Watercolor for Surface Pattern Design: Working with Adobe Illustrator

Bonnie Christine, live an extraordinarily creative life!

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
13 Videos (1h 21m)
    • Intro to Watercolor for Surface Pattern Design

    • Welcome + Overview

    • Painting Techniques

    • Scanning our Artwork

    • Time to Vectorize!

    • Introducing Colors

    • Choosing a Color Palette that WORKS

    • Applying Color to the Motifs

    • Layering and Building Motifs

    • Making a Seamless Repeating Pattern

    • Easily Recolor your Pattern (!!)

    • Saving Images for the Web & for Clip Art

    • Your Course Project + Next Steps


About This Class


This course is designed specifically for the Illustrator looking to incorporate painted artwork and watercolors into their designs, using Adobe Illustrator. Whether you're a budding surface pattern designer or licensed STAR, you'll learn tips and tricks along the way that will help build your career (or hobby!) as a pattern designer. We'll start with the basics and advance to the most technical knowledge you'll need to begin making beautiful artwork.

 PLEASE NOTE: If you're new to Illustrator, be sure to take Intro to Surface Pattern Design and Surface Pattern Design 2.0 first. This course will assume that you're either competent in Illustrator or that you've taken these two courses first. :)



Watercolor artwork is everywhere, but it poses a unique dilemma for Illustrators. Traditionally, watercolors are a Photoshop users best friend, but this course will teach you how to make them work FOR you in Adobe Illustrator. I'll teach you how to paint with Illustrator in mind, scan and vectorize your artwork, make repeating patterns and color (and recolor!) them beautifully.

  • Gather the best tools for watercolor painting
  • Learn to paint with Illustrator in mind
  • Scan and vectorize your paintings like a pro
  • Limit the # of colors in your document
  • Build a repeating pattern with your artwork
  • Choose a color palette for your pattern that works
  • Learn to recolor your watercolor pattern with ease

This course is designed to give you all the technical and creative skills you need to start designing beautiful painterly patterns, plus my hope is that 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.


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

491 of 492 students recommendSee All

Bonnie does such a great job of demystifying the process of scanning complex artwork such as watercolor and getting a beautiful and editable result in Illustrator. Love this class!
Melanie Yarbrough

Hand letterer, illustrator, and designer

I loved this course! Awesome tricks and tips for adobe illustrator users! congrats!
In this class, Bonnie answered all my questions about pattern design, including vectorizing/digitizing my watercolour paintings and recolouring my artwork. I would recommend this class for anyone that wants to make patterns for the web or for print and who has some experience with Illustrator.





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.


See full profile