Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado
This design was so fun to work on. I found the flower when I organized my artworks. It is mounted on wood, I placed it on a shelf. Thinking about this challenge, I was trying to find a not-so-ugly bug. Then It came to me. My blue bee was sort of pretty. There it began.
Bee Bloomers is my entry in the Spoonflower – Insects Skillshare Whimsical Watercolor design challenge. I really think this could be a contender for top ten. Can’t do it without you though!
(click links to vote)
Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado
If you missed it, you can read about where the original ended up, the WIP here and the slow beginning.
Oh boy, seeing this again after so long, there are many things I would change. (The awful background.) You can see in the revised bee below, I did change quite a bit, digitally.
Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado
I made the mouth larger, to help it print better on fabric. I just copied, resized and pasted.
- Added the missing second antennae and front leg. In the reference photo, neither were visible. I copied and pasted those as well.I stretched the antennae, resizing for better printing.
- I beefed up her back and rear as well. Sorry dear. The rear is now touching the leg, and is longer. The back surrounds the rear wing so it looks fully, “attached”.
- It was nearly impossible to crop the bee from the wood background. Some of the wood grain obliterated the hairs on the legs. The quickest thing to do was erase the hairs, and then draw them back on in Photoshop. I was dreading that part, but it turned out to be easy.
- I added highlights to the center leg, and made the bottom of the rear leg larger, and better attached to the top half.
It is hard to see most of these details in the low-res images, and they may not even show on the fabric. Then again, I have always been pleased with the quality of Spoonflowers printing. The work was fun, and challenging, and that counts for something in my book.
Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado
Additional Design Elements
Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado
The only adjustments I made to the flower was to smooth the edges and add color between the blue center lines. I left them white on the painting, and I like it, but I have to admit it doesn’t “make sense”.
I smoothed the edges for better printing. I knew I was going to use an outline of the flower shape as an additional design element, so the edges needed to be as clean as possible.
Carpenter bees tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. Carpenter bee adults spend winter in wood within abandoned nest tunnels. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood and lay their eggs within a series of small cells. (from Wikipedia)
I wanted to include a wood element in the pattern. My first thought was an all over linear background. I couldn’t get it to work. I was “this close”. So at least I am on the right track.
Thing is, once I do manage to get it to repeat, I will be able to use it over and over. Below is a look at my idea. If you look at the lines on the left edge, and then the right, you well see that they do not match up. Some do, but not all.
Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.
So I had to rethink the wood. I filled those hollow flower shapes with several faux-wood grain patterns. And honestly, I think it works better. I have the bees facing all directions, and the “wood” flowers help to support the multi-directional toss.
I can use the wood grain as I have it to create a cheater quilt though! Woo Whoo!
Bee Bloomers Collection
I wanted soft colors for the background, that would not distract from the painted elements. White, blue, yellow and green. Spoonflower designers often seem to favor dark backgrounds, so I tried a steel-blue, sampled from the bee.
There it was.
My design challenge entry.
I continued to play with color, and found that teal really made the flowers pop. The final turquoise is very Hawaii, tropical delight! For that one I changed the shade of green on the small button flower, and darkened the wood patterned flowers. For a closer look, visit my shop.
So thankful to you for taking the time to vote.
Grateful if you think of sharing the link with friends.
Happy if you enjoyed this lengthy post.
No matter how sure you that a friend will be there for you when you need them, it is the greatest feeling when the time comes, and they are.
- All designs will be eligible for public voting, and the popular vote determines the top 25 winning designs. The first place winner will be chosen by Skillshare from the popularly-voted top 25 designs.
- 1 first place winner each week (5 total, 1 per theme), chosen from the top 25 by Skillshare, will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit.
- The 2nd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $100 Spoonflower credit.
- 3rd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $50 Spoonflower credit.
- Remaining top 10 designs will receive a $20 Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly-voted designs from each theme (100 total, 25 per theme) will be automatically made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (provided they are a verified seller) where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5 swatch required.
- In addition, all design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
- 04/11/2017: Submissions open
- 05/16/2017: Submissions close at 3pm EDT
- 05/18/2017: Public voting opens
- 05/23/2017: Public voting ends at 3pm EDT to determine top 25 entries
- 05/25/2017: Spoonflower will announce the winner
See the winners from last week. My designs have been in the top half, or top third. But Pomegranates only received 34 votes, placing at #279 of 422. There are 410 entries this week.