Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Lesson 16/31 - Building Pattern Tiles in Illustrator


Design Surface Patterns From Scratch


Lesson Info

Building Pattern Tiles in Illustrator

We are gonna be talking about working directly from Illustrator. So all of our artwork is gonna be originated from the program itself. We're not gonna be working with sketches or photographs and so this is just a great way to work sometimes. So sometimes you need things to be perfect, geometrics are a great example. So if you need a hexagon, Illustrator does that for you and you don't have to try to sketch one perfectly. Or if you need a number, a variety of geometric shapes. We're also gonna learn how to add texture via brushes and vector textures. And so we're gonna get started. I'm gonna open a new document. This is the document that we left off our last session in. So to get a new document I just hit command N and I will title this Working From Illustrator. I am good with all these settings. We're gonna work on a letter sized art board. CMYK is fine for our purposes and I'll just hit okay. So the first thing I wanna do is build out kind of a tile and tomorrow when we start working ...

with patterns, I'm gonna be able to repeat this tile and make a repeating pattern from it. Then gonna do the artwork first thing today here. So I'm gonna zoom in a little bit and the first thing I wanna make is a petal. And we kind of played around with this a little bit in session one, but I'm just gonna quickly walk you through my favorite way to do that. So I'm gonna grab the pen tool. Keyboard shortcut is P for that, and drop my first anchor point and up here, I'll just come up and my Smart Guide's on so it's gonna keep it directly vertical. And just kind of start drawing half of that petal like so. This is gonna be half of it, and I just wanna replicate it identically on the other side so to do that I'm gonna use the reflect tool and the keyboard shortcut for that is O. You can remember that because O is perfectly reflected in all directions. So I wanna reflect it either from the top or the bottom anchor point so I'll choose the bottom and just start dragging this over from this direction. So to make it exactly on the same, on the same, I'm gonna hold down the shift key, which brings it identically on both sides. And the option key will duplicate it. So that is a pretty good start. There's still two shapes and I wanna make them one shape so there's a couple of ways to do this. Maybe the easiest way is to just grab the white arrow tool and either select either these two points or these two, these two points. And join them by hitting command J. That has made this one shape. That works when you have just two anchor points that you want to join. I wanna fill this shape. Again, I need to bring over my color palettes that we've been working with. These color palettes that I work with in this course are also available to you. They're color palettes that I have built out and saved and they are available to you if you have any kind of access to this course. So to get those we go to the swatches file menu. Scroll down to open swatch library. Go to other library, oh I'm sorry, user defined and select, this is what I named it. Yours may be named differently, but Creative Live Color Palette. That brings up these that we've been working with and I will grab the three that I've been working with today and close that panel. The other thing I like to do on a new document is delete all these colors that we're not gonna be using. So I just select the top one and scroll down to the bottom one, holding the shift key selects all of those and I can drag and drop them to the trash can. So I want to color this, let's go orange and remove the stroke. So the other thing I wanna do is take a notch out for this petal right here. So I, to do that I think I'm gonna draw a rounded rectangle. So that's just under the rectangle fly out menu. Rounded rectangle. You can just start drawing a rectangle down here. So the neat thing about this is that you can change the diameter of the curve on the corners using the up and down arrow keys. So using the up key curves it more. Using the down key curves it less. And I think something about right there is what I want. And I'm gonna rotate this on the diagonal so R is the keyboard shortcut for rotate. And if I hold down the shift key, it's gonna rotate that at exactly 45 degrees for me and I'll release that and I just wanna bring it in here to where the centers match up. I'm gonna change the color so we see the two. Something like this is what I want. Move it around a little bit. So basically what I wanna do is subtract this shape from my petal. I wanna basically get rid of that pointy edge down there. So I think I need to bring it over just another hair. Zoom in and get it a little more exact. So to do that, you select both shapes and using your path finder tool, you just select minus front and that kind of chips away, chips away that. You could do that a couple of different ways. You can use the eraser tool. You could've gone in and changed that point with the direct selection tool. But sometimes this is the easiest way for me to work. The next thing I'm gonna do is start using the rotate tool and duplicate command. We went over this a little bit in session one. But I want to grab that graphic that I used called Math Made Easy. And you will have this in your course materials as well. So I'm just gonna find that really quick here. And I believe it's here. And there it is. Math Made Easy. I'm just gonna copy that. I'm gonna select it and copy it and paste it over to the document that we're working with. So that I don't have to try to figure this math out, math out on the fly. So what I wanna do is I'm gonna be making a flower here and I want it to have six petals. So in order to do that, all I have to do is come over here and find six right here, which means I know that I need to rotate this at 60 degrees. So after I select the petal, I'll select the rotate tool by hitting R and I just wanna rotate around, somewhere around down here. If you hold the option key and click twice or click once rather, you'll see this bullseye come up with four dots beside it. I still have the option key held down and if I click again, you'll get rotate panel that comes up. Since I know I want six, I know I want to rotate this at 60 degrees, I can preview that just to make sure. And then if I select copy, it's gonna copy that for me. Now I don't wanna have to do that over and over again so I'm gonna hit command D to duplicate that action six times. So I have a little flower now. I'm gonna add a center to it. And I might just make it a little bigger using the scale tool. And so I wanna build this out as a tile so I'm gonna start adding elements around it I'm gonna decrease the size of this and I think maybe I just wanna start by adding a line. I drew a line using the line segment tool. This line has no stroke and no fill right now so I'm gonna add a fill. It might be this teal. Under your stroke, your stroke options over in the panel you can increase the weight of this. You also have some options with the cap in the corner for this. So right now, I'll zoom way in so you can see. Right now it is just squared off. If you start going through your cap options, you can round it off. That's squared. And then if this was a corner, you could also round off the corner edge, but I wanna do this round, rounded corner right there. And I am happy with the size of this and so I'm gonna expand this and let me tell you why. I like the stroke weight of it as it is right now and if I don't expand it and later down the road I make a repeating pattern from this and scale it way up, then my line is gonna be super tiny. If I go ahead and expand it, it's gonna stay proportional as I increase the size of my repeating pattern. So when I'm working with lines I always like to expand them when I'm sure that I'm happy with the weight of them. To do that, it's object, expand. And you click okay. So now that is no longer an editable line. It is more like a, just an illustrated object. So I want to rotate this and take it all the way around too. So do that, I select it, hit R the rotate tool and because I added the center of this flower, the center automatically kind of pops up for me right there. Do you see, it says center? So I can drop my rotate marquee right there. Hold down option and click once to get those little four dots and click again to bring up the rotate panel. So it's already set to 60 degrees and so I'm gonna hit copy. And then I'll just take it all the way around. Okay? Next I am just gonna start building on this kind of rotated tile. I want to add just kind of a simple shape by using the pen tool. Keyboard shortcut for that is pen, I mean sorry, it's P. And I'm just gonna kind of make this I don't know what you call this, four sided-- Trapezoid. Trapezoid shape, thank you. That was a test. And I'm gonna just eyeball that it's the same. I think that's pretty close. And change its color. Now I have a stroke. So to toggle between stroke and fill you just hit X on your keyboard. I'll make it green. And so the other thing I might wanna do is play with those edges, but if I add a green stroke then I have the ability to play with the corner of those edges. So I think I like them rounded off a little bit. Command 0 takes us back out. And I'm gonna zoom back in. So I'm gonna rotate this around now. Same process. Gonna put my marquee down at the center of the flower and hold the option key down to get the rotate panel. And it's already set to do what I did last time so we're just gonna zoom this around, okay? Next I think I wanna add these in the center here as well, like maybe this kind of thing. So I'm just gonna eyeball that. I selected all those and hit the rotate for it to get the rotate tool. And I'm just doing this manually. So I'm gonna eyeball where that is about centered in between those two and if I hold option down it will duplicate those for me. Next I'm gonna add a dot up here. So I'm actually just gonna steal the center of this flower and drop it up here. I might make it a little bigger using the scale tool and change its color. And I believe I'm gonna be able to rotate that in the same way that I've done everything else. See, was it 60? And copy, so I can zoom that around. So you can see how easy you can start building, building these tiles. I think I wanna do one more pass of something here. And I believe too though, I want the flower to be a little smaller in the middle. So I'm gonna bring this line straight up and I wanna make it longer. So to scale it longer I hit S for the scale tool and I don't want it bigger all around. I just want it longer so I'm gonna come out directly horizontal to increase the length of that. Just like so. And I think I want it to be kind of equidistance from this little trapezoid. And, see. Is there a way to instead of eyeballing it, to actually like arrange them a certain width apart? To do the three things, if I was replicating just this line, I would drop one and then hit command D to duplicate that and those are all equidistant. But as far as from this to this, you could measure it using-- A range, is there a distribution? I don't know, is there? Yeah I there was like a line, distribute and I-- It's a distribute or distribution thing. I don't ever use that. Arrange-- I would. I don't ever use that so I eyeball or I measure using like a line segment. And also I can show you this too. Because I expand it, stretched that, the ends are stretched so I don't want that and I don't really, I can just steal the skin and instead of scaling it like that, what you can do is grab the direct selection tool or the white arrow tool and just come in and grab these three, just those three anchor points and then start dragging that out. So that's gonna keep everything in proportion and then I can center it back over itself. Okay? Let's take this a little higher because I don't know, I'm gonna have to go home and do my homework about the distribution feature. And I'll change its color to this purple. And just start rotating that as well. 60 degrees, copy, and command D duplicates it all the way around. So from here, what I wanna add is some elements coming off to the side which is gonna make this repeat really beautifully tomorrow or in our next session. So to do that, I want to make it a kind of a diamond shape to use as a guide. So I'm gonna grab the what is this, the rectangle tool. Keyboard shortcut for that is M. And I'm just gonna draw a perfect square by holding down the shift key. And then I'm gonna turn it up on its side by rotating it. The keyboard shortcut for that is R. And rotating it directly, 45 degrees by holding down the shift key. So I think I'm not working at a perfect 45 degrees so I will kind of eyeball that like so. Okay. So I am not gonna use the square. What I wanna do is add some line elements out here and then a smaller version of this flower to go inside, but I just wanna use that as my guide. So I'm gonna grab this line and just replicate it along the edge here. Duplicate it by holding down the option key and I didn't need that one. I can just drag and drop this over here. Because that is in line. And then I can grab that one and this one and using the rotate tool, I'll just bring them over here like so. Okay, so I can delete my square now. I was just using it as a guide, and bring these out a little bit. And I think I'm just gonna make another flower, kind of different from the first one. Instead of going through the minus front, I'm just gonna use the blob brush tool, to create a little petal. Keyboard shortcut for blob brush tool is shift B. And this one will be a little less perfect which is kind of what I like about. I'll make it one shape by using the shape builder tool. And maybe move this a little bit so to move a single anchor point, you grab the white arrow tool and the keyboard shortcut for that is A. And I'm just gonna come in and grab this one anchor point and move it over here. And you can play with the handles on that too to get it a little more even. Can smooth it out using a smooth tool, a little bit too. Okay. I'm going to make a center for this flower. Or let's make it yellow. So to rotate this, it's the same technique. Select the petal, choose the rotate tool and I'm gonna rotate it around the center of this petal. See now I think I only wanna do it four times, which I know what that is, is 90 degrees, so. Rotate tool, hold down the option key to get that rotate panel and 90 degrees will give it to you four times. Copy and duplicate. Okay so I'm pretty sure I'm gonna take this whole square and flower around and then we'll be done with this tile for now. I think 60 is right, correct? And copy that and duplicate it around. Okay? So you can start working with geometrics in this way. I'm gonna group these together and hide my edges and you'll be able to see that tomorrow we're gonna be able to tile this. Of course, I'll get all these lined up. But I'm just gonna show you quickly what this is gonna, what this gonna like when we get a tile going, okay? So if you're at home and you wanna make tiles, start with a single element and tomorrow we will be putting those into repeat to create beautiful repeating patterns. The other, I'm just gonna move this over so we have access to it later. I love to work with hexagons. They're easy in Illustrator. They're under the rectangle tool fly out menu and they are under the polygon tool. So you can just start drawing a hexagon and this has the correct amount of edges, but if you need more or less, you just use your up arrow tool and your down arrow tool to get more or less edges. And you hold your shift key to drop one that's completely vertical. And you can see pretty quickly how you could make, start tiling these to make kind of a honeycomb print. And so something like a geometric like this is the perfect reason to work directly from Illustrator so you don't have to worry about sketching these or drawing them or anything like that.

Class Description

Did you know that you can turn your sketches, drawings and doodles into patterns? Join Bonnie Christine for an introduction to creating patterns to use in your very own fabric prints, stationery designs, website backgrounds, cell phone covers, and much, much more.

This course will take you through the process of working with Adobe Illustrator to create digital versions of your artwork. You’ll learn tips and tricks for working in Illustrator and how you can use the software to create repeating patterns of your very own drawings. Bonnie will guide you step-by-step through the process of transforming sketches and tracings into vector art which can be used for an endless array of printable and online projects from customized stationery to computer wallpaper. You’ll also learn how to assemble your collection of designs into a portfolio you can use to impress potential collectors and buyers.

This course will lay a solid foundation for those new to Illustrator and open up exciting new possibilities for people already familiar with the program. If you are ready to bring your drawings to life in new ways this class is for you.