It's been said that "colors are the smiles of nature," and if such a sentiment is true, then the oceans, seas, rivers and lakes of our world must be joyful entities indeed, as these bodies of beautiful water are practically beaming with an array of shades spanning every realm of the rainbow. Here are a few of our favorite flowing kaleidoscopes of color, what are some of yours?
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CAÑO CRISTALES RIVER, COLOMBIA
Known also as "the river of five colors," this natural phenomenon morphs into a non-too-muted vibrant shade of crimson each autumn like clockwork. Its change in color is attributed to a local native plant sourcing psychedelic-inspiring minerals and nutrients, apparently.
LAKE RETBA, SENEGAL
Every child (and grown adult's) bubblegum dream, Senegal's Lake Retba gets its pastel pink hue from a non-dangerous bacteria that absolutely adores the saltiness of its waters.
GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA
One of the famed wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia harbors a plethora of coral, seaweed, and fish species, which more than explains its near endless and exhaustive color kaleidoscope seen here.
LAKE NATRON, TANZANIA
Shallow and uber-salty, Lake Natron in Tanzania is so salty, in fact, that it's most flora and fauna can't survive here. But on the plus side? The incredible colors it creates, including bright red water and ooh-la orange shores.
EMERALD LAKES, NEW ZEALAND
Emerald Lakes is an iconic lake located in New Zealand's Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Incredibly, this natural wonder's yellow-edged enigmatic water is absolutely pure.
GRÜNER SEE, AUSTRIA
Grüner See, which is literally translated as "Green Lake," is a lake found in Styria, Austria. This beautiful gem is surrounded by the Hochschwab Mountains and forests, and received its moniker from the marvelous depths of rich emerald-green water it consists of, which comes directly from the snowmelt from the nearby mountains.
LAGUNA COLORADA, BOLIVIA
Laguna Colorada, also known as "Red Lagoon," is found within Bolivia's Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Close to the border with Chile, the fact that the vibrant colored lake houses within it borax islands (which are responsible for the white color) provides a perfectly picturesque contrast with the crimson color of its waters (the red deriving form red sediments and pigmentation of algae).
BLUE POOLS, HAAST PASS, NEW ZEALAND
Fed by natural pure glaciers, the water in these magnificent pools is the deepest azure blue, and so translucent, it provides you a crystal clear view right to the bottom.
Fields of Gold, and more
All the world over, Mother Nature is busy brandishing her paintbrush, creating her own mesmerizing palettes filled with blooms, blades of green grass, and rows upon rows of respondence. Here are some of our favorite fields of gold, and beyond. Feel free to jump on in and post your own favorite fields, and coinciding palette creations!
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LAVENDER FIELDS, FRANCE
The summer months find the rolling lavender fields of Provence in France near to bursting with bright purple blooms spreading as far as the eye can see.
SHIBAZAKURA HILL, JAPAN
Spring finds the fields at the base of Mount Fuji springing up and “blushing” with near endless mountains of moss blooms, also known as shibazakura.
This section of Eastern China boasts sprawling farmlands filled with a golden sea of canola blooms, when the yellow sunlit-shaded crop is in season.
TULIP FIELDS, HOLLAND
Spring is the prime time to catch Holland’s famed and immaculately manicured tulip, daffodil and hyacinth fields in full bloom.
SUNFLOWER FIELDS, TUSCANY
These bright and joyful beauties abound throughout Tuscany's rolling hillsides.
DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN, UAE
The Dubai Miracle Garden is found in the district of Dubailand in the United Arab Emirates. First debuted officially on Valentine's Day in 2013, this colorful and vibrantly-hued garden spans over 72,000 square meters--a massive spread that marks it as the world's largest natural flower garden, boasting more than 109 million blooms.
FLOWER FIELDS OF FURANO, JAPAN
Furano is famous for its lavender fields, but numerous assortments of buds, blooms, and other flowers are spread throughout the region, beginning to bloom in May, and offering a warm and welcoming greeting to guests visiting the area.
COLORFUL KEUKENHOF GARDENS, HOLLAND
Keukenhof is said by many as being among the most beautiful spring gardens across the globe, with more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths smiling happily at visitors across the garden's more than 32 hectares infused with vibrant color and lovely floral aromas.
They're here! Meet the latest design pack on Pixlr web and mobile apps - The COLOURlovers Expansion Pack!
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These design ideas were the result of our awesome, COLOURlovers + Pixlr #PixlrPop Contest held at the end of May. The result was eight (8) winning entries that went to inspiration for what is referred to as, Expansion Pack Overlays on Pixlr web, desktop and mobile apps. Overlay packs generally feature unique artwork set to varied styled effects similar to those in design programs (i.e. Photoshop). This means that some of the artwork is set to modes such as: Lighten, Multiply, Soft Light, Hard Light and so on. This changes their interaction with the artwork you use.
Here is a quick example how you can use the COLOURlovers Overlays Expansion Pack with a clean portrait to create a trendy double exposure artwork. I used this beautiful black and white portrait (via Pinterest search, "Portraits") for the example images.
I highly recommend fiddling around with a clean black and white portrait when designing double exposure and/or overlay types.
"Loulouflor" by Anonymuse
"SPRING2013" by SUNNY21327
"Zebra" by addabarrios
"Orange Loves you px" by bhsav
"Historic Arrest" by Huege
As you can see these turned out pretty neat! Each style has a specific personality that really creates some terrific effects. Check it out for yourself!
- 1. Go to Pixlr Express
- 2. Load your own image, or go find an easy portrait to work with, the one I used is at this link. (hint: right click + "open image in a new tab" works great to not grab the page link, instead you just want the link to the image itself.
- 3. You'll see the little COLOURlovers icon and you can start editing!
- *Big Tip: Add an effect then erase sections with the History Brush, then go back and add more overlay effects....
Would you like a video tutorial? Let me know!
The Maasai are one of the most well known Indigenous people of Africa. Their colorful attire and unique customs highlight their vibrant culture located in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania.
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Have you ever wondered as to the symbolism and social meanings behind their vibrantly beadwork?
"The beaded jewelry made by the Maasai women is a tradition from the Maasai tribe, located in Southern Kenya. The Maasai have been creating beaded jewelry for a very long time. It all started long before the first European contact had occurred. At the time, the tribe used natural resources to create their jewelry. Clay, wood, bone, copper and brass are just few of the materials that were used. When trade with Europeans started in the late 19th century, glass beads were suddenly available, and it is with those that the Maasai decided to continue their tradition of beaded jewels....The colors of the jewels are not only chosen because of the beautiful ensembles they make, but also for their symbolic values. Each color has a meaning that is often related to cattle. Cattle are the main food source of the Maasai and they sustain a deep connection with them. " - Discovered.us
I am really impressed that the Maasai Culture still exits in our world today. With their unwavering culturally-rich history, American culture pales in comparison with our ever-changing fashion trends and cultural whims. They definitely have a deeply rooted culture one can't help but be impressed by.
Check out the Maasai on COLOURlovers:
The illustrative world of Botany is so intriguing. Aside from the scientific points, you can learn so much in color use, shape and form and line work. It gets you to pay attention to the fine details of design rather than just the overall idea of say, a flower.
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Today I've got a video that follows a botanical design from start to finish. In this video I showcase how you can utilize blending, shading, outlining and a few tricks altogether.
Here are my finished pattern template and primary shape used to make this video:
Here are a number of shading and blending elements you can develop using multiple squeezed shapes mashed together and saved as a Custom Shape to re-use:
Would you find it valuable for me to make an entire video on making shading and blending elements such as these? The more complex shape, Shade - Hatching (above), is a series of squeezed dew-drop shape (found under the Sky Shapes category), then I used a stretched and modified crescent shape (same category) to round out the base.
You can create any number of shading and blending custom shapes. I find it useful to create ones with longer lines, shorter lines, longer in width, curved bases (curved bases help streamline elements for floral designs). Having them on hand really cuts down on time when you want to be artistic and not spend all your time making the shading pieces at the same time.
Get Inspiration from Anatomic Botanical Illustration
While you can peruse the shapes and patterns all over COLOURlovers.com, that's good for practice but copying work for practice will not allow you to create your own sense of style and imagination. Instead, after giving a little practice a go... knowing where to look for ideas is key.
Anatomic Illustration is really quite interesting because it generally pieces off organic matter such as flowers, plants, insects, etc. and definitively shows nice line and color work enough for you to turn those art pieces in to a Seamless Lite pattern design in your own reflection.
Pinterest Boards to utilize as resources for inspirational imagery:
- * Anatomic Illustrations Pinterest collection by Martina Leitschuh
- * Zentangle Flowers Search on Pinterest
- * Zentangle Vines & Leaves Search on Pinterest
- * Illustrated Botanicals Pinterest collection by Lyn Voyterschark
- * My own Seamless Patterns - Botany collection on Pinterest
I would take some time to peruse through these links and just practice drawing and saving shapes and build up your library. Don't put pressure on yourself for making some fancy pattern, literally just spend an hour making 5+ types of vines and leaves. Then work on petals and flowers.... and so on. Once you do a ton of drawing practice, move in to putting some of those elements in to a pattern design. Remember, a good pattern does not have to have a thousand different elements. A good pattern consists of:
- * Start with a main element of interest (or create vines and work on the seamless connections - this falls under the "stripes" type of patterns).
- * Connect it with some type of line-work such as vines or decorated lines (add bubbles, triangles, etc along the line like dew-drops on a vine).
- * Use the Diagonal Axis rather than limiting yourself to the Artboard "boxy" Square
Great Examples of Seamless Lite Botanical Shapes for Inspiration:
See many more great flower designs! I basically set the search results on CL to "flower" under the dropdown, Shapes option.
Zentangle has been trending for some years now and many people choose to "tangle" for meditation and relaxation, just as most COLOURlovers utilize the palette and pattern tools on the site as a way of relaxing and meditating.
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What I see a lot on COLOURlovers.com is that many people shy far away from using Seamless Lite after dabbling for a few, deeming it way too difficult to master. Mostly, and this is just my opinion, but well mostly because they compare themselves to the crazy-good pattern designs by veteran citizens of COLOURlovers.
Let me remind you... take a big breath and a big step back. Let's start over...
Here's the news people... yes, yes these kind-hearted artists are totally talented. But did it just happen that they opened up Seamless Lite and were Michelangelo in a day? No, of course not! So you'd be silly to think,"I'm Presto Perfect!" after 5-minutes or even 5-hours fiddling with Seamless Lite.
Seamless is actually pretty easy to use, once you learn the ropes (if you are new here and need an in-depth intro to Seamless, see a video here on our YouTube Channel). Drawing shapes and putting together repeat-patterns is totally an aspect of digital Zentangle without the complications of learning (or purchasing) design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
Seamless is simple and to the point, not to mention it comes with an entire supportive and artistic community you can share your work with.
Remember, Zentangle is a personal art form. It does not have to be perfect. While you can achieve a more precise line-work by using this digital method of Seamless Lite, Zentangle is traditionally a hand-drawn technique, so take that in to consideration before you go all OCD on connecting points, center points and alignment.
Let's get started with making a shape, something short and easy... then I will be going over using a grid to help you get a sense of space, alignment and design direction with your templates.... then we will continue to work on shapes and more.
Create a "Wishbomb" Shape:
Making and Using Custom Grids for Design Layout:
I find that making your own base layer grid and then saving it as a shape to re-use can greatly help line things up a bit more precise.
Note: After making the next two video's, I felt that making a video specifically for Grids would be a good idea. The next video semi-introduces making a grid as well.
Make a Grid to Create a Consistent Geometric Pattern (then delete the grid):
Re-Use the Grid in a Circle Zentangle Pattern:
I want to show you how to now reuse the grid shape you should have created if you'd followed the last video (above) and to develop a new pattern form with the grid as a guide.
Examples & Inspiration: Grid-Based Designs:
Now let's Create A Vine:
Never used Seamless Lite Before? Get up to speed!
Just a reminder, if you have no idea what I am doing in some of these area's of using Seamless Lite, you can watch the video introduction on this at your leisure HERE. This covers a complete anatomy of the web application itself and is a more in-depth tutorial with voice-over (not a high-speed musical).
Let's Tangle Next Week! We'll be covering Outlining, Shading and Adding Detail...
If you absolutely cannot wait until next week, I will be working on and uploading these video's over the weekend to our COLOURlovers YouTube Channel, join me there to get a jumpstart!
- *Advanced Grids for More Technical Layouts
- * Add Design Elements to Your Basic Grid Designs
- *Make Simple Look Complex
- *Outlining Tricks
- *Shading Tricks
Is there something you are wanting me to cover, but haven't seen it yet? Please comment to put in a request. I'm more than happy to accommodate.
**Copy + Paste the Badge below if you have a design you want to know how to make, be realistic. ;)
Tie-Dye, a modern textile craft, is something that has been around for ages and will be around for many more moons to come. Always intriguing, always a new spin off the same basic concept, done in a rainbow of hues to monochromatic intrigues. And while we're on the topic, check out the Rainbow Contest over at Instrucables right now (awesome art prizes). All types of submissions are acceptable, so have some fun with it!
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Tie-Dye became popular in the United States of our more modern world in the late 1960's and heavily saturated the 1970's which sort of branded it to the times and people of "Free Love", tripping on Acid and LSD.
"Although shibori and batik techniques were used occasionally in Western fashion before the 1960s, modern psychedelic tie-dying did not become a fad until the late 1960s following the example set by rock stars such as Janis Joplin and John Sebastian (who did his own dyeing)." ~ Wikipedia
Tie-Dye mostly went in to hiding with the outrageously new Neon trends during the 80's and 90's. Then, along with every popular known trend of each era, it was brought back and re-hashed in our Pop Culture of today's fashion sphere.
If you don't know what modern, American Tie-dye is, you might be living under a rock, but here is a great resource on the technique and style if you've never looked it up.
So how did it literally become an American craft to be readily found in stores everywhere - I love this part. Basically, Tie-Dye came about when a company was trying to save it's brand. RIT® dye, at the time was losing momentum with their prime market clientele, older generation females doing home-dying.
"At the time, RIT® dye was starting to lose it's market; primarily older women that dyed home goods." - Dharma Article, Did you Know...?
Without getting in to too much detail on the actual specifics because I think that [ one of my favorite online dye resources ] the Dharma Trading Company impressively covered the textbook attributes of this really well in their article, Did You Know: Is Tie-Dye An American Art Form?
"Artists, opinion leaders, and influencers took to tie-dying almost as if it were a new psychedelic substance. Janis Joplin began wearing tie dye (it was even rumored she wore tie-dye panties) but it was still confined to a small circle of users. The next stop was the fashion industry but they weren't convinced it was anything more then a local fad. About this time, folks heard about a musical gathering that was to take place in rural Woodstock, New York, and it was going to be a big event (understatement of the decade!). Two of the well-known artists in the Village wanted to tie-dye several hundred T-shirts and give them away at the concert. RIT financed the project. Thousands of people showed up at Woodstock from across the country and the tie-dye T-shirts were eye-catching. The idea caught on…big. Joe Cocker, Mama Cass, Janis Joplin all wore tie-dye. Tie-dye became a symbol of antiestablishmentarianism, as no one else could have the same shirt as you even if they used the same colors. It was a statement of being an individual." - Read More... How the Fashion Industry finally took it seriously...
I could quite literally quote this entire article it's so interesting and well written. I'll leave the quotes to that, but how amazing to see how a pretty modern fad became a huge trend over trying to save a brand name product.
In summary, basically the traditional methods, techniques and practices of the tie-dye movement from the 1960's and 70's we know of here in the USA were brought over from African traditional art to save a brand name. Amazing!
Video Tutorial: Create Your Own Tie-Dye in Seamless Lite (to Janis Joplin)
Feel free to use this exact technique to practice and get the hang of it! :)
Templates You Can Tie-Dye Yourself - Show me what you've got!
Do you have a favorite template that works for tie-dye? Please share!
Explore Tie-Dye on COLOURlovers:
Disney•Pixar has outdone themselves (again) in their latest colorfully animated movie, Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter (who also produced UP and Monster’s Inc.) and coming to the big screen on June 19th! The basis of the storyline develops a genuine visual of feelings portrayed in five specific colors that correlate in to emotions.
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Who's excited?! I know I am!
In leu of this extremely colorful production being explicitly about color in connection with feelings, we felt it appropriate to dig in to the collections COLOURlovers have in color.
Image Palette Sources:
Much of the community here on COLOURlovers relate their communication of feelings in to colors both as a single color name or in palettes that speak either by the palette name itself and/or a message within the colors used to create the palette. Palettes can be defined of anything regarding 2 to 5 colors grouped together.
Meet the Emotions!
For your entertainment, I love these video clips put together putting the actor-voices to the animated characters.
Learn Basics: How to Create a Color Palette From an Image using PHOTOCOPA
I threw together an under 2-minute quick-guide video to the theme music of Inside Out.
Here's Your Color Challenge! Post YOUR Emotional Colors:
What's your color coordinated emotional palette and why?
Jump in to the COLOURlovers Emotional Colors!
Today's the day! Announcing the eight (8) winners of the #PixlrPop Contest plus the top five (5) most faved designs by the community. The judging panel consisted of the Pixlr Design Team and the COLOURlovers staff members (aka myself, Molly and Colin).
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Absolutely fantastic entries! Great work everyone! The flow of commentary throughout the contest days coming from the Pixlr Design Team was exciting to see. They expressed how amazed they were with the talent we have here at COLOURlovers. I felt a glow of pride knowing we have this secret gold mine of talented people in our community.
I can't wait to showcase the final design inspirations near the end of June (coming up!) used within Pixlr Express!
Okay, okay I know you guys are chomping at the bit to see the winners! With each winner the judging panel as a whole put together some commentary on the aspects of each design.
Winner of Tuesday, Day #1: "Loulouflor" by Anonymuse
"The soft colors, texture in the shapes and the windmill collectively make an eye-catching inspiration."
Winner of Wednesday, Day #2: "Pointed Response" by Wondercake
"Fantastic shade of orange. The trendy arrow pattern inspires a hand drawn aesthetic - leaves many options to take from the shapes"
Winner of Thursday, Day #3: "SPRING2013" by SUNNY21327
"Inspirational for light leaks and bokeh effects. Loving all the color choices with the layering."
Winner of Friday, Day #4: "The Exchange" by praxicalidocious
"This one strikes very lush with spring or summer coloring. Loving the texture with interesting layering. Inspiration leads to a beautiful field of flowers."
Winner of Saturday, Day #5: "Zebra" by addabarrios
"A subtle background coloring makes fantastic overlays. Combined with the non-traditional zebra pattern this inspires an intriguing piece."
Winner of Sunday, Day #6: "Underthedeepbluesea" by Kalindy
"This one gives us a subtle explosion of interest the longer we stare at it. We really love the rich depth of texture and pattern in this monochromatic scene."
Winner of Monday, Day #7: "Orange Loves you px" by bhsav
"This spicy pattern oozes with vibrant lava hues and terrific movement in the basic but intriguing tribal pattern play. Totally inspiring to see what we can do with it!"
Winner of Tuesday, Day #8: "Historic Arrest" by Heuge
"An excellent spin on stripes giving off a soft, feathery feeling. The pleasant mix of hues bleed together in to a lovely muted visual. All of which might work nicely in an overlay."
As you can see from the LOVES on each of these, none were selected by popularity (CL community vote). The judges took each day of submissions individually and considered many character traits of each piece as a whole to consider toward the design aspects of Pixlr Express. We will be showcasing the final pieces near the end of June (2015) when the COLOURlovers Expansion Pack becomes available to everyone using Pixlr! Exciting!
Top Five Loved Submissions: Sponsorship Winners!
As promised, we wanted to add a little fun kick to those who just can't help but produce tantalizing designs that makes everyones mouse-fingers want to go click-click-click on that LOVE button! So popular vote or not, that's what these are for.... being popular. The LOVE-COUNT displayed is only for the duration of the contest timeline, as some have changed since Tuesday.
53 LOVES: "Leaf Monsters" by praxicalidocious
28 LOVES: "Frida" by GabsGiggles
27 LOVES: "Soda Pop" by ArrayOfLilly
23 LOVES: "I Dreamed A Dream" by sherrydee846
21 LOVES: "chase the blues away" by twister
That's it! I hope you all enjoyed the experience of this contest and can take positive things away even if you did not win. Trust me, there were a lot of difficult decisions in choosing!
Personally, I feel that contests push me to a different level of motivation in my own skills which contributes to how I view where I am in my skill much longer after a contest is held. I notice area's where I could probably work harder or think directionally different and garner some personal advice from the designs that did win. We quite literally could have chosen over a thousand designs we loved, but in the case of contest critique, it comes down to a hard line.
Claiming Your Prize!
Grab Bag Winners: You will be receiving either a Love Note and/or an email (whatever email is associated with your COLOURlovers member account). In this message you will get links to all the Grab Bag Items we had pictured and linked here in the contest post. Messages will go out today at some point, you will be given a certain time period to make your choice (feel free to reference the original contest page to start shopping early!). Colin will be handling prize notification and placing your order/choice.
Sponsorship Winners: Today we will activate the new or upgraded Sponsorship to your COLOURlovers Member Account. If you already have a paid sponsorship active, we will simply add an additional year to your current expiration date.
Have a great day!
Seamless Lite at COLOURlovers is something many people shy away from, but hopefully after some inspiring short video clips, most of you will start to gain some perspective on how to get a design you're proud of. Check out our YouTube Channel!
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While the bulk of the video's I've been preparing are centered around using Seamless Lite, there are the intro video's to palette making and I will add more fun abstract videos weekly.
After my 8-minute intro video regarding more details on the Line Tool itself, I have added a collection of video's in high-speed of certain design styles to show you the process. You will hopefully learn how to layer for dimension and layering to create visual tricks. Overall just using what we have available in Seamless Lite is not as limiting or as complicated as you might think.
I want to point out some further resources that I personally tend to lean on for getting inspiration on what to draw exactly. I find if I just plop myself in front of Seamless Lite I feel vacant and suddenly all those idea's I had are not there and I draw a blank. Viable search terms include:Quilt block design (key to put "quilt block"), embroidery patterns (be sure to include the "patterns" part of this search as you'll get step by step instructions) and then, Zentangle Patterns and/or Zentangle Tutorials to get you more specific guides.
Look at each topic matter and you'll start to notice a design style you like. If you love geometric bold patterns, Quilt Block Designs are your go-to. If you love the organic artistic design style, both Embroidery and Zentangle are a great start.
You can find these and more, on my Seamless Lite - Inspiration Guide (on Pinterest).
Check out this example of following a step-by-step Zentangle pattern, essentially just taking Zentangle to Seamless Lite! Most of them are doable!
Cool right?! Now let's look at some COLOURlovers Seamless Lite video's I recently made.
A Detailed Look at the Line Tool:
Making Leaf & Stem (with leaves):
High Speed Pattern Design (start to finish):
Folk Art Shape-Building & Pattern Layout
The biggest thing I want to emphasize in this video is the process of wisely using your time. If you're like me and you don't have 8-hours to sit around making a pattern, split up your time by developing core Custom Shapes and design elements then later coming back to work on your design layout. You'll thank me later when you can easily go in to your shape library with a fresh frame of mind when it comes to the pattern layouts.
Adding Emphasis to Shapes
I hope you enjoy the quick bits to music. They are much faster to watch as patterns come together. I hope it's helpful!
Inspiring Templates Made in Seamless Lite: