Popping a couple of images in here which show clearly the kind of updates I've been applying. On the left, the rather dark old piece, on the right the new perkier version. Biggest change here is obviously the colour. I don't use opacity tricks very much but in this piece it seemed ideal. The motif is a translucent butterfly (tied to a psychedelic trend) which you can see once you've stared a bit. A lot of colour was lost, so I've brought it back to singing vibrancy.
enough is enough
I've balanced out the layout too and of course put it into repeat (you can't quite see the edges here due to the size of the tile and image frame.) I also made a version with much more open ground and an additional textural motif which added some vertical movement. This was fine but I prefer the final piece here, it has a nice simple all-over rhythm to it, enriched by the transparency effects and pulsing linework. It feels like being enveloped in a butterfly swarm.
And I just remembered what I was thinking about when I made this piece: Kerouac's "the mothswarm of heaven," part of my favourite passage from that book.
alt colours and mockup
Side by side it's no contest: the punch in the new version makes it leap out at you. Also shown is a super-quick recolour and mockup job. Anyone not familiar with Photoshop will wonder about recolouring something complex like this, but there is a way of doing a useful rough version very quickly. For the purpose of testing palettes and making this post, this is pretty helpful. Liking the new palette a lot, will do a refined version later. I'll post a quick video on the technique/tool that I used too.