I was required to design Coastal Themed patterns in collaboration with Southsea Deckchairs for one of my University projects in First Year. This meant experimenting with lots of different techniques, as well as learning new ones and learning how to combine the different textures and motifs in Photoshop to create compositions that relate to the ocean. I also used Photoshop to create visualisations of my patterns on deckchairs.
A photo from one of my trips back home to Cape Town.
We were allowed to us personal experiences to inspire us in our designs, so I chose Shells. Seems rather generic, though I chose it because whenever I go to the beach, no matter what country I’m in (whether it’s here in Britain, in the South of France or back home in Cape Town, South Africa) I always seem to collect a copious amount of shells, with no where to put them. I got to meet the owner of Southsea Deckchairs and found out what he was looking for.
I really felt that I would do well with this assignment, as I think of myself as a Summer baby. I love the ocean, the feel of the (sometimes boiling hot) sand between my toes, the sound of the waves crashing, building sandcastles and collecting shells. Just writing this is making me home sick.
I had to create 7 different designs:
1x Large Format Design
2x Stripe Designs
1x Check Design
1x All Over/Mimaki Design
1x Repeat Design
1x Screenprint Design
For my Large Format design, I went all out with shells and textures. I created the textures by using bubble wrap to paint the random dots, painted larger dots using Brusho ink, ink printing with the bottom of a plastic cup to create larger circles and used wax rubbings on shells which I painted over with watercolours. I then took scans of my different motifs and edited them in to Black and White in Photoshop. I love this design, it’s playful and bright. I like the contrast between the bright, pastel colours of the bubbles and the monochrome shells. This could even be used as a beautiful shower curtain in an Ocean themed bathroom, or as bedding in a Nautical themed bedroom.
For my first stripe design I used sketches and painting of shells, and created a horizontal pastel stripe design by painting with different brushes. I intentionally made it so that the stripes weren’t completely straight and to create a more organic feel to the design.
My Second stripe design also consisted of organic stripes, but this time they are horizontal. I added the painted mussell shells and the word Shells which I created using a Letterpressing technique.
For the Mimaki design, I went a bit Psycadelic. I experimented with brusho inks for the base and added a Blur filter in Photoshop to blend the colours together. I used the mussell shells and bubblewrap texture again in this design. I really like this design, it’s possibly my favourite out of all of them. This could be used as a cushion as well as a deckchair design.
For my repeat design, I used the same bubblewrap texture and some sponge prints to create the background pattern. I then added in a few shells I created using puff fabric paints and a jellyfish I’d sewn by hand. I wanted to create a feeling of being underwater, and the jellyfish adds movement to the piece.
For my check design, I designed a grid like pattern using different types of stripes I created by experimenting with different brush strokes, sticks, brushes and sponges. In this grid, I created the check design with combining all of the different shells from my previous designs. I then changed the colours of all my shells by adjusting the Hue and Saturation in Photoshop. I really like this design, though it is rather busy. The wavy lines are to create movement in the composition and represent waves.
I hope you like these designs! I’m hoping to start up a shop with maybe some of these designs on pillows. Let me know what you think!