services that can help bring your ideas to life.

Find out more about my creative design service.

Comments
Subscribe
Notify of

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments