My latest technique I have learned from Bonnie Christine from the Roost Tribe is making a repeat pattern design from watercolors or gouache paint. I have begun to experiment with gouache due to the very nice layering attributes the paint has to offer and the beautiful colors. It is best to choose hot press and bright white watercolor paper instead of the cold press. Cold press paper has a rough texture, hot press paper is smooth with no texture. It is easier to scan in your watercolor on a scanner better with hot press.
I like to listen to music or an audible book while painting - be free and fluid! Make sure your flowers or images do not touch. Do not be exact about color at this point; just have fun!
Scan your work on your flatbed scanner and import into Adobe Photoshop. Adjust the background to bright white. Select one image and import from Photoshop to Adobe Illustrator.
In Illustrator, set up your document the size of a square (500 px x 500 px). Build a new library of color harmonies from your favorite colored photos. For each color, have a nice range of 5-7 colors of the same hue. Next, use Illustrator's Image Trace feature to trace your one image (flower). Your goal is to get it to 5-7 colors only. Using your color library, select one flower and only use 5-7 of the same color library to recolor that one image. Repeat these coloring steps for each image until each image is colored. Keeping control of your color harmonies will help you when you go to press. It will also make a huge different when using the new recolor tool in Illustrator.
Once each flower or image is complete, begin mirroring, repeating and resizing your images for a repeat pattern. Apply a mask over the image the same size as your canvas (500 x 500px). Viola! Repeat pattern is complete! Enjoy!
I would love to hear from you.