Complex Cluster Patterns - Part 2


Design Surface Patterns From Scratch


Lesson Info

Complex Cluster Patterns - Part 2

Like I said, sometimes I work by defining my background first. If I know for sure I want it to be 200 by 200 pixels, sometimes I play with placing artwork and then I'll eyeball the background. And then I'll go back and perfect it by deleting everything and moving it to the exact pixel. So, I'm gonna eyeball it. I'm gonna delete the background, grab the rectangle tool by hitting M on my keyboard. And, I'm just gonna draw a rectangle roughly from the center of this flower. That's roughly the center to roughly the center of the others. Okay, we're gonna make sure this is exact before we make a pattern. I'll right-click and send that to the back. And I can see already that I'm probably gonna have a negative space right here. So I can move around these objects in the center. I can even make some bigger. That might give kind of a nice play on all these elements. And because this one is spilling over, I know I'm gonna need a copy of it over here. So, I'm gonna eyeball that too. I'm just gonna...

drop a copy so that I get a sense for where I'm going. Okay, so I think I want to see what this looks like. I know I want some negative space. I think I have too much in a couple of areas, but we can come back and build it in a little bit. But I want to go ahead and perfect the repeat and see what it looks like. And then I'll come back in and kind of fill some space. So now, my rectangle is something random, not random, but something not exact. So that's close to 1260. And I'm just gonna go ahead and make that one 650. Okay, and because my chain link is broken, I can do those independently from each other. So you guys help me remember 1260 by 650. You can always go back and look if you forget. I'm gonna delete everything that crosses that right border and get everything that crosses the left border, bring a mite just back. Copy and paste it to the front. Right-click and go to Transform and Move. And we're going 1260 horizontally and zero vertically. And I'll hit OK. And I knew would. I already forgot that is 650, so I can delete. It doesn't matter which axis you work from. I can delete everything from the top or the bottom. It doesn't matter. I'll delete everything on the top and grab everything on the bottom, make a copy, bring it to the front. Right-click Transform > Move. And now we're going -650. Okay, so I know that everything along my borders is exact. I can make a copy of my background and send it to the back by hitting Command + C and Command + B, fill it with no stroke and no fill and make our pattern. So this is a pretty big pattern, but the scale doesn't matter either. You can always make it smaller. So I'm gonna reduce the scale of this so we can really see what we're doing. So Scale, I don't want to transform the object. Unless you do, sometimes I want to transform the object, say, 20 percent bigger or something. But right now, I just want to transform the pattern. You can make it bigger or smaller. I'm gonna take it to 50 percent and see what we're working with. So, I think this is pretty good. I want to come in and add some flourishes, maybe right here. So I believe this is that big spot that we're working with, so I'm gonna steal some of the artwork from some of the clusters and kind of fill it in just a little bit. So to do that, I'll double-click on something I've grouped together so that I can have access to these and move them independently from each other. And I may bring this one, coming down from right here. And I know that this is okay to do because I'm working in the middle of my repeat, not taking anything over the border. If I did take something over the border, all I would have to do is replicate it on both sides. But I don't think I am going to need to mess with any of my borders at this point. So I get to just have free rein with what I'm working in in the middle. So I'm just gonna kind of randomly fill in some of these spots by grabbing elements and moving them around. So I might grab these. This is also gonna give it a little more of a random feel so it doesn't look so much like I took the same two elements and then moved them around even though I changed the scale on some and things like that. This is an observation. Because even though the top line and the bottom line are identical, you're not really considering those. That's not your repeat. Your repeat is whatever you want to do within your box. So that even though both of those, the top and third line things are identical, you can do anything you want with them because they're not the repeat. The two things can be very different now because it's within the repeat as opposed to one line, when you started they were identical. In my mind I'm thinking, oh God, you actually have just two rows to a repeat. But what you've done is you've created that third row as an option to allow you to do anything you want or nothing. Exactly, and you could have kept going with that. We'll make this huge, make it six rows. And that then, somebody would have a really hard time finding your repeat which is what you want to go for sometimes. With the triangle print, it's gonna be really easy to find the repeat. And that's fine because it's supposed to be simple. But sometimes it's nice to have such a large repeat that it's hard to even find it because it's so intricate. So these are totally different. This is gonna be totally different than the one that's laying over the edge like up here. But yeah, that's how I like to work. And I usually always add a third row. I didn't even know that about myself, but I do. So I'm just stealing these little bits and moving them around. It's gonna give it a little bit of a more organic feel. And to do this, all you have to do is grab something, hold the Shift key down, and when you release it, you've just made a copy of it. Then you can rotate it or reflect it, anything like that. So I think I'll add some leaves to this flower. So just kind of like you asked before, I absolutely steal artwork from myself all the time. So I think we are getting close to maybe finishing this out. I want to maybe add just a few more elements in this negative space right here. And let's see what this looks like. So I don't believe, unless it was by mistake, that I crossed anything over the border. And it still looks a little bit light up here. So this is, I want to say, tedious. But it's really not tedious because, in my opinion, it's the most fun part of it all. So I'm just letting you kind of get a glimpse into what it takes to put together a large repeat. It just seems like you could have so much fun doing it, just spend hours on your computer. And three hours later, you don't realize that you've been at your computer and creating this thing on your screen. I could see myself sitting there for three hours and look up and be like, "Oh my gosh, I have to be somewhere now." (laughing) [Second Woman In Audience] And that's just one design you're working on. Imagine all the other ones. So, that happens to me nearly on a daily basis that I look down and realize I was supposed to be somewhere. [First Woman In Audience] I have to pick up my kid. Well, luckily it hasn't been that yet. (laughing) But we haven't even gotten to the part that is most addicting which is color. So, I think I might be happy with this. So I selected all that, drug it over to my swatches panel, and I think that is starting to look a lot better. Okay, so there's still some negative space, but it's a little more organic feeling and I think I'm happy with that. What I want to quickly show you is how we can start messing with the color on this. So once you have a repeating pattern, I have my color palette that I want to work with over here, I can open up the Recolor Artwork tool and just start going through color options. So I clicked on the color palette over here that I want to work with. And all you have to do is randomly change the color order. And this is where I sit at my computer for hours and hours playing with the different color variations. [Woman In Audience] If you click on one and then you click past it and you liked it? You cannot go back, unless somebody at home knows how to. (all audience laughing) [Woman In Audience] So you want to do that slowly. So you want to do it slowly. And by nature, you're gonna start doing it fast. And sometimes I let go of the perfect color palette. So I'm not gonna spend too much time on this. I think that is really pretty. [Woman In Audience] Mmm-hmm. So I'm gonna keep it. All you have to do is hit OK to keep that. Of course, your original is still over here, and it's also still in your color palettes. We're gonna work on marrying all of our color palettes together as we go through the day. But, we have two patterns. I am going to work on the base print next. These are little elements that I did yesterday in session two. And this one and this one I stole from the print that we just worked on. So, the vase we made yesterday, I'm gonna make it a little bigger. And I just want to stick some flowers in it. So I want to bring the vase to the front so that all the flowers look like the stem is going inside of it. And I think I need it to be a little bit smaller. And I'm just gonna start kind of building it up. I know I want this one to be seen. I may have to lengthen some of the stems. And this is from the print that we just did. So I'll stick it in there. I think this might look good kind of pouring out from the side. I'm gonna come in and edit that stem right there. This is gonna come here and maybe be bigger. So I don't know about you, but I like to keep a vase of fresh flowers by my desk all the time. And flowers are what speak to me and what makes me happy and motivates me to kind of get creative. So that is what I'm illustrating here is just some flowers that I might have on my desk. Okay, so I can already tell that I'm gonna want to go in and start creating some borders like we did beforehand because these are kind of confusing, a little bit, with all the edges. But what if I do this? So, the first thing I want to do is kind of edit this stem to where it really looks like it's going in. So I'm gonna double-click on it to go into isolation mode. And it's all grouped together, so I need to go into isolation one more time to get to all these individual elements. And with my blob brush, that's Shift + B, I'm just gonna come in and try to manually just kind of make this stem come up and over. Actually, I think that's gonna be fine. Now if I double-click anywhere, it's gonna exit isolation mode. This guy, I think I need to do a little bit of more work too because it needs to go up and over. So, double-click twice. I like the beginning of the stem, but I'm gonna grab the eraser tool and just kinda delete it down to there. And with the blob brush tool, I can play with making it go something like this. So those didn't combine shapes because I didn't have the first one highlighted. But I can select both of those and with the pathfinder and hit unite. I know I need to smooth out these edges really quick, so I grab the smooth tool from the pencil fly-out menu. And, nyeah, I think that kind of looks a little unnatural, but I'll do something like this. I'm gonna redraw that. Maybe it goes something like this. That might look just a little bit more natural. So, I'm gonna do the same thing, is grab these two and unite them using the pathfinder and then smooth those edges out where I ran into with the blob brush tool like so. So, I think that's pretty cute, going in a good direction. So the thing that I don't like is being able to see stuff behind all these. So I want to add the border like I did in the last print. So I'm gonna grab these leaves. And you know, I can tell, I harped on expanding everything yesterday. And I can tell that I never expanded this. So I'm gonna go ahead and Object > Expand. That gets rid of this border that has no stroke and no fill. So, to add a background behind it, I'm gonna copy it, paste it to the back. Command + C, Command + B does that. Change the color, I know I'm gonna start with the background as that kind of off-white color. So I'm gonna change it to that and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. It automatically goes 10 and Miter. I know I want Round and probably one or two. Let's do two for this. No, let's do one, and OK. So, I'm gonna do this a couple of times, and I'm gonna go through the same exact step. I'm gonna expand it so that it's not a live effect anymore, and then unite it with the pathfinder. And so, I'm gonna do that with anything that has this kind of running over. So I'm gonna do it with this flower, Command and copy it to the back, change its color to this off-white, offset the path by one. I don't even have to preview it now because I know that's what I want. Object > Expand the appearance, and unite it using the pathfinder. So that has eliminated this seeing the stem come through the back right there. I think that I also need to do it with this one, but I believe that's the last one. And then, my background is gonna be that color, so you're not even gonna be able to tell that I've done this. It's just gonna look nice and clean. So one pixel, Round, and hit OK. Expand it, and unite it using the pathfinder. So now when I add a background to this vase of flowers, I'm gonna use the off-white color and send it to the back. I think that looks really nice. So let's turn this into a repeat. Instead of starting from my background, I'm gonna start with the artwork. So, I will, oh, let's see, I'm missing a couple of things, aren't I? I think we're working with layers, yeah. So I don't want to work with layers for this. A quick way to remedy that is just select everything, group it together. It's gonna put it on one layer. I can grab these other layers and drag it to the trashcan and then ungroup everything. There's probably a much better way to do that, but it's really fast for me, so I do that. So now I'll grab my vase and group it together and start playing with how I want this to be. I'm gonna reduce its size. I think I want it to be a pretty linear repeat, so I can do that kind of thing. So I'll talk you through that. Grab your vase or your artwork. Start dragging it down, holding the Shift key to keep it in line, the Option key to replicate it, and Command + D to duplicate your last action. Then I can grab all three of them and bring them over once. Maybe I will reflect this, so hit O on your keyboard and reflect it. And then, kind of do this offset type of thing. And then I'll grab these three and bring them over here. Um, and I think this is what we're gonna go with. I like how that looks. So to add a background to this, I will create a rectangle. I don't need this one anymore. But I'll hit M to get the rectangle tool. And I'm just gonna eyeball. So my repeat is like this right here. It's probably gonna take three of these. So if I start somewhere on this green leaf and head over to this green leaf. Actually, I think my repeat can be pretty small because that is gonna work. So I'll send that to the back. And then, I can delete everything that I'm not using. I'm not using that one either. So you can see that roughly this vase crosses the bottom axis at the same place this one crosses the top. And these are close to being aligned as well. So, I'm gonna make sure that's exact now by grabbing my rectangle, seeing what we're working with. It's almost the square, so let's just make it a square. We'll do 300 by 300. So this part, you get to play with a little bit. So I'll delete everything on the right and copy and paste everything on the left in front of itself. So there are two copies there. I'll right-click, Transform, and Move it 300 pixels to the right and zero up and down. Now to make sure that everything is correct from top and bottom, I'll delete everything that covers the top. This may make you feel like you're deleting all your artwork. It's still there. It's still there. And move it to the top. So, that is -300. Now we have everything perfect along the borders. I'll make a copy of the backgrounds, send it to the back, and give it no stroke and no fill. Again, this is what defines the repeat of our pattern, so it needs to be exact. Select everything and drag it over to the swatches panel. If I create a shape now, this can be any shape that you want, I can fill it with our pattern and see what it's gonna look like. I'll scale it down just a little bit. So, I think this is pretty cute. 75 percent, that gives us a good repeat. So I can see this scene that Illustrator is rendering, but I know that it doesn't exist because my background and the square behind it are identical. So we can play with the colors on this one just really quickly. I'm not gonna make any major decisions yet. But I can see that I have one more color. It'll split like this if I have more colors in my existing artwork than I do in my color palette. So I believe, yeah, I have two oranges that are almost identical. And that's just something I did by accident and a couple of pinks that are almost identical, so, and some greens. I've been working with this with different colors. So I can just grab the color on the left and drag and drop it to any color on the right to make those the same. And this will reduce the number of colors in my original piece of artwork. So I'll just do that really quick. Now if I reopen Recolor Artwork tool, I think I can probably do it with these two as well. You can see I only have one pink, one green, one orange. And the next time I open it, I'll only have one light pink. So now when we go to recolor, I think we're going to like what we see a little bit better. So you can just roughly go through some options. Something as detailed as this, you're gonna want to probably color not randomly but with precision. You can do that in your original artwork, or you can start dragging and dropping these around. Like if you know for sure you want the background to be the off-white, you can drag and drop these colors around and place them exactly where you want to. I think I'm happy with the repeat on that one. I want to, I think we should jump into this one. These are some objects that were on my desk that I quickly snapped a picture of and illustrated from. We did this in segment three in session two. So I'm just gonna randomly lay these objects out like they were on my desk. So, I have this little notebook. These little sketches are some that we scanned in. I think I'm working on layers again, yeah. I'm just gonna clean this up really quick. Ungroup and send this to the back so we can see what we're doing. So little notebook, this is the little paintbrush and tube of paint that we made yesterday or in session two. I think he's really cute. This is some washi tape. Do you guys use washi tape, Japanese masking tape? I always have some on my desk. So I think I want to try to make the different elements proportional. So, that's about right. The washi tape is smaller. The pencil would be smaller. And I just want these to be really sporadic. I have this little metal butterfly, this little vintage metal butterfly that I have near my desk. This is a spool of baker's twine thread. I use it to wrap little packages in and things. And this is my Pantone color swatchbook. It's gonna add several colors to my piece of artwork. I can't not include it, so it's happening. This is a vase of flowers. And I really do, I always have this on my desk. This is a little teal notebook that I have and a vase of flowers that I always keep sitting on top it. So I'm gonna group those together and throw those in here too. So this is just a very literal design. This is another little vase with some foliage in it. And I just want it to be. It's not a really complicated pattern, just kinda something fun to play with. So I should go ahead and make these kinda spill over this axis over here. So I'll grab these two and know that they need to be over here somewhere. It might be a good idea to make this repeat pretty big because I think this notebook is gonna make the repeat really obvious. So I might bring him to the middle and put something up here that's a little less obvious like this spool of thread. That way, I'm gonna have one in my document rather than four. Then this guy and this guy will come up to the top somewhere around in there. And maybe I'll switch places with the paintbrush like so. So, it might be a good idea to. Let me see about expanding this and making it even bigger. So if I do something like this, then that's gonna let me kinda play with some of these elements more. I don't want to be confusing here. But if I make more than one copy of everything, the repeat's not going to be so obvious. So I can change the rotation and the reflection. I can change the scale on it. And it's just gonna give it a more natural feel and less of a blocky feel. So I can just move these inside. So this is kind of like me inserting that third row, just something that we can play with to make it. You know, I'm replicating the objects, but they won't be so obvious as a repeat. So I'm just dragging and dropping elements around and holding the Option key to duplicate them.

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.