Creative Exercise : Blind contour drawing

The first time I got to know the blind contour drawing method, was during painting class. I had to draw a tree by only looking outside to the tree, while drawing it on paper. The outcome was surprisingly appealing to me. Not focussing on correcting while drawing, but most of all really look at an object was inspiring and fun!


“Drawing through observation is a skill that most people are capable of learning,” says Terry O’Day, the chair of the art department at Pacific University, in Forest Grove, Oregon, where the Blind Contour method is taught. “The physical act of drawing consists mostly of developing hand-eye coordination. Anyone who can write legibly has the physical ability to record observations of a subject through drawing.”

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Drawing faces

1-Tracing-people © AMN

Drawing faces and people was always a bit daunting for me. But since I was little I like to draw funny scenes with animal creatures, I love reading comic books and watch animation movies. Capturing an emotion or telling a small story is so rewarding, and so much fun. After sketching along with model drawing videos of Matthew Archambault (Drawing Tutorials Online) I saw Lilla Rogers Drawing Faces self-paced class, and I took my chance to develop my face drawing skills.

Although not everything was new to me, it kept me drawing and playing around with facial features. The class consist of 5 exercises:  tracing faces (see first drawing; a very helpful and easy tool to really look!), style mash up, drawing eyes and expressions, drawing children (my favourite), and a fun face buffet card game. The face buffet game was a good way to put random features and accessories together to create a new character. The class ended with a bonus month of sketching.

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New patterns: Rainbow Party & Jellyfish

Rainbow Party patttern collection

How beautiful and playful are rainbows? That is why I used them to create a surface pattern collection especially for kids. And of course for everyone who feels young at heart. In the last summerschool of the Make It In Design School the brief Expressive Creative Freedom gave me a lot of fun creating watercolour marks in fun colours. Quite an intuitive process. Like any of my designs I did start with a moodboard with inspirational images. This gave me a colour direction and the feel I want to achieve.

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Designer interview: Antoinette Verhoeven • STUDIOZWAANSTRAAT

© StudioZwaanstraat_DrukwerkIn the work others create, we can see someone’s interests, experiences and personality (unless someone just copies, but let’s put that aside for now ;)). Style is always evolving, but seeing a person trough their art is what makes it so special and unique. Sometimes I come across work of someone else, and discover similarities in backgrounds later. Seeing the work of Antoinette Verhoeven made me curious about the designer behind STUDIOZWAANSTRAAT. She is a(n) illustrator, graphic designer and surface pattern designer, with a focus on creating very personal house portraits at the moment. And that is how I found out she had a background in architecture. A profession quite similar with my background in landscape architecture.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

My name is Antoinette Verhoeven and as STUDIOZWAANSTRAAT I do what I love most: creating beautiful images! I get inspired by all different kind of things, whether it is the content of my kitchen cabinet or the way people on the other side of the world have their coffee. I create illustrations, postcards, birth cards or stationery for all kind of festivities, but I also like to develop a new corporate identity for your company, whether it is small or big, a fresh look can take your business to the next level. Continue reading

Designer interview : Pauline Teunissen • La Scarlatte

Pauline Teunissen © La Scarlatte

Instagram is a great platform to discover designers and illustrators all over the world. And of course also great Dutch designers! The work of illustrator and pattern designer Pauline Teunisssen (La Scarlatte) stood out for me. She has a unique style, and her love for the natural world shows through. As a nature lover myself I enjoy watching her intricate work which focus on botanical and animal life. Therefore I am pleased to have the opportunity interviewing her in this second ‘designer interview blogpost’! 

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

I’m Pauline, and I work as a freelance illustrator and pattern maker under the name of La Scarlatte. It’s the French name for a really shy red small bird, which about sums me up. I’m always getting myself into trouble because I’m a perfectionist and never seem to be able to stop working on something or making it less detailed. Working on creating artworks more efficiently at the moment. Tea (herbal) is my IV, I have to have the biggest mugs of tea next to me, which I always forget and sometimes dip my paintbrush into. When I’m working I love to listen to music or audiobooks.

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Designer interview : Patricia Hooning • Fishuals

Patricia Hooning © FishualsThis is the first, hopefully of many, blog posts in which I interview a designer. I love to give other Dutch designers a platform to tell about themselves and their work. And I hope it will be a great inspiration to other designers and creative persons!
 made by designer Patricia Hooning © FishualsPatricia Hooning (of Fishuals) is the first designer who presents herself, and her work. I got to know Patricia during the 3rd module of the The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course we both followed. She is a surface pattern designer, illustrator and graphic designer. She creates surface pattern designs and illustrations. Her focus lies on home décor and stationery.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

I am 46 years young now! And really following my own path now. Since last month my work at Delta Lloyd as a graphic designer finished after 19 years. A in-house design team was no longer needed after the reorganization with Nationale Nederlanden. The last couple of years I worked 20 hours and besides my graphic design job I developed myself as a surface pattern designer and illustrator. And I am still learning. I follow courses of Make it in Design, Pattern Observer, a Creative Bizz Boost at Sabine Wisman and I am in a learning project for personal development.

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Blue Dew Design on Motiflow!

Creating patterns, mostly by hand and digitaly finished, is so much fun. And now a few of my patterns can be bought on wrapping paper, wallpaper and/or fabric at Motiflow! My patterns really come to live on a product, and that’s so great to see. The products are super easy to buy online, and there are a lot of unique patterns from great designers.

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Dew Drops • Dutch prints & pattern blog

Deze blog “Dew Drops”, zal naast updates van mijn eigen werk, inspirerende Nederlandse prints en dessin ontwerpen laten zien. Gemaakt door Nederlandse ontwerpers, of die te vinden zijn in Nederlandse winkels of musea. Dus ben jij Nederlands, een ontwerper van prints en dessins voor producten zoals schrijfwaren, textiel, behang e.d.? En wil jij jezelf en je werk presenteren op deze blog? Laat het me weten en stuur een berichtje!

This is the place where, besides updates of my own work,  inspirational Dutch prints and patterns will be featured.  Prints and patterns that are currently made by Dutch designers, or can be found in stores or museums in the Netherlands.  Are you Dutch, a designer of prints and surface patterns, and do you want to be featured on this blog? Let me know, and send me a message!