Elaborate Hand Drawn Half Drop Repeat Patterns: Combining Traditional & Digital Techniques

Kristina Hultkrantz, Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer

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10 Lessons (1h 9m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Supplies & Inspiration

    • 3. Instructions & Sketching Timelapse

    • 4. Inking Timelapse

    • 5. Scan & Edit in Photoshop

    • 6. Digitize Your Swatch in Illustrator

    • 7. Perfect your Swatch & Make a Repeat

    • 8. Add Digital Color & Timelapse

    • 9. Final Adjustments with the Recolor Artwork Tool

    • 10. Thank you for Watching!

13 students are watching this class

Project Description

Hello Everyone!


So you’ve been designing repeat patterns for awhile now, and you’ve mastered creating scattered prints with loads of smaller elements in a grid format. But maybe now you’re itching to create something a little more worked and elaborate, but aren’t really sure how. I am so very excited to share my technique to create complex half drop repeating patterns in a pretty old school and simple way!


In this class project you'll be creating an elaborate (or simple, your choice) hand drawn repeating pattern swatch tile of your own! These are the steps you’ll need to take to complete the project:


  1. Choose your paper size. Get two pieces of sketch or drawing paper of the exact same size. Doesn't matter what size, can be rectangle or square. Just make sure they are exactly the same size. Another tip is to make sure they are smaller than what your scanner allows to aid in the editing process later. I have a larger A3 scanner so I’ll be working larger but this process works just as well at a A4 or smaller scale.
  2. Start sketching out your design, making sure to line up your papers perfectly when you draw. Follow my video instructions for tips.
  3. Ink your pattern using your favorite fine tipped pens. Make sure that the papers are always perfectly aligned to make sure they will line up when brought into the computer later.
  4. Follow my video instructions to learn how to edit your hand drawn swatch in Photoshop and then how to finalize by digitizing and coloring in Illustrator.
  5. Test your swatch and convert into a half drop repeat. You’ve made a new pattern!
  6. Make two color versions of your new elaborate repeating pattern so you have two different looks/moods/styles. Possibly one dark and one light. Or one with a sophisticated muted palette and one with pops of bright color.
  7. Post your finalized repeated pattern as well as your original sketches to the project gallery, for all of us to see and to ooo and ahhhh over… or critique nicely and constructively.


I seriously can’t wait to see all of the amazing patterns you come up with! Feel free to use my project as inspiration.

Also please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions, I am of course here to help if you get stuck anywhere along the way.

Thanks so much for taking my class!

Follow me and share your work on Instagram @emmakisstina with the hashtag #emmakisstinaxskillshare

Find more free content from me by subscribing to my EmmaKisstina Illustration YouTube Channel!

xoxo Kristina

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