Fun with Color Palettes

I adore color, and who doesn’t? Especially if you are an artist or creative. Perhaps you have a thing for deep aqua blues, or light sage greens – for me, well I love those pinks and fuchsias. I don’t really have a favorite color as all of them are my favorite.

My Still life color mood board.
My Still life color mood board.

Today’s fun prompt from GTS was about finding ways to change up your palette. I decided to create an impromptu still life of an antique weathered duck decoy and a 8 strong ‘armadillo-styled’ mandolin – both of which I picked up at tags sales years ago.

Work in progress (wip) of Ducky Gertie.
Work in progress (wip) of Ducky Gertie.

Not only were these objects’ colors, ones I don’t normally choose to work in, I felt it would be an added bonus to paint a still life as it’s been some time since I painted from one. And well neutrals are always good – they go with everything right? Right…

While I set out on my day, I also created color mood boards, one from the still life, and a second from the actual painting once finished.

What follows, are bonus patterns I created at each stage of sitting down to paint. I got to take a break at times in allowing the gouache paint to dry, which is the perfect time I find to create design patterns.
Multi-tasking at its best!

Well, who know’s what I will create tomorrow? I didn’t know I’d paint a duck and a mandolin when I woke up. I am having so much fun working on the creative prompts that Lilla Rogers¬†is sharing on the blog for the GTS competition.

It’s adventuresome, I tell you, to be an artist!

Stay Creative People! It feels good.


Ducky Gertie with Mandolin - a painting by Leah Quinn
Ducky Gertie with Mandolin – a painting by Leah Quinn
Just Ducky Journal Mockup by Leah Quinn
Just Ducky Journal Mockup by Leah Quinn

Going Fishing and Coveting Fabric Collections – By The Hudson Cove

I’ve gone fishing for new art patterns and created a new collection called Hudson Cove. ūüėČ

The new collection was inspired¬†by a trend board I didn’t initially choose to work from but am super glad I did the second time around. When Itaffy-glass-tall-vase¬†took the live Designing for Home Decor online course earlier this season¬†with the dynamic and dynamite team of ¬†Lilla Rogers, and¬†Margo Tantau¬†with the amazing crew over at, I was a bit familiar with what to expect for the course, as this was my third live class with – but had no idea the trend boards would be as delicious as there were.

Hudson Cove Pattern & Design Collection by Leah Quinn
Hudson Cove Pattern & Design Collection by Leah Quinn

In fact, each trend board was so extra pretty, I initially worked one full day with each to better acquaint myself with its colors, motif themes, etc. in trying to decide which one I’d use for creating my collection around, during the live portion of the course.

The incredible work produced by the other artists in the class was super astonishing too. So inspiring, uplifting and fantastically hit right out of the ball park kind of art work. This course really changes the design game for sure. It did mine! And am so very grateful for it.

My Pattern named Jellybean Serene Green – click on bowl to see this pattern on a dress – so pretty, don’t you think?

After the course ended in June, I decided to go back and ‘take’ the course again, this time using the other trend boards. Not only to broaden my portfolio of patterns and designs, I was hoping to keep my art fresh for the upcoming Global Talent Search Contest and I adore the momentum of the MATS courses in which you have to submit a piece within one week. It so keeps you on your art toes!

Here’s my take on the second trend board which had themes that reminded me of upstate New York and of the Hudson River from where I grew up. I’ve included product mockups and patterns I’ve designed for metal, fabric, glass, ceramic & wood substrates.

Click on image to see entire Hudson Cove Collection by Leah Quinn Designs
Click on the box to see the entire Hudson Cove Collection.

My latest patterns you see here were done using only hand painted watercolors in creating the motifs and elements prior to taking them into PS or AI to create the design patterns РI even had fun using that new Adobe Capture pattern app on my phone. It takes making patterns to a whole new level despite some of its initial hiccups.

Currently I have a few of these patterns on sites like Society6, Redbubble & Spoonflower. As of this post’s date, I am still uploading some of the patterns you see below to those sites as part of my latest collection.


Hudson Cove Design & Pattern Collection by Leah Quinn Designs
Click on image to see the ‘Surreal Trippy Starfish’ pattern on a t-shirt.
Click on the image to see the Hudson Cove Pattern Collection.


What’s next on my art board? I’m toying with ideas for the last trend board, a¬†kid-friendly one as it’s been curated with ideas for patterns more suited for children design themes. Wait to you see the colors – They happen to be some of my favorites!

One thing is for sure, I never know what I will be designing until it’s created – it’s such a fun part of the process – the surprise of each pattern design as it unfolds itself to me as I create it.


P.S. Are you curious about those animals peeking through the window? They are Vicuna that I drew as part of my Children’s Illustration assignment for Make Art That Sells Bootcamp course.

Mighty Metal Mood Board

I curated a Metal Mood Board over at my Pinterest Page in preparing for the live online course Creating Collections For Home Decor at The course starts this Monday, May 16th, and ‘mini assignments’ have been posted on the blog to help one get prepared.

My metal mood board covers interesting home decor items I found from wall clocks, photo frames, sculptural bowls to tables, wild lamps and quirky stools. Take a looksie if you’d like…

Leah Quinn Designs Metal Mood Board
Leah Quinn Designs Metal Mood Board On

While looking around my home for other items made up of metal, I recall my grandmother’s love of wrought iron. She always pointed out the handcrafted details, as her antique store was filled with many vintage¬†tin boxes which always had delighted me as a child with their colors and advertising designs.

Below are a few items around my home that I adore which are made out of various metals…

It was a whirlwind of creative activity the last time I took the course, and I so look forward to see what I create for this course during the next five weeks!

So while I am getting my creative groove ready for the next five intensive weeks, I am wishing you, my fellow ‘MATSies’ great joyful success who are showcasing and are being represented at Surtex this year! Congrats!

XO Leah