Fun with Color Palettes

I adore color, and who doesn’t? Especially if you are an artist or creative. Perhaps you have a thing for deep aqua blues, or light sage greens – for me, well I love those pinks and fuchsias. I don’t really have a favorite color as all of them are my favorite.

My Still life color mood board.
My Still life color mood board.

Today’s fun prompt from GTS was about finding ways to change up your palette. I decided to create an impromptu still life of an antique weathered duck decor and a 8 strong ‘armadillo-styled’ mandolin – both of which I picked up at tags sales years ago.

Work in progress (wip) of Ducky Gertie.
Work in progress (wip) of Ducky Gertie.

Not only were these objects’ colors ones I normally don’t choose to work in, I felt it would be an added bonus to paint a still life as it’s been some time since I painted from one. And well neutrals are always good – they go with everything right?

While I set out on my day, I also created color mood boards, one from the still life, and a second from the actual painting once finished.

What follows, are bonus patterns I created at each stage of sitting down to paint. I got to take a break at times in allowing the gouache paint to dry, which is the perfect time I find to create design patterns.
Multi-tasking at its best!

Well, who know’s what I will create tomorrow? I didn’t know I’d paint a duck and a mandolin when I woke up. I am having so much fun working on the creative prompts that Lilla Rogers is sharing on the blog for the GTS competition.

It’s adventuresome, I tell you, to be an artist!

Stay Creative People! It feels good.


Ducky Gertie with Mandolin - a painting by Leah Quinn
Ducky Gertie with Mandolin – a painting by Leah Quinn
Just Ducky Journal Mockup by Leah Quinn
Just Ducky Journal Mockup by Leah Quinn

Creating More Art From Art – A Designer’s Perspective

Recently I have been having loads of fun creating patterns from my own artwork. In the last year, I have shared on Instagram, and on my blog, examples of where I get my inspiration from.

First of all, when you are designing, always be as original as you can be, as authentic source helps for better design and identifiable style down the road.

In the past, I’ve learned I could create patterns from my ceramic sgrafitto clay work – I still do this today as it’s very much fun to ‘draw’ and carve into clay:

Ceramic Platter by Leah Quinn
Image of earthenware platter I made using sgrafitto technique.

Glass Trinket Plate -LeahQuinnDesigns

Above is a Mandala Inspired Glass Trinket Plate as a Product Mockup With a Design I created from my clay work above.

I also love to take an initial design and see where it evolves for its’ coordinates. The top right pattern I started with first, then continually played with the original to create the coordinating designs.

Evolution Collection

Lately, I have been combining techniques. Creating the art with gouaches first, as seen below – just simple mark making and play with colors. Note, not every photograph is perfect (it’s actually on purpose for me) in its focus because it can be an added interesting bonus when designing with your motifs:

Now take a look at the designs below, can you recognize any of the ‘motifs’ and ‘deseign elements’ from the above photos? Yes these are actual camera screenshots of my designs. Scroll below to see how they clean up!

I then will often clean them up – play with their scale, in PS etc. I might then select a few to make a ‘pretend’ quilt block, then share it on social media. I also will add a few select number of each collection onto various sites like,,,, etc.

IMG_3663 IMG_3791


Currently each design I set up to be 12k x 12k pixels wide, and experience no loss of original paint feel:

Original painting of ‘Hearts to Infinity’
Hearts to Infinity Design Pattern Created from painting.
Hearts to Infinity Design Pattern Created from painting.

And below is the pattern scaled up…

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 5.24.49 PM
Click on image to see this design at my account.

So Happy creating everyone! Hoping you enjoyed seeing a little behind the scenes of how I create my designs.

Hugs and Kisses,


*P.S. Want to catch my latest designs? And receive a free coloring page in advance of my forthcoming coloring pattern book? Sign up below.