Intro to Surface Pattern Design: Learn Adobe Illustrator | Create Patterns

Bonnie Christine, live an extraordinarily creative life!

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26 Videos (3h 43m)
    • Intro to Surface Pattern Design

    • The World of Surface Pattern Design

    • Essential Tools - Setting up a New Workspace

    • Essential Tools - Zoom in & Zoom out

    • Essential Tools - Direct & Indirect Selection Tools, Lasso Tool

    • Essential Tools - Drawing Tools: pencil, pen and blob brush tools

    • Essential Tools - Functional Tools: Rotate, Reflect

    • Essential Tools - Swatches Panel, Eyedropper Tool, Custom Colors and Palettes

    • Essential Tools - Groups & Isolation Mode

    • Essential Tools - Join, Trim Tool, Adding Effects

    • Essential Tools - Select Same, Hide Edges & Art Boards, Using Layers

    • Sketching & Inspiration

    • Working from Sketches - Best Practices for Scanning & Importing Photos

    • Working from Sketches - Using the Blob Brush & Pen Tool

    • Working from Sketches - Using the Live Trace Tool

    • Working from Sketches - Creating Custom Color Palettes

    • Working from Sketches - Adding Color to Illustrations

    • Working from Photographs - Tracing & Using Live Trace

    • Working from Illustrator - Using Effects & the Symbol Sprayer Tool

    • Working from Illustrator - Adding Textures and Using Brushes

    • Building Patterns! Build a Simple Repeating Pattern

    • Building Patterns! Illustrate Motifs for a Patterns

    • Building Patterns! Build a More Complex Repeating Pattern - Part 1

    • Build Patterns! Build a More Complex Pattern Part 2

    • Building Patterns! Adjust patterns & Save as .JPEG or .PNGs

    • Surface Pattern Design: Final Pattern + Next Steps


About This Class


Did you know? You don't have to be an 'artist' to create beautiful artwork! This course is designed for the person who dreams of creating their own repeating patterns. After spending years learning how to become a surface pattern designer on my own, I've become passionate about sharing my knowledge with others. For this course, I have compiled all the necessary skills and knowledge you need to begin designing!

Whether you're a seasoned pro at Illustrator or you've never opened the program, you'll feel comfortable in this course. We'll start with the basics and advance to the most technical knowledge you'll need to begin making beautiful artwork.

 PLEASE NOTE: This course is the first in a series. Be sure to join us for Surface Pattern Design 2.0 to learn how to create a collection and start your career as a surface pattern designer!



I'll walk you through step by step to creating a repeating pattern.

We'll learn what surface pattern design is and why it may be a good career option for you. I'll share with you my own creative story and give you lots of insider secrets along the way!

  • Learn Illustrator - from setting up a custom workspace to how to use the most technical tools of the trade.
  • Gather and create your own inspiration, and learn how to put together a moodboard.
  • Learn best practices for sketching and scanning.
  • Learn how to make artwork from your sketches, your photographs and from directly within Adobe Illustrator.
  • Create custom color palettes.
  • Design a repeating pattern!

This course is designed to give you all the technical and creative skills you need to start designing patterns, plus it will motivate and inspire you to start following your creative dream!


Below are a few of the tools that will be helpful in this course.

  • Adobe Illustrator (begin a free trial here)
  • Sketchbook
  • Pencil and dark black pen
  • Camera or Smartphone

Not mandatory, but useful tools include:

  • Scanner
  • Lightbox
  • Wacom Tablet


I am so excited to begin this adventure with you. Let's get started!

1,383 of 1,390 students recommendSee All

Great set of lessons
Bonnie Christine you are the BOMB! Another winner!
Very well organized and perfectly explained. Thank you Bonnie for a wonderful class!





Bonnie Christine

live an extraordinarily creative life!

hi! my name is bonnie and i love to fill my world with pretty patterns, share all that i know with the roost tribe and blog to inspire the artisan's soul.

creating patterns and illustrations with summery sweet hues is my happy place. i am a self-taught designer and am constantly inspired by the natural world around us, from the biggest of trees to the tiniest of leaves! i thrive on botanical gardens, sunshiny days, and nature walks- camera in one hand, sketchbook in the other.

you can see some of my pattern work at the links below:

i believe patterns are one of the ways that we can express ourselves, and make our spaces beautiful. the patterns of our lives have the capacity to connect deeply within us and i love to weave parts of my life into each one of them. with each one that you see you will have seen a little piece of my life and heart.

along with illustrating, i also love to cook, sew, read, photograph, make things and drink coffee. you can find me talking about all of these things (and more!) over on my blog- going home to roost.

MY LINKS - see you around the web! :)

i look forward to meeting you!
love, bonnie