GUEST DOODLEWASH: Pattern Play

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner Blue Sea Pink Petals Pattern #WorldWatercolorGroup

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner Various Works #WorldWatercolorGroupMy name’s Jenna Lechner (follow me on Instagram, Behance, Visit my Website, and check out my shop on Society6!), and I’m an illustrator and art instructor based in Portland, Oregon. I grew up in eastern Montana, and I’ve been making art since as long as I can remember. I’m excited to be on Doodlewash and share in this rich art community!

Like a lot of other artists on the blog, I’ve always loved drawing and have always carried around a book where I would collect my doodles. In 2010, I received a BFA degree in printmaking from the University of Oregon in Eugene. In college, I studied a lot of contemporary fine art and avant garde work, but a couple years after graduating, I got a job as a full-time illustrator with a stationery company. I slowly began to realize that I was happiest when I was drawing pictures and working in a more traditional way—I also began to realize that it was actually possible to make a living doing it!

Now as a freelance illustrator, I do drawings for newspapers, magazines, branding, and packaging, and surface design patterns. I’ve made art for people like Adobe, Pentel Arts, HTC mobile, the Portland Mercury, the Cleaver Quarterly, ArtAsiaPacific Magazine, and other peeps.

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner Butterflies #WorldWatercolorGroup

Created For Galler.ee Inc.

I started doing watercolor in my last year of college. I spent a lot of time studying and copying artists who were great at ink and watercolor: people like Francisco de Goya, and J.M.W. Turner. I still spend a lot of time with art history and reference books (I’ve never been the kind of person who can work from my head completely).

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner Blue Sea Repeated Pattern #WorldWatercolorGroup

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner plants in pots #WorldWatercolorGroupI love how watercolor is somewhat unpredictable, yet forgiving, and so affordable and portable. I like its soft effects and how atmospheric it can be. I’m also drawn to it because it was considered an outsider and a hobbyist’s art for so long—i.e., in the past, REAL art had to be done with oil paint. (I guess I’m the type to root for the underdog.) I also like that it is a natural extension from drawing—it pairs really well with pencil, pen, and other mediums. I’m particularly inclined to do intense linework, so this is perfect for me.

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner Polka Dot Pattern #WorldWatercolorGroupWhen I sit down to work with watercolor, one thing I do as a warm-up in the studio is create simple geometric repeat patterns, just to get my brush moving and my work flowing. It can be as simple as creating a series of polka dots with watercolor. Sometimes I expand this exercise and make more complicated patterns, in which case, I scan my images and create seamless repeats using Photoshop and Illustrator.

#Doodlewash - Watercolor by Jenna Lechner Blue Repeated Line Pattern #WorldWatercolorGroupCreating these patterns helps me to think merely about form, color, and abstraction. It helps me let go of some of the more fussy aspects of proportions and perspective (which sometimes I get really hung up on), and it helps me to loosen up, and lighten up my illustration. When I teach watercolor classes, this is a great exercise to start with for beginner students. It allows them to let go and embrace the joy and process of watercolor!

Jenna Lechner
Instagram
Behance
Website
Society6 Shop 

 

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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9 Comments
  1. aiman 1 year ago

    wow! beautiful thing… 🙂

  2. Margriet Bierens 1 year ago

    Thank you for telling your story Lenna.
    Beautiful patterns, I like, love them.
    It must be a kind of relaxed job you have?
    Just go on is my advice!

  3. Lenna, I love your work, especially those butterflies! Gorgeous! I live near Redding, CA, so you are not too far away! We visited Ashland for a day a few months ago. I agree with you about how unpredictable and forgiving and affordable watercolor is! I have never really had a desire to get into oils and I only do occasional acrylics. I also love how I can draw anything with pencil or pen and paint it. I also don’t work completely from my head either. I use reference photos for a lot of my work or just get ideas from looking through books, too. We have a lot in common! 🙂

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    Jenna, I love the way you doodle with watercolor and then turn it into repeated patterns with your computer. What a wonderful way to explore art. Your art is whimsical and I suspect that it’s your gestural approach that encourages such fun.

  5. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    I find creating patterns to be very relaxing too but I haven’t tried it as a warm-up exercise. Thanks for the idea! 😄 Love your art – especially your butterflies, Jenna! 💕🎨

  6. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    I so so agree with your comments about watercolor, Lenna, my thoughts exactly. I love your work ( and your job!)

  7. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    Sorry, Jenna (didn’t check before posting…)

  8. Anita 1 year ago

    Thanks very much I love your work!

  9. FlowerAlley 9 months ago

    Wonderful.

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