Coloring Book Project

Pattern Swatches

I chose to base my pattern swatches off of a Japanese wave pattern, Maori tattoo patterns, a Korean floral pattern, Japanese tebori tattoos, the Celtic knot, African indigenous art, and Greek mosaic pattern. First, I chose to make thumbnail drawings of the swatches, but chose to make them simpler so they would be easier to do digitally. For the patterns, I typically repeated portions of the swatches so that they would be equal to each other and I also used the reflect tool on the swatch of the Greek mosaic pattern. I chose to depict the Japanese wave tattoos with a gradient because I thought that it had resembled the shading technique used in the tattooing.

In order to color the patterns, I edited the color of the swatch images directly and chose to make a new pattern out of them. This resulted in the positions of the image in the patterns being slightly different from their black and white counterparts, but I used this to show the color more clearly. I chose the colors for my patterns by picking a blue and using the color guide in Illustrator.

Pattern Dude

For the first part of this project, which included a figure drawing session, I was unable to come to class because I was feeling unwell. Due to this inconvenience, I chose to draw a figure in a baroque costume from a reference photo which I had found online. I drew from this figure in ink, only choosing to suggest lines instead of making a detailed analog drawing because I wanted more of my focus to be in the digital drawing over it.

In order to make the digital version, I chose to scan the image and made an original and a linework layer. For the linework layer, I did most of my work in pen tool, which I had gotten more creative with due to the previous project. After finishing the initial line work of the figure, I chose to give the strokes more weight by selecting the entire figure and making the stroke weight 2p and selecting the option for varying strokes. Afterwards, I selected individual strokes to either make heavier or lighter according to the image. I then used both the paintbrush and direct selection tool to fill certain areas of my figure with black and white pattern, at some points using the multiply option to show the linework details through the patterns. I wanted to leave some empty spaces for coloring of the figure because it was going into a coloring book. Afterwards, I centered the image and created a 40p stroke rectangle to border the page on a layer underneath the layer with the linework. Finally, I made the rectangle no fill with a patterned stroke.

In order to color the figure, I began by making the colored pattern swatches and opening them on the document from the user defined files. Because I had areas with pattern selected with the black and white patterns, I was able to simply select and replace the pattern with a colored pattern.


Our group chose to use the theme of “The Body and it’s Accessories”, so I chose to draw images of my legs and feet to draw in Illustrator. I chose to make very loose and light drawings in pencil, which I would trace in Illustrator on a separate layer. I chose to make these line drawings very loose and expressive so it would be easier to add pattern to these images. I chose to also keep some closed shapes in the drawing so I would be able to fit them with pattern.

When working further with the images, I chose to use varying line weights as I did in my Pattern Dude portion. I also chose to add certain charcoal strokes in order to create some variety. In order to create cohesion throughout the book, I chose to use the patterns made by those in my group. By sharing files on the Google Drive, we were able to download each other’s pattern swatch documents and use each other’s patterns. I was able to have some fun with the loose nature of the patterns and the freedom of the paintbrush tool. I found that I was able to create an interesting layering effect by using different patterns on top of each other with the paintbrush tool and and even create some darkness in the images this way in order to create a pattern around the image and emphasize it.


When creating the cover, I decided to utilize different images and swatches from within my group in order to show various work. However, upon meeting up, we were able to finalize some design decisions, which included making my original front cover a back cover instead. I had gotten rid of the original text box, added more artwork, and created new colored pattern swatches. I used this experience to become more comfortable with making color patterns because at this time of the project, we had not completed our individual color swatches yet so I had taken the time to create them before adding them into the cover. I also added some loose charcoal strokes to mimic the look of the front cover.


Through this project, I found that I was more comfortable working in a group because we were working with something which I was not used to, which was Illustrator. While I knew the basics of Illustrator, I found myself struggling a bit more with patternmaking and color rather than the brush or pen tool. I found that it was a good choice to be organized early on by creating a group chat and by creating a shared Google Drive folder where we were able to share all of our work with each other. This way, we could message each other when we were confused and were able to keep working with each other’s pattern swatches and images without having to organize meeting up. I found that our project was strong because we were able to utilize a unifying effect with our patterns being used throughout the book in each other’s pages. After seeing the finished product, I was able to feel much better about the way our project looked once it was completely put together.

Museum Triptych

For the project which consisted of a portrait from personal and cultural items, I chose to search for identity in a space that I’m not very used to. I wanted to experience more Korean art, which I had never truly experienced. As I walked around the Korean Art exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum, which was admittedly very small and somewhat disappointing, I found a various array of Korean paintings and small artifacts, yet nothing seemed to capture me more than a rafter finial, which was in the shape of a dragon’s head and had a wind chime. I liked the way the dragon was depicted; with fire flaming from the ears, mouth, and nostrils. This dragon head would’ve hung off the side of a large building.

I chose to also use my unique teddy bear named Jason, my keychain, tattoo needles, and a denim jacket, which I had spiked and put patches and pins on. I also initially chose India ink, however, I chose to use the ink as a medium rather than an object. I chose these items for various reasons. I picked the tattoo needles and ink because I use them in hand poked tattoos specifically and have an abundance of them. I picked Jason the bear because there’s a story to how I got him; I was at New York Comic Con and I came across a booth for Jack’s Horror Show, a shop for taking molds of an individual’s teeth and making false fangs from the molds. However, in making the teeth, there would be duds that couldn’t be sold due to production error so Jack decided to take these teeth and attach them to various stuffed animals. At the time I was wearing a skull mask that Jack also had and he gave me a discount for purchasing Jason. I picked my keychain because I currently have four items on it; a set of plastic skull knuckles meant for self defense, a bottle opener, a house key, and a dead lighter that I use as a fiddle toy when I feel anxious.

I combined the items in various thumbnail drawings for a contour design that would include them all.

I eventually decided on a design where Jason would be in the lower middle area of the frame with the jacket in the background on the left and the dragon coming in on the right corner. There would be the tattoo needles in the background and the keychain would be in the foreground of the image, almost in a trompe l’oeil manner.

[Contour drawing file lost, will insert image once able to rescan]

For the next part of the assignment, which involved studying the positive and negative space of the objects, I made several thumbnails, but ended up deciding on a design where the outlines of the objects were most distinctive and easily seen and where position was implied through the scale of the various objects. I then scanned the contour drawing that I had made and traced over it digitally, altered the fill, and switched the fill and stroke to create both a positive-negative and a negative-positive image.



For the final step of the project, I created a drawing of all of my items in ballpoint pen, scanned the image, traced it in photoshop, and attempted to create a grayscale image. However, I found myself struggling due to a lack of closed shapes in my image to fill certain shapes with color. This caused complications with my value piece on Illustrator, however, I decided to work with this inconvenience by focusing mainly on the mixed media portion, which involved collaging over the grayscale piece. I found a lot of fun in this portion because I got to do some very experimental methods in this part, such as utilizing the India ink which I had decided to use as a medium instead of an object in the first portion of the project. I was able to decorate negative space with ink splatters, and even used the splatters on different papers such as paper towel to decorate the collage. I chose to add a three-dimensional aspect by referring to the studs and safety pins on my jacket and glued several along the shoulders and back of my jacket outline.


[photograph of mixed media collage to be taken]

After some work on Illustrator to become more comfortable with aspects such as the pathfinder and grayscale, I was able to rework my value piece to include more shapes, colors, and stroke widths. Having to work in this way helped me become more comfortable with the program as a whole and made me utilize the basic skills that we had learned throughout the project.