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

Bonnie Christine, Surface Pattern Designer + Artist

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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

220 students are watching this class

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!

1,616 of 1,623 students recommendSee All

Excellent class! She explains everything very clear and it's easy to understand
Great class and beautifully broken down into sections. Bonnie has a soothing voice that is easy to follow and teaches step step how to start designing your own patterns with all the tools on Illustrator to get you to a final pattern design piece. Recommended for anyone that wants to get started or refresh their skills.
As someone that has learned vector illustration on the late 90's with Corel Draw, I really did appreciate the Adobe Illustrator lessons. I was trying to learn it by using it but and was having a really hard time and this class took me from getting very irritated with the software to loving it instead. I gathered my inspirations and have already drawn my nature elements and colored them and now am ready to begin constructing my first repeating pattern. I'm so excited about this! It is my first time ever working with a Wacom Tablet as well, so, many firsts things for me. Thank you for this great class.
Lahna Winter

Watercolor and pattern lover





Bonnie Christine

Surface Pattern Designer + Artist


Creating patterns and illustrations with summery sweet hues is my happy place. I'm a self-taught designer, life long learner and all around creativity lover. Having my biggest dream come true is what made me passionate about sharing what I know with others. I believe in making those BIG dreams a reality!

I'm so excited to get to know you! The best place todive right in is by visiting my blog, Going Home to Roost or hitting me up over on Instagram.

I'll meet...

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