Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101 SERIES. Christmas Theme | Aerie North | Skillshare

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Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101 SERIES. Christmas Theme

teacher avatar Aerie North, Designer + Maker ♦ Art Gallery Education

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

4 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Inspiration

    • 3. Set up the art board + workspace

    • 4. Creating the pattern

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About This Class

Welcome to Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101 SERIES. Christmas Theme.

Each class in this series features:

  • Developing ideas
  • Looking for inspiration
  • Setting up AI workspace + art board
  • Creating illustrations
  • Working with color
  • Designing repeating patterns you can use on textiles, stationery, wallpaper, wrapping paper, cell phone covers, pillows, fabrics, rugs, or just about any other surface.

Take a look at where you can see your designs on fabric, wallpaper, or wrapping paper.

Companies like Society6 allow you to place you designs on:

Both Spoonflower + Society6 allow you to set up an online shop where you can sell your designer textiles + housewares.

Please join my email list on for free weekly illustrations + creative news.


Meet Your Teacher

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Aerie North

Designer + Maker ♦ Art Gallery Education


Award winning artist, maker + teacher.
Sign up HERE for creative news.

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1. Intro : this class. Siri's teaches repeat surface pattern design from thought to finish. Students will learn to develop ideas. Look for inspiration. Set up Adobe Illustrator workspace and our board create illustrations, work with color and design repeating patterns. Each class in this series is designed to develop students. Designer skills. Surface pattern designs are everywhere way. See them on fabric, wall, paper and stationery. And it's a skill that anyone can learn. You don't have to be an artist or designer. These classes are created to make you an artist and designer, and eventually you'll want to see your designs on textiles and housewares. Take a look at spoon flour dot com. This is a website that allows you to download your designs on fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper, and companies like Society six allow you to place your designs on almost anything. Both spoon flour and society six allow you to set up an online shop where you can sell your designer textiles and housewares. All you need are instructions and Adobe Illustrator. This series of classes provides your education, and you can get a free trial of Adobe Illustrator at adobe dot com. There's never been a better time to be a designer or a graphic artist. Creativity can not be outsourced, and there's definitely room for everyone in this industry. See one. Do one teach. One is a physician's quote that applies to self paced education like skill. Share you see or watch the lesson. Do the class project and teach yourself new skills that are creatively rewarding and potentially provide you with the new income stream. The process of watching a thought form and grow into a finished design can be learned and developed to start your design career or enhance your current business in a beneficial and creative way, please join me in class. Today's class in the design Siri's is titled Christmas Themes. Your Class project is to create a Christmas themed repeating service pattern and share it in the Project Gallery for free art prints and creative news. Please sign up on ari north dot com 2. Inspiration: hello and welcome back to class in this lesson. I want to show you where I go for inspiration. It's fast, it's easy. And you might already do this when you want some inspiration. I just go to Google images and type in a generalized phrase of what I'm looking for. So I'm looking for Christmas fabric now. Christmas wallpaper, Christmas stationary, Christmas, wrapping paper, Christmas repeating patterns that would all fit in as well. But I just want to look at to see what I would get when I find fabric, and it's a great place to disco. Look at a whole bunch of swatches to get inspiration just to decide. Do you want to do Christmas ornaments on your repeating pattern or trees or Father Christmas or gingerbread or something that has a floral theme or ah, botanical theme and just keep going down and seeing what you have, you can do lines you can do geometrics. That was really sweet. I like that. So just go through Google images and see what you can find. That gives you some inspiration. So let's look at wrapping paper. This will give you swatch ideas as well. You can do this on Pinterest. But what you're gonna find on Pinterest is mawr of the craft. Ideas were taken the step of before the craft ideas. We actually want to create the fabric or the paper that requires a repeating pattern. So that's why I like to come to Google images and just look at swatches to see what we've got here. And what is something that I would really like to recreate. Spend a few minutes on Google images and take a look for inspiration that you want to create in your Christmas fabric, wallpaper wrapping and your repeat pattern design. I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Set up the art board + workspace: Hello and welcome to class. In this lesson, we're going to set up our adobe illustrator workspace with an art board. First thing we're gonna do is come up to file new. I'm gonna call this Christmas one. And the size that we are going to need, we're gonna custom size, so select custom and pixels and we're going to make a square off 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels and just click. OK, And here is the art board that we will be working on and outside the art board is the workspace. Before I go any further, I always like to make sure that my smart guides air on. So I go to view, come down, make sure that my smart guides air on. I'll show you what they are. I'll just select the pen tool. So if I click anywhere and you see that it says anchor in blue and then I come along and there's this line a blue line, that So now I don't have to guess where my line is straight because my smart guides air on . I know that I can go there, and that will be a nice straight line. Okay, I'm just gonna take that off now, and we'll be using the select tool, the direct select tool, the pen tool, the rectangle tool and probably the other shapes, tools as well. So if I click on that and you can see all these other shapes, here's the pencil tool and let's come down to our hand tools so we can move things around. So with smart guides on, I'm ready to go into my project, so I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Creating the pattern: Hello and welcome back to class in this lesson. We're going to dive right in and create our Christmas themed repeat pattern design. I decided on making Christmas lights, so it's really only going to be a very simple image that we're gonna repeat the whole bunch times. So I'm gonna hand draw on you. Just get the pencil tool. The Phil is on white. I'm gonna take the fill all the way out, and I'm just gonna leave the stroke black for now, that's fine. And one point is fine. Draw the shape of a Christmas light. Let's take a look. I'm going to zoom in and with my hand tool. I'm going to come up and see what I got with my direct select tool. I want to see my smart guides are on so I can tell where I my path is and where my anchors I'm going to click and then drag my anchor to touch the other anchor. Just a complete the drawing. And now I'm going to take my pencil tool and let's create the area that you screwed into a light socket. I'm just gonna go along that line and it's got that little screw shape Gonna go There might be big. We'll take a look and the same the thing. I want to zoom in a little bit more and I want to connect to the images. So take my direct select tool and just pull on that. So there you go. You could see all the paths and the anchors pulling that anchor to move it out and then bring it up so it meets the other anchor on. I can tell that it's done that because this part's lit up. I want to make that less of a point. So I'm gonna click on the anchor and then you'll see that the handles have come up. So I'm gonna come to the handles and just manipulated a little bit. Come to the other handle. It's fine. That handle a manipulated a little bit. So it's rounder. Okay, let me click there and what I'm going to do with my free transform tool and this is selected, I'm going to bring that a little bit more into the light and then I'm going to right click , arrange on, going to send to back so that the screw top area is going to go behind the ball. I'm going to select a fill color of silver, and I'm going to take the stroke completely out. I'm gonna select the bulb now, and I'm just going to make it yellow for now. And I'm doing that for the reason that I wanted you to take a look and see what happens. Because I sent this image to the back. It's behind this image. So now I'm going to zoom out, and I think this is too big. So I'm gonna click on that. And with my free transform tool, I'm just gonna center it and bring it in a little bit more clicking back on the bulb. I'm gonna take the stroke out so we just have color. And this is the simple image that ongoing to to keep going to keep the gray screw top. And now I'm going to select colors that I'd like to use. I'm going to go with traditional reds and greens on this, so I'm gonna click and then just select the red Pure red. I'm actually gonna work with three colors, so I'm going to do read. I'm gonna select that whole thing. Control C Control V to copy it with my free transform tool. I'm just gonna move it away. And now let me select Green. Which green do I want? That too dark. That's perfect and selected all again and copy and paste. And then I think I'll do a blue. The reason why I like using three colors instead of two is it gives it another dimension. When you're working in even numbers, your eye doesn't know exactly which one to go to. When you're working in odd numbers, you're I can find that odd item for you to to focus on some, going to zoom out and center this and I'm gonna group my images. So that would be making sure that this is one solid image instead of having the screw top being one part and the light bulb being another. So while it's selected to come to object and group, and then I'm gonna do the same thing with each of the light bulbs this way, don't accidentally just grab one part of it and drag it along. So it's grouped. Now we get to create the repeating pattern, So just grab that red one and put it on the line we have our 1000 by 1000 pixel box, and how a repeating pattern works is whatever's on one side has to be exactly on the other side. Whatever is on the top has to be exactly on the bottom, and then we can work on filling the inside. So I'm going to just work on moving around things on this left line. So I'm just spatially trying to figure out where I want things, which colors I want, where they want to put that right up. I think I'll just work with the three and just put them in areas that they're separate from each other. Okay, and have you with that Now how I move it over is on going to with my select tool, select everything that's on the line. The left line right click transform move were dealing with pixels with 1000 pixels. I want to move everything horizontally. 1000 pixels. But I don't want to move vertically. It also that zero. I want to take these three images and copy it onto this line. So I'm going to copy and then whatever is on one side moves to the other now I'm going to just take this red one and copy and paste and move that up a little bit. I'm gonna change the direction. And now let's go with the blue Copy and paste. Since the blue is pointing up over here, just turn it differently out through the green one. Copy and paste. Okay, I'm gonna zoom out a little bit, and I want to see if when I bring these down here that they don't interfere with these guys . So I'm just going to select everything on that top line. And I want to copy this and move it down to this line. I'm going to, right. Click, Transform, move. This time I don't want it horizontally to do anything. I want to stay horizontal in that position, but I want to move it down vertically to move down vertically. I need to minus 1000 pixels and copy that so it doesn't interfere with these light bulbs. This color in this colors the same, but I think it's going to work out. So now what I want to do is fill in the center. So I'm just going to start with the red and just copy paste and decide where I want that paste. Do another one pace to do one more. So it's OK if they are raped near each other cause I might move them around. Let's just pick any green one copy paste. Just look at its spatially. Maybe one more. They do want to get a blue one in there somewhere. And let's try blew it. This is sort of the rough copy now, so I could see I want to fill in this bit of space there. So I'm going to select that red guy and just move it up a little and then move the green one over to slightly move his blue one on a fill in a bit of a space there. So I'll do that with the green and that red one. What a repeating pattern is is everything on the inside of the line? We're gonna take that and then just going beside it, and down and up that will repeat to create a large scale. Better. So to do that, I want to create a mask. So I select my rectangle tool, click anywhere on my workspace and make it the same size as my art board 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels. It doesn't matter that it's blue right now will change that by just coming up and taking the Filo. So no Phil, no stroke. I want to move it right over the box. So how I do it is I come up to my X value and make that half of the size that we're working on. So that's 500. That's half of 1000. And see it moves right over and the same thing with the Why make that 500 it moves exactly over the box. I want to select everything, so I want to make sure that I get everything in there, come up to object, move down to clipping, mask and click make so you can see that everything around here's disappeared. But I'm not finished yet. We want to come over to transparency and make it darkened. Then, while it's still selected, come back over the object, flatten that transparency and that's okay and then back to object and expand. You might want to watch this part of the video over again, So there we go. This is our repeat pattern design, and we want to test that. So we're going to select the whole thing and our select tool is already chosen. Click, hold and drag. So there we go. We've created a swatch. Now we need to test that. Let's just back up a little bit here so we can see. So we're just gonna test the pattern by making a big rectangle? This technique is different than the techniques that I've taught in my previous classes on creating repeat pattern designs. I just want to show you another way of doing it by creating a mask. I really look forward to seeing what you create for your Christmas themed pattern. If you like this class, please give a thumbs up and I look forward to seeing your projects in the project gallery.