Paper Roses


Oodles of Doodles. Watercolor on paper.

Oodles of Doodles. Watercolor on paper.


Giving away my age here. I apologize in advance for the song headache this post might cause. Here is the link to the cure, a video of Marie Osmond singing Paper Roses. The minute I saw this pile of doodles, the song came to mind. Didn’t leave until I watched the video.

These are not roses though. I suppose they could be. My take on a Ranunculus.

I have been working on a fabric design. Many designs in fact. The project is for upholstering a chair. I have gone through at least a dozen possibilities. But none of them felt right. I think it has been so difficult, because I am designing this for me. And I have come to realize, it is all about the feeling.

The other night, just as I was falling asleep. I remembered something that helped to explain my color choice. I am set on a navy base, with white accents.

One of my first jobs, was cleaning for a physician and family friend. Perfect for after school and weekends. I cleaned her office, and home. At home, there was a navy corduroy chair next to the fire-place. It had soft looking cushions, perhaps down filled, and a matching ottoman.  Seemed warm and cozy. At the same time, I hated cleaning it. They had a big white dog.

Birth of a Pattern

Step one: draw. With a brush.

Taking inspiration from fabrics I love, I worked to distill the elements that mattered most. Simplicity. Clean lines. A repeat that does not call attention to itself.

Step two: choose elements and prep for placement.

For this design, I want line work. not details.  So I delete the white of the paper, and clean up the rough edges. I am working on a grey background (Photoshop) to highlight the areas of paper (white) I have missed.


Pattern WIP.

Pattern WIP.

The green, white and dark blue on the bottom have a color overlay. As you can see, the original color unevenness isn’t a factor. I thought to use only one element, one bloom. Alternating the size and direction would create variation. As it turns out, I have about fifteen that are good options. I will narrow it down to no more than five, and as few as three.

Continuing with the clean up, and then on to placement.

Have a great one!



4 thoughts on “Paper Roses

  1. Dotty Seiter

    I was just thinking about you yesterday, wondering what you might be up to creatively. And now I have an answer! Love this post. I am fascinated by this process (new to me), and I like both the simplicity and visual interest you’ve created in your doodle blooms.

    I trust that you will continue to share the journey with us, all the way through to the upholstered chair. Eager to follow!

    1. Sheila Post author

      Thank you Val 🙂 Yes, that is a good one. There are some with thinner lines that I like, but for the design to work, they should all be similar. 🙂


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