The idea of adding a pōhutukawa design to my portfolio is not a new one, but it is really difficult to align their kahika (flowers) with my drawing style - by the time I have drawn AROUND every filament, the flower will be more black line than flower. The alternative, stylising the flower outline and only picking out the anthers, just makes it look like a dandelion. Ugh. Annoying.
I decided to break from tradition and draw the kahika in red, and it seemed to work... So after a quick mock-up, I used the trees that I had already created for my kōwhai design (with the pōhutukawa in mind, of course), and dressed them to fit the pōhutukawa structure.
Then, I spent long hours gradually building up the blooms to follow the way that a real pōhutukawa tree looks (ours isn't in bloom, as it's the end of winter, so I can't go and look). This stage is just before the final stage of being turned into a tile repeat.
At this stage, the design is still very much a work in progress, so it may or may not make it all the way to printing. without further tweaks.
When I started trialling the repeat, I noticed that the trees definitely needed a root system. My original intention had been to hide the lower parts of the trees entirely, but I decided to try this, instead. It only shows a tiny bit, but the details really matter to me!
Click on the image to shop for pōhutukawa and other native tree designs on Spoonflower.