Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101. SERIES: LILY PADS | Aerie North | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101. SERIES: LILY PADS

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

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

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

5 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Intro LILY PADS

    • 2. Lesson 1: Set up workspace + artboard

    • 3. Lesson 2: Drawing the lily pad

    • 4. Lesson 3: Building your pattern

    • 5. Lesson 4: Repeating your pattern

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This class is called LILYPADS in the design series: Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101.

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

Teacher Profile Image

Aerie North

Designer + Maker ♦ Art Gallery Education


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

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro LILY PADS: Hello and welcome to repeat surface pattern design 101 from thought. To finish this class, Siri's teaches repeat surface pattern design from thought that first idea toe a finished product. 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 the series is designed to develop students. Designer skills. Surface pattern designs are everywhere way. See them on fabric wallpaper stationary, and it's a skill that anyone can learn. You don't have to be an artist or a designer. These classes are created to make you an artist and designer. All you need are instructions and Adobe Illustrator. This Siris of classes provides your education, and I've included two. Free access is for Adobe Illustrator in the Class Project section below. There has never been a better time to be a designer or a graphic artist. Creativity cannot be outsourced, and there is 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 watch the lesson you do the class project and you 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 new design career or enhance your current business in a beneficial and creative way. Please join me in class. Today's class in this design, Siri's is titled Lily Pads. See You and Lesson one. 2. Lesson 1: Set up workspace + artboard: Hello and welcome to class. In this class of the Siri's, we're going to create a repeating pattern of lily pads. I had been creating a lot of lotus flowers in design, and I really wanted to start working on similar lily pad. So I just went to Google and I looked up different shapes and different designs, and I used these as inspiration to create a repeat surface pattern design that I want to share with you today. The first thing we're going to do is open Adobe Illustrator, and this is our workspace. And we're going to create an art board on this workspace by simply going up to file new. I could name it. Anything you like. The size of this art board is going to be a custom size. You can use any of these sizes here like letter size and different pixel sizes. We're gonna custom, and we're going to use pixels. We need a square when we're making repeating patterns. So we're going to use 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels, and I'm going to press OK, and here's the art board are repeating. Pattern design will just use what it's inside the square and then repeat it again and again and then down and you'll see this as we start to test the pattern. The tools that will be using today are the select tool. The direct select tool will be using the rectangle tool and the Ellipse tool to make a circle. And also the star tool will use the free transform tool and the warp tool. And sometimes we'll use the hand tool to move things around. To begin with, we are gonna have any Phil Phil is the color inside the drawing stroke is the line of the drawing will keep that black for now, but we will be changing it. If you come over to stroke and click on it, you'll see that you have these three different options. I like using Round CAPPs that's at each end of the stroke or the line because it gives everything a cleaner Look. Now let's go to Windows. Let's take our color board and put that on, and you can just set it anywhere you like and the color palette that will be working with. Let's go down to Swatch libraries, and this is where we're going to select colors that we want. I'm going to pick garden colors and there we go. I see a couple of greens that I might use or here I'm going to click on stroke down here. When the stroke is in the front like that, that means we're using stroke. If I click on Phil, that means the colors that will be changing will be filled. But I'm gonna click on stroked put stroke first. And what's up here is the same here on what's here for. Phil is here as well. Now that we have our art board, I'll meet you in the next lesson when we start to draw our lily pad. 3. Lesson 2: Drawing the lily pad: Hello and welcome back to class in this lesson. We're going to draw one lily pad and then will be re sizing it, moving it around to create our pattern and will be coloring it as well. I just put this picture up here because I wanted to show you what my inspiration is. I like that there's a lot of different sizes of lily pad, so I'm going to go with that. But I'm not gonna add a dark background. I'm gonna leave the background white, and I'm also not going to have the lily pads all touching each other. I want them set. So let me just tap on this backspace to get rid of it on. Let's start drawing. We're gonna begin with the inside of the lily pad, so I'm gonna just click on the star tool and then click on any place on my workspace. The first radius is the inside size of my star, and the radius to is the outside size of the star And points is the number of points. So, for instance, this star has five points. 12345 The size beat of the middle here, say say this would be five, and the outside might be 10. So there's about a 2 to 1 ratio there were here. I want my inside to be rather small and my outside to be big So now I'm going to click OK and show you what the star we make. So there we go. So it's a star tool, but by giving it a different radius inside, which here is 75 pixels and outside is 250 pixels, and I've given it 50 points. So now what we're going to do is start to take away some of these points to do that. We're going to go to the pen tools. I'm gonna click on Penn and come over to minus, so I'm gonna have my delete anchor points. I'm gonna control plus plus plus to bring me in. Now let's take a look at our star. When I just hover over it, you could see that the path is lit up every time there's a change in direction. There's an anchor point change in direction. There's an anchor point to make sure that you're able to see what's going on. You want to make sure that you goto view and make sure that you're smart Guides are on, and then you'll be able to see what's going on here. So with that, select it. I'm just hovering over with my mouse. I'm not clicking anything, just hovering over. And I want to take out three of these points because I have my minus on by just simply clicking that will disappear coming to the next one. It's on the anchor. I'm deleting this anchor click. I'm gonna go to the 3rd 1 and delete the anchor and click Good. I usually just return automatically to the select tool and then tap anywhere on the art board of the workspace just to come back to the original image. So now what I want to do is I want to move this in a little bit. So to do that, I'm going to go to my direct select tool and click. So I did a left click with my mouse and I'm going to You could see there's an anchor. And then there's another anchor there and another anchor there. We didn't delete those anchors, and there's an anchor there, so I'm gonna come over to a middle anchor one of the two middle anchors. Click hold and drag it in a little bit, and then I'll do it with this one as well. Go to that anchor click hold. I just drag it to meet it up. I just want to push it in a little bit. So this is going to be the opening part of our lily pad. So now I just go back to my select tool click anywhere. I'm going to go control minus minus so I can take a look what I have here. Okay? Now what I want to do is actually start to play with some color here. So I'm going to while my select tools on I'm going to select everything and I want no stroke. But I do want Phil. So let's click Fill to the front. So now let's pick up Phil. Let's see that green There's that green. We could do a bit of a bluish green or grey green like a seiji green. I'm gonna go with the this screen, and now I'm going to come up to stroke and remove the stroke. I want none on stroke. So now I just have the Phil on the stroke. It's still there, but it's got no attributes to it. So this will be the inside of the lily pad. Now we're going to create the outside. This is fine. Not like doing this one. Go over to the star tool. You're going with your mouse click so that you get the entire bar. Go to the Ellipse Tool, which is a circle, and just click on it so it's selected. What we can do now is just click and drag to make a circle. Or since I know that this circle the outside is 250 pixels, I can click anywhere on the workspace and put, say, 300 pixels because I want this larger by 300 pixels. I just click. OK, so now what I want to do is give this a different color, and I'm going to make that darker. Let's try the Seiji. I'll keep this for now. I might change it in a little bit, so I've got the Phil and there's no stroke, and that's fine. I don't need stroke on this, but what I want to do now, I'm gonna go to my free transform tool. If I move this on top of the inside lily pad, it's going to go over what we've done. So I want to send this image to the back. So I'm going Teoh while it's select it. You could see that it's all selectors got the box. I'm going to right click the mouse, come down to arrange and say, Send back Click! And now that image will go to the back. I want to go back to my selection tool and start to make this a little larger. My freeform tool. I click and I drag so I could move it over. Go back to my select tool and now I'm going to make it bigger free, transform like free transform. It does a lot. It's a very versatile tool that you use a lot. Okay, I like where this is now, so I'm going to click again just on my select tool and then click anywhere on the workspace just to take a look. Now we get to play with a really fun tool. We're going to click this warp to a look. It's got this little finger that pushes, and that's exactly what we're gonna do. So let's click on that and click, Hold and push So it's like you're pushing them Release, Click, hold and push Click hold and just push that in Click Hold and push. That's good enough There. Now what I want to do is take away the perfect nous of the outside of the lily pad So I'm just gonna add little ripples. So I'm just gonna click and push a little bit Click and push a little bit And it might even be too much Click and push a little bit and come over to the other side And just just to take that perfect circle nous out. Did I just make up a new word circle Nous Okay, I don't like this here. You see how that's all kind of wonky. So let me just move that a little bit. Yeah, it's much better. It gives it a bit of an organic look. Okay, now what I've noticed, I'm just gonna go back to my select tool and then click anywhere on the board. What I've noticed is this inner part like veins. Part of the lily pad is way too bright, so I want to dim this down a little bit, so I'm just gonna come over and click on it. And now I'm gonna go over to my opacity and I'm going to change. Make this less opaque. So if I make it 50% it's going to bring the color down by 50%. And now I'm just going to click anywhere on the board. Just take a peek. This is pretty nice. I don't mind this. Let's try it at 25% click come back up on Let's make it 25% opacity of its original color and enter click anywhere on the board justice. See, I like this. This is good. Now, as you could see, this is huge. Right now, what we're gonna do in the next lesson is a resize it a little bit. Make a few copies up it, start placing it on our art board, and then we'll start creating that repeat design. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Lesson 3: Building your pattern: Hello and welcome back to class in this lesson. We're going to take our lily pad, resize it a little bit, change the color a little bit, and start placing it on the art board, getting it ready for our repeat pattern. And just to go over again, that anything on the inside of the art board will be our repeat pattern. We are gonna put items on the line and you'll see when the pattern repeats. Why? That's okay. Remember that our box is 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels. That's gonna come in handy when we start to copy and move some things over. Okay? First thing I want to dio is to select the lily pad. Good object, and I'm gonna group it together. When we made our lily pad, we made the inside. Then we made the outside. These were different items that we made by selecting them and grouping them. It's now one item, so I can just grab anywhere and pull it over or grab the middle and pull it over. And I'm not going to separate them because I've grouped them together while I've got it. Select it. I think this is rather large, so I'm going to make it just a slightly bit smaller. So I'm going to wallet selected right click, come to transform scale. That's re sizing. And I'm going to make it 85% of the size that it is now. And I'll just press OK, very good. I like this. Now I'm going to come to my free transform and move it over. And with the free transform you see, there's the arrows with e curved line. That means you can move it around a little bit. So I'm going to move it here and up there. Okay, Now we're going to start moving it around from the line. Whatever is on the left line has to be exactly the same. Copied on the right line. Whatever's on the top has to be exactly the same on the bottom. So what I'm gonna do is, well, select it right? Click for my transform. And I want to copy this and move it over exactly 1000 pixels. I want to move it horizontally. 1000 pixels 100. 1000. I could take the pixels out. That's fine. I don't want to move it vertically at all. so I could just make that zero if I pressed. Okay, Are selected item would move over here exactly 1000 pixels. But I don't want to move that. I want to leave that one there and copy. So now I have exactly the same thing on one side as the other. Now, while this selected on going to do control, see, to copy and control V to Paste. Just so I have another one. I'm going to move this down a little bit now. I'm going to just change the direction a smidgen. When I'm doing this. I want to keep in mind. I don't want it. Perfect. Eventually you'll see here. Okay, that's good. When we copy, this is going to look up and down, up and down. If it was too symmetrical and if that's what you're going for, that's fine. But I don't want my repeat pattern toe look symmetrical. So now that I've got three of these, I want to copy and paste. So I get another one is going to take that off the art space into the work area while it selected. I want ungroomed because I want to change the color a little bit. So I'm going to object and then ungroomed and then just click anywhere on the board. So now, because it's not grouped, watch this. I could just if I selected the center on, Copied and Dragged it center would come out. That's because it's not grouped together, so I'm just gonna put that back. But that's OK, because what I would like to dio is just slightly change the outer color. So I'm going to click on the dark green part of the lily pad and then I'm going to change the color. I'm gonna use my greens that come with the Phil here. That might be too light. This is nice. It's just a little bit different. Let me take a look what that looks like. Yeah, I like that. Now I'm in a group together again because I want to stay together, come to object Group. Now if I say just touch the middle to drag, the whole thing comes because it's together. Now I'd like to make this a little smaller. So while it selected on going to right click Transform scale and I'd like to make this 75% smaller, I'm just going to say OK, I think click on my free transform tool. I think I'm gonna leave the opening this way because I've got I'm going different ways might change it just a little bit. So now, while I'm adding some more elements to the art board, I want to look at the relationship of these items to each other. I look here and I've got a space there. This space is about 2.5 times that space there. And if I bring this here so this space is a boat, the same distance of this space, and I'm a happy with spacing here. So now whatever's on the left line, I need to move that onto the right line. I don't have to do that with the center. The center can I can put any elements I wanted here, but once they're on the line, I have to move them over. So I'm going to right click, transform, move again. I would like to move it over exactly 1000 pixels, but I don't want to move vertically, and I want to copy what I have selected to move it over. Okay, Now I see that this is starting to get a little close, but I'm OK with that for now. While this is selected, I'm going to make another copy and put it up here. Control C control V. Go back for my free transform tool. And I'm going to say I have to be careful here because what goes on the bottom will be at the top as well. I'm going to do control minus so you can see a little bit better. So can I. And if I go like this, I have to be care, because whatever goes here is going to go up here. But I'm going to try this and see how that works while it's select it and it's on the line . So I want to right click, transform and move. This time, I don't want to move it horizontally, so that will be zero. But I do want to move it up vertically. 1000 pixels. We work in positives and negatives here, so the words like up and moving forward those air positive numbers so I can make this a positive number. So positive 1000 cause it's going up and that's a positive work. If I was going backwards or down. Look at those as negative words, and I would have to put a negative here. I'm going to show you that in a moment, but we're going up vertically, vertically going up. So let's see what happens here when I cough. That's what I thought it might happen. Now, if I want it to have it, like the inspiration picture and have the lily pads on top of each other, this would be fine. But that's not what I want. So I'm gonna backspace to get rid of that. Now, what I'm gonna do is make this smaller, so I'm gonna click on it. I want to re scale it transform, scale it. I'm gonna make this 50% smaller and okay, so now I'm going to get my free form tool. Now, if I put that on the line there and that and move that up, it might come about there. So let's see what happens. Actually, what I'm gonna do, I want to show you the negative. So if I go here and let's turn it so the openings a little different, that's good. So right, click. I want to move it. So transform, move I don't want to move it horizontally at all. That's on the horizon because I want to keep it on the horizon so that zero, that's fine. But I'm moving it down. So I'm putting a negative. You don't have to put plus for positive because just having the number, that's a positive number. But because I want to move, copy and move this down, I'm doing a negative move. So it's negative. 1000 and coffee. That's good. I quite like that. Now I'm going to come in a little closer. Andi, Copy and paste. Let's see what we want. Just making this up as we go along and let's see what happens is put a couple here. Copy, paste. See, while it's inside. That's fine, too. Just have single items inside. I thought that was gonna happen. I just moved it. I just want to see what the relationship looks like. I might make that one. I'm going to make this one smaller, so I'm gonna right click transform scale. I'm gonna make it 75% smaller. And okay, now I'm gonna copy and paste that item and let's move a little bit too. So, here or here. Let's see. I'm gonna try it here. Just move it slightly. So it's facing a different direction. Moving up. So I want a positive number. Right? Click, transform, move. I don't want it to move horizontally, but I do want to move vertically. Positive because it's going up. It's positive. 1000 and I wanted coffee. But I've got That's good. Let's see, because it's small. I think the distance between those are good. Let me take a look. Okay. We've got this light color. Now. I want to take some of these giant ones and make them smaller. Maybe around this size. So I've got my selection tool. I'm going to select right click transform scale. I'm going to see what 50% looks like, but I think I might even want more. Let's do 25%. 25% and copy. I don't want to change this 1 to 25% small art to make it 25% of its size, but I want a copy of one. That's nice. Little my free transform tool. Let's see what it looks like here. Okay, so I'll take that and I'll just put a couple around here copy Paste and it just eyeballing it to see where I want. He's popping paste shouldn't take that. I do think I want something here. Don't really want to make this any smaller, so it's trying to fit it. If I do make it smaller will be by much. I'm gonna make it smaller, but not by much. Let's try 85%. 85. That's not that. Okay, I'm gonna copy and paste that and see if I can fill in a couple more spaces. And if we don't like how it looks when it's a repeating pattern repeated pattern, then we can just come back to it, move around some things in a backspace to get rid of it, I'm going to control minus so I can take a look. I think I'm very happy with this. So now what I'm gonna dio is just leave this and in the next lesson, we're gonna create this into a repeating pattern. So I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Lesson 4: Repeating your pattern: hello and welcome back to class. In this lesson, we're gonna create that repeating pattern. So to do that, we need to make a rectangle or use the rectangle, which is really making a square. So we're just gonna click on that and then click anywhere on the workspace, and we need an exact size of the original rectangle slash square. Okay, so it's just defaulting to the Phil and stroke that we had selected previously. But what we actually need is a no feelin no stroke. We're gonna say no, Phil, and it's already on no stroke. So while it's selected, we need to bring it to the back. It doesn't matter what order you do this. We can bring it to the back and then place it exactly over our art board or place it on the art board and then bring it to back. So we're going to arrange so right click arrange, Send it back. I've got my selection tool. So what I can do is eyeball it over like that. So you kind of eyeball it over, or you can come up to the X and the why and the number that you put in here is half of the number of pixels we have here, so we have 1000 pixels. So we're going to change this to 500 pixels and watch that board move. So see, it went over and this one, we're gonna say 500 half of 1000 hit enter. And there it is. It's already been sent behind, so that's good. And now we'll come to select. We're gonna select all. And while our selection tool is, they're gonna come over and just hover over the path. And now with your mouse click and hold and see, we're gonna move that we're gonna drag that into the swatches so drag and then release. So there's our repeating pattern, and what it's taken is just the inside that invisible box that we just create it. That's what it's taken. So now I'm just gonna move over and to just an empty space and empty part of the workspace . And now I need any type of shape. I'll keep it on rectangle. So in a click rectangle and I'm going to click and drag to just make any size of rectangle . That's fine. I want to make sure that the Phil is in the front, not the stroke. Because now when I click on our pattern, it will fill our rectangle. Here we go click. And there it is. So you can see I'm gonna zoom out a little bit so you can see our repeating pattern. Just the inside has repeated. So if we look here and just look on the inside Now what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna create a 1000. Here we go. I'm gonna click, click on the board and create a 1000 pixel by 1000 pixel rectangle. This one I'm going to give No, Phil, I'm gonna give it a bright red stroke. Going to make that stroke pretty big. Let's see 10 just so you could see it. Okay, so I'm just using this as a demonstration. So there's our box. So the inside is here. Do you see that? The inside is right there. And then if I did another box, so I'm just gonna copy and paste and grab that, and that's what makes a repeating pattern there and then down here. So it's all are repeating pattern. So I'm just going to click these to get rid of the boxes click backspace, click and backspace. I'm going to bring our fill to the front. I don't really need a stroke, and I'm gonna pick another shape. When a click cold drag, I'll just do a circle, click the Ellipse. And then if I just go like that and then select our swatch. There it is so you can create thes repeating patterns. And something like this would go really cute on Children's clothing or some sort of outdoor theme Doesn't make this really bake. You can see. So you see there's a repeating pattern. Great. Well, I hope that you really enjoyed this class. I definitely enjoyed teaching it. Welcome to the Siris of repeating pattern classes. I'm going to start adding more classes, hopefully, once a week, probably twice a week. They're going to be very much along the same line to begin with, so that you'll have a lot of practice on making repeating patterns and then with the knowledge that you have, you can go to spoon flour or you can go to society. Six. Open a store there, which cost you nothing to do that, create these patterns. You just download them into your spoon flour or your Society six store, and you can start selling your own patterns on all sorts of things. Thanks again. And I look forward to seeing your projects in the project gallery and in more repeat design classes. Thank you.