I've always loved dramatic botanical photographs on black backgrounds and was inspired to use some of that mood combined with a pop of saturated Mary Blair-esque colors in my entry for the Spoonflower Otherworldly Botanicals design challenge. Initially, I was drawn to using an Art Nouveau style for this design challenge because even if the flowers during that art movement were based on real Earth-bound botanicals, the floral patterns in the art prints, advertising, textiles, and wallpapers of the late 1800s, early 1900s hold such an otherworldly, almost alien, sense about them.
My main flower could be a waterlily, although the nearly lizard tendrils seem to point otherwise. I added in some ultraviolet feathery moth-like fronds and tiny asters to create a vibrant wonderland of glowing color.
I started out with a sketch using the symmetry options in Adobe Photoshop and played around with the idea of one big main flower with lots of Art Nouveau organic swoops. Originally, I was going to do flowers with eyeballs, but I decided to tone back the otherworldly aspect and focus more on color and overall pattern design. I liked where the image was going when I laid down my flats, but the motion of the repeated pattern was a bit stagnant. So I took the main stalk of the flower with its pompous, purse-like center and simplified the design so that the repeat had more drama in the motion. I played around with different ways to fill around the flower, but finally settled on filling the space with tiny space asters in contrasting bright colors. I could do a whole ditsy pattern with those little colorful flowers! They're very groovy. I finished with some blue and purple stems weaving through the background of the pattern.
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