I've been working on this little painting of a girl looking at a sea star, and decided to turn it into a pattern. It's still a work in progress, but here's my process so far.
I drew a sketch of a little girl sitting in an ocean shallow. I wanted to have more color and interest though, so I started adding tide pool rocks and critters.
Then I got to roughing things in and thought that this might make a fun pattern. I haven't made a complex repeating pattern before, so this is a learning process for me. First I needed to make my core image.
I began drawing some simplification studies from reference photos. I try to work from reference as often as possible. Sometimes I will pose for my own paintings if I can't find the pose I am looking for.
Now I am creating a line drawing from the original image. I want to include the water shine as well, but for now I am drawing the tide pools. Once I get this image to where I want it, I will split it.