Surface Pattern Design in Affinity Designer: Ditsy Floral Half-Drop Repeat Pattern | Weronika Salach | Skillshare

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Surface Pattern Design in Affinity Designer: Ditsy Floral Half-Drop Repeat Pattern

teacher avatar Weronika Salach, Art with MAGIC

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

    • 1.

      Automated Half-Drop Ditsy: Class Trailer


    • 2.

      Getting Started +Class Resources


    • 3.

      About Ditsy Patterns


    • 4.

      Half-Drop Repeat


    • 5.

      Half-Drop Repeat TEMPLATE


    • 6.

      Sketching & Planning Assets (Procreate)


    • 7.

      Setting Up Assets Document


    • 8.

      Pencil Tool & Expand Stroke


    • 9.

      “Add” Operation & Assets Library


    • 10.

      Vectorizing Tips & “Subtract” Operation


    • 11.

      Vectorizing Hero Assets +Tips


    • 12.

      Setting Up Our Pattern Document


    • 13.

      Placing Hero Motifs


    • 14.

      Placing Secondary Motifs


    • 15.

      Placing Filler Elements


    • 16.

      Testing & Exporting Your Pattern


    • 17.

      Re-coloring Options


    • 18.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Are you an illustrator, a pattern designer or graphic designer looking to streamline and automate your pattern creation process? Say goodbye to time-consuming repeat calculations and embrace efficiency with automated pattern templates in my newest course, "Surface Pattern Design in Affinity Designer: Ditsy Floral Half-Drop Repeat Pattern". Designed specifically for artists like you, this course is your ultimate resource for mastering the art of vector surface pattern design using the powerful Adobe Illustrator alternative, Affinity Designer on the iPad.


In this comprehensive online course, I totally understand the pain points you face when it comes to creating patterns manually. The repetitive tasks, the hours spent perfecting each element – it can be overwhelming. That's why this course is here to revolutionize your workflow and empower you with the skills to automate and streamline your pattern creation process using Affinity Designer.

Essentially, automated pattern templates do the pattern repeat for you! You create a template for any shape you want, diamond repeat, half-drop repeat, full-drop repeat, ogee, scallop, with or without symmetry - you can automate all those shapes. Transition today from beginner to PRO! Whether you're a beginner or an experienced designer looking to expand your skill set, this course is your gateway to becoming a proficient surface pattern designer using Affinity Designer.




  • Symbols & Automated Templates

✓ Solidify your knowledge about the Symbols Studio in Affinity Designer

✓ Follow me step by step to create your automated half-drop repeat template from scratch

✓ Alternatively download my own template for Affinity V1 or V2 and get right into drawing!

  • Seamless Half-Drop Repeat +Ditsy Patterns

✓ Learn about creating super easy half-drop repeat patterns in Affinity Designer

✓ Find out about the applications for the ditsy patterns

✓ Watch my case studies from other amazing artists’ ditsy pattern art

  • Error-free Pattern Repeats

✓ Discover easier ways to automate your repeat creation process

✓ Watch me and learn how to draw very detailed botanical motifs and turning them into vector assets

✓ Start working with a LIVE preview without the Transform Studio - no more calculations!

  • Managing Color Palettes

✓ Check out how I like to utilize my color palettes in Affinity Designer

  • Vector Layers Organization

✓ Practise working with vector layers in Affinity Designer for more speed and efficiency

✓ Learn my organization hacks for faster re-coloring

✓ Manage layers for more intricate repeats with ease

  • Saving, Testing & Re-coloring

✓ Learn easy tips for creating neat color variations of your pattern tile

✓ Stay organized and back up your files properly

✓ Learn how to test your pattern tile


  • any version of Affinity Designer (just be mindful that there is no auto-close for the Pencil Tool in V1)
  • you can follow along with the desktop version of Affinity Designer, however, I am showing my whole process in Affinity on the iPad = you will learn very handy iPad gestures in this course
  • physical sketchbooks if you wish to sketch outside of the iPad or Procreate

Enrol now and start designing your own half-drop repeat ditsy patterns with Affinity Designer.





  • Artists
  • Surface designers
  • Pattern designers
  • Graphic Design enthusiasts
  • Illustrators
  • Anyone creative who would like to draw beautiful vectors!


The class is geared towards intermediate students who have some basic experience creating patterns in Affinity and they're at least a bit familiar with the interface. Ambitious beginners also very welcome!



Hi! I’m Weronika Salach, an illustrator, surface pattern designer & art teacher. I create vibrant work to fill your world with color, and I teach how to draw in Procreate and Affinity Designer. I'm a Top Teacher on Skillshare where I helped over 30,000 students take their digital illustration skills to the next level.

I look forward to seeing you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Weronika Salach

Art with MAGIC

Top Teacher

Hello! My name is Weronika (or Wera, pronounced with a "V"), I'm an illustrator, surface pattern designer, and online educator based in Berlin, Germany.

I create colorful digital illustrations inspired by nature and female beauty. Living in a big urban jungle Berlin, I tend to reach out to floral and animal motifs in my artwork. I create digital illustration on my iPad in Procreate and vector designs in Affinity Designer.



Join me on Instagram Watch more Procreate and Affinity tutorials on YouTube Join my Affinity Designer Facebook Group Read my BLOG Head to my Newsletter to get notified about new releases & art challenges


Check out the NEW Artist Resource Li... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Automated Half-Drop Ditsy: Class Trailer: Here's how I see it. Creating patterns for your portfolio should not be a hard technical task. You should have a process in place that will enable you to stay in your creative flow instead of focusing on some technicalities that might slow you down. You shouldn't even be bothered about any repeat calculations or any other technical aspects. Here's how I fix that. I automated my entire process by creating automated templates in Affinity Designer. I want to share this technique with you so that you can stay sane and you can simply just focus on drawing and on designing. I created an online course in which I'm showing you how to automate half-drop repeat patterns and I combine it with a super fun project where we will be creating an eye-catching ditsy pattern for your surface pattern design portfolio, all 100% vector and hand drawn. In case you don't know me, hi, my name is Weronika. I'm an illustrator and a surface pattern designer based in Berlin, Germany. I'm teaching about graphic design and surface design in Affinity Designer for the iPad. I'll be showing you how I create my half-drop repeat ditsy pattern on my iPad without the use of the Transform Studio. That means no more calculations, no more x and y-axis. The repeat is done for you automatically so that you can focus just on drawing and the automations make sure that your repeat is mistake free every single time. I will guide you step-by-step and show you how I'm setting up my document in Affinity, how I create my automated template from scratch, how I draw my vector assets using the pencil tool and some cool Boolean operations and how I build my seamless repeat. This course comes with a few free resources including my automated half-drop repeat templates for Affinity Designer version 1 and version 2, my vibrant color palettes and a handy PDF workbook on ditsy pattern composition ideas. I hope that you will join me and I will see you in the class 2. Getting Started +Class Resources: To get started with the course, all that you'll need is your Affinity Designer software and your drawing pencil. I'm recording this course in June 2023 and my Affinity Designer version is 2.1.0. I'll be showing my demonstration and Affinity Version 2 on my iPad. However, you can definitely follow along regardless of your version. The steps that I'm demonstrating in this course can be applied to both Version 1 and Version 2, as well as to the iPad and the desktop version. However, please note that I do focus a lot on showing and teaching you iPad gestures, and I don't provide desktop shortcuts. Your task is to create a half-drop repeat vector pattern in Affinity Designer whichever version. In this course we will be focusing on ditsy patterns and various ditsy compositions. Your objective is to get confident with using symbols and affinity. Please note your pattern doesn't have to be as complex as mine. You can adjust it to your skill level. Please upload a picture of your final pattern into the project gallery on Skillshare. You can also simply screenshot your whole Affinity interface, or you can upload simply your pattern tile. If you're active on social media, you can, for example, share your beautiful pattern on Instagram using the #MagicalVectors. Or if you are in our Facebook Affinity group, you can post it there and ask for a critique. This course is suited for more intermediate students, but as usual, I'm pretty sure that ambitious beginners can keep up with it. That's why this course is over two hours long. It's because I tried to not only pack it with a lot of information, but also to maintain a comfortable pace for your learning. If you're a complete beginner and you don't know the interface of Affinity Designer just yet, please consider taking my introduction to Affinity Designer course. This half-drop repeat class is part of a bigger series of courses. The first class that I released on the topic of automated pattern templates is the diamond repeat course. Both courses solidify your knowledge about using the templates. But they also tackle two different project ideas and they contain separate PDF workbooks. If you'd like to proceed with this course and at the same time work with vector assets when building your pattern, check out my vector asset's course for Affinity Designer. Don't forget to download the class resources. Grab your free PDF workbook on the ditsy patterns, my automated half-drop repeat templates for Version 1 and Version 2 of Affinity and my three vibrant color pallets from my secret garden collection. You can get those resources by going to the link In order to get the link to the downloads, you have to subscribe to my newsletter, but you can unsubscribe at anytime. I'm sending out my newsletter once or twice per month with some affinity updates and artists resources. That's it for now. Thank you so much for taking my course. Enjoy watching 3. About Ditsy Patterns: Let's quickly discuss what ditsy patterns are and why you should be including them in your pattern portfolio. Ditsy patterns are characterized by their dance arrangement of tiny motifs or elements, often in a repeating pattern. Those motifs can be floral, geometric, abstract, or any other small design elements. The term ditsy originates from the word "dits", which means a foolish or a scatterbrain person. In the context of patterns, ditsy refers to the whimsical and playful nature of these designs. They have gained popularity in various fields, including fashion, interior design and graphic design. Including ditsy patterns in your pattern portfolio can be a good idea, especially if you have created or worked with ditsy patterns before. Or if you want to showcase your versatility as a designer. Some clients specifically look for artists who can create ditsy repeat patterns. If those align with your personal style or the target market that you are aiming for, including them in your portfolio can be really beneficial. Ditsy patterns can be delicate and charming. They can help you add a touch of femininity and playfulness to your designs. The small-scale flowers in case you're doing floral ditsies, can evoke a sense of nostalgia and romanticism. They can also help you introduce playfulness and whimsy, for example, by introducing fun motifs, some tiny flowers and blooms, stars, dots or some abstract shapes. Some motifs can inject a sense of joy and lightness into your design. Ditsy patterns are popular for children's clothing, for example, but also for accessories and playful fashion styles. Next comes their versatility. Ditsy patterns are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of design contexts. It doesn't necessarily all have to be about florals. You can take virtually any theme you wish. For example here, I designed this baking inspired ditsy for kitchen decor. The next characteristic is their timelessness. Ditsy patterns have stood the test of time and have been popular in fashion and design for many decades. Their timeless appeal ensures that they remain a classic choice. If you don't want them to look a little bit too dated, you can certainly draw something a bit more graphic in form. Next, they're your best ally if you need to hide any imperfections. Their busy nature helps to distract the eye and minimize the visibility of flaws. They are incredibly practical because they can really help you hide your repeat very efficiently. Finally, they are eye-catching but not overwhelming. Ditsy patterns have a captivating quality without overwhelming the viewer. Their small scale and scattered arrangement allows them to be visually interesting without dominating the entire designer outfit. Now, let's have a look at amazing ditsy designs by fellow pattern designers. All images are presented with the artist's permission. First, I would like to introduce you to Caro. This is such an interesting pattern. She's a very talented artist. This particular example goes outside of the standard, the ditsy floral motif. She was inspired by tea, some mindful and relaxing moments. This proves that you can draw virtually anything as a ditsy pattern wherever currently inspires you. It doesn't have to be 100 percent of botanical. It can be simply a relaxing evening tea. This is what Caro says about ditsy patterns. "What I love about ditsy repeats is that the pattern looks more organic and flowy because the elements are in different positions and orientations. The advantage is that you will have a non-directional pattern and the freedom to use it in any surface you want. I make this type of repeat very often." I totally agree with Caro here that ditsy patterns give you this creative freedom. There is no grid or there is no shape that you have to stick to. Just like she says, you can create something organic and flowy. With that regard, I think that ditsy patterns can really foster your creativity and spontaneity. Next is Lucia or Lucio. Actually hopefully, we'll meet one day in person because Lucia is also based in Germany. This pattern is such a classic and such eye-catching floral ditsy. You might think that you see too many of those on the social media, for example. But this particular pattern really does draw your attention. Lucia here is really good at managing the apparent chaos, and she translates it into a beautifully intricate ditsy composition. I felt her patterns through her challenge. Thirty flowers in my style, it's one of the nicest surface pattern related Instagram challenges out there, so I really recommend that you check her out. This is what she says about creating ditsy patterns. "It's always fun and interesting to create ditsy patterns. I love to create very intricate ditsies like this one, where the eye is invited to wander around the pattern and discover new little details each time." This is really true depending on the complexity of your ditsy pattern. For example, this one is quite complex. You can discover new details every time you look at it. Next is Carly. Her patterns are really magical. They are full of lunar and solar elements, and her color palettes are a real eye candy. This pattern, for example, is so whimsical and it's full of witchy motifs, which are one of my favorite motifs. That's another great example that you don't have to go just with botanical motifs at all. You can tackle any topic that interests you currently or any theme that you might need for your pattern portfolio. This is what Carly says about creating ditsy patterns. "I love ditsy patterns as I enjoy creating lots of little eye-catching icons to hopefully add lots of areas of interests to my patterns. I always enjoy discovering something new when I'm looking at a pattern." You can see that this statement is aligned with what Lucia was telling us previously. Ditsy patterns have a huge potential to add a lot of interest. It all depends on how many assets you create to build a pattern out of it. The more complex you make it, the more exciting it gets. Next we have Leah. I'm a really big fan of her arts, which is so playful and cheerful. Me personally, it evokes a feeling of nostalgia with a modern twist. She also is particularly talented when it comes to putting together beautiful color palettes. This is what she says about ditsy patterns. "I loved ditsy patterns because I feel so much more care free when making them compared to more complex designs. It's also nice to have simpler and smaller designs when quilting and suing smaller projects. Plus, they can be versatile and have a high visual impact because they are more simple and random." Yes, you see, she also agrees that they give you much more creative freedom. She describes the process of creating such patterns as care free. I also think that including ditsy patterns in your portfolio can make your work simply more fun. Finally, we have Anna, whose pattern portfolio really shines. You may want to check out her social media. I wanted to show you this beautifully balanced botanical pattern with animal motifs. We've seen, of course, a lot of botanical elements, but there aren't so many motifs with animals. There's really so much that you can explore in this area, you can draw birds or pets, or animals inspired by a certain region. I think that Anna does a really great job of including those motifs in her pattern portfolio instead of just sticking to flowers. This is what she says about ditsy patterns. "I enjoy creating colorful ditsy patterns with lots of detailed elements and a unique flow to the repeat. Ditsy designs are quite versatile and work very well on the apparel or home decor surfaces. They are also lots of fun to work on." See, we again have a few repetitions here. One word, I think I'm also repeating with quite a lot, is versatile and versatility, and other artists can really confirm that. Another frequently repeated word is fun. [LAUGHTER] I would like to thank all the artists who gave me the permission to showcase their arts in my course. I'm warmly inviting you to pause for a second and go and check out their portfolios. Now after this warm up into ditsy patterns, we are ready to move to discussing what is a half-drop repeat and why you should be using it in your portfolio? 4. Half-Drop Repeat: In this lesson, I would like to introduce you to half-drop repeat patterns. What is it actually? In a half-drop repeat patterns, the motif or design elements is repeated both horizontally and vertically, but it is also shifted halfway or half a step vertically on each subsequent row. To visualize a half-drop repeat, imagine a row of motifs arranged vertically, and then in the next row the motives are shifted half the height of one motif down. In turn it creates a staggered effect. Half-drop repeat patterns offer several advantages, and textile and surface design. Here are some of the key benefits. They introduce a sense of movement, rhythm, and complexity to the pattern. They also provide a harmonious flow and avoid obvious lines or visual disruptions where the tiles meet. They offer a reduced predictability. That means that the shifted layout creates a less predictable sequence. That in turn can prevent the design from becoming monotonous or repetitive. You can hide your repeat much better with a half-drop repeat. They are suitable for both small and large scale designs, and they can adapt very well to pretty much all types of products. Let's have a look at a few examples from my own portfolio. This is a whimsical pattern that I created last year in Affinity Designer, and here on the next slide you can see the repeat. I think if I use the standard or a full-drop repeat for this particular idea, then the repeat would be a little bit too obvious. Next, we have one of my most favorite, the baking inspired patterns with apple pies and with pears. Again, here, this is where you can see the repeat, you can see that this is a half-drop repeat. The fact that it's a ditsy pattern with a lot of different icons, so a lot of different motifs in sight already helps me to hide this repeat. But choosing half-drop here helped me to add even more depth into the pattern. Again, it helps me to avoid any obvious lines. Last but not least, we have a botanical pattern. A half drop repeat will work for both small and large scale designs, and here on the next slide you can see one, a pattern element in a half-drop repeat. Are you ready to test out the half-drop repeat template with me? Automated half-drop sounds much better [LAUGHTER] than just half-drop, so let's get right into it. 5. Half-Drop Repeat TEMPLATE: Let's create our half-drop repeat pattern template in Affinity Designer. I will be showing you my process in Affinity Version 2 on my iPad. But you can replicate as usual this entire workflow for the Version 1, as well as for the desktop version. Thanks to this template, you will be able to create detailed half-drop repeat patterns without worrying about your repeat, because it will be created automatically for you. Alternatively, this template will be available for you to download on my platform. By following this exercise with me, you will learn more about the program and you will become much more efficient in using symbols. So let's get started. All the pattern templates that I've created are saved directly on my iPad because I still have a lot of storage space. You can also choose to save them into a Cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive. I use the Files app on my iPad. Affinity Designer templates have an extension.aftemplate. Next time you want to use one of those templates, the software will simply create its copy. So after creating them, you can access your templates from the templates menu. As you will be working on them, you will not be overwriting anything. The template will stay as you save it. This is where you access your templates in Version 1 under the plus, New From Template. Again, as you are working on those templates, you will not be overwriting the original template. Later on when you choose a template, for example, let's choose here I have my half-drop repeat template. Let's go back to the homepage. It has the very same name, just like my template. As you work on it, I recommend that you save it right away by going to the hamburger menu, selecting "Save As". This is where you can choose the name for your document. Next, you have to save it again, either on your iPad or on your desktop or in some other Cloud storage. In Version 2, there is no other way of renaming your documents. You have to save them and this is the one and only way to give them a name or to rename them. Let's close this document by hitting the X symbol. Close without saving and let's create our half-drop repeat template together from scratch. Before we create our new document, I like to check the background color settings. You can access them by going to your Settings, User Interface, and I like to have my background gray level at about 75%. Then I hit "Done". I go to New, New Document, and I already have a preset for creating automated patterns. It's called 4,000 pixels pattern. You have to make sure that you change your document units to pixels. You select, for example, just like me, 4,000 pixels square. It has to be a square. You can choose any dimension you want. Since everything is vector, then it doesn't really matter. But I do recommend that you choose a square of at least 2,000 pixels above. Then I work with 300 DPI and color format RGB. For this method, in order for the clip to canvas option to work, you have to make sure that Create Art board is de-selected. This is how you see that it's selected. It has moved to the right side and it has turned white. If you tap again, it moved back to the left side and it's gray. Making sure we're not creating any art boards as we start our new document. Now we can hit "Okay" and we create a new document for our pattern tile. This is the gray backgrounds that I was talking about. I changed my settings as you remember under preferences to have it at about 75, 77%. Because by default you will get a blank page, which is basically a white canvas. I want to still maintain a good contrast between the canvas and the document background. That's why I adjust those settings previously. Now we have a blank page and at first we have to use the rectangle tool. This is where you locate it on your left side menu. By default, you should also have the rectangle shape selected. If not, you select "Rectangle" and you start drawing a rectangle. Again, by default it's going to be gray. So we have to go perhaps to our color palettes and we should change it to another color which is a little bit different. Let's choose this yellow. I will also choose maybe this blue for my stroke. Choose a nice vibrant color for your fill and a contrasting color, preferably also quite vibrant, for your stroke. Now make sure that your snapping is on over here. You can also double-check your snapping options. When you click to the right of the symbol, then you have a sub-menu opening and you can select "Snapping Options". You can just maybe pause this video and double-check that we have the same settings. I have also recently changed my settings here to force pixel alignment, move by whole pixels. If this is correct, then we hit "Done". We make sure that we go to the Move tool over here and with the snapping on, we have to position this square exactly onto our canvas. I see that it has snapped and I see that everything is correct because it says width 4,000 pixels, height 4,000 pixels. But if I wanted to double-check, I can first make sure that I'm on the right layer. Then I can go to the Transform studio over here and I can double-check both the dimensions and the position of my square. Also, the position has to be zero on the x-axis and zero on the y-axis. One more thing that I like to do is to go to the Stroke studio over here to tap on this 0.2 default number and to change it to something like five points, at least. Now our stroke is a little bit bigger. [LAUGHTER] This is just my personal preference. I also like to align it to the inside of my shape. Of course, you can also make it even thicker. You tap again and you select, for example, eight, and now your stroke is even thicker and this will help you to see things better and you will see your guiding lines much better. I will stick to five. This is our base and now we have to turn this square into our symbol. Let's revise what we already know about symbols from my previous courses. What is a symbol? A symbol is an intelligent object that can be placed repeatedly in your document and then any changes that we make to that symbol will be reflected across all the copies of that symbol. So let's create a symbol out of that square, making sure that it's selected. We go to our symbols menu over here, hamburger menu, add symbol from selection. Now when we go back to the layers panel, we see that we created a symbol folder, and both the folder and anything that is in the folder has this orange line beside it on the left side. I will have rename Rectangle Tool Guide. You can rename it by either accessing it through the three dots and clicking on the name or with the recent affinity update, you can also swipe with your finger or with your Apple pencil to the left, and this will open the new quick menu, and right at the end you have Rename Layer. I think this one is faster. This is our guide. Now we can create our half drop repeat. Next we will be creating copies of our square symbol and placing it around in a half drop repeat. There are two things that you have to bear into account. Number 1, you have to have snapping on. Number 2, we have to toggle on clip to Canvas so that you have the same if you just like me, you can access clip to Canvas first by going to the hamburger menu Canvas. Here you can find clip to Canvas. Then alternatively you will see we will be using this symbol here, which you will find right next to snapping to the left side. This will be your preview mode button. Let me show you what I mean. Let's first create a copy of this square. Two fingers on my screen. Hold and drag and then release the fingers. You will create a copy and just place it here. My clip to canvas option is on Canvas. If I want to clip it again, I can select it like so. Now this second square will be clipped, but there is a faster way to access it, namely this button here next to snapping. Now it's unclipped. Now it's clipped. Clipped means it is cut to fit exactly our original 4,000 pixels square Canvas. Let's make sure that it's not clipped so that we can see our square. This is the new square that I just created. I'm going to drag it below so that I know that this is my original square, the one that I placed right on my Canvas. Now I will position this square above till everything snaps together. You will see those guiding lines in green and in red. Now with two fingers gesture, I'm going to create another copy in place at below. Wait till it snaps. It's really important. Another copy. Now we have to create our half drop by placing it not like so this would be the standard or the full drop repeat. Let's place it halfway through. Tilt it again. Snaps together. Great. One more copy. Then one more here. One more here. That's why it was also important for me to separate this original symbol which is on our Canvas. This is where we have our original canvas. Now let's place a few more around so that we will be able to see our pattern much better. One more copy, for example here. Or maybe let's do the half drop over here. The more symbols heavier document is, the more it might be lagging. It's actually up to you how many you create. Just make sure that the original symbol tile, this one here. See now it's selected, the one in the middle. It's a little bit hard to see now that you have more. Just make sure that it's really, really surrounded. Maybe this will be enough for you or maybe you want to create even more. Again, the one in the middle you see is our original symbol. Now we can select all the remaining symbols and we can group them. We select the top one and then two fingers tap on the last layer, everything is selected. Now we can group it. You see, so those are the surrounding symbols. This is our original symbol in the middle, which is placed onto the original Canvas. This template would be for maximalist who really like to see a lot. But I also mentioned that the more symbols you have, the more maybe the problem will be lagging more because it will be very symbols heavy. In case you're having an older iPad version or you're having some problems with the iPad lagging or even crushing, which has actually never happened to me. Then you can also choose the minimalist version, which I will do. Like I said, it's important that this original symbol is surrounded everywhere on all the edges top, bottom, left, and right. So some of those symbols will not be necessary. I can select all of them by tapping with one finger onto the screen, holding it, and then selecting the symbols that I don't need. Deleting them, just removing them here. I will also rename this group to half-drop. This original symbol to pattern. This is the symbols folder that I will be working in. I will not be touching the symbols that are around. Now before we save our half-drop repeat template, the last thing that we got to do is to create a background layer. We go again to the rectangle tool. We drag and create, a new rectangle that will cover all our symbols. Then we will move it to the bottom and rename it to background. This is the only layer where we will be changing the background color. Next we open our main symbol. We had to the guide, which is our original yellow square. We go to the color studio and we flip up so that we don't have any fill left. Let me maybe demonstrate that again by first changing the background color. Here I don't need the stroke. Let's change it to another color so that you can see better. We go to our guides color studio. Then we remove the fill. We tap outside of the Canvas. Now what we have left is only our guiding lines. We can also see our background layer. Of course, you can change the color of your background layer as many times as you want. Again, this is the folder that we will be working in pattern. This is our guide, which later on we can of course switch off. It will just be for our orientation where the original Canvas is, this one. Those are our remaining symbols which we will not be working on. That's why I grouped them into a dedicated folder and I just put them away. This is our background layer in case you want to see better, you can of course at anytime also switch off your background layer. Now we can save this document as our half-drop repeat template. We go to the hamburger menu export as templates. You can rename it to something like half drop see. It's a template because you have the file extension point a f templates. Then you can save it to either your hard-drive to your device or to your Cloud storage. I'm not going to do that because I already have my template saved. I will select "Cancel." This is our half drop repeat template. Your task is to recreate the half-drop repeat template with me and practice using symbols. Alternatively, you can download the ready template from the course page, both for Version 1 and Version 2. Now we're ready to start drawing. 6. Sketching & Planning Assets (Procreate): I'm a person who loves to explore new patterns with sketches. I got this question from one of my students that actually got me thinking about my process. Vera, do you always start your pattern with a sketch? When I think about it, then yes. I always do quite a lot of sketching before I even think of vectorizing. But in my eyes, this really pays off in the long run. On top of that purely vectorizing can be sometimes quite mechanic. You focus so much on the technical aspects of it like fixing your notes, making sure that your vector shapes are closed. The sketching part is where you can relax, make mistakes, and explore new shapes and forms. That's why I would recommend to anyone to explore their style through their sketching practice. You can work on the rough sketch for your project digitally, for example in Procreate or even directly in Affinity Designer, or you can use a traditional sketchbook. I also love traditional sketchbooks. I take them with me to cafes, or to restaurants, and I doodle to relax. I love sketching in Procreate still [LAUGHTER] because that's where I have my favorite brushes and I've been drawing in Procreate for years and it's quite a shame that I abandoned it nearly entirely for Affinity Designer. At least the sketching part, I really like to come back to the software. I will tell you how I arrived at this sketch for my ditsy pattern, and what it took into consideration when preparing the assets for my ditsy pattern. Number 1, start with a few random flowing shapes which will be placeholders for your plants. I sketched out just a few placeholder areas very spontaneously. I was making sure that they vary in size and form so you will see that some of them are a little bit bigger, some of them are a little bit thinner, and there's enough variety in those spontaneous shapes. For my composition, I decided to go for the very tight and scattered ditsy sea. Then we have to also remember that those blank areas will be filled out by smaller filler elements later on. I was actually aiming at enough variety for my botanicals. At this point I admit this planning stage is very abstract, but it did help me in the entire planning process. I knew that I want a few plants that will be bigger. I wanted some clusters of plants. I wanted some round flowers, smaller flowers, and at least one plant which would be a little bit taller than the others. Number 2, sketch out the directions for your assets in the form of arrows. I drew a few direction arrows to help me establish the flow of my composition. Some of them are more flowing and wavy like here, and some of them point straight up. This part of abstract sketching helps me make sure that there is no variety of movement in my composition. Step number 3, doodle your assets. It's time to draw our botanicals or whatever theme you have chosen. I drew those plants in the place of my placeholders I wanted to show you. First I drew those placeholders and then in Procreate, I reduce the opacity of that layer, and very roughly in the place of this placeholder, [LAUGHTER] I tried to draw my plants like you can see it here or here. At this point, I also drew a few more filler elements in-between. I drew from my imagination, but you can also look at reference photos of real plants. For instance, you can go for a walk in the park or to a flower shop, and there you can take a few pictures and use them as your reference as you do your sketches. Step number 4, draw your hero assets. At this stage, I switched off the visibility of my placeholders. This is the composition that I came up with. Then this sketch, by the way, you'll also notice I like drawing in different colors. For example, I started with this orangey color. I knew those will be my hero plants. Then I knew I want one that is a little bit more, that looks like a bush and goes in different directions. I drew it in blue. Then immediately I followed with the same color for those round colors and a few fillers, and the remaining fillers right at the end are in yellow. Feel free to use a variety of colors as well so that you're able to see things better [LAUGHTER]. Next, I lowered the opacity of the sketch. Then I created an extra layer. I drew my motives, my hero motives, and each of them I drew on a separate layer so that it's easier for me to move them around with the move tool to spread them out in a better way on my canvas. Then when we switch off the sketch, all that we are left are our hero motives. Those will be the motives that we will be vectorizing and turning into vector assets for our Vector Assets Library. Out of this sketch, for some of them I created an extra variation. For example, for this plant, I created this variation, for this plant I created this smaller variation with fewer branches, and for this big plant, I created a more of a mini smaller version with just two blooms. Then I thought this isn't a variety for me and I don't need to create any more variations of the remaining flowers. I also paid attention to scale. For instance, when I was creating a variety of this flower, I made sure that this one is smaller. I would highly recommend that you do pay attention in particular to scale so that some of your elements are smaller and some of your elements are bigger. In particular, if it is the same flower type. I also paid attention to the variety in shapes and in lines. I also imagined some very basic shapes like ovals and circles and triangles. You will also notice that some of my lines are a little bit more smooth and some of the lines are a little bit more edgy. Step number 5, draw your filler shapes. I do love a few nice filler elements which I can later on take advantage of when I'm vectorizing to fill in the empty gaps in between my hero assets. I also use the reference board, you can toggle it on in Procreate under Canvas and reference and then you can import your image. I wanted to see my original sketch before starting out the hero motives. I wanted to double-check which filler assets I had in here. Then what I did, I sketched them out very roughly but also very evenly on my Canvas, so that later on I can export it for example as a JPEG and use it as my reference photo. Each of them is also separated on a dedicated layer so that I can move them around more easily. You can go for as many fillers as you like. It really all depends on how much variety you would like in your pattern. Once those sketches are ready, I will save some of them into my camera roll. I will definitely save those fillers. If you're doing it in a physical sketchbook by the way, you can just snap a photo. I will export it as a JPEG and I will save this image into my camera roll. I need my fillers. Then I also need my hero motives because we will be vectorizing them as assets. JPEGs are totally fine, saving them into the camera roll as well. Also for my reference, I would like to see my original sketch bringing back the opacity because this original sketch is based on the first exercise. Let's switch that off. The first exercise with the random shapes [LAUGHTER]. That's why I will use it later on as a reference as well. You will see that when we're building our repeat pattern together. Saving to camera roll. Now I have saved those three images and I will be using it to build my vector pattern. Your task is to draw your rough composition sketch together with your hero assets and your filler elements. It could be a botanical composition or whatever theme you would like to tackle for your pattern portfolio. Please note, I would like to ask you not to copy my own pattern one-to-one, but to come up with your own sketches, especially if you're planning to monetize your patterns after taking this course. In the next lesson, we will head to Affinity Designer. But first I would like to invite you to have a quick look at my sketch speed paint. See you there. 7. Setting Up Assets Document: Let's begin our pattern work by vectorizing our hero assets. Some of the technical aspects that we will tackle in this lesson are the settings for the pencil tool, the stroke panel, expand stroke option, and boolean operations such as add and subtract. Let's start by saving our document. We created previously our template. Later on, as you have saved it, you will be able to access it through the templates here, wherever you saved it, either in your Cloud storage or on your iPad. We hit the hamburger menu of our document and we save it as. Here we can also give a name to our document. I have my own naming convention, 2003 is the year, Collection number 6, Pattern number 1, and color variation A. Then we will call it secret garden. Save. This is my main folder where I save my patterns. Save. Now we will have everything backed up. Before I move to this automated template, I like to edit my hero assets in a separate document to keep everything very tidy. We go back, we hit New, New document and it's happens that's on purpose in Procreate, I was also working on the canvas of 4,000 pixels square. I will create the very same document 4,000 pixels square, 300 DPI, RGB color format and remember, no art boards. Hitting Okay. This is where we will create our hero assets. Now we have to place the photo that we took of the hero assets. We go to the hamburger menu, Place, Place from photos. That's where they are. We select them, we click Add, and then we tap to place it. Then we position it in the middle of our Canvas. Now we can also go to the three dots menu and lower the opacity of our sketch. I'm going to also swipe to the left, rename layer to [NOISE] sketch. We will be drawing with the pencil tool because as usual, I am aiming at the hand-drawn organic shape. Then we will be grouping our assets. Each asset will have their dedicated folder and then within that folder, there will be sub-folders with the parts of our assets sorted by color. Speaking of color, let's also insert our color palette. Remember this is where you can clip and unclip your canvas. But before that, let's go to Place and find our color palette. I'm going to show you a few options. One option is to have your color palette from an image. This is an application that I use. It's called Coolers, and this is where I manage my color palettes. One option is maybe you would like to use your previous illustration and use the same colors, then you can just import the image of your illustration or of your pattern over here and just put it to the side. Then another option is to save your color palettes as vector assets, which I have also done. Here you have your Assets Studio or your Assets Library. I have a dedicated category called color palettes and this is the color palettes that I want. I'm going to position it here. Of course, you can also manage your colors from the color studio. You just click the color studio, you go to Swatches and this is where you can find all your color palettes or through the hamburger menu, we can create new color palettes. Whichever approach you choose, it's a matter of personal preference. I'm going to remove this image here and I will work just with this color palette here. Remember in case you're not seeing this view, you probably have to unclip your Canvas. You can do that through the previous symbol, which is next to snapping. 8. Pencil Tool & Expand Stroke: You will find the pencil tool over here. If you have taken my previous classes, then you are already very fit using the pencil tool because this is my most favorite tool in Affinity Designer. I'm assuming that you are a more of an intermediate student, so we will skip all the introductory part and I will go relatively fast with it. We will be drawing just with fill. This is where you can select that you will be using fill. This is where you can select the fill color. And we have to make sure that autoclose is on so that our vector shapes can be closed. This time I am not using any stabilization. I'm making sure that I deselected everything. I can select my first color here for the fill, or you can also do that through the menu here next to the Fill icon. Swatches. This is my color. And I'm flipping up to get rid of the stroke. We will start by vectorizing this plant over here. I normally start by creating a new vector layer. The reason why I do that, I have this one student question asking, why do I do that? Because actually if you draw with the pencil tool, you create a new layer automatically. It's my way of staying organized because when I create a vector layer, then I can put it wherever I want and then I can start drawing, and the objects that belong to this layer, they fall into it right away. Now I will start drawing my blooms. If you would like to see the sketch on top, of course you can move it up. But because my sketch has a white background, I will not be able to see the colors perfectly. So you might as well leave it at the bottom, and you might just freestyle it a little bit because your sketch is only your starting point. See, I'm not using any stabilization and my line is a little bit more wobbly. If you want it even more wobbly, then you have to make more wobbly moves, so to say. But this also creates more notes. It all depends on your personal style. This has also created a dedicated folder, so now I have all those small flowers sorted in a folder and I can manage the color for them on the group level. Now I will create a new vector layer to draw the middles of those flowers. Let's check in the layers panel. Because I created a new vector layer and I started drawing right away, all those shapes fall into one folder. A folder was created for me automatically, and it will nest all the elements of the same color, which is in my case the middles of those flowers. Because everything is on the top folder level, we can also change the colors for all those elements inside of this folder at the same time. We just have to again apply the color fill to the entire group, and then we can move out of swatches. We can choose, for example, HSL sliders, which is my favorite, and under luminance, for instance, we can make them brighter or darker. We can also make them more saturated or desaturated, or change the hue entirely and look for new color combinations. But I want to go back to the original color from my color palette. Now I would like to draw the stems. For the stems, I will again create a vector layer and I will position it underneath. There are two ways in which you can draw your stems. First, let me select the color that I want. It will be this darker blue color. I will apply it to my fill. And the first technique that I'm also showing in my previous automated patterns lesson is just to use fill. Going back to the pencil tool, I sometimes forget. And then you can just try to trace the line only using the fill. When we deselect, you will see it created a very interesting effect over here. Another way is to draw only with the stroke and then to expand it. In order to do that, we have to switch off the fill and also deactivate autoclose. Getting rid of the fill, selecting stroke, which is the outline, and then applying the blue color. Now we can go to the stroke studio and we can make it a little bit thicker so that you can see things better. You can also adjust the width of your stroke in the panel that you see here after you have drawn it. Let's make it a little bit bigger so that you can see better. One more trick that I do is this crown shape here on the pressure panel, as you tap, you add new pressure points, and if you position it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, those five points in the M shape or the crown shape, you can even add more. You can create a crown like this, so either the M shape or the crown shape, then you will also get a very nice wobbly line because those settings will be remembered. Just to summarize, option number 2, you can go back and you can paint only with fill and no stroke, and you can just try to follow your sketch to draw your stems. And then option number 2 is to draw using only stroke and no fill. I will remove those and this one as well, and I will draw my stems only using the stroke. Here's one, here's another one, and here's another one. I hope you can see it well. Now the beauty of it is that they're all separated on layers, and you can make them still here through this thickness panel, thicker or more narrow. You can maybe zoom out a little bit and see how you like it. Maybe this one could be thinner, and the last one could also be a little bit thinner. Now what I like to do lately is to expand my stroke. When you select "Expand Stroke", it expands the stroke of a shape of a line and then it converts those lines boundaries into paths. In this way, it forms a closed shape because when you draw a line like that, if you go to the Node tool, you can only edit this line, but you cannot edit the outline of this line. For example, here, I can edit where this line is flowing, but those edges, I cannot do anything about it because it's just a line. So we need to convert it into paths. I have those lines selected, and then I go to the three dots menu, and I choose "Expand Stroke" over here. Now we can also edit them individually in the same way as a regular shape. For example, just like I mentioned, maybe I would like to make this shape here, the ending of this line to make a little bit thicker. Now that we expanded our stroke into a path, we can do that and we can also edit the outlines. 9. “Add” Operation & Assets Library: I'm seeing too many nodes in here, I would like to simplify it even further. Another thing that I would like to teach you is to use Boolean operations, which you can access from the move tool. I'm selecting all my stems, and then I'm going to the Boolean operations, which you can find here under geometry, and then I choose "Add". And what this does, this will merge those shapes together. With lines, we would not be able to do that. In order to merge some shapes together, they have to be converted from lines to curves. Now, we will select, "Add", and now we have only one shape. Now, I will continue drawing with the pencil tool with the fill and no stroke. Just make sure that auto close is on. By the way, auto close is only available in Affinity Designer Version 2. It's not available in Version 1. In Version 1, you have to close your shapes manually. Now, I would like to draw the inside stem of my leaf. A new vector layer, deselecting everything, and then choosing my new color, and I'm starting to draw. Finally, we have to group everything together, so that we can form just one single asset out of this plant. I will select everything, the middles of the flowers, the flowers themselves, and the insides of the leaves, and the leaves and the stems together. Right, please pay attention to the fact that everything is sorted by color. Those are our middles, the blooms, the insides of the leaves, and the leaves. The stems are together because they have the same color. Now, we can hit the "Group" icon and we can group them. Then we can also swipe to the left to keep everything organized and rename it to something like a flower bush. [LAUGHTER] If you want to be super organized, of course, you can rename each of those groups, but I usually skip that, and I save time, and I only renamed the top layer. Next, we would like to save this plant as a vector asset. We have to go to the asset studio. I have an entire class about utilizing vector assets, for example, for pattern design. It goes into this topic in much more detail, so if you want to learn even more about the pencil tool and creating vector assets, then I warmly invite you to check out that course. Let's create a new assets category. The top hamburger menu, and then we add category over here. Let's name it Secret Garden. You can name it whatever you want. Hit "Okay", and we have a new category. Now, we also have to create at least one subcategory, so we select add subcategory. We can also rename it. Maybe I will rename it to Hero Flowers. Making sure that this entire plant is selected, I go to this sub-hamburger menu, and I add asset from selection. Now, every time I want to recycle this plant, I can just click on it and you will see the menu with either insert or delete. We can insert, and we have a copy of this flower, or you can just drag and drop it. You press and then you drag it onto your Canvas. Say, if those were three different assets, you don't have to save them one by one, you can select all of them. The only prerequisite is that each of them has a dedicated folder, and then this main folder will be recognized as the asset, the top folder, so to say. Then having selected those three assets, you also go to the hamburger menu add asset from selection, and then all of those assets, we have to imagine those are different assets, they will be added simultaneously. Imagine that you created 20 different botanical assets, you don't have to waste time by saving them one by one, you can do it simultaneously. I will remove my duplicates now, and I will just keep this one asset. Follow me into the next lesson where we finish vectorizing the rest of our flowers. 10. Vectorizing Tips & “Subtract” Operation: In this lesson, we will repeat the process that we applied to our first botanical asset. We will also solidify the knowledge about the pencil tool and some Fill and Stroke functions. If you want to improve the visibility of your file, you can also switch off the visibility of the assets that you already created. Then there's a lot going on with this plant, so I would like to tackle it next so that we can solidify the knowledge about what we have learned previously. Again, new vector layer. We go to the pencil tool. Everything is de-selected. I select a new color, for example, this one. I will start by drawing the stems. I would also like to do it by using just stroke. I'm going to switch off the fill and the auto close. Flipping my fill color up and applying my color to the stroke. Now the previous settings should be remembered. But you can always go back to the Stroke panel and you can modify it to your liking. Or over here, you can also change the width of your stroke. You can also change the width over here, or you can go directly to this numerical value, and you can add any value that you want. Next, I will select all those lines. Three dots, Expand Stroke. Then to the move tool and I will merge them together with the Add function. That was just one shape. From now on I will be drawing just with the fill, so back to fill, activating auto close. Now in the same group, I would like to draw the leaves. Remember that your sketch is just your initial reference point. You can change it as you like, and you can also go outside the lines or you can add completely new elements to it. Then this way, everything is in the same group. Now a new vector layer for the bells, de-selecting everything else I would like to select now, this new yellow color. Now I will draw the bells. Next, I will group everything together, creating an asset out of it. Now I will move to this plant, a new vector layer. This time I will be drawing just using fill. Also for the stems, I try to trace my sketch as best as I can. I will start with the stem and then I will tackle the leaves. But before that, I will probably merge the stem layers together with the Add function. We're nearly done. At any point, you can select your shapes, go to the Node tool, and you can make a few more changes. You can also remove any unnecessary nodes. Now I'm selecting everything going to the Move tool, Geometry, and Add. Also in the same group, because I'm sorting everything by color, I will continue drawing the leaves. If you would like to trace your sketch perfectly, you can also position the sketch above all your vector layers so that you can see your lines better. But I really do treat my rough sketch as something very initial. I actually do a lot of alterations as I go. Another vector layer for the insides of the leaves, I would like to select this darker color because I already know this will be the color of my background. I think it will create a very nice effect as if it was a cutout. What we're going to do, we can merge those together by using the Add function. We can also merge our leaves together because if I want to change anything with the leaves, I can always use the node tool, it's not a problem. Also using the Add function. Now we will position one under the other. We will select both of them. Now we will use the Subtract function. We will be subtracting the darker parts so that they cut through our leaves and they make holes in them. The elements that I want to cut out have to be on the top layer, and the elements that will stay have to be at the bottom layer. Then you select both of them. You go again to geometry and you select the Subtract function. Now we have made holes in our leaves. Now a new vector layer for the flowers. Selecting our new color. I start drawing very roughly. I'm not using any stabilization because I want my shapes to be uneven. This is done and again, a new vector layer and we will draw the insides of the flowers. For the insides, I would like that yellow, orange color again. This time I would like to see my lines better, so I'm going to put my sketch on top and perhaps lower the opacity a little bit more. That's more like it. Now I can start drawing again. To be honest, I'm really improvising today. Now I'm selecting the flowers and the stems and the leaves, and I'm grouping them to form a new asset. I'm also saving them as vector assets. So far we have created a three assets, three plants. Just as a reminder, we were mainly using fill and no stroke. But whenever we wanted to draw the stems, we were also using stroke and then expanding it to convert it into curves. Finally, we also saved those as vector assets into our assets library. Your task is to vectorize your hero motives, turn them into assets, and try out the Boolean operations, add and subtract. Here you can really experiment with your shapes, go outside of the lines of your sketch, and also practice converting your stroke into curves with the Expand Stroke option. Now you can join me in the next lesson where we will be building our beautiful ditsy pattern, or you can continue watching and you can have a look at this speed paint showing how I finished vectorizing the rest of my motives. 11. Vectorizing Hero Assets +Tips: Those things that so we must cover. Gagging happened, can cauchy K cat, you catch you knack that. You can't de the 12. Setting Up Our Pattern Document: In this lesson, we will build our half-drop repeat pattern. This is where you will get acquainted, perhaps not for the first time, with the automated pattern templates. The repeat will be created for you automatically, so there's no need to worry about the Transform Studio or manual calculations. I hope that you enjoyed the speed paint where I showed you the process of finishing, drawing, and saving up the rest of my vector assets. You could see now that my library of assets for the Secret Garden collection has grown. I will be able to use it not only for this particular ditsy pattern but for any other illustrations or patterns that I might want to create in the future. Those assets are really always good for recycling or rather, repurposing. Meanwhile, I created an extra subcategory called secondary flowers. At the same time, I also created a big rectangle which is positioned right at the bottom of all our layers, which is my background layer basically. I knew that this dark color I want to test out as a background color because I would really love to create a pattern with a dark background because they're very moody and very mysterious, very fitting to the Secret Garden collection that I have in mind. To speed up the process, we will do the following, namely all the hero and secondary flowers; we will mark, select all of the folders with the two-finger tap gesture on our iPad, and then we will group them. We don't need our sketch layer anymore, so we can also remove it. We will select our assets, we will select our color palette, and then we will go to the three dots menu. We will hit "Copy". This will simply speed up the process. Next, we will head to our automated pattern template for half-drop repeat, the one that I renamed in the previous lesson to the Secret Garden, first pattern from the collection. Now inside of this document, we will go again to the three dots menu and we will hit "Paste". This will paste the assets that we created in the other document. This will just speed up the process. Of course, you can also proceed with building your repeat pattern by re-using the assets that you have in your library. But they are more or less already in the position that I want them to be in, so I decided just to speed it up and do the copy-paste function. Another thing that I will do right away is changing the background color to this dark blue. From the Move tool, I will also move the color palette a little bit more away. One thing to bear in mind again is the structure of our automated template. In particular, our guide. You see here in lighter blue, those guiding lines, I can also go to our main folder, to the guide layer, color studio. Here we only have the stroke and because we have a very dark background, we can also play with the luminosity of the guide. See, we can go all the way up to make it white or we can just make it a little bit brighter or even change the color altogether to something that really stands out. It is important to remember with this guide layer that your fill is off. Let's switch off this background. We usually start working with the template, in this way that we have a fill and we have a stroke. In case you're still having fill on your guide layer, make sure please to go to the color studio and to flip it up and to get rid of the fill. Another way to remove it is to select this square, which is blank white with a blue line across. That means there is no fill. Now we can bring back your background layer. This guide layer only has stroke, which is this yellow bright color. This is exactly what you see, those guiding lines. Later on, when you export your pattern tile, you have to remember to switch off the visibility of this guide in the Layers panel. You can switch off the visibility by toggling off this round symbol next to your layer. This is how you would export your pattern tile. You have to remove the guide because the guide is only for our orientation. Also, please remember about the clip to Canvas buttons, either through the hamburger menu or through the previous symbol. Again, from the hamburger menu, you go to Canvas. You can select "Clip to Canvas" to only see our original Canvas and to clip away, meaning to remove everything that is around. Alternatively, you can simply select the symbol here next to the snapping. By toggling on and off, you change the preview mode. But right now we are building our pattern and our repeats, so we want to see everything. Our color palette is there and there are two more things that I will need. We also need our previous sketches, or at least I need them because they make my work easier. I will have to place them from my camera roll. Hamburger menu, place, and then place from photos. I am selecting my original sketch so that I see how I planned out the pattern initially. I don't need the hero motive sketch anymore because I'm done with vectorizing them, but I do need my little cheat sheet with my filler elements. I will select those two pictures and I will click "Add". Then I just tap anywhere. I'm placing them in my document. The fillers cheat sheet will be useful later on. The general sketch cheat sheet is just to remind me how I wanted to plan out more or less my pattern in the first place. But of course, on the way, we added some new motives. For example, I created a variation of this flower and of this flower. We have a few more than on the original cheat sheet, but it will still be a very good guideline for me. This is just to help us make our work easier. 13. Placing Hero Motifs: Now let's see what happens if we position all the assets that we created in the symbols folder. You just drag and drop it into the symbol. [NOISE] We can also switch off those sketches for now if it's too distracting. This is what it would look like, but it would not be perfect. Because if we switch off our guide, then we de-select we see that this is a little bit too organized. We will proceed in the following way that we will first position our main hero flowers. In the meantime, we will switch off the visibility of all the other more secondary flowers. Definitely those are secondary, can switch them off. I will also switch off the small one. Also this small version of the other flower, and perhaps this one too. Those are my main hero flowers. First, I will take a few seconds to position them onto my canvas, and if need be, I will also resize them. I think one of the nicest assets that I created for this pattern is this flower here. From the move tool. You can also zoom out to see how the pattern repeat behaves. From the move tool. I'm moving around this asset to see where it will fit. Especially for those big flowers, it is really a good idea to position them outside of the main canvas. Because this will make the repeat look much better. If all of our hero elements stay within our original canvas, they will stay within this original square. Then when we build the rest of the pattern with smaller flowers, we will create as if those invisible lines where the other pattern tile starts and it will not look good optically. What I recommend, first of all, focus on the middle one. I know it's very hard to try to select another flower, for example, from here. But what this will do, this will open another symbol, the one from the folder which we created and we put aside all the remaining symbols, so try to stick to the middle. [LAUGHTER] I know that it's sometimes hard, that's why we switch off the visibility of some of the elements. Try to stick to the middle and try to position them as best as you can onto your canvas. You can also scale them down, of course. This is what I will do. I would also like to stick with the colors that I chose. I'm also positioning the blue leafed flowers a little bit farther away from other blue leaves flowers. I think this flower is big. I will also scale it down and position it a little bit. See, it goes a little bit to the two other pattern tiles which are to its left. But this will really make the pattern look much better. This one can go a little bit more to the middle. Now we have to bring back the rest one-by-one. I'm going to bring back this one and position that a little bit away. If I wanted to cluster if those similar flowers I can do that. Actually that looks interesting. The power of zooming in and zooming out. You can, of course, cluster similar flowers together if you want to achieve this effect of creating those clusters of similarities. But if you don't want that, then you can pay attention. Zoom out, and position them somewhere else. For example, I think this will look good here. It's really trial and error. But the best advice I can give you here is to really try to stick to the middle and not touch the elements from the adjacent pattern tiles. If something doesn't look right, you can also flip it, so to say. You can go here to the transform studio and you can flip it for example horizontally. Maybe that will fit better. Spending a little bit of time here to really work on all those details will pay off. Because once you position those hero elements in the right way, in a nice way, in a very well balanced way, the rest will be super easy. Super, super easy. This is the most important part. Okay, let's bring back this one. It used to be smaller, but now it's bigger. I will scale it down again and maybe position it here, so that we also have a little bit of blue in here. If I wanted to, I could also create copies, two fingers on the screen. Creating a copy and perhaps transforming it by flipping it horizontally, and I have a completely new asset. But I have so many other assets waiting for me to position them. For now, I will stick to what I have because they created a lot of different variants. What else is left? Those flowers here, they're really pretty. That's a nice combination of orange with purple. We can always come back and scale them down. Now, I also wanted those daisies. I think they're really cute together. I want them, where do I want them? Let's zoom out. Trying to find a good place for them. Perhaps here. You might have noticed on my speed paint. But yeah, I saved them as assets, both as a group but also individually. If I wanted another group, I could just insert it. I have another group at the same time, it saves me time. I will remove it. But if I wanted just a single flower, then it's also good to have a single copies of those flowers saved as assets because again, saves time sometimes. Maybe I want this one single flower here and another single flower there. I will rename this group to assets because I keep wondering what that is and that's just the group that I copied from the previous documents. Those are my assets. Actually, this will be handy. We will have our assets in one folder and maybe our fillers in a separate folder. It's like a matryoshka, one folder inside of the other. But it really does help because sometimes you end up with too many things. For example, those I would probably group them up to as my resources. Right now the color palette is on. 14. Placing Secondary Motifs: Now those secondary flowers, I wanted to scale them down, and I wanted to create a few copies. And I wanted to rotate it a little bit in different directions, scale it down. This one I would scale up. In a second, I will zoom out and I will see what everything looks like. This one is here. Let's flip it too. I'm creating a very tight composition, so every now and then I bring the elements closer together. Because ultimately I want to fill in those blanks in between the elements and I want to create a very tight pattern. Now, we can also switch off the guides deselect and see if it looks okay. I also had this question, if we can make this line disappear, no, you can't. It's actually good that it doesn't disappear because otherwise everything would melt and without those guiding lines, you would not be able to see anything and then you wouldn't know where to draw. So it's actually good that it's there. [LAUGHTER] Spiky flowers, my assets are here. I wanted to create a few more copies. Let's not forget to place the objects outside of the original lines a little bit because this will make your seamless repeat much better. And imagine, for example, this asset is right in-between three pattern tiles. If you were creating this half drop repeat pattern with the old technique, using the live pattern preview tool, you would have to run into a lot of calculations. You would have to transform the y-axis at least one time but also the x axis. You would have to create two duplicates, so that they go into the upper left corner and to the lower-left corner and see like here. And that will really give you a headache. So now everything is done even though it's exactly on the edge of three pattern tiles. So those templates are really helpful. [LAUGHTER] In my original sketch, I also had those branches or bushes. Depends what you're seeing here yourself. Now, I don't have them here because they were not my hero assets. So I didn't devote too much time at the beginning to create them but now I could draw them. You can either sketch them first with the pixel persona, I can quickly show you how to do that. I also tackle it in my previous automated templates course about the diamond repeat, super easy. Here we can first create a pixel layer, making sure that we are in the middle tile. We switch to the pixel persona and we just take maybe this round brush. So this is just a raster based sketch. Here, maybe that would look okay. Let's zoom out and maybe one here. So now I have this pixel-based sketch. I can also reduce it's opacity and now I can create a new vector assets. Actually those are my main assets. I will rename them as main assets and now I will create some secondary assets. New vector layer, making sure that it's in my symbol under the main assets. Then I will go back to the designer persona pencil tool, making sure everything is de-selected. Let's select this blue color, for example, and apply it to our fill. And now again, taking the middle tile, I'm heading here and I will create a new asset.. That's the first one. But this one is not in my symbol, it escaped. But first let's go to the move tool. Use the add function to combine everything together and let's bring it back and remove this redundant player. Let's go back to the pencil tool, de-select everything and then I will select this very dark color. I wanted to create those lines inside of those leaves. Now, we can group this asset together with the other one. Now, we can create copies and then the second we will kick out this pixel sketch. I think this asset would look nice in another color. For example, this color here. So this is also the place where you can do your color changes. I will create a new group and call it secondary assets. I would also like to create those little blooms. So I will go back maybe to this part because it looks quite empty. There it is and I will start drawing my new blooms. And as I go, I also create much smaller, tiny little blooms to fill in those empty spaces. This time I would like this cluster to reach those guys here. When you zoom out, that starts to look great, see. You can create clusters that are very round but you can also create clusters that travel through. For example, I would like those flowers to go travel here and maybe also travel over there to continue. So I have to remember, between the spiky flowers and those orange flowers. Let them travel further as we look really nice optically and all those little tricks, they will really make our ditsy floral repeat, look beautifully seamless. At this point remember that going outside of the lines, crossing the lines of our guide is really more than welcome because it will make things look much better. I will create a new vector layer and I will position it here right above them and I will change their color to this orange, yellow. Back to the pencil tool and I will start drawing the middles. Now, let's see what we have so far. Let's switch of our guide and maybe let's clip our Canvas. So this would be so far our pattern tile. Please position all of your hero motives on your pattern tile and make sure that some of them, if not all of them go outside of the guiding lines. Next position, a few secondary flowers, either from your assets library or by drawing them by hand. Join me in the next lesson where we will be working on our final filler elements 15. Placing Filler Elements: In this lesson, we will be finishing our pattern by drawing the filler elements. I brought back my little cheat sheet with the filler elements that I would like to include in my pattern. I have already drawn those little tweaks and the clusters of blooms. Now, I would like to first draw a few stars because I think they will be an important element of this pattern. The pattern and the collection is called The Secret Garden, so I want it to be a little bit more whimsical and magical. That's why I will include a few stars. To create my stars, I will use the pen tool because they will be simply straight lines. I start forming my star. That would be the shape of the star created with the pen tool. I have to switch on my fill. You can switch it on either here or you can go to the color studio and you can double check that the stroke is off and the fill is on. Then you can also go to the note tool and you can adjust the shape of your star. Or to the move tool and you can move it around. Back to the pen tool. Let's place this star into our symbol. Let's create one more here. I want them to have different arms. I can change the colors later on. One more here. I will go directly to the note tool and I will make a few adjustments in its shape. I will group all those stars because you know by now that I like groups. [LAUGHTER] Then I will go to the move tool and I will position them slightly differently if I want to preserve the shape. Again, one finger on the screen. I have one here. This one we can also make a little bit smaller and maybe position it here. Now because we already have all those stars in our symbol, we see what's happening on the adjacent, so on the neighboring tiles. I wouldn't position this star over here because it will be in one line with the star from the other pattern tile or the other side of the pattern tile. Instead, I will scale it down and I will position it a little bit down, and then I will go to this star from this side and I will move it around a little bit. This one can go here. Now I will create a few more copies. Two fingers on my screen. Let's make a copy of this one. It's quite cute. Let's position it here. I will rename this layer to stars. I can also decide to change their color to something brighter. But for now I will leave this yellow color. I can still change my mind later on. Now back to my cheat sheet. I think next I would like to create those types of clusters because they would also look very cute. Let's see where I have some gaps here. They could travel here. Or I could remove one of those stars, put it maybe here, and they could also travel through here. This time I go back to the pencil tool. I select the yellow color and maybe I will start from this corner here. Let's create a folder so that all of those fillers are nested. First, we will draw a few, filling in those empty spaces. Then we will zoom out and we will see what it looks like. Let's see. We're still on the correct pattern tile. That's important. Now let's have them travel over there. That will make the pattern look even more seamless. What else do we have? Those look very interesting. There will be one element which will be the flower itself and then the stalk. Let's start. We go back to the middle. Let's de-select everything, and let's choose a color, maybe this orange color here. Now from the center, first, we will draw the heads. Our flowers. I'm leaving a little bit of space for the stalks. That will do for now. Let's group them and let's, of course, put them into our symbol. Now a new vector layer for the stalks. I'm going to use this blue color because it will be a nice contrast. Now, the tighter this pattern gets, the easier it is to get lost, so you really have to stay focused. It's a little bit hard to teach about it, because normally, if I did this pattern on my own, on my sofa, I would be fully focused and now I have to keep talking and explaining things and I have to pay attention to it. But it looks okay. I made it. I think I want to change the color to this lighter color. But then I would have to change the color of those spiky flowers here, the ones on the corner. First I will group the stars, the little ones. This cluster here, I will just group it. Now, this one with the stars, with the other small flowers, I will already form a new group, and I will rename it to fillers. Of course, you don't have to go into such level of detail. I always want to create a nice simple class and it ends up exploding. [LAUGHTER] I do a pattern that is maybe a little bit too ambitious and maybe too time-consuming. But you can always simplify it, and you can just enjoy me sweating [LAUGHTER] over my own pattern because seriously now that it's getting so packed and so crowded, I really have to stay focused. But the end effect is amazing, so it's totally worth it and that's why I wanted to show you creating such an intricate ditsy pattern because it just looks so cool, and I also believe that you can make one too. Secondary flowers, were they here? No. There they are. See, those guys here. Let's change the color. Let's try this one, and we can change the color on the group level, perfect. Now the colors are not merging, and we have some variety here too. Good. Let's move on back to our fillers. What's left? We have the stars. Those stepping stones. Let's place some orange over here. A new vector layer. Let's place it into our fillers folder, [NOISE] and I want this orange here. Now from the pencil tool, simple circles. You see the evolution of this pattern. We started with more intricate hero motives, and now we move to more simplified shapes. We move from more detail to less detail. Nice. Maybe a little bit of orange here. They're all going to stay in the same group. Let's double-check. It's the same group. Because especially on the iPad, when you're touching the iPad with your hand, something gets clicked by accident, and then you end up creating some mistakes. That happens quite a lot. I think we have enough of orange stones and now this shape looks really interesting. I will create a new dedicated vector layer and where shall we placed them? This is a little bit empty, so let's do it here. I want this pinkish color here. It's a very abstract shape. Like I said, at this point, we're going towards more simplicity, more random abstract shapes so that they can become good fillers for all those gaps. Now I will take maybe this filler idea. We could use a little bit of blue over here. A new vector layer. Let's take this blue color, and we're still on the pencil tool. I'm drawing something that resembles grass. I'm also moving across the pattern to position similar elements but in different parts of the patterns so not just in one spot, but I tried to spread it out so that the repeat is not so obvious. I'm zooming in and zooming out, and I'm looking after those paths which still have a lot of gaps in-between, and I'm trying to fill it up. Again if you are making, creating this pattern with the old method, and you would have to calculate every single thing, then you would go crazy. [LAUGHTER] But now it's so much easier granted, you have to stay focused to remember where you're drawing but this is such an improvement. [LAUGHTER] I will go to the move tool, click on the star and make it smaller. I still wanted to draw a few of those lines because I think they will look very nice. I will also shift a few things. I will scale them down because right now I'm pretty okay with filling in the gaps, but I still want to fit a little bit more, so I'm also resizing, and over here, let's close those, I will place some more filler elements. A new vector layer that will nest our lines. Perfect. I'm drawing now vertical lines. This can also resemble the grass. I think I would also like those lines here. From the move tool, I'm double-clicking on this plant. I will also make it smaller a little bit. This one too. Now I will draw horizontal lines. If this is too many layers, of course, here for those fillers, you can also merge them with the add function. We're still in the fill fillers folder, new vector layer. I want this nice bright orange to the pencil tool, and now, I am drawing horizontal lines. Filling in the gaps with this new shape. We can also fit it in here. Let's hide our guide. When we clip our Canvas, the iPad is working really, really hard right now. It's even hard for me to move it. [NOISE] This would be our final pattern tile. Just as a reminder and as a quick summary, we started by placing our hero motifs, then we placed our secondary flowers, our secondary motifs, and then we started to fill in all those gaps with fillers. I always start with my favorite or most important filler, so I started with the stars because I knew that there has to be room for them. Then I finish off with the least important and the most generic fillers, such as lines and some dots. This is our main pattern folder. Let's bring back the guide. Here we have our main assets. Those were our secondary assets. Those were our fillers, and this is our guides. Again, our main hero assets, secondary assets, fillers and everything together. Your task is to finish your half drop repeat pattern tile by placing your hero assets and filling in the empty areas with your fillers. Play around with your color palette and finalize your color scheme. You can make more color variations later on. Next, we are ready to export our final pattern tile and to test it 16. Testing & Exporting Your Pattern: Now it's time to export and to test your final pattern tile. After working so intensely in Affinity Designer, I actually like to leave it for a second and to take my work back to Procreate. I usually test my pattern tile in Procreate. The important step, before we export our pattern tile is to go to our main symbol folder, to go to the Guide layer, and to switch off its visibility so that those guiding lines do not show up in our pattern. Let's clip it, so this would be our beautiful final pattern tile. Next, we can go to the hamburger menu and hit "Export." We can export it as a JPEG or as a PNG. This is also the place where you can rescale it, so you can also change the dimensions of your pattern tile. For example, I can make the file a little bit smaller. I can resize it to 3,000 pixels. Now it will be a little bit smaller. Then I hit "Share" and I export it to Procreate and that would send him Procreate. Then we hit "Cancel" and we head to Procreate. This is our final pattern tile. It has exactly the same name, just like our document in Affinity Designer. By the way, let's not forget about saving our original document. By saving I mean, you go to the homepage, hamburger menu and you click "Save." You don't want to lose your work, [LAUGHTER] especially not after so much time doing the repeat. Now, back to Procreate, we can open this file. I normally swipe to the left, create a copy, and I will make the original pattern tile invisible just like the background color. Then from the Move tool, snapping has to be selected with Magnetics, Snapping and we move it to through half of the canvas, Duplicate, then we move it down. Because it's a half-drop repeat, the third tile, we have to move it halfway and then to the right. Then we duplicate this one. We go up, we create one more copy and this is when we can merge it. This is the original pattern tile, but it is a half-drop repeat and this is the final pattern tile which is already like in a standard repeat. If we were to minimize it even further and make it smaller, we would do it like this, merge it, Duplicate. So nice. This standard repeat pattern tile we can save as JPEG into our camera roll. I can show you one more way to see your pattern tile on a bigger shape in Affinity Designer. Let's go back to the document because this one is so symbols heavy. Let it rest. Let's go back to the document where we were working on our hero motifs. Let's create from the rectangle tool a rectangle shape and then we move to our Fill tool over here. From this drop-down menu, we select "Bitmap," and then it opens the sub menu where we can place the pattern tile that we have just saved. We can place it onto this shape as a bitmap. This is where we can also scale it up and down to see what it would look like in different scale or when we rotate it in a different manner. This is also the place where you could still make some adjustments. For example, when I zoom out, I see that there's this patch of darker area over here, you see with this navy blue, this one, so I might actually go in to my pattern file and maybe those grass elements, maybe I could change the color to something more orange. Because indeed when I zoom out, then you see the repeat much more. But you rarely actually scale down such a ditsy pattern to such super tiny scale. Here it's usually a little bit bigger. But still maybe this area is a little bit too darker. By testing your pattern in this way, either here directly in Affinity or by having a look at it in Procreate, you can still make up your minds about your colors and conduct some changes. For example, this area is a little bit too dark, so I will head back to my Affinity Designer file and I will fix that. See, I have made my changes and now I have less of those darker patches that might not look too great. We can also share it as JPEG. This other variation where I fixed the color problem, save it to our camera roll, and then test it out one more time in Designer. This is the new pattern tile. Now it's a little bit better. Your task is to export and to test your final pattern tile. I hope that the entire process was easy. You can see that this technique is a wonderful way to create error-free, seamless patterns in a few simple steps. If you were to create such an intricate and overlapping half-drop pattern, the traditional way using calculations and the transform studio, you would probably get really tired after a while. Thank you so much for watching so far. In the last final lesson, I will show you my technique for recoloring my patterns. 17. Re-coloring Options: In this lesson, I wanted to show you how I like re-coloring my patterns. I actually thought that for this course it will be a good opportunity to introduce global colors, but I realized that actually for such intricate ditsy patterns, I don't use global colors really, so I will show you the same technique that I shown in the diamond repeat pattern course because honestly this is the technique that I'm really using the most without bothering about global colors. Global colors they used to speed up my work quite a lot before, but I switched my process to using the same fill or same stroke function and it makes my work around faster and more smoothly. What I will do first is I will swipe to the left in the homepage panel, and this will show me the copy document symbol, which I will select and I will create a copy. Then I will change the name and save this document as new document by selecting Save As, and then I will change the letter A to B. So it's the same pattern. It's pattern number 1 from the sixth collection in 2023, but it's a color variation B. Then I will kick out the word copy and hit Save. Next. The first thing that I will change is my background color. I will also remove all the unnecessary layers from the previous working sheet. So I don't need the color palettes or I don't need my sketches anymore. I will keep the guides just in case. Then I will go back to my swatches panel or I can also go to my assets library to color palettes and I can select a color palette that I've been using previously. And I can start making my changes. So these is change that you can make is to leave the rest of the colors as they are and to simply change the background color. Exiting the swatches. For example, change the hue and a bit the luminance of the background color. That would already be a different pattern, but I will use the colors from my swatches panel. And now I will have to change all the colors that are a little bit too similar. For example, the purple from those blooms. So what I'm going to do is I think they were in the secondary assets folder. Yes. That's where they are. I just have to select one of the items, doesn't matter which one, and then from the Move tool, I go to the same Fill Color function, and now all of those colors were selected. From here, I can go back to my swatches and I can change the color. Next. I would like to change, for example, this peachy color. So one of them is here. It's enough to select only one, and then again from the Move tool, same fill color, and then we can change everything at the same time. Now, perhaps we will make this blue a little bit darker. Yeah, that will look good. Now I see, does this orange also needs to be changed? So let's just find one orange, which is easy. Already found it, it's here. Same fill color, and maybe let's change it to purple, but let's make it a little bit darker. That looks good. Next, I want to change this color because it's also a little bit too light. Having selected just one, we go to fill color and we look for a better color. Now, this color has to be changed as well. I think it was in the fillers. Yeah. From the Move tool, same fill color, and maybe let's just make it a little bit darker. This one, I would like to change it too. Same fill color. Yeah, I think that will brighten everything up. That would look nice, but I would also like to change this one so I can just double-tap it back to the move tool, same fill color, and we should change it to something brighter. This is how I would probably tackle re-coloring. Another way is to do directly in procreate, but the results are a little bit more wild. So you can go to your pattern tile. You can make a copy, and then you can, for example, try changing the hue. So here we have color variation number two or three. I think three. Just to recap, the easiest way to create a color variation is just to change the background color and to keep the remaining colors just as they were on the original pattern tile. Option number two would be to use the options same fill color and to play around within the colors studio with the swatches panel or with the sliders, and option number three is to experiment in procreate through the adjustments panel. And option number three is to make your color changes in procreate, for example, if you're using procreate through the adjustments panel under hue saturation brightness. Sometimes just changing the hue is enough to get a completely different pattern tile. Your task is to create at least one more color variation of your ditsy pattern. Trial changing colors both in affinity designer and if you're a procreate user, test it out in procreate as well. Thank you so much for watching. Now, we are ready to wrap it up. 18. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking my Affinity Designer course. I hope that it really accelerated to design skills. I hope that you love this new way of creating vector patterns. Well, the most important thing is that there's no more transform studio and the process is automated. I cannot imagine working in a different way. I don't remember the last time I opened the live pattern preview, since I switched to this method, I hope that you are as excited as I am. If you liked this automated half-drop template, then you should also check out my automated diamond repeat templates. Both the courses tackle different projects and in each of those courses, I'm actually teaching a few different points or a few different aspects of using Affinity Designer. If you're sharing work on Instagram, please don't forget the #MagicalVectors because I will be pulling out patterns only from under this hashtag to feature them in my account. I also warmly invite you to leave a review for this class and to comment how you liked it. It's very helpful for both me as a teacher as well as for other students who are considering taking this course. Check out my other Affinity Designer courses and consider signing up to my newsletter to stay in the loop for new tutorials and for artists resources. Perhaps I'll see you on Instagram or YouTube or in our Facebook Affinity support group. Until next time, take care and happy creating.