Have you ever wondered how a designer creates the beautiful patterns for their fabric .. we have been given a wonderful insight into the mind of one of our most respected UK designers, part of the Kaffe Fasset Collective, Mr Philip Jacobs.   Here he takes us all through how he created his Cactus Dahlia design.   The whole process took around 4 weeks for him to complete.   Watch how the pattern evolves through each stage.

1. I have an idea: Lets do an all over cactus dahlia design. I do a rough sketch of a possible layout.

2. I gather images of cactus dahlias from my archive

3. Using my photocopier I arrange the flower heads on a piece of paper with the repeat lines marked out. This stage takes quite a while as I am constantly increasing and decreasing the size of each flower untill the balance is right. I also work out the colour balance at this stage. I try not to get the same coloured flowers next to each other. The colours need to be evenly spread.

4. I draw it up onto stretched and primed paper on my drawing board, using tracing paper to get the top and side repeats. This is a half drop repeat.

5. Detail of drawing

6. I add the colours one at a time. This is the white.

7. Yellow.

8. Shading for white.

9. Shading 2

10. Yellow 2

11. Pink

12. Red

13. Orange

14. Orange 2

15. Red 2

16. Mauve

17. Mauve 2

18. Red 3

19. Green. I always love adding the green as its starts to pull the design together

20. Green 2

21. Black. The black is to add detail to the darker coloured areas and adds depth to the design. Ive also added the repeat lines and generally corrected any mistakes

22. The complete design on my drawing board surrounded by the inspiration.

Philip Jacobs first posted this series of pictures documenting his design back in 2010, but the vibrancy and detail are still as beguiling to a love of design and colour today.  In part 2 the journey continues.

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