Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cubes of strawberries stretching out into infinity - a.k.a. OM NOM NOM

This week's theme was "farmer's market." In my opinion, the item that is by far and away most improved when bought at a farmer's market over a supermarket: strawberries. I considered a few different ways to portray the berries and settled on putting them in the classic aqua-colored plastic pint baskets. And I love the classic cube-illusion tessellation of parallelograms, which seemed like a good fit. Until I started really looking at pictures of strawberries for this, I didn't quite realize how orange strawberry seeds are - in drawings they're usually just made white, which is how I see them in my mind's eye.

Isometric Strawberry Pints

The only thing I don't like about this is how the hulls ended up. I redrew them half a dozen times and just couldn't get them to look right. I also think that the "shine" on each berry reads better from close up than it does from this scale. But, I do really like how the pint baskets and overall isometric "cubiness" turned out.

This came in 66 out of 293 with 169 votes. My favorite entries were the tomato dot and radish damask (which came in third). There were a lot of prints for this theme that would be great as tablecloths, placemats, or grocery totes, like this fruit and flower watercolor, or a similar arrangement in a flat graphic style (which won), or these woodcut-like squares (which came in eighth). There were many other strawberry designs, my favorite of which was this one.

Speaking of tessellations, I forgot to mention that the layout of the frogs from last week was based on this frog design by M.C. Escher.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Frogs and Pineapples

The Spoonflower contest two weeks ago was for a "mod" wallpaper design, using no more than three colors (or four, if one is white or black). Mod is not really my favorite aesthetic, but I gave it a whirl anyway. I tried to do a design with bird-of-paradise flowers first, but didn't really make it anywhere with that, so I ended up doing pineapples instead - a traditional symbol of hospitality. I was inspired by the crosshatching in the winner of the previous palette-restricted contest, so I used dots to mix my three colors together. I kept the colors inspired by the bird-of-paradise - blue, green, and orange.


This only got 6 votes, but surprisingly still came in 354 out of 397 since there were a number of low-vote entries. My favorite were the genius oversized half-tone dots. I also loved this strawberry design, which doesn't strike me as "mod" or as something I'd want on a wall, but I desperately want to make it into a sundress. The design I would most likely use as wallpaper are these calm clamshell chevrons. I could also see these dots, though that's perhaps a bit too "Doctor's office exam room." I liked the foliage that came in third and the flowers that came in tenth. I really liked this one, inspired by the look of plant cells under a microscope. Also nice, the limpets and these stylized leaves.

The next contest after that was for frogs - a smaller-scale design that was judged at the eight-inch square size instead of a fat quarter. I went with poison dart frogs and had lots of fun drawing all the different colorful types.

Poison Dart Frogs

I have no idea where this one fell in the votes, as they had a bug in their report this week and didn't publish the results. Bummer! I did notice while voting that several people had forgotten the change in scale this week, and had submitted designs that clearly looked better at the fat quarter view than the swatch. Like this very colorful one that I liked, but the frog in the design wasn't actually visible in the swatch! My favorite was this other very colorful one, which I could see as the tablecloth at a kids' table. I also liked this entry that has almost a Genndy Tartakovsky feel (and came in fourth) and this Navajo-style repeat.