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Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface

Lesson 5 of 11

Block Demo Repeat: Coloring in Block

Molly Hatch

Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface

Molly Hatch

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Lesson Info

5. Block Demo Repeat: Coloring in Block

Lesson Info

Block Demo Repeat: Coloring in Block

Don't always perceived that that's possible um to do both and I it really is possible to do both I think it's it's exciting to think that that you could have a fine art career and licensing career and I think you could be smart about how you are calculated about how you how you what artwork you retained for original things and what artwork you push put out into the world for product or general consumption in a bigger way um and I shift for you to be to decide to do that or is there something a reason why people don't think it's possible yeah I don't know I feel like people are always surprised that I'm able to do it and I don't know why where along the way that concept that it's not possible that you know you shouldn't be able to do that has come from or why people are surprised but you know they're two totally different processes of working for me I usually my one of a kind work is a lot more involved in time time wise and expense wise and man hours or just it's just like a longer ter...

m project typically um whereas the design work is relatively quick and you know deadlines air come often and um it's just a different that's also a different aesthetic for me I've you know it's related and I was source imagery similarly and and all that but I make different work, so I think that I'm it's it can be I think some people's ability to divide themselves that way might not might not be as functional. I don't know if that's just something that I'm capable of doing, but I I love that I have sort of short term and long term projects that are happening simultaneously, and I think it's important to recognize how you work best, and I think the fashion industry has done a really good job of it, like you have donna, karen, but you have donna decay and why write? Like, you have a more commercial line for a designer that has a high end line, and I don't know why the fine art world hasn't got that going on so much like they're stigma attached tio tio product, but like, I know I feel like there's a like people don't I don't know if it's like a sellout, I'm concern or like, why? Why making a commercial version of what you're doing isn't necessarily considered? Um, yeah, I mean, I've definitely received pushed back in the ceramic community about some of what I've done, but I've also received a ton of support, so I think it's just maybe it's a time mentality of the times or something a shift in what's what's acceptable or not? But I think I'm just trying to make a living you know, I had a kid five years ago and when this opportunity arose and I love anthropology I love where I sell I work with clients that I would shop there I would buy the things that I'm making and I think that's also a n'importe thing to recognize and when you're deciding where to put yourself um you know if you have the privilege of choice not you don't always have a privilege of choice in what you're doing I don't know if that totally answers the question, but I think it I think it's a it's a wonderful conversation any any comments here in the studio licensing how did you know where to look and who to contact and that kind of thing? I'm going? I was working predominantly as a studio water and then I, um anthropology called called and was interested in working together and I knew that I couldn't make the things that I was making by hand in a quantity and that to me was a little red flag like maybe I shouldn't be doing this for full time like there's a stealing on what you could make every day by hand right? And I was making these intense designed things and it was really kind of crazy to think that I was goingto make a living like just so I took the risk of trying it and it worked out really well and so I hustled within anthropology and kept presenting new ideas and bringing other ways of working to the table like the other things that I was capable of doing that they didn't necessarily know because they thought of me as a studio potter but then I would bring them drawings and they'll be like, oh my god, you can draw this is great let's do a tea towel I do and so inadvertently the brand grew on its own and other companies have contacted me as a result of that relationship we we've been together for five years anthropology and I have worked together on um about two hundred project's products over that five year period, which is a lot like it's amazing and and that success you know, so the proof is in the pudding a lot of other companies you know, that would be nice, right? Like so it's sort of inadvertently grown on its own and then with the help of my agents I've sought out more um more license of licensees and I'm an open minded person I think that sort of like opportunist maybe I can always sort of see how my work could work at a company that I'm talking teo and more and more I'm having to decide if thought be more strategic about how I go about that um but I think it's I think you can manifest things in your mind you can talk things into existence I say sometimes I think you can decide like you know that's really something I want to dio and you'd be surprised how you start to put yourself in front of the right people to make those things happen and I think being open minded and willing teo like I think we hear a lot of rejection in our worlds of creative people and I think as long as you have a pretty thick skin and you can say to yourself that no doesn't necessarily mean no it's might be mean no not right now yeah, you might just keep my husband calls me a battering ram just keep coming back come back again let's drag and um so I think those are all important things you know, write like recognize how you work best on go for the things that you're interested in and eventually things take you I was just saying this morning that I thought I was going to be a professor ten years ago I was out in seattle was last time I was in seattle and I was interviewing for graduate school at university of washington for ceramics and I thought I was gonna be a professor and this week I have been teaching at risky and I they've asked me to come back for the spring and I told them I couldn't do it so I've just sort of set that aside for a little bit and it was felt risky but it's like I didn't think that that was you know, so you never know where you're going to end up so one thing I've been doing is sort of working a little bit in layers, so if you get yourself familiar with watercolor you can start to do this but one of the beautiful things about coloring by hand is that you can add a lot of death through how you apply the paints so the, um the paint really starts tio buildup in layers who have some that are sort of lighter and some that are darker and when you're doing fabric design, this can be a real problem because you sometimes you're limited like I'm limited to eighteen colors and my collections and we can talk to kate murray this afternoon about like what some of the limitations of the hand are and design and that's definitely one of them but it's they can you consort of color separate and figure out ways to work around it and a lot of companies there were are willing to do that to attain attain that handmade are hand painted book, but one of the cool things I could do is go in and add, you know, like maybe even a tonal detail to some of these that I wouldn't be able to do um as well with photo shop I mean I think you still can but I can go in you know with a wash and then I can go in with a stronger and stronger layer of a color like like this red over the red I could do like little hand painted details within so that you start to get that depth of wearing that you uh get from painting and also um uh the gua sh is lends itself particularly to this because it can be used thin like a wash like like I was using it first and then it can also be used strong and thick almost like a on acrylic feel so you can really play with it and start and start toe you know explore what's possible and I know it looks like maybe I'm not it's not finished but I love the unfinished peddles I'm gonna put some red stripes from these guys um uh and then you can um e this is something that I sort of become my brand I do in a lot of the things that I design is leave it's sort of a signature of molly um toe leave some un colored spots it's what I would do in my ceramic work and so I translate that overto what I'm doing and um in my tootie work but I am gonna color these dotson and then I think I'm gonna be done coloring I'm going to scan and then I show you a little bit about yeah, pushing up a little bit, yeah, sorry, no that's, all right and quick question while you're doing that round from still does stills who was in canada when you're do you select your color palette when painting as merely a starting point to any photo shop coloring? Or is this the final color way? Yeah, this is the final, so I mean, I work pretty intuitively on dh sometimes all not like a color, and I'll go back in and re color another photocopy, but maybe just the section that I wanted to rework, um and that's an advantage to having that original file again, you could go back, print another one, and then you could merge the two right? You can race every other part of that and sort of start toe layer those together. That's a slightly more complex thing for those of you who are just learning about photo shop, but so don't don't sweat it if you don't know what I'm talking about, you, you'll get there eventually. Um, but yeah, I think, you know, I typically well, you know, in a mood board or from the source material or whatever I'm doing, I'll pull out the color palette that I want or I'll decide at the beginning and then sometimes I will end up doing some coloring and photoshopped but it's pretty rare like I liketo really try to keep it all on the paper so that you have that really rich surface so I'm gonna go back to the scanner scooch over a little and this does have I mean you can kind of see the uh you know if you can kind of see their if I hold it off the side that there is cem rippling a little bit from the water color but it's not actually that bad like you can kind of see on the back more where that paper has sort of changed and soaked in but that's not going to show up that much in the scanner and now my paper is like fits perfectly in the scanner just very convenient and this time I'm going to go to the scanner and which I still have up here and I'm actually gonna change this into color to make sure you do that yeah I just want to notice that you worked from light to dark do you ever use white in your paints teo as well yes I know what you yep and I think I'm sorry I didn't mention that because that is it's it's like how you would work in watercolor and conveniently that's how you work and ceramic coloring teo you work light to dark because the light colors will never show up over the dark colors so there are some advantages to quash you can put whites over darks my instincts because of my ceramic background is to put darks over lights. So, yeah, I think, experiment and know that you can, like, do a white dot of wash over a wash of pink or red or darker colors and it will stay. And but it's, you know, worth experimenting at home to figure out um, yeah, starting on the nicer paper versus just starting on me and a half by eleven printer paper with your pencil and painting and all that it's archival so you can you can it'll last in perpetuity in theory, uh, there is an acid free paper and then also it's a little stiffer it's going to take some of the squash better? I mean, ideally, I would be printing I probably could run that paper through my printer, actually and mean, you can run photo paper through your printers, so I mean, I don't know why I haven't done that. Actually, we're all sitting here going, yes, that would be a good idea on I would have less rippling and, um issues, but it's also expensive it's a dollar sheet, usually somewhere around that on dso that cannot really add up fast, but to have that one archival source is really helpful, but you, khun I mean a guy an experiment and figure it out our print tried printing or even thinking using sixty you know, cover stock through your printer and painting on that yeah yeah or a knife I have had issues with how the color goes on to certain papers though I just use like the hp yeah dancing paper like they're like nice non I think it's even might even be recycled but I'm not totally sure um I'm just going to scan this and sometimes I'll put pressure on the scanner the top of the scanner bed um cover just to help press press that down and I'm sure there are graphic designers that hungry she's coloring on photocopy paper um all right, so there's my scan looks pretty good. Um see if I can write down a full size um so I'm just gonna, um, save this um I mean, export it to the desktop as c l block original color and I'm not going to save it as a pdf I'm gonna save it as a j peg and the best quality to get it true is true to the original as possible when you're scanning that in don't you have a choice between like rgb and the the other one cm? Why saying like a typically rgb eyes better I mean certain print certain prints printers will require certain things but that is something I usually rely on them to tell me if they need specifically I don't know why that didn't say there I'm gonna try this again and have you found uh put in the wrong place certain colors to print out differently than the original yeah um uh you typically will send off pantone's depending like I will pull pantone's out from the using photoshopped usually you could do that using photoshopped um which is another sort of photo shop tutorial but you can use a color picker and the color picker tool which I can show you in a moment to pull out the pantone's but often you I will send the original are sometimes I'll send the original artwork to make sure it gets color colored exactly the same it just depends on the company um say that to the desktop I saved it to like pictures before which is why I didn't um when I saved it as a pdf that's okay, you can still open it in a photo shop and it will still be scanned at three hundred d p I but it's better to save it as a tiff is ideal as the original um but it's a huge file just so you know so I often say that as a j peg I'm sure they're digital people going tip is it considered it like a digital negative centrally for those of us who remember what negatives are I applied for graduate school with slides um okay so now I have this image and it's rotated so I'm going to actually rotate it so that it's um counterclockwise ninety degrees and it's also off like buy a little bit it's not totally straight um see if I can crop it actually you know I'm not going to crop it I'm going teo leave it I'm going to adjust the colored man and enlarge it here a little bit you know, just the the usually when I scan I find that the adjustments in levels will did you bring it back to the original color pretty much without fail so you can play with it um a little bit and make sure that there are a lot of potential issues with color from screen to screen not reading and all those things I haven't really found it to be a problem but so maybe I'm just lucky my screen is collaborated correctly or something but it's worse keeping in mind I'm gonna rotate this one hundred eighty degrees because we're probably all feeling like we're upside down there we go so what I'm going to do is that original on block was an eight by eight inch if you remember correctly I'm gonna create a new document that's exactly eight inches by eight inches a minute change pixels inches and then I'm gonna copy this by selecting it and then I'm gonna do a short cut open apple c for copying and then I'm going to go back to this untitled um file that I just opened and put this in and it should be with the free transform you should be able to fit it into the file it's funny I've never had it like really um I've never had to be so far off I had to do this before so bear with me a little bit so it looks like it's not totally straight so this might require slightly more um fix england then I had anticipated but that's okay I mean if you were printing as a um you know, screen printer or uh as someone who's working you know, in a block repeats like in fabric then you should be able teo use that image that we just did on paper as a repeat as it is and burn it into a screen however so I'm gonna leave that as a surface of ana um I'm going tio I can't see my layers so basically in theory at this point now that I've merged all these together it's one image and it's flattened I should be able to take this and create a larger image I'm goingto make one more that is my say inge's sixteen inches by sixteen inches so double right what we just did same rgb color resolutions the same so that I can now take this, copy it and place it so that it should snap in place as a repeat and because of that slight like me getting that angle just right, it's not totally doing it right? You know, a cz great as it would if we were working in photoshopped from the start, but it should snap in place, and when we sneak in and take a look, you can see where it matches up or not. So now I have some photo shop work for myself, right? Teo, to create this into repeating, I'm going to talk a little bit about how do howto use the offset tool later thiss afternoon, teo, create a repeat that matches up exactly. I actually find this kind of charming, but you, you know, you might not just depends on what you're trying to do, so if you have an engineered print, you kids, I could go in with a drawing tool. I could go back and fuss around with how that original sits in the in the file that we created eight by, so it might just need to be tweaked a little to the left to the right. So this is where the frustrations might come in, from working with hand to working with with computer to start, but you know, usually you can make it make it work were kind of coming a little close to time, but I can I can play around with us a little bit or I can answer questions from people at home but you can start to see that working as a repeat right and in some ways this so this I actually don't mind that they don't line up exactly and I think you know, some people you khun fuss until it does exactly and you can play around with that and clearly I did the stripe at the bottom and the floral because I want you to see how some patterns are more forgiving than others so you can kind of see that that is going to be a garland that weaves pretty easily and if you zoom in on that top pattern that looks just like a break in the leaf, right? Like it doesn't actually it's not a problem, whereas here this is a problem. What I find charming about this little break and it being a little off is that it looks like a block printed piece of fabric cream except that it's hand painted so some people find that kind of that kind of misalignment distraction and some people won't and if you want to correct it, you can by, you know, the few things that I was talking about, so I think I mean, I might even just be able tio go back and make it into layers again um and then adjust that top layer and in terms are you still needing to see your layers? Some folks they're suggesting double clicking on layers or so I'm gonna go I'm gonna go a step backward again so that I can put it back into multiple ares can you guys can now see that so now I can make this an adjustment a little bit more with a free transformed tool and that might do it my count one other thing you can do is, um erase the background of that of this area and then that can start to become a transparent layer and you can start to overlap them a little bit too but again it just depends on what the application is if this is something that needs to be repeated over and over it's just for a border than it might be you might be fine as it is um yeah I mean I'm sort of repeating myself but this point apply that transformation and I'm in a merge pallares I'm going to try this again now that I've adjusted it so I'll just removed the original four layers I'll be curious to see what you all come up with at home and some of you with photoshopped skills are goingto be way better thing than I am yeah so that lines up a little better so let's zoom in here it is so that I mean pretty close so I just needed to adjust it a little bit more, but that can almost be I mean, you can go in and do more you know, even more perfection on that andi this afternoon with the offset tool I was talking about before I will show you exactly howto make it seamless do you have questions? Talk briefly, maybe that's something people could go check out now times yeah, these sites because society six I mean it's something that I hadn't spent a lot of time looking at until researching for this class or prepping this class and my goodness, you could spend the whole lunch hour there but talk a little bit about society six force maybe yeah, eso society six and you have zazzle dot com spoon flower dot com stationary h q envelope there's, a custom printed gift wrap those air all companies that you can go online and source imagery from yourself and apply it into their programs. You basically upload whatever your repeat file images and they typically have a formatting like palate for formatting the repeats or how it applies sometimes like in particular society six will have like they're the ones I've used the most they'll have an aspect you know, like a ratio that you have to have it fit within so that it can fit as a you know particular size file so they will tell you you know, for an iphone case there's a size file that you have to have that repeat fit into and you can play around with the scale and preview it and see what it's gonna look like and go back and edit it and change the scale of the pattern which you can also do with this file so if you're at three hundred d p I and eight inches you can always make that smaller you could make it bigger you know there's a limit on how big you can go want teo you know before it starts to get pixelated and strange but you could do a lot with you the eight by eight format and usually like in my fabric collections they'll be you know I have to have certain sizes within, you know, repeats within a the fabric bolts and things like that. And so I think one of the advantages tio using these companies and like like society six and you know zazzle is that even if you've never done product design you can all of a sudden I see what your work is going to look like applied and it's actually used them as portfolio builders to for presentations to clients like so say someone's asking me to design pillows I can go and not have to put it up for sale but I can use there on like for gift wrap and test out what I'm doing and see what it looks like in you know of three d rendering or cad rendering of that image and figure out how it's going to apply and get a really good sense and then also you can earn revenue so like you can immediately be designing shower curtains and betting for yourself with the patterns you're creating from the things that I'm telling you about today and immediately be applying it for making profits so you know you have to owe you cannot commercially benefit from these ifyou're not generating like if you're taking imagery that's copyright free and producing you know, like all the things that we talked about this morning you still you still if you're doing it for your own private use, you cannot put it up for sale and you could just make something for yourself through some of these for non resale if you're wanting to reproduce something that you know you don't have you know access tio I don't recommend doing them but you know whatever you do it todo um and then it's a way to also go toe to garner clients right? Like if I showed up with, you know, applied examples I've ordered of my own designs of these I mean everything from stationery and a wallpaper toe it's expensive I mean it's going to cost you a retail price point. But you can try it and see it, and people can see you how your work applies tio and then I'm a design geek, and I notice other people's iphone cover's. I'm like, is that yours from society's? Yeah, you kind of get into that on dh it's, really fun and it's a nice way to not have to commit yourself to something huge and have a lot of feedback immediately. Um, and I think there's, a community of people, instantly to that are also participating in that. So I think, that's. Another way to see your designs applied well.

Class Description

Many designers are so well-versed in the art of working digitally that the idea of creating things by hand can feel daunting – but it doesn’t have to. Join Molly Hatch for Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface and revisit the tactile experience of making images.

Handcrafted artwork and patterns can open new doors for you – both creatively and professionally. In this course, you’ll learn how to develop a creative process that combines hand work with digital to get results you and your clients will love. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create repeat patterns by hand, using cut paper and block repeats
  • Scan and adjust patterns in Photoshop
  • Hand-color line art to capture unique textures
  • Give companies and clients the handmade look they’re craving

If you’re ready to make your designs more unique, more appealing to clients, and more of a reflection of who you are as a designer, this is the course for you!

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

About Molly Hatch.pdf

Molly Hatch - Basic Photoshop Repeat.pdf

Molly Hatch - Paper Block Repeat.pdf

Molly Hatch - Paper Cut Repeat.pdf

Molly Hatch - Source

Molly Hatch -

Molly Hatch - Web Book Resources.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Miranda Kate

This was just the kind of course I was after to build on existing knowledge and formal training in art and design. There was so much information provided, not only for the work Molly was producing in the demonstrations but also in her candid and honest discussions surrounding building this type of business, PR and working with clients. What a great resource to find CreativeLive. I am so inspired and don't feel nearly as overwhelmed at the prospect of starting work in surface design. I actually appreciated Molly's instructional style particularly for the demonstrations and acknowledge how she was able to create a new beautiful artwork all while responding to questions and talking through the process. Loved it, so thanks a bunch!


I didn't know who Molly Hatch was, was attracted by the subject and it absolutely blew my expectations. I took the course as a mosaic artist who wants to create more of their own patterns, and I learned a lot and felt tremendously inspired. I loved the creativity, the insights and tips on creative life from someone who lives it, and a new skill beautifully explained. Sometimes it felt a bit slow but it was absolutely worth going with the given pace to try and absorb this artist's intuitive, freestyle way of working, that works! I found it so enjoyable that I will watch it again. Yes in the beginning you couldn't see the drawing that well, but that was solved later and didn't really matter (as she started filling it out with black later).

Bunny Bear Press

I was lucky enough to be in the audience for this course and I loved every minute of it. I have enjoyed making patterns for some time but it was so awesome to see her different techniques for getting a better fitting more technical pattern for infinite repeating. Molly was an amazing teacher and I know I will be referencing this class over and over again to find new information that I might have missed the first time around.