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Notes from the Sketch Book

Weekly Wrap Geometry – Art everyday Month

The weekly wrap from around the studio for *Art Every Day Month – Geometry Style.

Ended the week completing a new design and I just love it on the Iphone Case.

A few picture postcards that I am working on for a new project!

Hidden inspiration, amazing tiles snapped down the back alley of a fast food restaurant.

Carrying on the tile theme this time in photoshop, teaching creating photoshop patterns from basic shapes.

Lastly a play with squares, most definitely a work in progress, let’s see where this one ends up!

*Art Every Day Month is a challenge created by Leah Pilken Kolidas over at Creative Every Day.

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Live trace your way from sketch to vector.

Starting with a inked sketch, it could be a motif, a pattern, or a bit of typography like here, scanned in the highest resolution and open in Photoshop.


Now time to clean and adjust the levels, the aim here is to make the black blacker and the light pencil lines disappear as much as possible.  Levels is a good one and a curves layer can be helpful (Note if your image is not black and white change the image to grayscale)


For me the next stage is really important.  Zoom in and clean,  it can be as quick as erasing a few stray marks, adjusting a couple of lines and generally making sure the image is prepped and ready or try out select colour, tweaking the slider till you get a good balance.  Merge layers if needed, save a copy and drag it into Illustrator.


There are a couple of ways to vectorize an image, depending on the finished effect and result you are going for.  You could use the scan as a base to trace around using the pen tool, working in some tight corners and adjusting and correcting any parts that you want to change (no need to mess about to much in Photoshop cleaning if you are heading down this route) or you could try live trace – if you have not tried this one yet, give it a go!  Object – Live Trace – Tracing Options opens up the menu.

Tick the preview box and play around with all the settings, that is the best way to learn how all the different bits work! My tips, check the Ignore White if you don’t want the white background included in your design and look at the resample slider, often a higher resolution translates to lots of extra details that may not be necessary! When you are happy, save the preset and hit Trace!

Next it is time to play,  you have a vector that is completely scalable, you can expand and select all the separate pieces, tweak, colour, recolour, texture, drag it back into Photoshop, whatever you want!

One last thing to do……Print and send :)

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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday if it’s your birthday today!

Do you know you share it with Demi Moore and Leonardo Dicaprio and it is also Pattern and Co’s 10 month anniversary.  This time in January I posted my first blog post, since then the blog has grown a lot and it’s getting bigger!  Thank you so much to all who have dropped by, I really appreciate it!

The cards were created for the Hand Drawn Typography brief over at Tigerprint AND tomorrow I will walk through the process of sketch to finished artwork on another one of my hand drawn cards!  It’s really fun to take a doodle and make a pattern or original typography – I love it!

I really liked the style of the illustration so I made a quick font – Doodle Font (Michelle) –  If you don’t have illustrator and want to make your own hand written font try out My Script Font.  Great site!

Weekly Wrap – Art everyday Month


A weekly wrap from around the studio as I missed posting every day for the wonderful Art Every Day Month, a challenge created by Leah Pilken Kolidas over at Creative Every Day.

Day 7 : Working on a vintage floral digital ink and paint mix! Working between the two mediums is really satisfying as I get my hands dirty and creative, then I can switch to fleshing out the art and adding texture!

Day 8 – Completed a more traditional floral piece set for a repeat pattern.

Day 9 – Inspired by a found green fern.  The best way to refresh my energy and gather new inspiration is to step outside!

Day 10 – New black and white pattern for note pads!

Day 10 – It was a black and red day!

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Art Everyday – Moving in the right direction

Moving in the right direction is spot on for today!  I have over the last few weeks been building an online shop and working through all the parts, the design, drawing up licenses, learning a whole new set of skills from basic html and css to integrating a shopping cart! Pretty proud of myself as all the pieces are starting to come together in a cohesive brand!

So today’s Art everyday month is a visual reminder of how things are pointing in the right direction!

You can keep up to date with my progress and updates over on my Facebbook page or say hello on twitter!

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Art EveryDay – Watercolour part 2

Following on from yesterdays watercolour flower for Art everyday month I scanned in the image, adjusted the colours and made a seamless half drop pattern – turned out really pretty and floral!



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Art EveryDay – Watercolour

For today’s Art everyday month I tried my hand at a bit of watercolour, this is about my third attempt (first time I drew blackberries, then triangles!)  A work in progress, tomorrow I think I’ll see how it works into a pattern!!!

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You make me smile everyday!

You make me smile everyday…yes you do!

Sketching the ideas and outlines (at 4.30am because I couldn’t sleep and now lack typing skills due to tiredness! It’s a trade off.)

And something just for fun! A little piece for Art everyday month. Do jump over and check it out!


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Hello Sunday.

Sundays are a good day and with the extra hour I have cooked a chicken and mushroom pie with white sauce, baked an apple cake with super vanilla frosting, thrown around a few leaves and worked a bit in between!  This may not happen everyday, in fact you can guarantee that but hey I am happy while it lasts!


This cake is amazingly nice and easy! And eating your cake before dinner is perfectly acceptable right?  Happy weekend!

(spiced applesauce cake recipe via Smitten Kitchen)

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Are you wonderfully organised, an organised mess or simply a beautiful mess?


I like lists, I write them everywhere, lists for shopping, ideas, little doodles.  Important info is mixed with the wild dreams in my head and I thought I was being organised!!

This week was hard to get things done.  I had completed all my tasks and designs but in between are the projects I am working on, some in the planning stages, others almost finished and I realized as much as I love writing notes, the lists were beginning to look like the inside of my head, a disorganised creative mess. So whilst flicking through the papers to find a recipe for plum and apple pudding I took the opportunity to arrange the chaos!

First the doodles and ideas for designs, seeing as I love loose paper I picked up a small folder to keep them all together, something I can thumb through for inspiration.

Next up I couldn’t get rid of the note pad on my desk, this is the important one – things I must do on the day.  I am keeping it small and concise that way it is totally clear and understandable, I also added a couple of sticky notes for my shopping list (cheese and chocolate are very important!)

Lastly a big white board for all those random ideas and plans.  Here they are constantly on show so I can glance at them every so often and improve or discard, rework, rearrange and hopefully try to see the bigger picture in amongst all the ideas.

I also have a monthly calendar and a diary to keep track of the long term deadlines – One day in and I am almost finished with the important stuff list so I can work on my ideas board!  This made me all sorts of happy and a little  curious, how does everyone manage their ideas and projects.  Are you wonderfully organised, an organised mess or simply a beautiful mess?

Pop back tomorrow for a chat with Eva Marion Seyffarth, a German surface pattern designer and illustrator – we talk inspiration, Halloween and thoughts on Indigo Paris!

(FYI – Crumpling paper is very satisfying but picking it all up for the recycle bin is more than a handful!)

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