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alice frenz snow bee pattern design


I’ve been working each week in the Fashion Design Computer Lab at CCAD, practicing and learning Lectra Kaledo Print with the generous help of instructor Patricia Carlos.

These are my designs from yesterday’s session. The bees are digitally painted using Kaledo watercolor and chalk brushes.


snow bee pattern

One spring while I was working in my yard, a swarm of honey bees flew in. They hung together from a branch in our pine tree, surrounding their queen as the scouts looked for a new location for their hive. I was able to observe and photograph them up close on the low hanging branch, and was amazed at the dense cluster they made.


alice-frenz-snowbees-II-300My memory of this experience inspired me to make designs of bees coming together.

To shape my clusters, I was thinking of the hexagonal shaping of honeycomb segments. As I began to assemble the bees together, I also began to see relationships to the hexagonal shaping of snowflakes.

Without mentioning the snowflake idea, I sent them to Tam Peterson, who immediately saw the same relationship and named them “Snowbees”.


I like how the variations of gray in the wings, fuzzy textured thorax, and negative spaces in the striping of the abdomen all help give the illusion of buzzing, vibrating activity. I also liked the unexpected illusion of the white six pointed star within each cluster of bees. The illusion is created by the Gestalt effect of your eye and brain connecting the negative spaces together.


©2013 Alice Frenz

View more pattern designs on my website: alicefrenz.com