How to Create a Digital Tie-Dye Pattern in Photoshop | Diane Pascual | Skillshare

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How to Create a Digital Tie-Dye Pattern in Photoshop

teacher avatar Diane Pascual, Designer | Artist | Online Educator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. 1. Digital Tie-Dye Patterns

    • 2. 2. Finding Inspiration

    • 3. 3. Getting Started

    • 4. 4. Visual Design Principles

    • 5. 5. Creating a Digital Tie-Dye Pattern

    • 6. 6. Refining Your Pattern

    • 7. 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

An intro class to creating digital tie-dye patterns in Photoshop. Whether you want to take this class for fun or to start creating digital tie-dye patterns, the tips and techniques I teach in this class will help you get started to creating your first pattern. You can create patterns for home decor, products, t-shirts, social media, blogging, or websites. The sky's the limit! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Diane Pascual

Designer | Artist | Online Educator


I am Designer and Illustrator. Originally from San Diego, I am inspired by surf & skate culture, tie-dye shirts, and hand drawn black and white illustrations. I have been a graphic artist and illustrator for over 10 years. I studied and have a bachelor's in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California - San Diego and received an MFA in Visual Development/2D Animation from the Academy of Art University San Francisco.

I also have taught classes at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Currently a digital nomad, splitting my time in San Francisco and Reno working remotely on art and client work. 


I create digital tie-dye patterns and artwork and sell them on print on

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1. 1. Digital Tie-Dye Patterns: Hi. My name is Diane Pascual, and I am a freelance product designer and illustrator. Have you ever wanted to create tied I? But without the mess, We all know that it's pretty messy. It gets all over your hands. Um, and plus, it just takes forever to dry, right? Ah, well, maybe you're a hobbyist who loves to create tied I for fun. Or maybe you're somebody who wants to create tight i patterns for digital printing onto products. Whatever the case may be, this is a great intro class to getting started on creating digital tight I patterns in photo shop. This is just one part of a longer Siris of classes that I am developing. Four skill share. Ah, some future classes to include creating a spiral tight I patterns and also creating inkblot patterns. Um, and also, I think you'll love this one, but I'm creating a series of photo shop classes to create your very own digital tight. I brushes. Color is something that I absolutely love to experiment with. But for the purpose of this class, we are going to create a pattern with 1 to 2 colors just to keep things simple and with this class, I'm going to show you how to find inspiration online. I'll walk you through, setting up your first Photoshopped file format and walk you through, creating your very first pattern. And also I'll be showing you some of my tips and techniques along the way. And as an added bonus, I've included five free Photoshopped brushes just for you. So what are you waiting for? Enroll now and let's get started on creating some fun digital tight I patterns. 2. 2. Finding Inspiration: Hey there. Thank you so much for enrolling in my class. Ah, with this video, I wanted to show you some of the ways that I go about finding inspiration. I find inspiration in my everyday world. Growing up in San Diego used to see such an amazing array of bright, tight I shirts and all colors of the rainbow. But now is the a ton of people wearing more modern, inspired tight I clothing. So one of the first things I do is I do a Google search online. I'll usually do a search for tight I shirts, and usually what comes up is ah, bunch of different bright tie dye shirts with spirals and usually more than 2 to 3 colors. And for May I think this is a little bit too busy. I'm more a fan of keeping things a little bit more. Ah, simple and modern and and keep our design more monochromatic, or we can apply a simple ingredient just like this example. Here, another way that I look for inspiration online is to do a Google search for tight I dresses . Um, and I suggest doing this because there's a much ah, wider variety of different patterns on dresses. Looking some of these different dresses online. It's a good idea because you can see how the pattern is placed on the dresses, as some of the patterns are very large. Some of them are stripes or some of them are like, ah, blotchy, all over kind of patterns. And some of them have a lot of white space, you know, and some of the patterns can just go on one side. So you'll notice that some of these designs have different placements on the dresses, and hopefully this will give you some design inspiration. So if you do a search online and you find something that you really gravitate towards, I would suggest downloading the reference image and basing your design on that. So go ahead and decide on a pattern that you want to create, and it's OK if it's not all clear yet in your vision, we're going to figure it out along the way. So next we'll do a Google search for some color ideas. Um, this is where you can really ah, look for different color options. Um, how colors go together Ah would suggest sticking to one color and weaken, Do attend or a shade of, like, safer purple weaken. Do a variety of purples and blues with it, or we can simply just do black and gray. So go ahead and pick a color scheme. Okay, so now let's move on to Google docks Were gonna creates a mood board to go ahead and go to file page set up, and I would orient to to landscape version. And I would add zero to all the top bottom left and right margins, and then you want to hit, okay. And you'll see here have already added a bunch of images. The very top I have just all monochromatic color scheme, and then the middle I have my colors, Um, and then the third row. I have some color ideas and options. So, uh, the way to add images is you're gonna go to insert an image and locate that image on your death stop. Okay, so once you have your mood board all set up Ah, this is a good way to keep your ideas grounded. I would suggest doing this before you do any kind of design work. Well, here's my mood board. Um, I'll see you in the next video, Where will set up Ah Photoshopped file and I'll show you how to install Photoshopped brushes. 3. 3. Getting Started: Hey there. Welcome back in this video. We are going to set up our Photoshopped file to start painting, and we are also going to install the set of free brushes that I've included. So there are some considerations. What is our goal of creating is is going to be a pattern on a product, or is this going online for social media? I would suggest doing a landscape version first. We can always crop it down to a social media square size later, so let's go ahead and double click the digital tight I Resource is folder. So here you'll find a few different elements. I've included the free brushes dot a beer file right here. You'll also find two different template orientation. So here have included the landscape and the portrait. So for this exercise, I am going to use the landscape version. So let's go ahead and double click. Okay, so now we are going to install the brushes. So let's make sure that we have our brush presets palette open. And if you don't have that open, we can always go toe window brush presets. So let's go ahead and click on this hamburger icon on the top right corner and let's go all the way down to load brushes and let's locate the dot a BR file. Click open, and then you'll see the brushes air kind of great out here to be able to start easing them . You want to press, be for brush on your keyboard and let's go ahead and pick a brush so you can pick any brush that you want here. So let's say, for example, I'll pick the circular one eso Let's navigate back tour layers And here I have just a few tips on separating the layers. We can always make a folder for a group of layers. I would suggest naming the layers and painting on separate layers because, um, you're not gonna be able to edit them out later. So if you press the left and right brackets on your keyboard, this will increase and decrease the brush size. So right now I have a color green, but I want to change the color, so double click and I'll choose. Maybe this color, and then you can just go ahead and start painting, and then I'll click on a separate layer will choose a new brush we'll choose this one left bracket for decreasing the brush size. So after you set up your photo shot file and installed, your brushes will go ahead and start painting your pattern in the next video. 4. 4. Visual Design Principles: Hey there. Welcome back In this video we are going to discuss some visual design principles specific to creating digital tight I patterns. So ah, the first thing that we are going to discuss is variation, and I am just going to mouse over here to these examples that I found online variation in sizes and shapes tight. I has a lot of unique shapes and variations, so there's never any wrong way to create tied I you'll see in this example here on the left . Ah, there is variation in color. It's all black on this side and there's little clumps and then you'll see here towards the right of the shirt. There is, ah, some white space and maybe a little bit of gray. And then on this side, you'll see that this shirt has a bigger shape at the top. And then there's a lot of negative space here, and then there's also like a variety of different shapes. Down here, there's bigger, like medium size pieces, and there's very thin lines. Um, so, yeah, that, um, is just some example of variation. Ah, the next thing I want to go over is balance. Ah, when I talk about balance. I am referring to asymmetrical balance. I also think that symmetry is kind of boring. So, um, you know, tighter is supposed to be about spontaneous, unique shapes. So you don't wanna have patterns and sizes or shapes that are gonna be too similar. You want to, like, keep it different, like, for example, this stress here on the right, You can see that the pattern is over here to one side of the dress, you know, and it's, you know, going into the side and probably wrapping around to the back of the dress. So those were just some considerations to think about. And even then, this example here, this is a romper. So this also has quite a few different shaves. I mean, there's probably one basic element right here, which is kind of like this weird, um, I shape and then, you know, there is, like, a few different smaller pieces here, and you can see how late the pattern breaks apart. But this is probably designed on a flat peace. And then you kind of depending on how you want to design something, right, it's gonna get cut off anyway. So the next thing is composition. Ah, you also want to think about where you want toe land on the shirt. If you're creating a pattern for fabric, clothing or shirts or, you know products, you want to think about where it's going, Uh, you want to think about the placement of where the design is going, and you also want to figure out, Is this going to be a background header online? Or are you gonna use this? His background for social media? You also want to think about where you're gonna place the text within the background. Um, and that's probably gonna be the first thing you think about when you're designing, because you don't want to just design something and not think about what the output is going to be. And also another good thing to remember is the area of emphasis. Where do you want the I to go? So if we're thinking about area of emphasis, we want to look at, say, for example, something like this. This is a spiral, um, pattern. So the spiral start. It's kind of like in the center of the shirt and just kind of radiates out, and you could see where some of the negative spaces are, and then on one side of the sleeve. There's like some darker color for contrast. Um, so that is a good thing to think about area of emphasis. And you can do that with patterns. You can do that with color. Um, and you can also do that with placement of the different shapes. So the last thing that I want to talk about is color. If you're going to have more than one color, I suggest choosing color palettes that are similar in color value. For example, this to colored shirt down here is just the right amount of red and turquoise. They're both kind of at a D saturated value, so you can see that this totally works. And also on this left side, this is a little bit more brighter than my taste. But it works if you're gonna have bright colors, just have all bright colors. But don't do a bright and then a de saturated kind of effect. It just it won't be that pleasing. I mean, you can always try it and see how it looks, but, um, I tend to think that they don't really harmonize. Um and also this bottom here. This bottom example of this monochromatic shirt with the red and then it fades out. Um, and you also have this area of focus right here. The emphasis, like this spiral is sort of in the middle, but it's to the right. So you see this really nice gradation powder and, like the colors are fading out. And so it's it's pleasing to the eye. And then the last example is this top one on the right, this dress. So here this also totally works because, um, this is more of like a past stale pastel. I'm sorry. Pastel color scheme. And then they added a little bit of neon green, but the neon green isn't too bright and too obnoxious. So this whole color scheme works even though, um, you see, like hence of neon green. And there's maybe some pink and orange here, but they have harmonised the colors enough so that it doesn't look as bad. Okay, so, um, just a few things that I want you to remember when you're composing your digital tight I patterns. So I just want to encourage you to experiment and explore and have fun with your design. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and that's creating the process of creating is sort of a spontaneous act, but also realizing that you don't have to know exactly where it's going to lead you but allowing yourself to be creative during the process and to make decisions on the go and to base it on trial and error. So if something doesn't work, it's OK. You can just delete it and try it again. However many times you want. And so you know, I just want to leave you with, um, there's no wrong way to create tight I, um Yeah, have fun and I'll see you in the next video. 5. 5. Creating a Digital Tie-Dye Pattern: he there in this fifth video, we are going to start creating the digital tight I pattern. So let's go ahead and dive into creating the pattern. You'll see here that I have the landscape template set up, and I've opened my reference image in another tab in Photoshop. So this is really where we want to start. So we compress that I for the eyedropper tool, or you can find it right here on the left palette. And then what we want to do is let's choose to colors. So in this case, I've already chosen a darker blue. And then I press x on my keyboard to flip, and then we can choose a pink. Um, I've picked a darker value of blue and a lighter shade of paint to keep it, Um, a contrast. So let's go ahead and start painting on one layer. And, um, we can keep creating new later layers to paint on afterwards. So let's press B Okay. So again, if you want to increase and decrease the size of the brush, you're gonna press the left or the right brackets. So for this one, let's try a blue Well, just place it there and then we can name this, so don't forget to name your layers so that you know where you are and you don't get things mixed up. Um, what tend tohave? What tends to happen is that ah will start painting and won't remember any of my layers. So now get frustrated. Let's remember to Neymar layers. So let's go ahead and press command J on her keyboard to duplicate the layer, and then we can move it over. This way, we compress command t to move it around to transform it. So for this one, I kind of want Teoh create a variety of shapes. So I'm gonna, um, kind of flip it around this way and I'll increase the size and then plus end her. And then here you can change the a pass ity of the layer. So for this one, I want to dio around 55% and then increase it just a little bit, okay? And then we can play around with placing it in different areas. So, um, we'll leave these layers here in this background folder, and then we'll move on to the mid section. So, uh, for this one will press X on my keyboard to reveal the pinks watch and then also choose a new brush. I'll press be on my keyboard. And so for this one. Since I'm trying to use this as my reference image, you'll see that there's faded areas of pink. So what I want to use is either this brush right here war this one here. So let's start with this 13 40 and we'll go back to her layers and then you could just start paining. I'll do you command he again. Maybe he wanted a little bit thicker. Can flip it around. So the idea here is to just, you know, have fun creating this, um, for bigger areas. I like to lower down the layer capacity. That's just how we do things. You can try different things, and then we'll just go on a new layer and another pink. This was gonna be a little bit smaller. So, um, just remember you to get a variety of shapes and sizes. So this one maybe want to flip it this way. So I just named this later pink one pink, too. He left bottoms just to get an idea of where these elements are placed on the canvas. Um, okay, so I'll duplicate this again. Move this maybe, like, this way. And then if you want to just increase this and then maybe change the a passage e a little bit, but you get my point, I think, um, so I'm just not going to talk for the rest of this video, and this will probably be at a fast time lapse. 6. 6. Refining Your Pattern: Hi. In this video, we are going to refine the design just a little bit more. So you see here that I've explored different placements, different sizes. I, um, move some of the shapes around and even lower down the transparency or the opacity and kind of overlapped. Some of this shapes together to get, like, these really cool effects so you can play with that technique. Um, also, I'm starting to feel like it's a little too busy. So here I've group the pinks together, and this bottom folder is ah, the blues. Or put all of the blue layers. Um, so if we just turn that off, will see, here's where the pink is on this canvas. Or you could do the opposite and turn off the pinks to see where the blues are. Just to kind of get a sense of, um, what it would look like with or without it. And I would suggest maybe going through some of the layers and turning them off. Um, I realize that this actually became a little bit too busy. Um, but like, it's better to do it more at the beginning, and then you could just take out what you don't like. So here, gonna take that out? Um, I think I got carried away with adding too many blues, and that will happen. And that's OK. So here it kind of like that on. We could leave that. Maybe you want to get rid of the smaller blue shapes. So maybe looking for the really tiny ones and okay can do without that. Let's leave out there. Carrie, maybe let's eliminate some in the middle. A swell. There we go. Okay, so let's go back to the pink layers. Um, let's see here. Don't like a lot of these in the middle, so we'll remove that are Or maybe we can lower the A posse down a bit and then Oh, yeah, that's, like, way too big. I think I like it without that in it. Um, yeah. So let's say we like this design and we want to save it. So let's go ahead and go to file save and then say, for example, we want these. This is a pattern. Um, it's already a RGB XYZ. RGB is good for web, but if you wanted to use this for, um a print, we can go ahead and, uh, good image mode. And we can change that to see him like a color so it will flatten your layers. So make sure what you can actually do is you can save two different versions of this file just so you have it so you can see one for web. And you can also save one for print so that you don't get the color modes messed up. Um, yeah. If everything looks good, we could just goto file see the us as let's just say, pattern one. Let's save it as a J peg head save and there you have it. 7. 7. Final Thoughts: Hey there. This is the last and final video. I'm so glad you made it this far. So just one last thing that I wanted to go over, and that is mirroring the pattern or duplicating it so that we can have a pattern for print . So you see, here I have my final design. Probably not what it looks like in the previous video. You see here that I've eliminated a lot of the blue small ones. Um, and I kind of, like, tightened it up just a little bit. So taking this design, so I've saved it as a J. Paige and open didn't photo shop. And so I have my original tight I pattern landscape. Um ah. File open here. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna drag this JPEG file with their new pattern on it onto our template, and so just make sure that when you're actually creating your tied I pattern that you save it as, um you're working file so that you can still have this template, um, file to use for later. So let's just drag this pattern onto here, and then what we can do is we can press command t to you. Transform it. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna resize down just a little bit smaller. Um, so depending on if you want your pattern to be horizontal or, um, more vertical. So in this case, I think I wanted to flip 90 degrees. So I'm just gonna adjust the size here just a little bit, okay? And then So now I have that. And then what I want to do is press command J to duplicate the layer, and then you want to just click and drag hold down shift. And so here we have another layer. So we want to do command t if you want to mirror it, this is how we're going to do it. So controlled click, flip, horizontal. And there you go. And if you like, the way this looks, you can highlight both of the layers, and then you can do command Inti to actually lips toe actually increase the size so that it feels like the whole space. So yeah, there you have it. Um, you can either move it up or down. Um, let's create a folder for that. And then what we can do is we can control Click to duplicate the group so that we have another one, just in case we want toe, you know, play around with placements. So I'll turn off the I hear on the 1st 1 And so the 2nd 1 maybe I want to, like, flip it. So I'll take this top layer and do command t control click, flip horizontal. So now I have this side facing inwards, and then we'll do the same for the bottom. So we'll do Command t control, click, flip, horizontal. And so now we have this version of the pattern, So, yeah. I mean, you can play around with it. Um, figure out which way, like, better he turned that off, will get this layer. Yeah. So these are just some ways that I just suggest going about it. Um I hope you had a fairly easy time learning how to create. Ah, these digital tied I through these videos. I love to see what you've come up with. Please let me know What were some of your challenges? Things that you wished I went over more. This is actually one of the first time I've created videos and broken down my process. So if you have any feedback or suggestions, I'm very open to them. And also, I have included A Pdf resource is page after download for some of the digital tied I brush sets that I actually create and sell through Creative Market. I have one particular three brush bundle set on my site, which is at diane pass squall dot com. You'll see the link here, um, there on my site, you'll find this three brush set for those of you who have taken this class, um, and would like to explore more of creating digital tight I patterns. I've offered the set in a discounted rate. The promo code should be available on the pdf resource is along with links. So again, Thank you. I hope you've enjoyed this class, and I hope to see you again soon.