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More Nouveau


I love Art Nouveau– the muted colors and flowing designs with balance and geometry are intriguing to view and enjoy. So when I saw the Spoonflower Challenge: Art Nouveau, I gave it a try. I also love creating designs in Affinity Designer, so I began my process:

Look through my book: La plante et ses applications ornementales [1896] Art Nouveau designs for ideas. I found a beautiful iris design to use as a model.

I also searched through my Pinterest Ornamentals board for ideas for the background.

Now, I’m just a beginner– so I like to share with others who are also just starting– learning together is so important. Next, I chose my palette at Adobe Color.

So, before I even started, I’d spent quite a bit of time planning. I decided to draw the iris and two buds on a stem. I also wanted to plan a border and background design.

I started with the main iris flower and the parts of that provided the basis for all the other designs:

iris.greenwp4x sm


The base of the iris became the border. The highlights on the leaves became a spiral background. I didn’t finish on time to enter the challenge, but I enjoyed the task, and including practicing the highlighting on the green parts. I forgot to add shading to the light petal, but did on the iris buds.

Since I didn’t make that challenge, I check and found the Spoonflower Challenge: Classic Blue. Only four shades of blue could be included– not even black and white. So I decided to use my nouveau work for the Classic Blue challenge.

First, I duplicated my file and changed the colors to blue.

iriswpblue4x sm


It took a while to change all the colors and decide where to put each of the four required colors. I learned that I need to group colors together, not shapes– I’m not sure about that but I do put the colors together within the shape.

These two designs are for a large wallpaper pattern, and I decided to change it up for a smaller design for clothing.

I created a vertical background pattern using the base of the iris and two flourishes, with the three teardrops of the root inside the flourishes. Then I added two leaves from the iris to the background pattern, and adding in a few of the spirals previously described.

irisblue4x sm


Finally, I lightened the background and also changed the colors of the buds to fit with the lighter background. This is the featured image.



Needless to say, I’ve been working on this since yesterday– hours of concentrated time, enjoying every change. I love the last one, but it probably won’t meet the challenge guidelines because I lowered the transparency of the background designs, and that may be considered the wrong color. I’ll need to ask that question.

Every stroke and change is a learning for me; I wish kids could have this much engagement with their interests in school– a project they can devote time to and connect to other learning. I have no irises in my yard, but there are plenty of neighbors who will love to share, so I’m looking up caring for irises. I learned  they are deer resistant and drought tolerant, which is probably a good reason to plant those in my garden!

How do you connect your hobbies to your other worlds?


Skillshare class: Art Nouveau

Spoonflower Challenge: Art Nouveau

Spoonflower Challenge: Classic Blue

My Previous Nouveau Posts: Nouveau


Sheri Edwards View All

Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts/Media Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker~~
Art from the Heart

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