Source & Mix: Surface Patterns from Vintage Encyclopedia Illustrations

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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12 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction & Overview

    • 2. Sourcing Images: License & Quality Consideration

    • 3. Ideas Behind a Pattern

    • 4. Organising Project Files

    • 5. Cutting out the Elements

    • 6. Setting up the Pattern File

    • 7. Putting Cut-outs into One File

    • 8. Forming a Pattern

    • 9. Creating a Repeatable Seamless Pattern

    • 10. Developing Colour Variants

    • 11. Saving Your Pattern Tiles

    • 12. Making Pattern Presets & Conclusion

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About This Class


Creating surface patterns from vintage encyclopaedia illustrations is a great way to step beyond your own drawing skills and explore a different and a fun way of coming up with ideas and telling a story. Beautiful patterns created from intricate illustrations always look great as backgrounds on websites, or as prints on fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper or end papers in books.

I am Dominic Righini-Brand and in this class I invite you to explore the technique and creative possibilities of making digital patterns from vintage illustrations sourced online. I am going to share with you where you can find this kind of images, what approaches you can take when generating ideas and composing patterns, and step-by-step go though my process of creating patterns in Adobe Photoshop.

This class provides your with an opportunity to design a sophisticated pattern without a need to draw all the elements first! Join in and start designing—I cannot wait to see the patterns you create!

In this class you will learn:

  • where and how to source good quality vintage illustrations online free for personal and commercial use;
  • how to approach ideas generation for creating patterns;
  • how to form a repeatable seamless pattern;
  • the basics of working with the Linked Objects in Adobe Photoshop;
  • alternative techniques of selecting and cutting images in Adobe Photoshop, including Select and Mask and Polygonal Lasso tools;
  • how to colour your work non-distructovely to efficiently create visually appealing and consistent patterns in Adobe Photoshop;
  • how to make and manage pattern presets in Adobe Photoshop.


This class is suitable for pretty much any skill level and covers all Adobe Photoshop techniques needed in this class. If you are an absolute beginner at using Photoshop, please enrol in Evgeniya's classes Source & Mix: Digital Collage from Vintage Encyclopaedia Illustrations & Source & Mix Botanical Illustrations with Typography to Create Trendy Designs to familiarise yourself with the Photoshop basics, extensive selection and cutting techniques and working with Adjustments and Adjustment layers. 


Vintage Patterns — our research board on Pinterest


Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr

Bibliodyssey Flickr Library

U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Getty Collection Search Gateway