See how Hannah makes her patterns, from sketch, to ink, to final.
Last month I featured an interview with Hannah Sheffield on the blog. She talked about how she is inspired to create complex black and white patterns. Today I want to share with you Hannah’s process for building out these patterns. I always think it’s fun to see how an artist works. Enjoy!
Hannah, one of the things I love about your patterns are how detailed they are. Can you share with us a little bit about your process and how you build out a pattern?
Well, towards the end of last year I bought a couple of Rollbahn notebooks to write in. It was pure chance, I liked the look of them. They are hard to come by in the UK and have pale yellow paper that is covered very lightly in a grid. When I started drawing again a few months later I had the perfect tool just sitting there waiting for me.
What I like about them is that the gridlines help you picture a tile, and provide a little bit of guidance, but are faint. The pale dots do not get caught up in the photographing and tracing process.
I use both pen and pencil depending on how I feel. Pencil is kinder, as you can change your mind a lot and the flow is softer. And it’s nice that pencil doesn’t come out too perfectly when I trace over it, this adds a bit of texture. On the other hand I like the focus that putting pen straight to paper demands of you.
Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to draw so I approach things properly with initial sketches, a final pencil drawing and ink over the top. On other occasions I paint! However, I save those ideas for when I have a spare few hours and a free brain.
Once I’ve finished drawing I take a photo of the artwork with my phone. I place it in Illustrator and trace it. Then the fun begins as I play around with it, discovering how it is going to come together.
Sometimes I use just part of the drawing. Other times I use the whole thing, flipping and mirroring to make a tile. I just see what happens really and when it looks right I go with it.
Pretty cool, huh? I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into how Hannah builds out her patterns.
And if you liked this post, please check out other featured designers.