Patterns for skirt

After doing some research on Jamaican clothing and finding out that the Rastafarian style was inspired by African patterns, I looked at African patterns on Pinterest and got inspiration to create my own designs. I used typical African shapes with Jamaican colours. I did this because I wanted to get inspiration from African patterns but I still wanted to have obvious Jamaican inspiration in there. I thought the colours was the best way to do this.

African patterns:

My designs:

I showed these designs to my mum and asked her for some feedback. She said that she liked them but I needed to add some pink in them so that the skirt would match the top that I have already made. I listened to this and made some more designs but with some pink. I didn’t want to have too much pink as I didn’t want it to take the attention off the Jamaican colours as this is the main part of the skirt.

I think the designs with pink are a lot better than the first ones I did. What worked well is the design with the black and pink diamonds as it breaks up the triangles. I don’t feel all the white in between the lines, diamonds and triangles worked well. I will do more designs but with less white in. I think making a design with less white space will make the skirt brighter. What also worked well was the use of triangles as the space is filled. I would like to take this element and put it with the design with the diamonds.


I created this this design based on my opinions on my last designs. I like this one as there is less white spaces but I’m not sure I like the overall design. The three lines in the middle (black and pink diamonds, black and coloured triangles) worked well. I also thinm the thick pink line splitting the sections up worked well. The coloured diamonds with a smaller pink diamond in the middle didn’t work as I feel the pink diamond blends in with certain colours. I do like the thick lines going in different directions. This is like some African patterns I found but is also like Roanna wells work and Jasper Johns work. Even though I want my work to be bright I think my work would be better with a bit of black in each section I do so that the colour isn’t too overpowering but is still bright.

From the previous designs that I did, I made another pattern that I could use. For this pattern I used the triangles in red, yellow and green and the black line inspired by the african designs. I used smaller lines going in different directions in pink so that the colour of the top matches the skirt. I got inspiration for the small lines from Jasper Johns work. I also used small circles in pink and black which was inspired by african designs. I used the black first but I felt it was too dark and needed to be brighter. I decided to add the pink on top and I think it now looks good as it isn’t too dark or too bright. I think I need to add more red, yellow and green as there isn’t an equal balance with the pink. I don’t want pink to be the main colour as pink is the main colour of the top.

I made another design using triangles and squares. I wanted to add more Jamaican colours to show the Jamaican influence as in the previous design there was a lot of pink. I think this design could work well with my top as it has the pink in but still has the Jamaican patterns and colours. I got this digitally printed but the red turned out more orange and the pink turned out purple. I put the print next to my top to see how it would look with it and I think it works well. To improve this, I need to change the colours on illustrator so that when I print it the colours are right.


I tried another design using triangles. This time I only coloured the outlines instead of filling in the shapes. I layered the different coloured triangles over the top of each other. I used black, pink, green, red and yellow. What worked well is the use of colour as it is bright. I wanted to have something bright as I want to show my grandads background through the use of colour. I tried making this design again but without the green. I got them digitally printed and tried them up against the top. I think they worked well but I don’t think I’ll use them for my final piece.

I tried stripes in pink, black, yellow and green. I got this digitally printed and tried it with my top. It doesnt work well with the top therefore I won’t use it for my final piece. From looking at this piece with the top, I have decided that I need to stick with geometric shapes. 


For my next pattern, I went back to using triangles. I decided to fill in the shapes using vivid colours. The colours I used are green, pink and yellow. I put this on a black background. I got this digitally printed and put it next to my top. I think this design worked well with the top and could use this for my final piece.

I tried a design using only diamonds. I used black for the main diamond, green for the diamond inside of the black one and yellow for the zig zags around the diamonds. I put this on a vivid pink background. This design worked well on the computer but I didn’t work well when it was printed. I think this design is good and work well but next to my top, I feel it is too pink. Because of this I won’t use this pattern for my final piece. 


I tried squares overlapping each other with a stripe in between them. I used pink, black, yellow and green. I think this design worked well so I got it printed. I tried it with my top and I think it looked good with it but I don’t feel it is bright enough. I most likely wouldn’t use this for my final piece.

After looking at all the designs with my top, I decided to use the first one I tested out. I went onto illustrator and changed the colours slightly to see how they would turn out after printing it. I also tried it on a black background. I digital printed it and I think the black background makes the colours too bright. This design doesn’t work with my top and will stick with the white version of it.


I decided to use vibrant colours and geometric shapes as they helped me to show my grandads culture through my work. His personality is also shown through my colour choices as he was a very happy man and the vibrant colours helped to show this. 


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