I get inspiration from all over the place but for this particular print design it was this sassy sheep that started it all off.
I spotted this fabulous creature on a trip to Sewerby Hall. After calling the sheep to see if I could get it to look at me for a photo, it gave me this look. The character in its face was brilliant and I knew I wanted to make it in to a print design.
For sketching the sheep I chose to work in pencil. This gave me the ability to create a fluffy outline but also focus in on the character of the face.
The shape was surprisingly tricky to get right as the sheep was just so poofy. When I was eventually happy with the outline, I scanned it in to the computer.
Sometimes pencil drawings can be a real pain to manipulate digitally as the soft pencil marks don’t scan in well. Thankfully the sketch was bold enough that the computer could pick up all the small details. With a little bit of cleaning up the sheep was ready for colouring.
I wanted to create the feel of the wonderfully textured fur. To begin with I digitally coloured layers of different shades of creams and greys to get a base. I then took snippets of fur from the original photo and blended them in to the base colour to achieve the textured look. This is quite a difficult process as it’s important to get the balance of colour and shading just right to make it look realistic and not too computerised.
Finally it was time to assemble the design.
Creating the final sheep print
Similar to the cow print, I knew I wanted the sheep arranged in clusters to look like a flock. By scaling, rotating and skewing them, I made little family groups of sheep. Once I was happy with the layout, I worked on the background colour.
I always start every print design with a white background to check that I’m sure on the layout. Sometimes I keep the white background but I didn’t think this worked well with the sheep.
Next I tried it with a warmer yellow cream colour which I thought was more successful. The sheep stood out from the background colour better than on the white.
Finally I tried a green background with tufts of grass to look like a field. Picking the right shade of green is always a difficult task but I’m really pleased with the one I chose here and I think this colourway is my favourite.
Let me know what you think of the new sheep print design by commenting below!
Sheep in the wild
You can find the sheep print design featured on the following products available to buy now from my shop.