Ecuador pattern collection
Last week you got to see the whole collection of dolls. The trio on top was the last set I painted with watercolors and I just loved them.
Each of the dolls wears a traditional dress from a different region in Ecuador. The doll with the baby is from Otavalo. My family used to visit this northern town often. Otavalo is a small and beautiful city. Rich in culture and very industrious. Otavalo is home to a most confident ethnic group that has their own language, dress, and way of living.
The dolls feature a palette of yellow, blue, and red; the colors of the Ecuadorian flag. The flowers were inspired by the colorful hand embroidery of the area. Otavalo women also wear several strands of golden bead necklaces, so I added the swirls and loops of gold to represent them. The flowers and the beads help balance the pattern design.
I usually scan my original paintings and get rid of the background in Photoshop, then I import my elements onto Illustrator and start playing with layouts. It took many attempts to get to the doll bouquet pattern (second below) and it made me happy to see this one coming together, all the experiments were all worth it.
The process may sound simple, but there always is something to learn with each new idea. Before the blue version below, I had to do a good deep cleaning to make the beads and dolls contrast and show well enough. So next time I know to make the shapes of the drawings crisp and close all the way.
Ecuador is a small country in South America, right on the equator. It is the 3rd largest exporter of cut flowers in the world. Ecuador roses are beautiful, so the flowers are not just a space filler, but a representation of the country.
A small idea snowballed into many drawings, then many experiments. And when I found something I liked, the way I found to take it further was to make patterns.
I uploaded the designs to Spoonflower, a print on demand site for fabric, wrapping and wall paper. It should be available shortly.