Watercolor a Seamless Pattern: Surface Design in Adobe Photoshop for Print-On-Demand | Cat Coquillette | Skillshare

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Watercolor a Seamless Pattern: Surface Design in Adobe Photoshop for Print-On-Demand

teacher avatar Cat Coquillette, Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (3h 46m)
    • 1. Let's Go!

    • 2. Q&A: Surface Design

    • 3. Supplies

    • 4. Your Concept

    • 5. Sketching

    • 6. Painting

    • 7. Digitizing

    • 8. Removing the Background

    • 9. Prep Your Elements

    • 10. Arrange the Block

    • 11. Fill the Pattern

    • 12. Color Exploration

    • 13. Metallic Accents

    • 14. Saving

    • 15. Uploading to POD

    • 16. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Want to learn how to turn your hand-painted artwork into seamless patterns in Adobe Photoshop? Repeat patterns are key to succeeding in surface design, especially with fabrics, wallpaper, and home decor products.

In this class, you’ll learn the full process, from watercolor painting to arranging your pattern on your computer, so you can sell your designs online through print-on-demand (POD) websites like Spoonflower, Society6, and Redbubble.


I’ve sold over 100,000 products on Society6 alone. Learning professional techniques to digitize and enhance your patterns is crucial for selling your artwork online.

In this class, you’re going to learn the exact steps I take to prepare my seamless pattern files for print-on-demand sites like Society6, Spoonflower and Redbubble, as well as art licensing in general.


We’ll focus on the key steps to take when creating professional repeat patterns:

  • Paint or draw your illustrations by hand.
  • Digitize your artwork through scanning or photographing.
  • Arrange your elements in Photoshop using the Pattern Fill tool.
  • Create a variety of on-trend color palettes.
  • Infuse metallic textures into your artwork.
  • Arrange into a perfect seamless pattern.
  • Upload your designs to print-on-demand sites.


One key factor for success with passive income streams like art  licensing and print-on-demand is making sure your artwork translates beautifully from paper to screen. This class will be tailored to that process.

There is so much more to the process than just painting your design and arranging it into a seamless pattern to sell online. What you do in-between those actions can make the difference between an average piece and a best-seller.


Class Assets:

  • Download your Bonus Freebies here.
  • Free trial of Photoshop here.
  • See my full list of Supply Recommendations here.


Who this class is for:

  • Artists
  • Surface Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Anyone interested in art licensing


Ready for your next class? Take a deep dive into color alterations here:

Meet Your Teacher

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Cat Coquillette

Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

Top Teacher

Hello there! I'm Cat Coquillette.

I'm a location-independent artist, entrepreneur, and educator. I run my entire creative brand, CatCoq, from around the world. My "office" changes daily, usually a coffee shop, co-working space, or airport terminal somewhere in the world. 

My brand aspires to not only provide an exhilarating aesthetic rooted in an appreciation for culture, travel and the outdoors, but through education, I inspire my students to channel their natural curiosity and reach their full potential.

CatCoq artwork and designs are licensed worldwide in stores including Urban Outfitters, Target, Barnes & Noble, Modcloth, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, among many others. ... See full profile

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1. Let's Go!: [MUSIC] Hey, there. My name is Cat Coquillette, and I am here to teach you how to illustrate gorgeous seamless patterns. Seamless patterns are hands down the most important type of design that you want to have in your portfolio, if you want to succeed in surface design. In today's class, you're going to learn the entire process from sketching your elements to filling them in. Then digitizing your artwork, either with a phone or a scanner, if you have one. Then you'll learn the steps for arranging your illustrations into a professional, seamless pattern. We're also going to explore fun stuff like creating new color palettes and infusing metallic accents right into your artwork. If you're already entirely overwhelmed, hear me out. Seamless patterns do not have to be scary. In fact, Photoshop has a tool called Pattern Preview, which makes creating seamless patterns easier than ever before. All of the math and perfect placement that we used to have to do is now completely automated, thanks to this simple tool. If you've never explored Photoshop before, no worries. This is a beginner-friendly class. I'll be breaking everything down into easy, bite-sized chunks. You're not going to get lost or left behind. If you don't have Photoshop, you can download a free trial. I provided a link to that in the class description down below. One of the most common misconceptions is that in order to sell or license your surface designs, they must be vector or work created in Adobe Illustrator. Guess what? The vast majority of my surface design portfolio is not vector art. It's artwork that I've hand-painted with watercolors. In fact, my most recent wallpaper line that just got selected for Target is a seamless pattern out of, you guessed it, one of my watercolor paintings. To be totally honest, this was one of my biggest motivations for creating this class. It is 100 percent possible to succeed in surface design using hand-painted artwork. Today, I want to show you how. In fact, I'm kicking this class off by answering the most asked questions I get from students regarding surface design and art licensing. I'll give you my best advice when it comes to questions like, can I sell my design through multiple websites? What are the optimal dimensions for patterns? How did you score your first licensing deal? How can a beginner get noticed in surface design? Essentially, I'm taking years worth of industry knowledge, and condensing it down into the most essential things you need to know when it comes to growing your own surface design portfolio. This is an all-encompassing class, and you're going to get the full skill. We'll start by coming up with a concept for what your pattern will be. This is where I pepper in my best tips for creating designs that have a strong potential to sell well. Then you'll learn how to sketch your idea onto paper. From there, you can fill it in using watercolors like I'll be demonstrating or any other medium that you prefer. Next, you'll learn how to scan or photograph your artwork so you can bring your hand-painted illustrations into Photoshop to arrange into a perfect, seamless pattern. We'll end the class with a demonstration for how to upload your artwork to print-on-demand websites so you can start selling your designs as soon as you finish this class. I've sold over a million products through art licensing, and 100,000 of those were through Society6. I'll be sharing my best tips for succeeding through print-on-demand websites just like this. In fact, all throughout this class, I'll be sharing my strategies for creating designs that are strong sellers. You'll learn why I always include my signature in my artwork, and how you can do the same, plus how to choose motifs that tend to sell really well. If this is resonating with you, you are going to love this class. Just like many of my other Skillshare classes, I'm packing this one with tons of freebies. I've put together 20 metallic textures of foils and glitters in a rainbow of colors. This is more metallic than I have ever shared before. I'll show you how to infuse metallic accents into your artwork to add some shimmer and shine. I'm also giving you a watercolor paper texture that's prepped just for this class. It'll fit perfectly into your pattern. It is time to dive right in. But before we begin, don't forget to follow me on Skillshare by clicking that follow button at the top. This means, you'll get an email as soon as I launch my next class or have a big announcement to share with my students. You can also follow me on Instagram @catcoq, and I am all about social media engagements. Without further ado, let's get started in creating beautiful artwork to turn into a seamless pattern. [MUSIC] 2. Q&A: Surface Design: [MUSIC] Before we kick things off, I'm going to start by answering the six questions that I get the most often when it comes to a surface design and seamless patterns. Question 1, what is a repeat pattern for? Seamless patterns are the most versatile surface design pattern type out there. What makes them so magical is the blocks will line up perfectly, which means the pattern can be scaled up infinitely. This is the key to creating designs that work well on wallpaper, fabrics, bedding, you name it. If you're interested in surface design, seamless patterns are a must. Bonus, this opens up the door for you to start uploading your designs to print on-demand websites like Spoonflower, where you can start earning an income with your artwork. Question 2, raster versus vector. Real quick, if you're wondering what the difference is between raster images and vector images, I've got you covered. Raster means that the artwork is comprised of pixels. When I scan my painting into the computer and zoom way in, you'll see that this artwork is made up of teeny-tiny pixels. If you expand this design and blow it up to huge proportions, you'll see the pixels, they get all fuzzy. This is why I scan my artwork in at massively large dimensions. By capturing my original paintings with extremely high-quality with my scanner, I can enlarge this artwork to be huge without it getting blurry. But there is a limit, and once I hit that limit, it'll get fuzzy. With vector artwork, this isn't a concern. No matter how large you scale up your vector artwork, it will always look the exact same. This is because vector artwork is made up of lines, points, curves, and shapes that are all based on mathematical formulas. When you draw shapes in Adobe Illustrator, these illustrations are vector-based. Vector artwork is incredibly versatile because there's no limits on how large or how small you scale your illustrations. I actually love vector style art and I create a lot of vector illustrations in my portfolio, but I also love the feeling of a hand painted illustration. I want to clear up a myth that I have heard over and over again. Everyone thinks that professional patterns must be done in Adobe Illustrator and they must be vector. Guess what? Ninety-nine percent of my patterns aren't vectorized. Many of them are hand painted elements that I did in watercolor or acrylic, which I don't vectorize because I love the imperfections of hand created artwork, especially visible brushstrokes, dynamic color blending and watercolor blooms, even wobbly edges that make hand created artwork so charming. Today's class focuses on hand-drawn, rasterized elements. You can follow along with watercolor like I'll be demonstrating, or you can import artwork that you've drawn in Procreate, or just use a marker and doodle some shapes. All of these methods will work for today's class. Question 3, can I sell the same pattern through different companies? Yap, and I do this all the time. I have the same artwork available through Spoonflower, Society6, Redbubble, even the in-store licensing partners I have like Urban Outfitters and ModCloth. We'll dive more into this later on in this class when I walk you through a typical upload process. But know this for now, as long as the contract includes that this is a non-exclusive licensing agreements, you're good to go. Just a heads up, some companies will send you a legal document to review, which is sometimes called an artist agreements. Other companies, especially print on-demand sites like Society6, have this in their terms of service. Also called terms and conditions on other platforms. Wherever the legal language is stored, you want to find it, read it, and make sure it says non-exclusive for the way that you license your designs. Question 4, what's better, Photoshop or Procreate? I use both of these programs and I love them both for different reasons. You can make seamless patterns in both Photoshop and Procreate. I even have another Skillshare class that teaches you exactly how to do some in Procreate, but ultimately you have more flexibility in Photoshop. In Photoshop, there's less restrictions on the dimension of your canvas or how many layers you use. Procreate restricts both, which means it's tricky to work in large canvas sizes with a lot of layers. As you're about to find out in this class, I love giant canvases. Speaking of layer restrictions, I am really glad that Photoshop isn't strict about this, because when we get into exploring various color palettes, we're going to have a lot of layers. I like how in Photoshop we can keep all of our color explorations in one canvas. It makes it easier and more organized. Also, it's really easy to test out your pattern in Photoshop. It's all automated for us so we don't have to stack our blocks manually, like we do in Procreate. In Photoshop, it's also super easy to adjust the size of your pattern with just one click using our pattern fill tool. All this being said, Procreate is still a fabulous option, especially if you don't have Photoshop. Procreate is also a good option if you want to keep your entire process within the same program, from sketch to final to pattern, you can do all of this within Procreate. I use Procreate to draw new illustrations from scratch. I don't do this in Photoshop because it's hard for me to draw naturally with a mouse. But with Procreate, I can hold my stylus like a pencil and create beautiful hand-drawn illustrations. For me, that's how I differentiate the two. Procreate is a great tool for drawing original artwork, Photoshop is a great tool for polishing up your artwork and turning it into patterns. Question 5, how did you get your first licensing deal? My first big break was actually Urban Outfitters. I know I started with a bang. I had been selling my designs through Society6 for a few years, and at that point, all of my income was coming through print on-demand, no licensing deals yet. I was actually in line about to go through security at LAX and my phone buzzed. It was an email from a buyer at Urban Outfitters and they were interested in licensing my Good Vibes design. I completely freaked out in a good way because this was my first big break. They found my design on Society6, and I had my Instagram account linked in my bio. The buyer stalked my Instagram, found Good Vibes and then reached out to me directly. This is one of those reasons why having a presence on print on-demand sites is so strategic. It's not always about sales, sometimes it's about getting exposure and having a place where people can find you, reach out and maybe strike up a new deal. I'm going to dive deeper into this one later on when we get to the upload section of this class. Finally, Question 6, how do you get your artwork noticed? Every artist has their own story for their first big break, and I just shared mine. But here's my best advice for anyone who wants to get noticed in the surface design industry today. It's important to have a strong commercial friendly body of work. What I mean by that is two things. One, you're actively adding new designs to your portfolio, even if that portfolio is simply your Instagram page. The first part is easy. Be Be artist and make new designs. We loved that part. The second part comes with a bit more strategy. You want to create designs that sell well, don't we all? What's worked best for me personally is to keep an eye on trends and create new artwork that keys in on what's popular or soon to be so. I spend a lot of time browsing websites that resonate with my own audience to see what they're selling. If anthropology has a ton of animal print this season, chances are animal print is on trend, and if anthropology customers are buying it, chances are mine are as well. We have a very similar audience. I always infuse my own unique artistic voice into my designs. I'm not copying trends, I'm simply getting inspiration for motifs. Lastly, if you want to succeed as a surface designer, my number one best piece of advice is to get started before you're ready. I've heard from so many students that they're waiting until they have X number of pieces in their portfolio before they start their Spoonflower shop, or they don't want to share their artwork on social media yet because it's not ready. Reality check, we all start with zero followers and zero sales, and we build up from there. If I waited until I felt ready, I would still be waiting. My advice is to put yourself out there as hard as that can be, because as soon as you do so, you'll have a foundation that you can start building upon. This is how we grow as artists, we create, learn from our mistakes, improve, and then create even more. It's a process that never stops. As soon as you put yourself out there and get started, the sooner you'll find your own success. [MUSIC] I wanted to squeeze a little pep talk in there. Now that that's covered, let's get started by going over the supplies for today's class. 3. Supplies: [MUSIC] This class is divided into two chunks. First, we'll be painting by hand with watercolor. Then we'll be working on the computer in Photoshop. For the watercolors and keeping it pretty simple today, I've pulled a few pans right here from my Winsor and Newton professional watercolor set. The full set is up in here with a lot of different colors and I decided again, let's keep the palate pretty simple and I just pulled these four. The four colors that I pulled are cobalt turquoise light, indigo, cadmium orange, and opera rose. These are the four colors I'm using, but I encourage you to follow along with whatever color pallet speaks to you. As you're choosing your colors, I would definitely encourage you to consider more of a minimal color palette. I'm only choosing four colors here, but even the orange and the pink go really well together and the indigo and the turquoise again pair really well together. Less is always better than more when it comes to sophisticated color palettes with watercolor. Maybe just choose a small handful of colors to work with. You actually don't even have to use watercolors if you're following along. Every single step of turning your hand-drawn illustration into a seamless pattern is going to be the exact same regardless of your medium. You can use watercolors like I'm using, or you could follow along using colored pencils, markers, acrylic, gouache, even Procreate illustrations if you'd like. I actually draw a lot of my elements on my iPad using Procreate and then I'll bring them into Photoshop, later on, to arrange into a seamless pattern. You can choose your own art medium to follow along with today and I'll be demonstrating with my favorite, which is watercolor. I'm going to go ahead and close this since I know these are the four colors I'll be using. More fun stuff, brushes. When it comes to watercolor brushes, I'm not an elitist by any means. This is a pack of brushes that I found on Amazon. They come down to about $1 per brush, so they're pretty cheap. Instead of talking about brands I look for, I'm going to talk about the attributes that I look for in a good watercolor brush. First and foremost, they should be labeled as watercolor brushes. A watercolor brush is a brush that is going to hold a lot more water in the bristles than a standard acrylic or oil painting brush. I'm just dropping all my supplies today. If you're shopping for watercolor brushes, just make sure that you're looking specifically for watercolor brushes. Let's talk about sizes for these brushes. My smallest brush right here is actually a size 1. My medium brush is a size 5, and then this guy right here, which is my bigger brush, is actually a size 9. If you're wondering what this giant brush right here is, this is the brush that I use to erase the pencil marks off the page when I'm finished erasing. I actually even use this on my scanner to clean the scanner bed if there's little bits of dust and particles on there. I don't actually paint with this brush. It's just my archaeologist brush for removing imperfections from my paper and the scanner. Next up, pencil and eraser. I like using these clicker erasers because you can get a lot more fine-tuned with the way you erase. It's like erasing with a pencil. It feels very intuitive to hold. If I'm erasing really tight detail areas, these clicker erasers are really great for that. The other eraser I use is my kneaded eraser. This is just a gummy eraser. It's silly putty. The way that I use this is for lightening my sketch on my paper. When I finished sketching my composition, what I'll do is I'll take my kneaded eraser and just simply blot it on the page like this, which will help lengthen my overall sketch. With watercolor, once your paint is over those pencil marks, you can no longer erase it. You can always erase pencil marks that are just purely on your paper with no paint over them. But as soon as paint goes over those pencil marks and dries, you won't be able to erase them later. For that reason, it's really important to make sure that your sketch is as light as possible. The lighter the sketch, the less likely it's going to show up in your final painting. Speaking of that, that is why I use a very hard lead pencil; 3H is a pretty hard lead pencil, which means if I'm barely making a mark on my page, it's barely going to show up. The name of the game with watercolor again is to make sure that those pencil marks aren't showing through very prominently in your paintings. A little bit is always okay but if they're really dark pencil marks, it could compromise the effect of your watercolor. Again, for that reason, I prefer hard lead pencils because the mark will barely show up on the page as I draw. This lead is very hard. Hard lead is indicated by H. Anything that has an H on it, a 3H, 5H, 1H, that's all going to mean hard lead pencils. For me, I found that 3H is my sweet spot. This is what I'll be using today to actually do our sketch. Next step with painting is the water dish. I'm just going to be using a mug. This is actually one of my designs that I have sold on Society6, and it makes for a fantastic coffee in the morning as well as water dish when I'm painting in the afternoon. One thing to think about with water dishes is you don't want to drink the paint water, it's really gross and if you have a tea over here and your water dish over here, it can be really easy to grab the wrong thing and take a sip. Don't do that. One way that I remind myself that this is a water dish, do not drink is I put a little piece of tape over the top. Since I started doing this, it has massively cut down on my paint water consumption. A little pro tip for you today. Last but not least, the final art supply that you'll need for the painting portion of this class is paper. I'm going to be painting with watercolor. I'm using watercolor paper, and that's actually really important. With watercolor, there's a lot of water on the pigment as you're painting with your brush. The thicker the paper, the better for you. What I look for in watercolor paper is one, it is designated as watercolor paper. That's the most important thing. If it says it's watercolor paper, that means that it can handle having all of that paint and water on a brush on the page. It's not going to buckle and bend. It'll be durable and able to withstand your watercolor. I prefer using a 300 series, which is mid-range in terms of thickness within your watercolor paper, 100 is very light thin paper. I think it goes up to 500, and that's the heaviest weight watercolor paper, 100 is a little bit cheaper, five or 600 is the most expensive. But again, 300 is my sweet spot because I don't use a ton of water on my page. If you're a watercolor artist and you always find that your paper is bending and buckling, maybe you need to up that series and go to the next higher level and see if that's better for you. But for me, 300 is the way to go. The last thing I'm going to point out with watercolor paper is I look for cold press watercolor paper. What that means is the paper is a little bit bumpier and has more of a tooth to it. Hot-press will be very smooth watercolor paper, cold press is bumpy. I love that texture. I always go for bumpy, which is cold press. In terms of the size of your watercolor paper, I usually paint on 11 by 15. That's my comfort zone. I know some artists that prefer smaller pads of paper, some that prefer much larger. I recommend just using whatever works best for you and your painting style. One more thing I want to mention with painting, paper towels will be your best friend. I smear and spill and smudge my paints all the time and people think watercolors are very unforgiving, which they totally can be but by getting to spills fast enough, you can actually remedy a lot of those mistakes as soon as they happen. I'll be showing you how to do that as well in the painting portion of this class. But for now, paper towels have them on hand. Now, the second portion of this class is all happening on your computer screen. First of all, you'll need something to digitize your paintings. I'm actually going to be using a scanner. This is a V19 Epson photo scanner. If you don't have a scanner, you can also use a camera or your phone. For professional surface design, scanners are best because they will capture the highest resolution images. But if you're just curious about how to make patterns and you want to have fun and explore, don't feel like you have to go splurge on a scanner. You can always just use a camera or your phone instead. The techniques that you'll be learning later on in Photoshop are universal, no matter what you use to digitize your artwork, whether it's a phone, a scanner, or your camera. Diving a little deeper into scanners, my favorite brand of scanners is definitely Epson. Epson usually releases a new model of their photo scanner every year. Mine is the V19. I bought it in 2020. There's definitely going to be a newer, better, more improved version out there right now. Whether you're using your phone, camera, scanner, we'll get more into that digitizing later and I'll be covering all three bases just to make sure you have some device that can capture your artwork and digitize it to be playing with later on in Photoshop. Speaking of Photoshop, that's the next supply you'll need. You want to have an updated version of Photoshop up and running on your computer as well. If you don't have Photoshop, no worries. You can actually download a free trial online. I provided a link down below so that you can score that as well. Now for the goodies. Just for taking my class today, you are getting a ton of freebies. You'll get a high-res watercolor paper texture. This is what I use in my own professional artwork. Plus you'll get a bundle of metallic textures so that you can infuse some shimmer and shine into your designs. I've included metallic textures as a freebie for some of my other classes but this is the first time that I'm including these glitter metallics. These are actually sheets of glitter paper that I have scanned into my computer at a very high resolution and optimized specifically for today's class. They are all sized to fit your canvas perfectly. Don't worry, we'll actually be getting into exactly how to use these textures later on in today's class. I have all of these freebie files ready for you to download on Dropbox. Just go to catcoq.com/seamless and you'll be able to access all of the bonus freebies just by typing in your name and email. This will also unlock access to my newsletters where I share, you guessed it, even more freebies. Also, updates and artists' resources to help you along with your creative journey. Last but not least, I want this class to be as accessible as possible. I'm giving you permission if you'd like to, to skip ahead to the second portion of this class, which is all about turning your watercolor illustrations into a seamless pattern in Photoshop. If you want to use your own hand-drawn illustrations and then just skip ahead straight to that part, you're very welcome to do so. But of course, I definitely encourage you to follow along with the watercolor portion as well because that's where it will be sharing my best tips for choosing motifs that are very strong sellers, creating our elements in the most optimal method, especially for seamless patterns and my professional advice for painting in a way that's going to make that digitizing portion of this class so much easier. My recommendation is definitely sticking with me from start to finish of this class. Let's dive straight in, starting with choosing your subject matter. 4. Your Concept: [MUSIC] You have two options for what you want to paint today. Option 1 is to paint right alongside me and follow along with the same example I'm doing to create my seamless pattern. This is a great option if you're fairly new to watercolors and you'd be more comfortable following my lead, I am here to show you the way. Option 2, is to paint right alongside me, but come up with your own pattern. You'll still get my exact same tips for the considerations I make when I'm hand painting my elements, like the sizing of each piece and not to crop anything off the page, and painting in a way that's going to make removing that background so much easier. All of those juicy tips and more. The big bonus here, if you decide to go with option 2, which is painting your own pattern, is you will be able to sell that pattern later on, whether it's on Etsy or Spoonflower or Society6, or anywhere else, if you create your own pattern, you will own that copyright and you can do whatever you want with it. If you follow along with my exact example, and you also paint these flowers and leaves exactly the way I'm doing, that's great, and that will be for practice only, but you won't be able to monetize it later on. Feel free to follow along with my exact floral pattern so you can practice and learn, or follow along creating your own unique pattern if you want to monetize it later. Let's talk about choosing a motif. When it comes to choosing your subject, you literally have endless possibilities. I've created seamless patterns out of sushi, cicada wings, mushrooms, unicorns, bananas, hot air balloons, bunnies, rainbows, otters, peaches, disco balls. You get the idea. Choose a subject matter that speaks to you. Today I'll be demonstrating a seamless pattern with the motif that is always on-trend, florals. Floral patterns are the evergreen constant of surface design. Floral patterns have historically sold very well and they'll continue to do so. That's what I mean when I say evergreen trend; simply put, florals will never go out of style. This is great news for me as a surface designer because I know that if I paint a floral pattern, it has a pretty good chance of becoming a strong seller in my portfolio now and for years to come. The other reason that floral patterns tend to sell so well is because they look really good on a huge variety of products. In my licensing portfolio, I have florals available as wallpaper, journals and planners, stationary cards, duvets and bedding sets, even dishware and gifting products. Home décor is definitely my sweet spot for florals. Flower patterns look really good on rugs, pillows, curtains, and bedspreads, plus flowers and leaves are just plain fun to paint. I have created a ton of floral-inspired artwork over the years. Even though it's the exact same motif, flowers, I try to make each design a little bit different. I've done bold and graphic floral shapes, dainty and feminine flowers, holiday florals like poinsettias, retro-inspired groovy floral prints, watercolor, gouache, acrylic, vector, and procreate florals. The point is there are an infinite number of ways that you can depict a floral pattern. One thing I want to add is this class is going to provide you with a ton of really good content that you can share on social media. Any behind the scenes that you can share that shows your art process always does really well on social. Here's a quick and effective way that you can show your art process into creating a seamless pattern. I started with a final pattern because that's the most compelling image, plus it's going to make my grid on Instagram look really good. Next, I show my original pencil sketch and then a half-completed painting, and finally a few mockups to show how it looks on actual products. My customers, social media followers, and licensing clients also love seeing this behind the scenes. Especially since more up-close and personal stories behind the designs really make the artwork feel a little bit more personal. This example has only photos, but as you're following along creating your own pattern, you could do photos or videos as well. Videos are especially great if you want to create an Instagram reel or put together your own TikTok and plus video on social media tends to get a little bit better engagement than just stills. As you go, if you want to use your phone to snap some videos and photos showing your process from start to finish, it'll give you some really nice and juicy content to show later when you're promoting your design on social media. That was a little segue, but good social media tips. Anyway, yeah. You can choose option 1, which is follow along with my exact florals. Or you could do your own version of a floral pattern, following along with my same motif making it uniquely yours or something else entirely. Once you have your concept and visions and you're ready to go, it's time for the fun part, which is sketching it out on paper. 5. Sketching: [MUSIC] Time to sketch. The supplies I have on hand over here are a piece of blank watercolor paper, a sketching pencil. Remember mine is a 3H. If you don't have exactly a 3H, it's not a big deal. Just remember when you're sketching to be sketching as light as possible. If you're using a mechanical pencil or you have a different lead, no worries. I also have an eraser, actually two erasers on hand. I have my clicker racer right over here and remember, this is for erasing very fine areas. Then I also have my kneaded eraser, which remember is for when we finish that sketch, pressing and lifting it off the page to lighten it. A piece of scrap paper, so this is actually the backside of a little color study I did, a little practice illustration. I can use this to practice some thumbnail sketches. Later on, we can test out some paint colors on a scrap paper. It's just a handy thing to have on hand. Pro-tip. This practice paper can also be used as a protective boundary between your palm and your paper as you paint. Remember as you sketch or paint, it's really important not to have your skin touching the paper that much because the oils of your hand release onto the paper and it becomes a little tricky to fill in those areas when you're painting later on. If you have a piece of scrap paper, you can really just use that to rest your palm as you sketch if you want to be as extra as I am. When it comes to repeat patterns that feel like a really nice full snug fit, I found that what works best is to have three different sizes of elements. Over here, I went ahead and painted the example before we painted just to practice. The three different sizes here are the one big hero element. The hero element is just that. It's one big illustration that will take up most of the space on the pattern. Your medium elements, and in this case I have two can be arranged around your hero element when you're putting your pattern together. All of the little detail elements can be fit into the gaps to help fill the space. One big hero, a couple of medium, and then a handful of little details that you can use to fill in the gaps of your seamless pattern. The result will be this very cohesive, fleshed-out design that is really easy to piece together. Trust me, that three sides technique has made my pattern design life so much easier. Let's get into it. I already have my example over here. I'm just going to set it off to the side as a visual reference as we go. Let's go ahead and start with our hero element. Remember this is the largest element that you'll be creating in your pattern. Real quick, remember when you're using your pencil, draw very lightly on your page. But for me, I'm actually going to be drawing pretty hard because I want you up on the camera to actually be able to see what I'm doing. I'll be drawing very dark and heavy on my page, but as you follow along, keep it very light and airy. I'm going to start with that stem. I'm simply going to draw it out like this. It's a very nice slight curved line. As you can see, I only drew one line to represent this stem over here even though in my painting I have some thinner areas, some thicker areas, we don't need to sketch out every little detail like the width of the stem as we're sketching on our paper. In fact, it's better to keep as few pencil marks as possible on your page. I don't draw every single little detail because I don't want a bunch of pencil marks muddling up my final watercolors. Instead, as few marks on the paper is better. This is why having some scrap paper might be helpful for you. You can sketch out your motif a few different times until you feel comfortable doing the final sketch on your actual paper. If you want to practice a little bit on your scrap paper, that's completely fine. Once you're ready, you can go ahead and take those sketches and make it final on your watercolor paper. I'm going to go back to my final paper and work on that hero elements. It looks like I have one primary stem and then maybe a stem coming off on one angle like this and maybe I'll do the blooms. I'll do 1, 2. Remember this is way too dark, but I want you to be able to see what I'm doing. But as you follow along very light and gentle sketches. I'll do the other bloom. It doesn't have to be an incredibly realistic sketch. Mine is a very interpretive idea of what a flower arrangement might look like. It's pretty heavy on the right side. I'm going to add a larger stem over here to help balance that out a little bit. Perfect. My hero is completed. It's time to move on to those medium elements. One thing to note is you'll notice that no part of my hero element is getting cropped off the page, and this is very intentional. You want to make sure that all of your elements are depicted in full, nothing is getting cut off the page. Remember, you'll be cutting apart these elements and moving them all around your digital art board, rotating, flipping, resizing, all that fun stuff. A full uncropped element is going to work a lot better than something that gets abruptly cut off the page. Even though these flower stems, theoretically, continue down into the ground and turn into roots, I don't necessarily need to show all of those details. Instead, I'll just taper those edges in a way that looks very pleasing and it's going to be great when I arrange it into a seamless pattern later on. If you're following along and you're choosing a different motif, maybe it's a cherry blossom branch, you don't need to show that branch necessarily extending onto the tree, the tree trunk, the roots, the leaves, all of that. You can just find a way to selectively taper the edge of that branch so that it looks nice and natural. For me, I usually round my edges or a taper them into a fine point. We'll get more into this as we're painting. Something I want to point out real quick, I don't care too much about messing up my sketch on this paper. I'm painting all of these elements specifically so that I can rearrange them later on into a repeat pattern in photoshop. This original artwork is probably never going to be hung on a wall or presented in a gallery. It's simply one part of a longer process. Because of that, this paper is not precious to me. If I mess up one of my flowers, I'll simply paint another one right next to it and then not use that first one. I'm only going to be using the good stuff later on when it comes to pulling these elements together into a pattern. I might even test out my paint pans on the same paper as well just to see what's working best. This is why I like working on large paper like this because it gives me a little bit more room to explore and play, see what's working, see what's not working. Plus, I don't have to feel stressed about making an absolutely perfect. If it doesn't work, just paint right next to it. If I drop a big blob of water on my paper, no worries, that will never show up in the final pattern because I'll just remove it in photoshop. Maybe it takes you a few tries before you paint that perfect flower or mousse or banana or whatever motifs you're following along with, that's completely fine. You're going to use the best ones later on in your pattern in photoshop. The dots are just going to sink into oblivion. Just keep this in mind as you go. This paper is for exploration and play, will keep the good stuff, toss the bad stuff, no worries. Next step, it is time for the medium elements. I usually do between one and three medium elements. Today I'm going to stick with two; a front-facing bloom and then a head-on shot of the flower. Just to make things a little bit easier, I'm going to use my water dish, trace around it so that I can get a good estimation of this flower. Perfect. A center area and then a few blooms. Perfect. Now for the final medium element is this front-facing flower. Again, pretty simple. A nice little curvy stem. Some leaves coming out and then that top bloom. Finally, it's time for the detailed elements. Remember, these are the little guys you'll be using later on to fill the gaps of your pattern. I want to keep my overall floral theme really strong and consistent so my detailed elements are going to be pulled from the exact same motifs that I just painted. Instead of a full flower, it'll be a few individual petals and some leaves. I'm also going to include a few small budding flowers and dots. Dots are always really good when you're trying to fill in very small gaps. Dots will be your best friends. This is going to give me a really nice variety to use later on. Plus, the details are going to be all similar shapes and colors to the hero in medium, which is going to help my pattern feel a lot more cohesive. Let's go ahead and draw in some of these detailed elements. I'll start with these budding flowers over here. Curvy line, same as before. I'll just do one leaf, a stem coming out this way. Maybe this one is just a bud and this one can be a full bloom. Then I'll do another one over here. This one can be two buds and one big leaf. Then the individual petals, which are very, very simplified shapes and a couple of leaves. I'll do one full flower from the side. For the dots, I don't actually have to draw those. I know how to paint a circle, so I'm just going to put a little star here to remind me to do those dots. That is it. Your sketch should look very simple, as few lines as possible, and very light pencil marks. Remember, if you want to go ahead and lighten up your marks even further so that you can just barely see them as you paint, you can use your eraser and just very, very gently erase on your page like this until it's very, very faint and you can barely see it. Or if you have a kneaded eraser like this, you can simply use that kneaded eraser, press it on your paper, and pull it up to lighten that sketch even further. But remember, I'm going to skip that step because I want you guys to be able to see my sketch very clearly on the camera. Pro-tip, like I was mentioning earlier with collecting footage as you go to use for social media posts because they look really good, this would be a really great place to start. If you want to put together a reel or an Instagram post showing the process, go ahead and snap a few photos of what your sketch looks like, or maybe do a nice panning video across your sketch and you can use that later when you're showing the behind the scenes process for how you created this beautiful pattern. Once you feel like you're at a pretty great place with your sketch, it's time for the very fun part, which is getting out your paints, colored pencils, markers, whatever you're following along with, and we're going to start filling in our shapes with color. 6. Painting: [MUSIC] Now it's time for the very fun part, which is actually painting on your page. The supplies I have on hand for this are one, my final sketch on watercolor paper, I have three brushes here. Again, they're in size 1, size 5, and size 9, these are my nice detail brushes. Then I have four pans that I've gone ahead and pulled out of my Winsor & Newton watercolor palette. You can follow along with whatever colors you'd like to. But again, here's my example, I just really like the way that these colors are working together. This is what I'm using, but feel free to follow along with whatever colors you like. I've also got my water dish with my do not drink tape and emergency paper towels just in case I need them. Let's go ahead and get started. Then I'm also going to be using my scrap paper to rest my palm so that I'm not getting my hand oils all over the page. You don't have to do it, it's completely optional, but it's nice to have your hand resting on something as you paint. I'm going to start with my petals up here and I want those to be primarily pink and then have a touch of orange coming in with them. I'm going to start by using my number 9 medium brush and really filling in that pan so that it gets nice and saturated with water. Sometimes I'll do color mixing on a separate palette, but for today, I want to keep it really simple and I'm going to be pulling it straight from the pan. When you use colors right from the tube or the pan, whatever your medium is, that's going to be the most vibrant and bright colors. I'm not going to be doing a ton of mixing, the mixing I'll be doing, again, is on the page. I have a nice even coating on my brush, lots of water on their pro tip with watercolor. If you're ever feeling like you're losing control or it's getting messy, add more water because it'll make brush control a lot easier. I've got a nice juicy pan up here. I'm going to go ahead and start filling in that main flower. I'm using my large brush to get these larger sections. Then when it comes to the edges, I'm actually going to switch over to my tinier detail brush. Same thing, I'll fill it in that pan, get it nice and coated with water and then what I'll do is use the edges very carefully of this brush to really fine-tune the way that the pigment is blending on the page. One thing I want to point out here is I'm actually using my pencil marks to indicate where those white space areas are going to be. I'm not actually painting over my pencil marks, of course, I am going to sometimes as a mistake, no worries. But for the most part, I want those pencil marks to actually indicate where there's no paint. If you look over here at my example, these spaces in-between the petals were originally pencil marks. Once the paint dried, all I had to do was erase out the pencil marks and because the paint wasn't actually over them, they erased perfectly from the page. As you're painting in consider those pencil marks as the boundary between where the paint should stop and end. Now I'm going to show you how I blend colors on page. I'm going to fill up my detail brush with a nice little bit of this orange. Honestly, this orange pigment is so strong, so a little bit goes a long way. I've got a nice even coating on my brush here and I'm simply going to dip right here in the center and let it just naturally pull out to the other areas of that petal. We're getting this really nice effect here, where the outer areas of the petal are bright pink and the inner areas have more of an orange tone and they blend together really nicely in the center. I'm going to use my medium brush for this actually. The larger brush, even though it's relatively small, it's actually a little too big for these petals. I'm going to go back to my number 5 and fill in the other petals using that same technique. Now with the pink area filled in, we'll go ahead, grab a little bit of that orange and just dip, dip, dip right in one area until it gently pulls out to the rest. Remember, you can always switch between brushes. You can use a larger brush for larger sections and then switch to a smaller detail brush to really fine-tune those edges, I do this all the time. Let's dab a little bit of orange in that center area and just see what happens as it begins to dry. Now that I have that flower petal entirely filled in, I'm going to go ahead and do the rest of the pinkish, orangey areas on my entire composition simply because I want to keep that paint water nice and fresh. If I were to do my blue stem right now, then that paint water would get a lot muddier and then the next time I wanted to do my pink area, it will get duller and duller. I could go ahead and paint my stem, go dump out my paint water, get new paint water, but I'm being a little lazy, so I'm just going to go ahead and do all of the pink areas first, dump out that water, and then do all of the blue, green areas. That way, again, the pigments will stay really nice and vibrant because the water will be clean the entire time. Remember, you can always rest your hand on your scrap paper. I'll switch to have been a little bit of that orange. Now for larger areas like this big front-facing petal, I'm going to switch to my largest of my detail brushes, which is a size 9. Remember, lots of water will make it a lot easier for you. If you go over the pencil marks like I'm doing here, it's not the end of the world. They'll be showing through once the paint dries, but a few pencil marks make it feel more authentically watercolor. Honestly, it's those imperfections that happen with watercolor that make it one of my favorite mediums to paint with. Dipping in that orange so that it naturally just blends in with that pink. Sometimes I'll do a few separate sections like this before I mix in that additional color, that orange, so the paint has a little bit more time to settle. It starts out so wet and goopy on the page. It's okay to do a few sections at once before you go back over and switch to your additional color and dip it in. [MUSIC] Oops, so I actually dropped a little bit of paint on my paper. But again, it's not the end of the world because I can just remove that in Photoshop later on. But I'm going to show you how you can actually remove that if it happened in an integral area or for a watercolor painting where you really wanted to cherish the original. I'm simply using paper towels and I'll press and lift up and it's pretty much gone. For my final areas, I think I'm going to have this last petal, in mostly orange, just to mix it up a little bit. This orange paint is so saturated and opaque, you barely need any to make a difference on your page. Cool, and I'm going to do the inverse of what I was doing before. I'm going to use just a tiny bit of pink to blend into that orange. That star is reminding me that I need to do two circles. I'm going to do a orangey-pink one, I'm going to do a bright pink one, and then a pure orange one. Perfect. That is it for the pinky orangey sections of my watercolor. Now I'm going to go ahead, dump out my paint water, start with fresh paint water and then go ahead and tackle the blue-green stem areas. Cool, now that we have this first layer completed, it's all of that pink, orangey tones, I've gone ahead, cleaned out my paint water, it's brand new. I'm going to go ahead and start on the second tone, which is going to be, again, those blue green leaves. Just like before, I'm going to work from left to right because I don't want to smear my paint as I go since I'm right-handed. I'm going to start by again filling up that turquoise palette and getting it nice and filled with pigment and an even coating on my brush. For this, I'm going to vary the pressure of my brush a little bit. Here, I'll show you on the practice paper. Instead of just having it be one monoline stroke like that, I'm actually going to vary the pressure where it goes light, heavy, light to get a nice variety in contrast in my shape. Feel free to do a few practice strokes on your practice paper or on your real paper right here, because again, we'll be cutting out the stuff we don't use. I'm going to start out light, heavy, and light. Perfect. [NOISE] I'm going to switch to my medium-sized brush and while that paint is all still wet, I'm going to dip in that really nice, deep indigo blue just to have some fun things happen on paper. Cool, and just like that orange, the indigo is really pigmented so a little bit of paint goes a long way. I'll switch to my medium brush, go back to my turquoise and start filling in these leaves. Remember when in doubt, always add more water. As you see here, I've switched to a smaller detail brush to get those edges nice and crisp. Then I'll do that dip with the indigo with my paint still wet to get some nice little color blends happening here. Again, more water will help you with that blending. Time for that next stem and same thing, I'll switch to that indigo, and just do a few little dips right onto the line there. Perfect. I'll go back to my turquoise and finish out these stems. There are some really fun things happening as these colors begin to blend together. Same thing, just dip in that indigo in bringing more water onto the areas to really encourage that blend. Same thing here, light, heavy, light pressure. I'll switch to the indigo color and just do some fun little drops in here to encourage that blending. It's constantly just switching between pens, between brush sizes. If it's ever not blending very well, just add more water into those sections and that'll really help the blend to take place. I have to be careful not to rest my palm on the wet areas of the paper. Maybe this second leaf will be predominantly indigo. One thing I want to point out here as I'm painting, is I'm not leaving a lot of white areas within the paint. It's all very deep and saturated and opaque and the reason I'm doing that, it's actually intentional, it's because when I scan these in later when you have a lot of lighter white areas within your painting, it becomes a little bit trickier to remove that white paper texture background. So as a default, when I paint, I try to make it a little bit more opaque and fill it in with more color. For me, the deeper and more saturated the pigment the better simply because it makes removing that background a little bit easier. Don't forget to go ahead and paint in your dots with your alternate color. At this point, I've gone ahead and completed my painting. The next step is I want to wait for this to dry in its entirety, here it is, my eraser before I use my eraser to erase out those errant pencil marks. It'll dry a lot faster if you put your paper under the sun or if you want to go even faster, you can use a hairdryer to gently blow hot air onto your paper, which will make it dry very quickly. One One thing I want to do before we forget is again, using my pencil, I'm going to do a few practice signatures on my page so that I have a signature that I can infuse somewhere into my pattern. Again, this page doesn't have to be perfect. Maybe try out a few. My signature is CatCoq. Actually, that one looks pretty good. I might just go with that. But feel free if you want to, to try out some different styles, some different types of signatures, and really find one that's working best for you. The most important thing in a signature, in my opinion, is that it's legible. So if someone ends up purchasing this pattern or an art print, they could easily see my signature on that piece, Google my name, and then find more examples of my work. When you find a signature that's working for you, just go ahead and put a little star by it and that will be your reminder to use that signature later on when we're digitizing. I'm using a pencil, but you could also do your signature with pen, marker, sharpie, anything goes. I'm going to let this dry in its entirety and then I will erase out the pencil marks and digitize it. 7. Digitizing: [MUSIC] It is time for the digitizing part of today's class. We're going to take our hand-drawn artwork and digitize it into a computer file. Remember, you have two options for how you digitize your file. Option 1 is to scan it in with a scanner and option 2 is to photograph it. First things first, before we get into any of that, your painting should be entirely dry, and the first thing you want to do is use an eraser and we're going to erase out all of those pencil marks. Remember, if you painted over a pencil mark like I did right here, you won't be able to erase that since the paint is over it, but you can still erase the pencil marks that are on the paper with no paint over them. This is where I use my archaeologist brush to brush the pencil marks off the page instead of using my hands. Once you have your pencil marks entirely erased from the page, except for your signature, it's time to go ahead and digitize our artwork. I'm going to demonstrate first with scanning. The first thing you want to do for your scanner is make sure that the scanning bed is entirely clean. I usually keep it pretty simple, I use my eyeglasses cleaner and then a microfiber cloth, it's the same thing I clean my computer screen glasses everything with. I spritz the cloth and clean my entire scanner bed. It's always surprising how much dust and grit gets stuck on the scanner bed between scans. If there's just a few dust particles, I'll pull out my same eraser brush and I'll use this just to move those dust pieces off the scanner bed as well. When I scan my artwork, as you can tell, the paper is actually bigger than the scanner bed itself. I usually wind up scanning in a few separate pieces and then fusing them together in Photoshop. But for today's class, we will still be scanning in separate pieces because my paper is huge, but we're not going to be necessarily fusing them together the way that I do with my standalone paintings that need to be kept as one entire image. For this project, I don't necessarily need to make sure that that scan is fused together absolutely perfectly because the idea of painting the separate elements is we'll be pulling them apart, rearranging them anyway. Again, that fuse isn't really necessary. But if you want to learn how to perfectly merge two or more scans together in Photoshop, check out my other Skillshare class. Digitize your art to sell online, prep your paintings for print-on-demand. The way I'm going to scan these is I want to make sure that all of my elements are perfectly encapsulated in each scan. That's probably going to mean a scan of these elements plus my signature, a scan of the medium elements, and then a scan of the detail elements. There's a chance I might be able to fit both of these on one scan, we'll just see what happens. But the important thing is, I don't want to cut any elements out of my skin and have to fuse them together. It's just extra work, I'd rather just perfectly capture them in the scan to save a step later on. In my case, I'm going to start by placing my paper on the scanner bed like this, I'll close my scanner bed, [NOISE] do one scan, and pro tip, if you're scanning in multiple sections of your paper, make sure that you keep it at the same orientation for each scan. Don't flip it around like this, keep it consistent for all of your scans. The reason this is important is because when that scanning light scans over your paper it'll cast a very subtle shadow over the bumpiness and truthiness of your paper. So if you were to flip it and use both of those scans, the shadow, the paper texture would be a little bit different and it would just be minorly inconsistent. A quick workaround for that is just to make sure that you're scanning in at the same angle for both of your scans. Scanning generally takes a couple of minutes. So what I'll do is I'll hold my hands gently over the lid so that that paper is very flush to the scanning bed. Don't press down too hard or else that scan is going to get compromised and you'll get these weird streaks in your digital file. When it comes to saving your file, you generally have a few options here. TIFFs will give you better quality than JPEGs, but I generally saved my scans as JPEGs anyway, because the file size is massively smaller and even though TIFFs have slightly better quality, I'm scanning in at these massive resolutions so that slight difference in quality isn't going to make a big difference for me. Just a side note here, your scan setting dialog box probably doesn't look exactly like mine. Every scanner has a slightly different dialogue box. So just look for comparable settings to the ones I'm inputting here. I want my scan settings to be on photograph, the mode should be photo, never document, and I scan in at a pretty high resolution. I'm going to go with 1200 DPI for the scan, and I'll use my thumbnail box to establish each part of the scan that I'm doing. It looks like I can grab my hero and my medium all in one scan, I'll go ahead and press ''Scan'', capture that, and then do the same thing with my detail elements. Now that you have the basics of scanning, I'm going to give you my best tips for photographing your artwork. Remember, photographing your artwork is option 2 if you don't have a scanner. Scanning is my preferred method, but photographing can be a close second. If you're planning on scanning, this won't apply to you, you can just go ahead and skip to the next lesson. Photographing tips; to photograph your elements you can either use a camera or your phone. I want to make this class as accessible as possible for you so if you don't have a fancy DSLR camera, you can always just use your phone. Whether you're scanning in your work or photographing it with a camera or a phone, the scanning, digitizing, cleaning up, everything you do in Photoshop is going to be the exact same. If you're just going to be using your phone to digitize your artwork, and maybe later on you decided to upgrade to a scanner, all of the steps you learn in this class are going to be the exact same. It doesn't really matter how your stuff gets digitized, what we do in Photoshop is universal either way. Here's what you need to know to create a quality photograph. One, lighting is the most important thing here. Natural light will absolutely give you the best results, do not use flash. Cloudy days are better than sunny days, which sounds counter-intuitive, but when the sunlight is filtered through the clouds it'll give a more even-toned appearance to your artwork. Direct sunlight can cause these really harsh shadows and highlights. When it comes to lighting, the thing you want to avoid at all costs is having your artwork backlit, that means that the sun is behind your paper. If that's the case, your artwork will look super dark in the photograph and the colors won't be accurate at all. Here's an example of a backlit photograph, and here's an example of a perfectly lit photograph. Two, positioning, you want to capture a perfectly straight-on shot of your artwork. Make sure that the lens is angled at the exact center of your artwork. You don't want to be at an angle like here or here, perfectly above is the way to go. The best way to do this is to place your painting on a table and then shoot from above just like this. Don't forget to tap the center of your artwork to set the focus. Three, never use the camera zoom. For crisper results, hold your camera as close as you can without having your artwork get cropped out of the frame. Four, check your phone or camera to make sure that the photo it's capturing is going to be at the highest quality file size. These are all the basics for photographing your artwork. As you can see, photographing is a little bit more complicated than just simply scanning, but photographing is definitely a viable option if you need it. Once you have your scans or photos saved to your computer, the next step is opening up Photoshop. 8. Removing the Background: [MUSIC] Now it is time to remove that paper texture background. This step is crucial since we're going to be moving each element around on its own and piecing them together into a seamless pattern. If the paper texture were in place for this, it just simply would not work. Do you see what I mean here? This is why it is super important to remove that original paper texture background. Later on we'll put a fresh new background in its place. That new paper texture is going to be on its own individual layer, so we'll be able to move our elements around without that paper texture moving as well. It'll stay in place the whole time. I like having these watercolor paper texture backgrounds behind my watercolor paintings. This helps watercolors feel a little bit more grounded, plus it's a nice little nod back to your original medium, which was painting these elements by hand. I've opened up Photoshop and it's looking like this. I went ahead and reset all of my essentials so that you're going to see the exact same thing I'm seeing. If at any point your preferences are looking a little different from mine and you're getting lost, I'm going to show you how to reset your essentials so that we're all on the same page. Up here in your main menu, you can tap Photoshop, Preferences, General. Then go down here to this option where it says reset preferences on quit. Click it, press "Okay", and "Okay", and now what you can do is quit Photoshop, reopen it, and then you'll be seeing the exact same thing that I'm seeing on my screen because we will both be at that starting page. The first thing I'm going to do is actually come over here to my desktop and you can see these two skins that I did of my paintings. I'm going to go ahead and start a new folder on my desktop and call it the title of this artwork. I have a lot of different floral designs and I want to make sure that I'm keeping them distinctly different from the others. I'm going to call this one sweet florals. I'm going to title this folder name sweet florals. I always want to make sure that my folders match the name of the design. Now we can go ahead click and drag my scans and put them in my sweet florals folder. Now everything is going to be contained in the same place. First things first, I'm going to go ahead, select both of my scans and open them up in Photoshop. Now you can see that both scans are in two separate tabs up here in Photoshop. The first thing I'm going to do is combine them into the same document. When I remove that paper background, it's removing from both scans at once. To do that, I'm just going to go over here, select one of my tabs, click and pull it apart and now I have this document separate from the one beneath it. Then I'll use my Pointer tool, which is V on my keyboard. You can also go over here to your menu and select V as your Move tool. With that selected, I'm just going to click anywhere on my Canvas and drag it into my other document. Now I can go back to that first tab, click to close it since I don't need it any longer. Now I only have one tab open and it's got two layers over here. You can always toggle on and off these eyeballs to change the visibility of your layers. The layer I dragged on top is up here, it's called layer 1 and that original layer is just called background. I'm going to turn on layer 1. Again, press "V" to make sure my Move tool is selected. I'm just going to click and drag this off to the side. Then press "C" to get to my Crop tool. You can also get there over here on your menu bar, click and hold, and make sure that this Crop tool is selected. If you take a look up here at the upper menu, you'll see that there is no ratio selected. That's great. That's the exact way I want to keep it. Now I can just click on the side, pull that crop over and make sure that I'm grabbing the rest of that scan. Now you can press "Enter" on your keyboard to set that crop. Because I don't like looking at upside-down things on my screen, I'm going to go ahead and rotate that other scan so that everything is on the same orientation. Again, that layer is selected. I'm going to go to my Transform tool, which is Command T on your keyboard. You can also get there by going to Edit, Transform, Rotate. Now you'll see that your pointer has changed into this curved double-headed arrow. I'm just going to click and drag this around to rotate it. If you hold down Shift on your keyboard, the rotation will snap to these perfect 15 degree increments, which makes it a little bit easier. Once it's positioned at the correct orientation, I'll press "Enter" to set that transformation. At this point, I have both of my scans together on the same art board. I can simply click that first layer, hold down Shift on my keyboard, click the background layer and hit 'Command E" to merge both of those layers together and now everything is on one single layer so that when we remove the background, it's happening to both of those scans instead of having to do it twice. One thing real quick, I want to point out over here on your layers panel, background layers get defaults locked, which means you can't make adjustments so easily. If your layer is locked, just go ahead and click it once to break that lock and make that layer editable. Before I do anything else, I want to go ahead and save my progress. File, Save As, I don't need to show this again since I always save to my computer and we're already in that sweet florals folder, which is awesome. I'm just going to go ahead and change the name of the file to sweet florals. Make sure it's a Photoshop format, which means the extension ends in PSD and press "Save". I don't need to show this again because I always want maximum compatibility. Now you can see up here at the top tab, the name of that file has changed from whatever the original scan was into sweet florals.PSD or whatever you're titling your artwork. If for whatever reason you're not seeing that name change up here in the tab, go ahead and close it by clicking that X. Go back into your folder, find that file again, and open it again in Photoshop. You absolutely want to make sure that your filename is changed up here in that tab. When it comes to removing your paper texture background in Photoshop, the first step is going to be defining the white points. This only applies by the way, if the paper you originally painted on is white, if you did acrylic painting on crafts or some darker Canvas, you don't need to do this stuff. But because I paint almost everything on white watercolor paper, I start by defining the white points because sometimes my scans get a little bit darker than the original, so I want to bring it right back to that natural vibrancy of my original painting. I'm going to show you how to do that. Again, I'm going to click that layer, make sure it's selected and I'm going to go into my levels, which is Command L on your keyboard. You can also get there by going to image, adjustments, levels. Over here on your levels, you have these three eye droppers. The one we want is over here on the far right, go ahead and click that and this is how we sample our white points. I'm going to zoom into my watercolor, Command, plus, plus, plus, plus, plus. Find a white area on that paper and simply click once. Very, very slight difference, but what that did is it brightened up the overall composition and got the widest areas to be white, which is more natural to the way the original was painted. I'll go ahead and press "Okay" and Then fit my composition to screen, which is Command 0 on your keyboard. I'll show you the before and after over here in my history. Before I set the white point, it looked like this. After I set the white point, it looked like this. Very small changes. The next thing I want to do is select this paper texture so that we can isolate it from the background. Again, I want to make sure my layer is selected. I'm going to duplicate that layer by hitting Command J on my keyboard and then clicking and hiding the visibility of that original layer. We're going to come back to that original layer a little bit later. But for now, I can just go ahead and hide it and we can focus on this duplicate layer. To select the background, I'm going to use a tool called magic wand. To get there, you can press "W" on your keyboard or by going up here to the toolbar, clicking and holding and making sure the Magic Wand tool is selected. The last thing I'm going to do is click where it says contiguous, to turn that off. With contiguous turned on, if I were to select, let's say this pink area, it's only going to grab the pinks that are touching each other within a tolerance of 32. If I turn contiguous off and do the same thing, it's going to select all the pinks on the entire canvas, even though they aren't directly touching each other within that same tolerance of 32. If I were to bring that tolerance up to 99 and select the pinks, you can see a lot more got selected, even the stuff that I don't necessarily want to grab. We'll hit "Command D" to go back to where I was. Put that tolerance back at 32. That's a pretty good sweet spot. Make sure contiguous is turned off. With my magic wand selected, I'm just going to click anywhere in the white area to select that paper texture. I can press "Z" on my keyboard and zoom in. What I'm looking for is to make sure that all of that white paper texture got selected. I don't care too much that there's some stragglers over here because they're not touching the painting itself. As long as that paper texture got selected, I'm good to go. If you need to add to your selection, again, pressing "W" on your keyboard to switch to your Magic Wand tool, you can press and hold Shift on your keyboard, click and add to your selection. I'm going show you real quick, in here, it grabbed some of the white of the lighter areas of that petal. This is why I actually like painting a little bit darker and not having that white show through. Because when stuff like this happens, it just adds an extra step for me. If you have a lot of white areas in your illustration, I'm going to show you how you can remove the paper texture background without cutting into your illustration, so it's probably a good thing this happens. Command 0 to fit to screen. The first thing I'm going to do is invert my selection. You can get there by going to select, inverse. What that did is instead of having the white background selected, it's inverted the selection so that now it's my illustration that's been selected. Now I'm going to go to Select, Modify, Expand by one pixel. I'll zoom in and show you what that looks like. Before I expanded by one pixel, it looked like this, and after it added a little bit more breathing room around our illustration so we're not cropping off any vital elements. Last but not least, I'm going to go to Select, Modify, Feather by one pixel and press "Okay". You can't really tell that anything significant happened, but what the feather does is it adds a very slight blur to the edge of your selection. Without the feather, if I were to cut out the paper texture, it would be a very harsh line, but by feathering it by one pixel, it just adds a nice soft blur so it doesn't feel as sharply cut out. That way when we put it on a paper texture later, it'll feel a little bit more natural and it'll blend in a bit better. I'll write Command zero to fit to screen. I'm going to go over here again making sure that layer is selected and come back down to the bottom of the Layers panel and click this icon where it says "Add Layer Mask". Cool. This checkered background is Photoshop's way of indicating that this is a transparency. Whenever you see this gray and white checker box, that means that there's nothing there. There's no whiteness, there's no paper background, it is just completely transparent which is exactly what we want. But, remember, over here, we have that area that got selected and if I zoom in really close, you can see that part of our illustration actually got cut out. You can see these checkered background areas. I don't want that to happen. I want to retain the integrity of my original artwork so I want to paint that back in which is why we used the mask. Again Command zero to fit to screen. What I'm going to do is over here on my layers panel, I want to make sure that this layer is selected. I'm going to go down here to my effects which is the fx icon, click it and select Color Overlay. It doesn't really matter what color you have here, as long as you can see a lot of contrast between your elements and the background. This hasn't just turned all of my elements black. I'm just using it temporarily so that I can very clearly see what's been cut out and what's still there. Let me show you what I mean. I'll tap Z on my keyboard and zoom in, and now I can clearly see the areas that got cut out when we removed that paper texture background. To illustrate what I mean, you can toggle off and on the visibility of that layer mask and see exactly what it's talking about. It's really hard to see that those areas got cut out here, but when you turn the color overlay on, it becomes a lot more evident. I use color overlays as a temporary way for me to really quickly see what got cut out, what's still there, and by the time I finish finessing it, I can go ahead and just remove that color overlay. It's just a temporary tool for me so I can see a little bit better what's happening on my computer. What I want to do is brush back in those areas that got removed when I cut that paper texture background out. To do that, I'm going to use my brush tool, which is B on my keyboard. You can also get there over here on your toolbar, clicking and holding and making sure your brush tool is selected. Next up, I'm going to click this little arrow next to the size of my brush, turn the hardness all the way up to a 100 percent, bring the size up a little bit as well, and go back over here to my layers. I want to make sure not the layer thumbnail, but the mask is what's selected. Now I can press Z on my keyboard, click, drag in, and look for areas that accidentally got removed like this area right here. So B on my keyboard gets me my brush. Here's a handy little trick. You can use your right bracket and your left bracket on your keyboard to change the size of your brush without having to go over here every single time and manually do it over here on the scroller. It's just a handy little way to quickly change the brush size without having to go back every time to the toolbar. What I want to do is paint back in those areas that got cut out. To do that, I want to make sure that my colors over here are white in the foreground and black in the background. If they don't look like this, go ahead and press D on your keyboard and that will reset to default colors. If you press X on your keyboard, it'll swap out whatever the foreground and background color are. If you press X again, it'll go back to the way it was before. But by pressing D, it'll go right into your defaults and you can click and use your brush to fill in those areas that got cut out. I'm just looking for those white areas within my petals and that's what I'm going to be painting back in. If I swapped out my foreground and background colors, which again is X on your keyboard, and I paint it in, I would actually be erasing part of the illustration. If I turn off my color overlay, that's what it looks like. I definitely don't want to do that. I'll hit Command Z on my keyboard a couple of times to get back to where I was before. Remember, you can always turn on and off the visibility of this color overlay, it's just helping us see what's been cut out and what's not. Color overlay is on. I'm going to hit Command Minus Minus a few times, and just scroll through on my art board and make sure that there's no integral areas within the illustration that are getting cut out. I painted pretty dark on that original so it's looking pretty good. Here's one right here. Again, D on my keyboard to make sure it's default foreground and background colors. I want to make sure that my mask is selected, not the layer itself, but the mask. I'll press B on my keyboard to get to my brush and I'll just fill that area in. I definitely lost a lot more on this frontal floral. Again, I'm just filling it in with my brush. I'll zoom in tighter on this one, so Z and pull in. Now you can see when I turn off the color overlay, that area that got cut out before is now back in the illustration. There's no transparent grid showing through my flower petal which is perfect. Color overlay back on, Command Minus Minus, and B to get to my brush and I'll finish filling in these areas. Remember, you can use your right bracket to increase the size of your brush, and your left bracket to shrink it down. This is one of those times where it's really important to have a clean computer screen. Otherwise, you're trying to erase this part of the illustration and it turns out it's just a piece of dust on your screen. I'm going through and I'm just looking for areas within the illustration that got cut out that I want to fill back in. For the most part, it's actually looking pretty good. I'm pretty sure this area right here is the pencil marks. Let's see, yeah, so that's the pencil marks coming through because I didn't erase them all the way, which is why it saves you a lot of digital work if you go ahead and erase very thoroughly on your actual paper, but I'll show you how to get rid of those. Again, my mask is selected, my color overlay is actually disabled so I can see the pencil marks. I'm going to press B to get to my brush, left bracket a few times to shrink it down. Now I'm going to press X on my keyboard to switch my default colors and now I can simply click and erase out those pencil marks very gently. If you're removing those pencil marks and you accidentally go in a little too far, that's not the end of the world and this is why we use the mask instead of just erasing right out of the layer itself. When we have a mask in place, we can paint back in any areas that we accidentally removed. In this case, I just want to switch my foreground and background colors over here, which again is by pressing X on your keyboard. Then I can use my brush and literally paint back in the area that got removed in the first place. Again, by pressing X and switching my foreground and background colors, I can very delicately now, paint out the areas where that paper is. Masks over here, just give you more flexibility. I'm going to go ahead and turn that color overlay back on. Then Command minus, minus, minus, minus to zoom out a few times and make sure that I filled in the rest of the areas within my illustration that got cut out. It looks like I got them all, which is fantastic. But if you're wondering what we're going to do about all these little bits and stragglers over here that we definitely don't want in our final, this is how you remove those as well. I could with my brush selected, go through and manually get rid of all of these. But when you're looking at the entire Canvas, that would be a lot of work, so I have a shortcut for you. Over here on my layer with my color overlay turned on, so my entire layer is black or whatever color you're choosing. I'm going to control click on my layer name. Again, I'm not going to control-click on the mask or control click on the layer thumbnail. I want to make sure that I'm hovering over my layer name and then control clicking, and I'm going to go up here to rasterize layer style. What that did is it flattened the entire layer. Now, we can no longer toggle on and off the visibility of that mask since it's all been flattened. That's exactly why we have our original layer saved underneath with the visibility turned off because we'll be accessing that in a second. My layer is completely flattened. It's selected, not the original layer, not know layer, but this layer is selected. I'm going to go back to my magic wands, which remember is W on your keyboard or over here on your toolbar, the magic wand tool. Now, I'm going to go turn contiguous back on, click one of my petals so that it's selected, and remember with continuous on, it's only selecting the areas that are touching each other. What I want to do is hold down Shift on my keyboard and click and select all the other areas of my illustration. A good way to test to see if all your areas got selected is to hit Command X on your keyboard, which cuts out everything except I totally forgot the signature, so Command Z to undo. Then I'll press Z on my keyboard. Click and drag to get a little bit tighter in so I can see what I'm doing. Then I'll press W on my keyboard to get back to my magic wands. Press and hold Shift and click and grab all the bits of my signature. Cool Command 0 to fit to screen. Now if I cut it out again, Command X, I can see that all of the important areas of that illustration are now gone, and I left all those little straggler bits and pieces behind, which is exactly what I want to do. Command Z to put it right back in place, Command 0 to fit back to screen so I can see what I'm doing. Now with everything selected, I'm going to go over here to my layers panel, turn off the visibility of that black layer. Turn on the visibility of my original click and make sure that my original layer is selected. Go to Select, Modify, Feather, one pixel. Press "Okay" and go to Edit, Cut. Now we'll go to Edit, Paste Special, Paste in Place, and you can see that your illustration got pasted exactly where it was cut out. The reason this is so important is now if you go over here to your layers panel, you can go ahead and hit Delete on that background layer and select that black layer. Hit Delete as well, and now you have your illustration with the background perfectly removed. This is exactly how I remove the background for every single watercolor paper that I scan into my computer. It seems like there's a lot of steps, but if you keep practicing, you'll get to a point where it just feels very intuitive and you'll just go through all of those steps very seamlessly. For me, it takes about under five minutes really to delete that paper texture background because I just go so quickly now. It's just step 1, step 2, step 3. The more you practice it, the better you'll get and you'll feel a lot more comfortable with the process. Now that our elements have been isolated from the background, let's go ahead and save. Command S will save that file. Those are the steps for removing that paper texture background. I want to point out here that there are actually a lot of different ways for removing the paper texture background in Photoshop. This is just the way that works best for me. If you can't tell I'm very precise about the way that I removed that background. I wanted to feel as smooth and natural as possible, which is why I spend all of that time feathering by just one pixel, repainting in that mask manually, adjusting the white point. All of that very minutely detailed stuff. At the end of the day, I'm making a living by licensing my artwork on a professional level, so that extra attention to detail really matters. It'll probably take you a few tries before you really get into the swing of removing that paper texture background, and that is totally normal. You can rewind this video as much as you need until you feel comfortable with the process. I have definitely bookmarked a lot of videos when I was first getting started with Photoshop and learning the basics. Now that your elements are completely removed from the background, it's time to prep them into a seamless pattern. 9. Prep Your Elements: [MUSIC] Now it's time to prep and polish your elements so that we can arrange them into a seamless pattern. Before we do that, go ahead and save your progress. It's always a good idea to save as you go. For me that's just a simple Command S. First things first what we're going to do is adjust that color vibrancy. Like I mentioned with scanning, sometimes the original vibrancy and saturation of your colors can get a little bit lost in that scanning process, which no big deal, we can go ahead and bring that right back in Photoshop. I'll show you how. First of all, I want to make sure this layer is selected. If it's not selected, just go ahead and tap it once and make sure you see that bounding box around it. Command 0 to fit to screen. The first thing I'm going to do is open up hue and saturation. You can get there by hitting Command U on your keyboard or by going up to image adjustments, hue and saturation. Again, what I see here on my paper is really lush and vibrant and saturated. Onscreen. It's a little bit lost. Let's bring that right back. With my hue and saturation menu open, I'm just going to click the toggle next to saturation and bring it up just a little bit. When you have this preview box checked over here, you'll be able to see in real-time the changes you're making. All the way to the left, completely desaturates your artwork. All the way to the right, makes it very, very vibrant. We don't need anything that crazy. I'm going to go back to the center and just bring it up a tad. I think 22 is a pretty nice sweet spot there. I'll go ahead and press "Okay". Again, you can go over here to your history to see the before and the after. Very subtle changes, but that's great. Next up, when I look back over here at my original, I see the tones are pretty deep and dark in some areas, and I want to go ahead and bring that back into my scanned version. For this, we're going to use our levels. Again, making sure your layer is selected, you can get two levels by hitting Command L on your keyboard or by going up here to image, adjustments, levels. Now this is the same tool that we used earlier when we were defining that white point over here. We're not going to do that this time. Instead, I'm going to focus over here at the input levels. If you drag this far left toggle all the way to the right, your illustration gets very, very deep and dark, and if you were to bring this far right toggle all the way to the left, it gets very, very light. This toggle in the middle is for setting those mid tones. Generally, I don't really use that middle toggle too often. Instead, I like playing with the right and left toggles. The first thing I'm going to do is go over here to my left toggle and see what happens if I just bring it ever so slightly to the right. I like how that's really deepening the darkness here, but I don't want to get too dark over here on my leaf, so I think I'm going to stop right here at 23. Similarly, let's see what happens if I bring my right toggle inwards just a little bit. I think I'm just going to bring it in ever so slightly. If I bring it in too much further, then these lighter areas just get a little bit too white. This isn't an exact science. This is really just coming down to personal preference. This is me looking at my illustration determining how dark I want it to get, how light I want it to get, how saturated, etc. For you, just lean into what your personal preferences are and have fun with it and play around a little bit. Once you've found a sweet spot over here, you can go ahead and press "Okay". Again, I'll show you before we made all of those adjustments and after. So very slight changes, but I think it makes a big difference overall. We'll be getting into both of those tools a little bit later when we're playing with those color adjustments, but for now, let's go ahead and finish prepping our elements for the seamless pattern. If you take a look over here, all of our elements are on one single layer. It's indicated over here on the layers panel. What I want to do is separate out these elements so that I can move just one leaf without everything else moving. Remember, we're going to be piecing these elements together like a puzzle, so it's important to be able to move one at a time. To do that, I'm going to use my Lasso Tool, which remember is L on your keyboard. Or you can go over here to your menu bar, select and hold, and you have your Lasso options. The regular Lasso means that you can just draw exactly what you want your selection to be. This is great because it gives you a lot of flexibility. The Magnetic Lasso, Lassos around shapes. So this isn't me perfectly drawing, this is the Lasso determining where the boundaries are. I use this one from time to time as well, but not right now. The Lasso Tool I'm actually going to be using for this is the polygonal Lasso. This is the Lasso that draws in these perfectly straight lines and for me it's just a little bit faster to use this one when I'm isolating out shapes. Literally, the way it works is you just click your anchor points to select around your entire piece. You don't have to connect it perfectly to the beginning. You can just double-click and it'll finish the selection. Like I mentioned, I want to have each of these elements separated on its own layer. With my first selection completed, I'm going to cut it by hitting Command X on my keyboard, and then paste it right back into place, which is Command V shift, all in one go. You can also paste in place by going to Edit, Paste Special Paste in Place. Just a pro tip here, if you ever forget a key command, they're listed over here on the right as a little reminder, if you want to be using them later. So Paste in Place is literally Shift Command V and there we have it. Now if you take a look over here on your layers panel, you can see that that Hero Elements is on its own layer. That means you can come over here and click, pull your elements around, rotate it if you want to. The important thing is it's on its own layer, so we have more flexibility. We want to go ahead and do that for all of the other elements on our Canvas. Pro tip here. Right now, this layer is selected. If I were to, let's just go ahead and dive into it. Lasso around this flower, so L to get to my Lasso, remember I'm using my polygonal Lasso. If I were to cut around this flower and go to Edit Cut, I'm going to get this error and the reason that's happening is because take a look over here, I'm not on the correct layer. All you need to do is make sure that you're on that original layer of the element you're trying to lasso out and then try that again. Edit, Cut, perfect. Remember Shift Command V will paste it in place. Now we have that front-facing flower entirely on its own layer. I'm just going to speed this up a little bit and finish isolating out these elements making sure that main elements layer is selected. I'll press L to get to my Lasso, Command X to cut, Shift Command V to paste and rinse and repeat. Go back to my layer. Don't forget your signature over here. Cuts Shift Command V to paste. Let's go ahead and grab the rest of these elements using that same process. I'm going to press Z and pull in on these elements since they are teeny tiny and then press L to get back to my Lasso and Command 0 to fit to screen. I'm going to toggle on and off the visibility of that original layer. Cool, just to make sure that that orange dot is the last bit. You can double-check by again having that original layer selected and hitting Command T to open up transform and you should see that that boundary box is only on that last shape, which it is. Escape to get out of transform. Now we have all of our elements on their own individual layers over here, which is exactly where we want to be. The very last step we need to do to finish prepping our elements before we start arranging into a seamless pattern is to turn each of these layers into a smart object. In the next video, when we start arranging that pattern block, we're going to be using a tool in Photoshop called Pattern Preview. This is a really powerful tool in Photoshop. It's essentially what allows us to create these seamless patterns very easily. But the key to making this work is each of our layers over here, each element needs to be a smart object. Right now, they're not. We'll dive a little bit deeper into smart objects in our next video. But for now, let's go ahead and finish prepping or elements, so I'll just start with the top of the stack here, select that layer and go up here to my top menu bar and hit "Layer", Smart Objects Convert to Smart Object. If you look at your Canvas, you can't really see that anything happened. But over here in your layers panel, you'll see this indicator on the bottom right of your layer thumbnail and that is Photoshop's way of showing you that this is a smart object, not a normal rasterized layer. We want to go ahead and do that exact same thing for all of the other elements in our layers panel. So there are a lot of layers here. I think I count 17 or 18. I'm going to show you how to expedite that process by creating your own custom shortcut. Up here on your top menu bar, go ahead and click "Edit" all the way down to the bottom keyboard shortcuts. Toggle the carat next to Layer. And you want to scroll down until you see smart object, which if I remember correctly, it should be towards the bottom. Perfect, here are smart objects. Go ahead and click where it says Convert to Smart Object and this is where you can input your own custom key commands. I'm going to think of a key command that I don't really use for anything else, which is Command Y. I'm just going to type that action in as if I were doing the key command for real. So Command Y and Photoshop is telling me that this key command is already used for proof colors. But I never use that key command proof colors. Actually, I don't even use that tool proof colors in Photoshop. I'm going to go ahead and override it and make this my own custom key commands. I'm simply going to hit "Accept". Perfect. Now I can press "Okay". Now I can go through all of my layers and just hit Command Y on my keyboard and it'll automatically convert to a smart object. This is just a way for me to save time. Instead of always going up here to Layer Smart Object Convert to Smart Object, I can just go through my layers and quickly hit the key command, Command Y, [NOISE] and get them all done very quickly. Perfect. At this point we have finished prepping our elements. Let's go ahead and save, so Command S. The next step is going to be arranging all of these elements into a seamless pattern. 10. Arrange the Block: Now that we've finished all of that prep work, we've concepted, sketched, painted, removed the background, prepped those elements. Everything has been building up to this moment, which is arranging those elements into a perfect seamless pattern. Let's go ahead and get started. Quick reminder to go ahead and save your progress, so "Command S". Now we want to start a new canvas. "Command N" on your keyboard, will open up a new document. I want to go over here to where it says inches and change it to pixels and have my pixels be 12,000 by 12,000. Resolution should be 300 PPI, and the color mode should be RGB. The rest of your settings should match what I have here. Twelve thousand pixels is the equivalent here I'll show you if we change it to inches, it's 40. Twelve thousand pixels is the same thing as 40 by 40 inches. What we're making here is the block, which is that one part of the pattern that gets repeated infinitely. A 40 by 40-inch block is actually pretty massive. To be totally honest, anything from 5,000 pixels and up is going to work here as a block. I just prefer working in really large files just in case I need to use that full 40-inch block later. That's why I prefer using larger file types. Again, anything 5,000 pixels and up is going to work here. I just prefer working on ginormous canvases. Choose a pixel size that works best for you. But I'm going to go ahead and bring mine back to 12,000 by 12,000. One more thing I want to point out is you want to make sure that artboard is turned off. If you see a checkmark here, go ahead and click it once to disable that. Because the tool we'll be using later called Pattern Preview doesn't work if artboard is turned on. Make sure that's off. Again, all of these other settings remain the same, I'll go ahead and press "Create". The first thing I'm going to do now that I have this new canvas created is save it. File Save As, I'm going to save to my computer, on my desktop in this folder called Sweet Florals. I'm just going to click down here where it says SweetFlorals.psd to auto-populate my filename. I'm going to add a block to the end of this. Right now it's a PSD, which is a Photoshop format. I'm actually going to switch that to a large document format, which will change the extension up here to PSB. A Photoshop File, and a Large Document Format File, are essentially the exact same thing. The only difference is that Large Document Format File will allow you to save your file to be over two gigabytes. Standard Photoshop Files, which again our PSD, they only allow you to go up to two gigs or less. But because I'm using such a massive canvas size and I'm going to have a lot of layers here when we start getting into color adjustments, my file might very well be over two gigabytes. To go ahead and prepare myself for that now, I want to go ahead and make sure that that Large Document Format File is selected and double-check that my extension up here is PSB. Again, the only difference here is this is going to allow me to save files over two gigabytes, which this one might be. SweetFlorals-Block.psb is ready to go in my sweet florals folder. I'll go ahead and press "Save". Again, you want to come up here and look at your tab and make sure that that filename changed. If it still says unnamed, go ahead and close it by hitting that X. Then go back into your folder, find that block file, and double-click it to open in Photoshop. Then take a look over here at your tabs to make sure that the correct filename is there. Sometimes Photoshop can get a little bit buggy with that Save As command, so I always want to double-check my tabs and make sure I'm on the right filename. The golden rule of seamless patterns is whatever gets cropped off on one side of your block must be repeated perfectly on that other side. That way, when this pattern gets repeated and stacked, it will line up absolutely perfectly every time. I used to have to do this manually in Photoshop. But now with this pattern preview tool, it makes it a lot simpler for me to create my patterns because it's going to do that part for me. I'll show you how. Just like before we have our two tabs up here. We have the sweet florals tab with all of our elements in it, and then we have the block file over here. What I want to do is go ahead, select my sweet florals tab, break it apart from the others. Then go through, click my very bottom layer, scroll to the top, and select all of my layers by holding Shift and clicking. That went ahead and got all of them. Now I can click my layers and drag them onto this new canvas up here. They're all getting cropped off the page, but that's okay because you see them over here in your layers panel. The first thing I want to do is just bring them all to the center of the canvas. I want my move tool to be selected, which again is V on your keyboard. Then up here at this top menu, I can click this icon to center everything on a vertical axis and this icon over here to perfectly center everything. Command T will select everything. I can just bring it down here to the bottom of my canvas, out of the way and press "Enter" to set that transformation. Go ahead and click anywhere on your canvas to de-select all of these layers. Again, with that move tool selected, which is V, I want to go up here and double-check and make sure that auto select is turned on. What this means is I can go over here, click and drag my layer around. If auto select isn't on and I tried to grab one of these layers, it would only move the layer that's selected over here in my layers panel. If I try to grab this stuff, it's still that one layer that's selected because you can only make selections in your layer panel. I don't want that, so I'm going to go over here, turn on auto-select, and now I can grab these elements as they come. Remember, whatever gets cropped off on one part of your canvas must be repeated perfectly down here at the bottom. I used to do this manually, and I'm going to show you a quick example of how you don't have to follow along for this part though. The way I use to make sure that whenever got cut off duplicated perfectly at the bottom was I'd make sure that that layer was selected. Hit "Command J" on my keyboard to duplicate the layer, "Command T" to open up transform. Because I would want this to be perfectly duplicated on the vertical axis, I would go over here to my numbers and hit plus 12,000. Because again, that's how large my square canvases and then press "Enter" twice to set the transformation. Now you see that what's getting cut off at the top is perfectly repeated at the bottom. If I had this bloom getting cut off over here, I would do the same thing. With that layer selected, I would hit "Command J", "Command T" to open up transform, and over here on the x-axis, I would hit plus 12,000, Enter twice and it would be perfectly sliced so that the other part would repeat over here. Again, that's the old way of doing things, but now with Pattern Preview, it makes it a lot simpler and I don't have to do that manually anymore. I'm going to show you how. First, I'm going to delete those extra pieces since I no longer need them. I'm going to move everything back to where it was so we can start with a clean slate. I'm going to go up to View Pattern Preview. You'll see here that Pattern Preview works best with smart objects, which is why we went ahead and made all of those layers smart objects in the previous lesson so that it'll work with this tool. I'll go ahead and press "OK". Now if you zoom out, so "Command minus", minus, minus, you'll see that it's already duplicating this pattern. It's making it a seamless pattern for us. It's hard to tell right now because all of our elements are squeezed down here into this bottom corner. But once we start moving them around, you'll see the true magic of this tool. I'll press "V" on my keyboard to get back to my move tool. Now if I click one of these elements and move it, you can see that it moves for the entire pattern. Over here with this blue square, this is our actual canvas. That blue square is actually 40 by 40 inches. You can see right here when the tip of that flower is getting cut out of that blue square, it's appearing right down here at the bottom. Essentially, this pattern preview tool is allowing us to see exactly what this pattern looks like as a repeat in real-time. We don't have to do any of the math. We don't have to perfectly slice our elements and repeat them on the other side manually. It's doing it all for us. I'll hit "Command plus", plus a few times just to get a little closer in. The way that I like to build my repeat patterns is by starting with the largest elements and then moving down, so largest, second largest. Then I use those detailed fillers to fill in the gaps. I'll show you how I build it. I have my largest elements right here. I'll bring my full facing bloom in next to it. What I want to do is find areas where it feels like a nice snug fit. Maybe I'll rotate this Hero element a little bit. Clicking it to select it, I'll hit "Command T" on my keyboard to open up transform. I might rotate it slightly over like this, so it feels a little bit more graceful. Perfect. Again, you can see when I move this element, all of the other replications of the same hero element are also moving, which is pretty cool. Enter to set the transformation and again with my move tool selected, which is V on my keyboard and again, look for opportunities to tuck these elements in where they feel nice and natural and smooth. Here's the cool thing. you don't just have to use one hero elements. We can duplicate it and use it a few different times in our block. I'm going to go ahead and do that now before I start moving around all of these medium and detailed elements. Because again, I'm working from large to small. That'll give me the best opportunity to fit things in a way that feels nice and natural. With my move tool selected, which is V, I'll go ahead and click "Once "on our hero elements. You can see that that means it gets selected over here in our layers panel and then I'll hit "Command J" to duplicate that layer. Now over here on our Layers panel, you can see there's actually two right here. It's hard to tell on the artboard because the top layer is covering the bottom layer perfectly. But we can use our move tool, break it apart a little bit, and find another place on the Canvas for it. One thing with seamless patterns is you don't necessarily want to see where that block starts and stops. The whole idea is the entire pattern should just feel like a very fluid image. To do that, I don't want my elements to look too repetitive so one trick I have is using the transform tool, I'm going to flip it. With my second hero element over here, It's already selected. I'll hit "Command T" on my keyboard and then Control-click it and choose "flip horizontal", perfect. With the transform tool still selected, I'm going to go over here until I see that double-headed curved arrow and I'm just going to reposition this slightly. Maybe this is down here at the bottom of the elements. Press "Enter", again, we're going to get to all of those guys in a little bit don't stress that they're there. Let's go ahead and duplicate this hero element as well, so I'll click it once to make sure it's selected over here in the Layers panel. Then I'll hit "Command J" to duplicate that layer, "Command T" to open up transform. Again, I'll Control-click and flip it horizontally. Maybe I'll put this one up here. Again with a transform selected, I'm going to resize it a little bit to have it fit really nicely in this area and then I'll press "Enter". Cool. Now it's time to start moving on to the medium elements. Right now we have our other hero blocking the way. What I'm going to do is click that hero once to select it in the layers panel and then move it down to the bottom of the Layers panel. You can do that manually by clicking and dragging your layer all the way down or you can do what I do, which is the key commands, which is "Shift Command Left bracket" and that moves it all the way to the bottom of the Layers panel so that now all of these medium and detail elements are above it so they're easy to click and move around. At this point, I'm going to use those tools that I just explained and arrange this block so that it feels nice and snug, V to get my move tool and I'm just going to be looking for opportunities to fit these elements in, in a way that feels really natural. It can help to start with one corner of the canvas and slowly make your way to the other quadrants. One thing I want to try out is having these elements overlap each other. After all, the original was painted in watercolor so having different sections overlap could look really nice. If I zoom in over here, which again is Z, and then pulling in, if I have these two leaves overlapping, one is very clearly on top of the other and it doesn't feel very natural like watercolor. What I'm going to do is apply a blending mode to all of the layers. I'll scroll up to the top of my layers panel, select that topmost layer, scroll all the way to the bottom, press and hold "Shift" on my keyboard and select our final layer so that all of our layers are selected. Then I'm going to come up here to where it says normal and change the blending mode to multiply. Cool. Go ahead and click anywhere on your Canvas to deselect your layers and now when you move layers on top of each other like this, you'll see how those two colors blend together in a really beautiful way. Because this is how watercolors work, there a transparent medium. Using a blending mode like multiply can help it feel a lot more natural. "Command zero" to fit to screen and since I applied that multiply blending mode to all of the layers, you're going to see that with everything. Any parts we overlap, you'll see that transparency blend mode come through, which is pretty cool. I'm going to continue arranging my elements on the board "Command Minus" to see my board in its entirety again and I'm just going to finish that selection. One thing I'm going to do is duplicate this hero element one more time. Again, clicking on that layer to select it, I'll hit "Command J", "Command T" to open up transform and I'm actually going to shrink this one down by clicking one corner and dragging it down a bit. Now I just have to find a spot for it. This is why it's really helpful to work from large to small otherwise you run out of spots for your elements. That area is looking pretty good. I'll press "Enter" to set the transformation and start rearranging. Remember click to select the layer "Command J" to duplicate it, " Command T" to open up the transform and you can wiggle it around and find a nice spot for it. If one area is looking a little bit too homogeneous in one color, I'm going to bring in another color just to separate it out a little bit. Because remember, I want this pattern to feel nice and even when it gets repeated, I'll grab my other leaf so V to get my move tool, click and select "Command J" to duplicate that layer, "Command T" to open up transform and now I'm going to find some spots for it. Can do a nice overlap here as well, I've got these dots over here. I might start putting them in areas that are a little bit more refined. Don't forget you have your signature over here as well. I'm going to wait until my block is completely arranged before I deal with that. At this point, I'm looking for gaps in my pattern that should be filled. You can zoom out at anytime and see how this seamless is coming together, and get a nice overall glimpse to make sure it feels really nice and fluid and even. But right now I'm seeing these gaps right here, which is right here in my block. I want to go ahead and fill that in. Command plus, plus, plus, plus. I'll go ahead and fill it in with this bloom down here. I'll select it, hit "Command J" to copy it, "Command T" to open up transform and I want to find a nice snug place for it. Now if I zoom back out again, you can see that gap has been filled and it looks a lot nicer. At this point I'm just going to go through, start duplicating my dots, and really filling in these extra gaps so that it feels very full. "Command 0" to fit to screen, and let's start fine-tuning. What I want to do here is put the warm colored dots in areas that have cool colors next to it, and put these cool dots in areas where there's a lot of warm tones. This will help break up the pattern a little bit, and feel a lot more even tones. One thing I want to note here is these blue dots being perfectly horizontal from each other is going to be a little bit distracting in the pattern to have such a strong line. Instead, I might bring this dot down here a little bit to break up the monotony. You'll notice that I'm rotating these dots when I put them in place, and that just helps them feel a little bit more varied, especially with this dot where it has this strong contrast between the indigo and the turquoise. Just rotating it into different angles helps it feel a little bit more varied in that overall pattern. As we get to tighter areas, you might want to decrease the size of some of those filler elements. I think it's time for another eyeball test, so I'm going to zoom out. Command minus, minus, minus and see how this pattern is looking. Honestly, I think that's looking pretty awesome. It feels very even toned. There's no obvious gaps or clusters of one color that aren't evenly broken up with another color. Even in these areas where there's a lot of pink happening, I have some of these turquoise and indigo leaves that help break it up a little bit. If you keep zooming out, so "Command minus", minus, minus, minus, you'll see how tight that pattern actually gets, which is a little bit crazy. "Command 0" to snap back into my canvas and fit to screen. The very last thing I want to do is find a nice spot to tuck in my signature. I'll click my signature. It's hard to grab actually, so I'll press "Z" and pull in, V to get to my move tool and now I'll click it, perfect. "Command 0" to fit back to screen, and "Command T" to open up transform. The key to adding your signature to your pattern block is to find a way where you can tuck your signature in, where it's not too obvious or distracting, but it flows very nicely with the illustration. If your signature were giant and huge and that block gets repeated every 10, 20, 30 inches, it might look a little bit distracting. Within this block, I want to find a place for this signature where I can just tuck it in and it doesn't stand out too much. I think the spot for it is actually going to be right here on this dark leaf. Again, I'll rotate it around, shrink it down a little bit to fit, and press "Enter" to set that transformation. If you're looking at that and you think I'm crazy because I just hid my signature, hear me out. With that signature layer selected, I'm going to go up here to my blending mode and change it to Screen. Now it becomes a lot more evident. I'll zoom in even tighter, so Z and pull in. The only thing I don't like is that it has this halo effect. This is actually a really quick fix. I'm just going to invert that signature. "Command I" on my keyboard; or by going up here to Image, Adjustments, Invert. It's a little bit too faint right now, so I want to bring up that whiteness. I'll hit "Command L" on my keyboard to open up my levels and grab this far right toggle and bring it in words so that my signature is bright white. I'll press "OK". "Command 0" to fit to screen. I'll zoom out a few times and see how this looks. I think I'm going to shrink it and make it just a tiny bit smaller because even this is a little bit too intense for me. Again, I want my signature on that block to really reinforce my branding, but I don't want it to be that obvious where it's going to be an eyesore. Z, and I'll pull in, again that signature layer is selected, so I'll hit "Command T". Go ahead and press "OK", that doesn't bother me. I'm going to shrink it down, just make it a little bit smaller in that leaf. Press "OK", and now back to full screen, "Command 0". Let's see how that looks. Perfect. The signature is definitely there, but it's not too in your face. That is exactly the way I want it. Quick note here on having your signature within your block. That means that every time your block is repeated, that signature will be repeated as well. I know some artists who never include their signature for patterns that are intended especially for fabrics or wallpaper, because they don't want to be too obtrusive by having that signature repeats every again, five inches, 10 inches, 15, whatever your parameters are. I definitely understand where those artists are coming from. It's really just a personal preference. For me, having my signature on all of my products when it makes sense, is really important. I absolutely want to reinforce that brand recognition. If somebody orders an art print of mine or a coffee mug or a pillow somewhere on that product, very small, hopefully, my signature is there so that they can always see the original artist behind the design. Again, this is a personal preference for me and the way that I prioritize my brand recognition, not all artists care that much about having their signature on everything, but I definitely do. If you're having a hard time finding a place to tuck your signature in within that pattern block. Don't stress, you can still have your signature included in the next file that we'll be creating today, which is going to be the full on pattern file. But before we get there, don't forget to go ahead and save "Command S". Always maximize compatibility. Don't show again and check up here to make sure that that is the correct filename that's saving sweet florals block. I want to show you guys real quick if we go up here to view and turn off Pattern Preview, you can see that we're losing some of the elements that got cut off the edge up here. They're not automatically repeating down here. That's because that repeat is only happening within Pattern Preview. I'll go back to View; Pattern Preview, I don't need to see that again. Now you'll see that it went ahead and filled in the rest of that block. Where are the elements get cut off on one side, they get repeated on the other. If you're elements ever just completely disappear and you're wondering what happened, you want to go ahead and make sure that View; Pattern Preview is enabled. Now I'm going to show you how you can save this pattern and fill it in entirely on a separate canvas. 11. Fill the Pattern: [MUSIC] Real quick, I just want to give you a big congratulations for getting to this level with your seamless pattern. Seamless patterns are definitely the most complicated type of patterns to create, so getting to this point is a massive accomplishment so [APPLAUSE] congratulations. Let's go ahead and optimize this a little bit further. Now that your block is entirely filled in and looking perfect, it's time to go ahead, copy this pattern, and fill it into a separate canvas. At this point, we have a few separate files within our folder. We have those two original scans, we have those elements scanned in, cleaned up, and all on their own individual elements, and then we have our block file which is what we just completed. Remember, the block is essentially the backbone for our entire seamless pattern. Now that we have this block file entirely arranged and saved, it's time to create our final working file for today's class, which is where we start dropping in that pattern. If you haven't already saved your block, go ahead and do so, Command S on your keyboard. We're going to create our final working file, so Command N to start a new document. I'm going to keep all of the settings over here, the exact same, 12,000 pixels by 12,000 pixels, 300 PPI, and RGB color mode. Now we'll go down here and press "Create". Before we go any further, I want to go ahead and save this new canvas, so Shift Command S for save as. I'm going to tap "SweetFlorals-Block" and change Block to Pattern. Again, I want to make sure that I'm a large document format, so it ends in psb. We're saving into that same SweetFlorals folder. We'll go ahead and press "Save". Again, you want to take a look up here at your tab and make sure that that file name changed. If it didn't, go ahead and close it, Command W. Go back into your folder and open it up again in Photoshop. Why did we make a 12,000 by 12,000 pixel file which, remember, is the same thing as 40 inches by 40 inches? This is the sweet spot for me when it comes to file sizes for two of the primary print-on-demand sites I use, which is Redbubble and Society6. If I go any higher than 40 by 40 inches on Redbubble, it has a hard time uploading and sometimes it doesn't work and if I go smaller than 40 by 40 inches, then it won't enable all products on Society6, especially the big ones like furniture and bedding, so 12,000 pixels by 12,000 pixels, which is the same thing as 40 inches by 40 inches, is perfect for me. What I want to do in this pattern file is literally just fill in the pattern from my block over here. The reason this is important is because over here on our block file, it's just that, it's only the block. You can see our canvas is indicated here with this blue box. Everything past that isn't actually part of our canvas. If we were to try and save this, the only thing that would get saved is the block itself, nothing over here. This is why I create a separate file to fill in the pattern in its entirety. This is for the block, that's perfect, it stays as is. That separate file will have that full flooded pattern in it. I'll show you how I do that. Again, this block file is final, ready to go. I'll go up here to Edit, Define Pattern. I don't really care what I name it so I'll just press "Okay". Now if I toggle back over to my next tab, which is my Pattern file, so I'll go to Layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. Go ahead and press "Okay". We don't want this green ivy, so go ahead and find that caret next to that thumbnail, I have a lot of patterns here in Photoshop, so scroll down to the very bottom and your latest pattern will be at the very bottom of that stack. Go ahead and tap it once, and it will auto fill in with that new pattern. I'm going to show you my favorite trick in pattern fill. It's over here under the scale. You can actually adjust the size of this pattern by clicking the caret next to the scale and bringing your slider down to make the pattern smaller, and then up to make it quite a bit bigger. But for me, I want to fill that pattern in so it feels nice and full on the block. Forty-five is actually looking pretty good. I think we'll go with that. Again, this is a personal preference, so whatever you adjust here as the scale just depends on you and how large you want to see your pattern on products. But I think for me, 45 is looking pretty good. I'll go ahead and press "Okay". Here's the cool thing with pattern fill, you can go ahead, double-click that "Layer" thumbnail, again, we're not clicking the "Mask", we're clicking the "Layer" thumbnail, and you can adjust the size at anytime. It's never permanent. You have a lot of flexibility here, which is awesome. I'll go ahead and press "Okay". One question I get a lot from students is, what's the difference between your block file and your pattern file? What's the point of having two separate files here? This is a great question and there's actually a few different reasons for separating out the files like this. The first and most important reason is that block file has all of those editable layers. If I go back over here, toggle back to my block file tab, you'll see all of these individual layers listed. If I ever need to go through at some point and make an adjustment and get rid of something or move it around, I always have that flexibility here in my working file because all of these layers are intact. Over here on my pattern file, everything is flattened. If I need to change one individual element, it becomes a lot trickier because it's not separated onto individual layers. If you ever need to go back and make a change, it's very easy to do over here in your block file because you have all of these elements individually on their own layer. Your block file is your editable file and your pattern file is a flattened version of that pattern. The second reason that I like having my block file separate from my pattern file is it helps me keep all of my files much more organized. This is good for me and my own mental sanity, and it's also great for my licensing clients who want to have easy access for my files. If I had everything, those elements, the block file, the pattern, all contained within one single file, it would be super chaotic. Instead, it's much better for them to be their own distinct files. This is even more important when we get into creating all of those nice, juicy color palette alterations later. You'll notice that your layers panel will just get more and more crowded with layers. Right now, for example, in our pattern file, we only have this one layer. We can actually go ahead and delete that background layer. But once we created all of our additional color palettes, you'll see that layers panel really starts to fill up. For the sake of organization, it's nice having all of the pattern fills on that one file and all of the individual elements that comprise the block on a separate file. The third reason that I keep the block file separate from the pattern file is because of the intended purpose of each of those file types. Some print-on-demand companies require you to only upload the block, and others require that full pattern so this is why I like to have both on hand. Let's take a look at the block first. Remember when we save this block file, you're not going to see all of this stuff off to the side. You're only going to see what's contained within this blue box. Later on in this class, we're going to be saving this block file as a flattened JPEG. We'll be doing that for this color palette and all of the additional color palettes that we create in this class. Once I have a flattened JPEG saved of all of those individual color alterations, I'll upload this block file right into Spoonflower and they'll automatically stack it and repeat it on their products, which are fabric and wallpaper. Later on in this class, we're going to be taking a deep dive into file uploads like this. But for now, I just want to show you a quick example of the difference between that block and pattern file when it's in a real-world application like here on Spoonflower. Remember, all I did on Spoonflower was upload that original block and Spoonflower is automatically stacking and repeating it right over here. You can see it's a basic repeat. If it was just that original block, it would look like this, but we're having Spoonflower do that repeat for us. Spoonflower requires you to upload a JPEG of the block, whereas other print-on-demand websites require the full pattern. Here, I'll show you an example with Society6. Here, I'll just dive into one product in particular. Let's take a look at the rug. Here, the file that I've uploaded isn't the block file, it's that full-on pattern because within Society6, they don't have the capability to repeat the block for you. You've got to do it yourself before you upload. Instead, you'll upload a flattened JPEG of that full-on pattern file and then size it to fit each individual product. It's not a block that gets stacked automatically in the back-end, like how Spoonflower does it. Instead, you already have that pattern file saved and flattened and uploaded as a JPEG. This is why I want to have both file options saved, the block and the pattern. I'll upload the block to Spoonflower because it will automatically get stacked and repeated on their products because that's how their website works and then I'll upload that pattern to Society6 and then scale up and down that pattern to fit each individual product because remember, Society6 isn't going to repeat and stack that block automatically like Spoonflower does, which is why I have to upload the pattern file there instead. Remember the golden rule of seamless patterns, whatever gets cut off the canvas on one side must be repeated perfectly on the opposite edge. But when it comes to my pattern file, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. You can see this floral getting cut off this edge and it doesn't repeat perfectly on this side, but that's totally fine because the pattern file isn't meant to be a perfect stacked repeat. That's what the block is for. That's the difference between the block file and the pattern file. Use the block when it's intended to be stacked and repeated infinitely like on Spoonflower products. Use the pattern as a flat illustration for products that don't enable stacking like Spoonflower does. This is most products on Society6, which is why that's where I upload the pattern file. Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, go ahead and save your progress. Saving should be second nature for you by now. Next up is one of my absolute favorite parts of being a surface designer, it's exploring various color palettes. Let's dive in. 12. Color Exploration: [MUSIC] When it comes to designing patterns, color is hands down my absolute favorite parts. With just a few tweaks in Photoshop, you can create so many beautiful color palettes out of just one piece of artwork. Personally, I do this for just about every single design in my portfolio. Besides just being a fun thing to do, creating color alterations is actually a really smart strategy if you want to optimize and boost your potential for gaining sales. This original pink and blue color palette is really lovely, but what if a customer or a client is specifically looking for something else like yellow or teal? Instead of losing out on a potential licensing deal or sale, you can easily adjust color within your artwork to create multiple versions out of the exact same design. Sometimes they even wind up liking a particular color alt more than the original design. Plus exploring color is a fabulous way of expanding your portfolio. If you're planning on uploading your pattern to print on-demand sites like Spoonflower or Society6, creating five or 10 color palettes will give you five or 10 more designs to upload. This is all about working smarter, not harder. Let's get into it. The way we're going to be creating our color alts today is right here in this block file. Then we'll do that same step we did earlier of defining the pattern and then filling it in the pattern file, but for now, go ahead and open up your block right here, and this is where we're going to start. The first thing I'm going to do is over here in my Layers panel, it is pretty chaotic. There is a lot going on here. What I'm going to do is scroll to the top of my Layers panel, select this first layer, scroll all the way to the bottom, select this last layer. I don't care about the background. I'm going to press Command G to group all of these layers together within the same group. I'm going to double-click the layer name [NOISE] and change it to Working. Working simply indicates that this has all of the editable pieces all within that same folder. We're going to be flattening this later on when we make our color alts, so it's always nice to have one folder that has all of those individual elements in it. That way, if you ever want to go back later and make some adjustments, you'll still have it here within that Working file. I'll go ahead and tap that carat next to the folder icon to consolidate it in my Layers panel. Remember that background is not in the Working folder, it's down here underneath it. What we want to do is click your Working folder to select it, and we're going to make a copy of that folder. With that layer selected, Command J on your keyboard will duplicate it. This may take a minute or two because there are so many layers within that folder, so that's the first thing we're going to deal with. We're actually going to consolidate all of these layers and flatten them. This is why it's really important that that background is not in that folder. If you toggle down that caret and scroll to the bottom of your folder, you should see that there's no background there. It's down here outside of our folders at the bottom of the Layers panel. The reason this is important is because we're going to flatten that entire folder. Scrolling back up to the top of my Layers panel, I can go ahead and click this carat next to Working copy to consolidate it, and now with that layer selected, I'm going to hit Command E on my keyboard. Now what this has done is it's taken all of the elements within that folder and flattened them into one layer. Now, if you want to move one individual piece, the entire layer is going to be moving because we no longer have those individual elements, they've all been merged into one layer. But that's okay because I have this Working file right underneath, so that will always be there for me if I need it. Go ahead and click on that topmost layer to select it, and the first thing we're going to do is play with the hue and saturation. I'm going to go up here to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue and Saturation. Go ahead and press "OK". Now over here in our Properties panel, we can adjust the saturation like how we did before with very bright and saturated and very desaturated. You can bring that back to zero to reset, but what I want to do here is play with that hue spectrum. If you click the toggle under Hue, you can bring it along the spectrum and see in real-time how those colors can adjust. At the far left end of the spectrum, we're getting this nice bright green and blue, and if we bring it back to the center, and bring it to the right, we'll get some other cool color variations as well. Whatever the far-right looks like is going to be the exact same as what the far left looks like. Either way, it's a 180 color difference. When I'm playing around with hue and saturation like this, one of my favorite ways to position the toggle is to bring it here all the way to the 180. In my opinion, having these polar opposite colors usually makes for pretty interesting results. In this case though, I really like what's happening over here with this lavender and sage palette. I think it's really interesting, so I think this is going to be the first one I go with. It looks like it's at negative 112 up here on my Hue panel. I think that looks really nice. I'm going to go ahead and make sure that that Hue and Saturation layer is selected, hold down Shift and click my "Working copy", and then hit Command G on my keyboard to group those two together. Now I'll double-click the group name and title it the name of my color palette. In this case, [NOISE] Lavendar Sage. Just like that, we have our first color palette completed. One thing I want to address real quick is why I went with this adjustment layer instead of just going to Image, Adjustments, Hue and Saturation like we did earlier, and then playing with the hue here. What we did was go to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue and Saturation. It's the exact same tool, hue and saturation. The only difference is by making it an adjustment layer, we have a little bit more flexibility. This is what I mean. This adjustment layer actually lives on top of that original palette. That means that at any point we can always go back into that adjustment layer and makes them my new changes if we'd like to. The way that we adjusted color wasn't on the layer itself, so that always remains perfectly preserved. Instead, it's a layer right above it. That way if later on I'm trying to remember how I achieved this exact color, I can always open up my file here, toggle down into the layers, and take an exact look to see the changes I made. Again, this is just a personal preference because I like having a little bit more control with my files. I'm going to go ahead and tap this carat next to Lavendar and Sage to consolidate that layer. Awesome. Now that we have one color alteration created, let's go ahead and do another one. For this next one, it's going to be a technique called spot-editing color. That's where you adjust color of one part of the illustration, but then you leave the color in the other parts of the illustration consistent. In this case, I'm going to change just the petals of my illustration, those pink, orangey areas, and I'm going to leave the leaves exactly the same. I'll show you how. The first thing we're going to do is make sure that that Lavendar Sage layer is selected and then hit Command J on your keyboard to duplicate that layer. While I'm over here, I'm just going to go ahead and toggle off the visibility of those other layers because I don't really need to see what's going on down there right now. I'm going to click the caret to toggle down my layer, and select the layer thumbnail for Hue and Saturation. I'm going to bring this right back to zero. Now we're right back to our original color palette. At this point, I'm going to get that magic wand out again. I'm going to come down here, click my layer to select all of these illustrations. Then I'm going to press W on my keyboard. You could also get there by coming over here to your menu bar and making sure that your Magic Wand Tool is selected. Up here at this upper menu bar, I'm going to bring this tolerance up to 50. That means it's going to select a lot more pink than it otherwise would if it were still at 32. I want to make sure that contiguous is turned off. Remember, that means that if I select one pink area now, all of the pink areas within our artboard will be selected. It's a little confusing right now because we're in that pattern preview, but remember, everything that's on the outside of this blue box is just Photoshop showing us what the seamless pattern will look like. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in, Command Plus, Plus, and I'm going to select all of the warm tones within my illustration. I'll hold down Shift on my keyboard, and click the other areas that are orange and pink. Holding down Shift, I'm going to click in here. Still holding down Shift, I'm just going to keep clicking and selecting until I get all of these warm tones selected by my magic wand. If you ever want to check and see if you selected everything, you can go ahead and cut it out by hitting Command X, and it still looks like we've got some pink areas left, so I'll press Z on my keyboard and zoom into some of those areas, and then Command Z, to undo that cut. Now I'll press W to get back to my wand, press and hold Shift on my keyboard, and click and select these remaining areas. Looks like there's a few bits over here and maybe over here. Awesome. I think I got everything. I'll go ahead and check it. Command X. Yeah. Almost. Command Z, press W to get to my wands, hold down Shift, and let's click and grab these areas as well. Command Zero, to fit to screen and Command X to cut it all out. Awesome, I think we've got just about all of those warm tones. Command Z, will undo that cut, and now I have all of those warm tones selected that I'd like to edit the color for and the way I'm going to do that is by making a mask over here on my adjustment layer. There's already a mask in place. It's this white box right here. Go ahead and click that box to select it, Control click and hit Delete Layer Mask. Now with the selection in place, we're going to add our own. Again, that hue and saturation layer is selected. I'm going to go down here to this little icon that says, Add Layer Mask, and I'm going to click it. Awesome. It doesn't look like a whole lot happened on screen. You'll see that that layer mask has a lot of shapes in there. All of the black areas of this box indicate this layer underneath it showing through. But because over here in our hue and saturation, we're right back at zero, you can't really see any changes. Let's go ahead and change that. Again with that hue and saturation thumbnail selected, not the mask, but the hue and saturation, I'm going to come over here to my hue and start playing with it on the spectrum. This is pretty cool. Now we're seeing the color of those petals change, but those leaves remain the exact same, and that's because that's the leaf layer down here showing through. Again, I'm going to click, make sure that hue and saturation thumbnail is highlighted, and I'm going to play around over here on my hue spectrum until I find something cool. I really like what's happening over here with these really vibrant blue petals, I think that's a really nice monotone color palette with all of these blues coming through. One thing I want to see though, is what if I have all of the leaves completely desaturated so that the flower petals really pop. I'll show you how to do that. The first thing I'm going to do is come over here to my Layers panel, make sure that this hue and saturation layer is selected, and then hit, Command J on my keyboard, [NOISE] which duplicates the layer. That duplicated the action, so we're getting some pretty crazy colors up here with the flower petals, but we're going to fix that real quick. Again, I want to make sure that that mask is selected, not the hue and saturation thumbnail, but the mask itself, and I'm going to invert that mask, so Command I will invert. Now I can come over here, select my hue and saturation thumbnail, and bring that saturation all the way down to completely desaturate those leaves. Now Command Minus, Minus, Minus. This is really cool, having these very vibrant blue flowers and petals and then these completely desaturated black and gray leaves, I think is really nice. I'm going to go ahead and call this one a finalized color palette. I'll come over here to my folder name, double-click it, and change it to [NOISE] blue-gray, and then I can click that caret to consolidate the layers. Cool, so that is our second color alt's completed. I'm going to show you how to do another one using complementary colors. I do this all the time within my illustrations. I think complimentary tones look really good in a design, and when I say complementary, I mean colors that are across each other on the color wheel. Red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow. You get the idea, so let's go ahead and try out a complementary color palette over here in our file. The first thing I'm going to do, over here with my blue-gray layer selected, is to hit Command J, to duplicate it on my Layers panel. I can go ahead and turn off the visibility of that original layer and then toggle down on this carrot to open up our layers. I'm going to go ahead and hide the visibility of both of these adjustment layers and start from scratch. I'll click my working copy. Go up to layer, new adjustment layer, and this time I'm going to go for color balance. Go ahead and press, Okay. This time we're going to get a slightly different menu over here on our properties panel. We're going to play with these in a little bit but first let's go over here and adjust our masks. Remember we made these masks by using the Magic Wand and selecting out all of the pink and orange within our composition. I don't want to have to do that all over again, so I want to use that existing mask. Over here in my layers panel. I'm going to click on my layer mask next to color balance, Control click it and hit, Delete Layer Mask. Now, I can grab this mask right up here form my hue and saturation, drag it on top of color balance, and now I'll be able to adjust the colors only for certain parts of the illustration. I don't need these two anymore, so I can go ahead and select this layer and hit "Delete" on my keyboard, same with this one up here delete twice. Awesome. Now let's go through and start spot editing this color to create a complementary color palette. Because this mask represents the color of the petals that's what we're going to change first. I'll come over here to my color balance icon and first, just play around, what happens if I bring the cyan all the way to the left or red all the way to the right? Same thing with magenta or green, we're getting some really cool stuff here. The yellow all the way to the left, all the way to the right. That's fun. But remember, what we're going for here is a complementary color palette. In this case, I want to see what it looks like with bright orange flowers and then blue leaves, because remember, orange and blue are across from each other on the color wheel, which means it's a perfect complementary palette. Again making sure that your color balance layer thumbnail is selected, let's go back up here, and I'm going to bring these yellows all the way down to negative 100 because what I'm going for here is an orange color palette for these petals and flowers. But it didn't get me all the way, there's still a lot of pink and blush coming through, I think what we need to do is click here where it says "Midtones" and we're going to change it to shadows. Just like we change the midtone values earlier, we can do the same thing with shadows and bring it all the way to the right or left for all of these spectrums, so pretty fun stuff. But remember I'm going for an orange, so I'm going to bring that red slightly up, bring that green all the way to the right and we're getting really close over here, and I think this might do the trick. I'll bring the yellow all the way to the left. Perfect. That got us a really nice orange tone for these petals and flowers. There we have it. Our perfect complementary color palette. That is actually color halts three of the color halts that we'll be exploring today. I'm going to go ahead and change the name of this layer to orange blue. Next up, I'm going to show you how you can key colors together so that it feels more harmonious as a palette. I'll go back to my layers panel, tap that caret to consolidate the orange blue layer, and with that layer selected, I'll hit "Command J" to duplicate. Go ahead and toggle off the visibility of that underneath layer, and let's bring that caret down. I'm going to go ahead and click this entire color balance layer [NOISE] and delete it from my layers panel, and we're going to start right back here where we began. In order to key colors, what that means is I'm going to choose one color to overlay on all of these layers and really sink these colors together. I'll show you what I mean. With that working copy layer selected, I'm going to go down here to the bottom of my layers panel and click to "Create a new layer" and now I have a blank layer right above it. What I want to do is fill this layer with a solid color. I'm going to go all the way over here to my left menu bar, click this black square and I'm going to change my foreground color, let's try it purple, and then I'll press "Okay" and I want to fill in this square with purple. I'll press "G" on my keyboard to get to my fill bucket tool, you can also get there over here on your menu bar, and going down to selecting paint bucket tool, and now just click anywhere within your art-board. Remember, that's within this square right here. Now my entire pattern has turned purple. I'll show you how to fix that, and this is where the real magic happens. If you click up here in your transparency mode where it says "Normal, " you can explore so many different transparency modes. Let's toggle through and find one that's working really well. Color burn is actually really nice, that flood of purple really sinks in to the existing colors. I think that's really nice, so that's a strong contender. Let's see some others. Lighten is actually really nice too. That's some really beautiful pastels coming through. Screen and lighten are very similar, but yeah, those are nice. Color dodge, I like lighter color too. All of these transparency blending modes give you some pretty cool opportunities to key in color and make it a little bit more harmonious, but the one I'm leaning to most is color burn right here. I'm going to go ahead and click "Deselect." Awesome. I love how deep and vibrant this palette got just by having this layer right over it. You can toggle on and off the visibility to see what it looks like without and with. Very cool. I'm going to go ahead and name this palette magenta indigo. [NOISE] There's actually another transparency mode I really liked for this, so I'm going to go ahead and create that really quickly since I already know it works. I'll go ahead and consolidate the caret, press "Command J" to duplicate the layer, turn off the visibility of the layer under it, toggle that caret down, go back into my purple layer. I'm going to change that to lighten because I really loved that pastel if it gets really beautiful, especially with this mint pairing against the pinks and purples, beautiful. I'm going to go ahead and name this folder periwinkle, and that is a really simple way to create an additional color palette, that took two seconds. A quick reminder to go ahead and save your progress, so "Command S." That is a wrap for color alterations. I'm going to stop right here before I drag you into a dozen more. Trust me, it is really easy to go down that rabbit hole. I mentioned earlier, for every design I create, I'll generally make about five or 10 color alterations. You can continue exploring yours to your heart's content. If you want to dive even deeper into color exploration and play in Photoshop, I have another Skillshare class called cultivating color. Vary palettes in original art and grow your portfolio. In that class, you'll learn how to create even more color alterations in Photoshop. You can watch it by clicking my name up top and scrolling down my profile until you see all of my classes. That is a wrap for color. Let's move on to the next step, which is infusing metallic accents right into your artwork. 13. Metallic Accents: [MUSIC] Now that you've got a variety of fabulous color palettes designed, I'm going to show you one more cool technique, jazzing up your artwork with metallic accents. As part of the bonus for enrolling in this class, I'm providing 20 high res metallic textures for you to download and infuse right into your designs. So first things first, remember you can find all of these freebies by going to catcoq.com/seamless. I also put a link to that down below in the class description. Once you're there, you'll be able to download all of the metallic files straight from Dropbox. For me, once they're downloaded, they show up down here in my Downloads folder. I'm going to go ahead and open up my Metallic Textures folder. This is where I have all 20 of those metallic textures ready for you. I put these textures together specifically for today's class, so they're all sized to fit your artboard perfectly. They're all at 40 inches by 40 inches. So I'm going to go ahead and grab one of these to use as an example. I think I'll go with the Gold Glitter. With that file selected, I'm just going to click it and drag it straight into my block file. It looks supermassive. If I zoom out, the gold just covers everything and that's because again, we have that pattern preview turned on. Like I said, this gold file, is at exactly 40 inches by 40 inches, which means it fits my artboard perfectly. We'll press "Enter" to set the transformation. First things first, I can't see anything, so let's go ahead and turn off the visibility of that gold, we'll come back to it in a second. So I think what I'll do is infuse that gold right into my periwinkle color palette. I don't want the entire thing to be gold. I think with metallic textures, they work better as spot accents where you just see a few of them coming through, so that's exactly what I'm going to do here. For this illustration, I think I'll have all of the dots be that same gold and then I'll have this periwinkle palette coming through. I'll show you how you can spot infused metallics just like this. So first things first, I'm going to go ahead and toggle down the caret of the periwinkle palette. Click my artwork layer to select it. Now I'm going to use my Lasso Tool to grab all of these dots. Remember, we only need to grab the dots that are within our canvas, so everything that's contained within this blue square. Remember my Lasso Tool is L on the keyboard. You can also come up here to your toolbar and select your Lasso of choice. For this, I'm going to stick with the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Now, I'll zoom in a little bit, Command Plus Plus. I'm going to start just selecting all of the dots within my canvas. So as you can see here, I tried to grab this entire dot like this, but the Lasso Tool is restricting me only to what's in my canvas, that's totally fine. I just have to remember to go ahead and grab that bottom dot as well, which it's done for me because it knows what I was trying to do. Remember if you want to get multiple selections with your Lasso Tool, you want to press and hold Shift on your keyboard and then click. If you don't have Shift selected, and you try to grab another element, it removes your other selection. So remember just hold down Shift on that first click and then you can let go of Shift, and it'll add to the selection anyway. I can actually grab three in one go with this one. Again, holding down Shift for that first click, now I can release Shift and finish selecting out this dot. I'm going to go through and grab all of the dots again, not for the entire pattern, but just within that canvas. I think I got them all. To go ahead and check, I'll hit Command X to cut them out. I don't see any left, so that is it. I'll put them back in by hitting Command Z. Now what I want to do is make sure just the dots are selected. I don't need all of this room around the dots, so what I'm going to do is press "V" on my keyboard to switch to my Move Tool. Now I'm going to use the arrow keys on my keyboard, and just tap the right arrow once, to move them all in one direction and then the left arrow once, to move them right back where they were. So what that did is now it actually grabbed the dots themselves, not that extra space around the dots. Just a quick little trick there. Now that I have the dots selected, I'm going to go up to Select, Modify, Expand, by 1 pixel. Now Select Modify, Feather, 1 pixel. Now, I'll go over here to my gold texture, turn the eyeball on to show the visibility of that layer again. My selection is still in place, so I'm going to go down here to my Add layer mask icon and tap it once to throw a mask on there. Perfect. While we're over here in our layers panel, I'm just going to go ahead and grab that gold layer and put it within that periwinkle folder at the top of the layers stack. If I put it underneath that purple tone, the dots become purple, which actually looks pretty cool, but it's not what I want for right now. So I'll put it back at the top of the stack. Awesome. Now, if I zoom out, you can see all of these really cool gold embellishments coming through on top of that periwinkle color. I'll zoom in so we can see the full glory of that texture. That's really lovely actually. Yeah, that looks awesome. The reason that I expanded that selection earlier, is because I didn't want the original dot coming through. So when I expanded that selection just by one pixel, here, I'll zoom in even tighter, what that means is the gold is going to entirely cover that layer underneath. I'll go ahead and turn the visibility of that gold back on, Command 0 to fit to screen, and there you have it. So it's actually pretty easy to infuse these metallics right into your artwork. Something else I want to show you real quick, since we already have that mask in place right over here, we can drop in other metallic textures and see how they might look as the dot accents as well. I'll show you real quick. If I go back to my Metallic Textures file, let's try this turquoise glitter instead. I'll drag that into my canvas. Again, it is sized perfectly to fit at 40 inches by 40 inches. So I'll press "Enter". Now if I Command-click on my mask itself, not the layer thumbnail, but the mask. So Command-click, you can see that it's replicated that exact same selection. Now with my turquoise glitter layer selected, if I come down here and click the icon to add a layer mask, I can see how the turquoise looks too. That's actually pretty cool. I'll zoom in. Some nice glitter effects happening here. Command 0 to fit to screen. So this just goes to show that once you have a mask created, you don't have to isolate out those dots every single time. You can just Command-click on your layer mask to replicate the selection and put it in place for a new one. That's just a quick hack to work a little bit smarter, not harder. I think I prefer this gold layer underneath, so I'm going to go ahead and with that turquoise layer selected, just hit Delete on my keyboard. Now, I'm going to change the name to Periwinkle Golds to remind me that this is the metallic gold option. I'll click that caret to consolidate it. Now I have a variety of really lovely color palettes over here in my layers, plus the original colorway itself. As always, you can continue exploring metallic accents on your own. I usually have at least a couple metallic infused color options for every design I create. That is a wrap for metallics, let's go ahead and move on to the next video, which is all about saving your files in the most optimized setting possible. 14. Saving: Now that we've completed all of these steps and created some truly stunning designs in Photoshop, it is time for the final step. We're going to fill the rest of our patterns and then we're going to save those files, the block file and then the pattern file with the most optimal save settings required for print on demand sites like Spoonflower, Society6 and Redbubble. Let's get started. I have my sweet florals folder open right here. I want to go ahead and open the block file and the pattern file in Photoshop. Pro tip, go ahead and save both of them if you haven't already done so. Command S, perfect. If I go to my pattern file first, I'll see that I already have one of those patterns completely filled in. I haven't made any changes to this pattern since I filled it in the first time so the first one is already completed. What I'm going to do is come over here to my layers panel, double-click the layer name and change it to my color palette name. For this, I'm going to call it pink blue. Perfect. The first one is already completed. Now I'll come back to my block file. Again, we're toggling between these two tabs. Before we get any further, I want to double-click where it says working and type in that same color palette name, so pink blue. Again, my color palette is indicated on both. Remember this one's called the working file because we have all of the individual layers within this file. Next up, I'll turn off the visibility of working, turn on the visibility of lavender and sage and then do that same step we did earlier, where I go up to edit, Define Pattern. Again, I don't care about the name. Then I'll go back to my Pattern PSB file. Come over here to my layers, make sure pink and blue is selected and then hit Command J on my keyboard to duplicate that layer. Now I can double-click the Pattern thumbnail and click the Carrot and toggle down to the latest pattern creation, which is that lavender sage palate. Remember this is where you can play with scale and have your elements very tiny or very large. But I found earlier that 45 percent actually worked pretty well for that pattern so I'm going to keep it consistent. I'll press "Okay" and then double-click the layer name and change it to lavender sage. At this point, I'm just going to rinse and repeat that process and get all of my block files replicated over into my pattern file as well, so that all of the color palettes are represented on both files. I'll write toggling back to my block file. Turn off the visibility of lavender sage. Turn on the visibility of blue-gray, edit, Define Pattern. Back to my pattern file. Again with lavender sage selected, I'll hit Command J, double-click the layer thumbnail, toggle down on the carrot and select my latest pattern. Then press "Okay", don't forget to update your layer name blue-gray and repeat. That was the last one. Now I have all of my color palettes over here in my block file, filled in as a pattern and replicated over here in my pattern file. I want to go ahead and save my pattern file Command S, so that I don't lose any progress. This is the point if you didn't put your signature into the block because you don't want it to repeat so frequently. Here I'll zoom in and show you what mine looks like. My signature is repeated here, here, here, and here. If you don't like that look, then that's okay. You can put your signature not into the block file but into the pattern file itself. I'll show you how. I'll go back to my block, turn on the visibility of my working file and I want to find my signature. I'll just zoom in, press "V" to get to my Move tool and click right on my signature, which will highlight that layer. Now if I break this tab apart just by pulling it off to the side, I can grab that layer, click and drag it right into my pattern file. It's white so it's disappeared so I'm just going to hit Command T, press "Okay". There it is. It's hiding over here. This is the point where I could put it somewhere in my pattern file if it's not already in the block. If you don't have repeating signature now, this is the time to go ahead and tuck it somewhere into the design. I usually like it on the bottom right corner so maybe I'd put it within this petal right here so "Enter." That's why can't see it. It's underneath this periwinkle gold layer. Go ahead and click it and drag it up. There it is, Z and pull in, Command T to open up transform and you can size it to fit. Command 0 to fit to screen. This is the time again to plug-in your signature if it's not already repeating, but since mine is already repeating, I'm going to go ahead and delete what I just did. That was just an example to show you. The final thing I want to do on this pattern file is to drop in that paper texture. I've already downloaded it from Dropbox, so it's over here in my Downloads folder. I'll just click and drag it straight in, because remember it's already sized at 40 inches by 40 inches. Go ahead and press "Okay." If you're wondering why we just blocked our entire illustration, what we need to do is go over here to our blending mode and change it to multiply. Also makes sure that that paper texture is at the top of your layer stack. It's not hidden somewhere in between, but it's at the very tip top. Now if I press "Z" and pull in, you'll be able to see that paper texture coming through with the artwork. That paper texture is multiplied over absolutely everything so you're seeing it come through in a really subtle fashion through the watercolor artwork itself. Here I'll show you what it looks like without the paper texture, where it's very clean but also very stark and then with the paper texture. Because my original painting was watercolor, I much prefer this. Having that watercolor paper texture background on that pattern file, makes a big difference and helps this painting feel a lot more natural. Again, I'll show you without that paper texture and width. Lovely. Command 0 to fit to screen. At this point I have finished optimizing my pattern file and my block file. I'll go ahead and save my pattern file, Command S. Now that we have both of these working files completed, we have the block file and the pattern file, 100 percent ready to go. It's time to save them as individual JPEGs so that they're ready to be uploaded to print on-demand sites like Spoonflower, Society6, Redbubble, Etsy, or whatever you're using. I'll show you how I export those. The first thing I'm going to do is put these tabs back together so it's easy to toggle between the two. Let's see. I've got my block file over here. I'll just click it and tuck it right into here. I have my two tabs easily accessible between the two. At this point, I'm just going to be going between these two files and saving each of the color ways as its own individual JPEG. I'll start with a block right here, and first, I'm going to go over to my layers panel, consolidate that working file again, and I'm going to start from bottom to top here. I'm going to start with my original palette. I've hidden the visibility of all my other layers. I'm going to go to File, Save As, and this is a block. So I'll start here, except I'm going to start the filename with the color palette option. I called this one PinkBlue. The full name is going to be the color palette option PinkBlue, Sweet Florals, which is the name of the design I gave it, and then Block because that's what this is. We're on the block file right here. The only thing I want to change now is the format. I don't want to save it as any of these options. I actually want to save it as a copy so that I can save it as a JPEG. Now you'll notice up here at the top, the extension has changed to JPG, which indicates JPEG. A JPEG is a flattened file, so it's going to take all of those layers we have over here in our layers panel and flatten them down into one layer. Once my artwork is completely finalized, this is the time for JPEGs. I don't need to have any layers in my JPEG, which I doesn't have anyway because I still have the layers in my working PSB files. So JPEG is just a much smaller file size than our massive working files, but it has our entire design there in high resolution, ready to go. We'll go ahead and press ''Save''. I always want to save these at the maximum quality. I'll press ''Okay'', and we've got one saved. I'm going to go back into our SweetFlorals folder real quick, and I'll show you what that JPEG looks like. It's right here. It's saved as a JPEG. I'm going to open it in Photoshop, and this is it, so it's our exact block file. We don't have that extending pattern coming off because we're not in pattern preview with this. This is just our JPEG. If you take a look over here at our layers panel, you'll see that it's just one layer. It doesn't have all of those individual layers like we have on our working file, which is great because the JPEG is just that flattened image. That's all I need it for. If you take a look over here, the image size of our JPEG is the exact same as the image size of our working file. So it's still 40 inches by 40 inches. Which if we change that to pixels, it's that 12,000 by 12,000, the resolution is 300. All looks awesome. Over here in our color mode, we're still on RGB color, which is perfect. I use RGB color for every single one of my designs because every print on-demand site I sell through requires an RGB color mode, not CMYK. I stick with RGB for everything. I can go ahead and close this JPEG. I just opened it as an example. Now I'm going to go over into my pattern folder, and I'm going to do the exact same thing. I'll turn off the visibility for all of the layers that aren't my PinkBlue, and now I'll save this one as a flattened JPEG as well. File, you can skip a step here by just going to Save As a Copy. I'm going to click where it says PinkBlue, and change block to pattern. I want to make sure I'm saving this as a JPEG and that the extension over here is changing to JPEG and I'll press ''Save''. Again, at maximum quality, which is 12, and press ''Okay''. Cool. Now I'm just going to repeat those exact same steps and save all of my individual color palettes as their own JPEG files. I'll go back to my block. Turn off the visibility of the PinkBlue, turn on the visibility of lavender sage, and do the same thing. File, Save As a copy. I'll click where it says PinkBlue. Change it to LavenderSage, and make sure I'm saving it as a JPEG, and that the extension is changing to JPG. I'll press ''Save'', and I'll come over here to my pattern file and do the same thing. Turn off the visibility of PinkBlue. Turn on the visibility of LavenderSage. File. Save a Copy. Click "LavenderSage", change block to pattern, and save as a JPEG. Now I'm just going to speed up the process a little bit. Cool. I've finished saving all of my JPEGs. I'll show you what my folder looks like. Now, all of a sudden that folder got a lot more populated. We have all of our individual color palettes saved as JPEGs, as well as our three working files. We have the original elements, we have the pattern, the block, and then all of these variations of our JPEG files both in block and in pattern. Now that you've learned how to save all of your files in the optimal file types, I'm going to show you how I upload those to print on-demand sites. This is going to be a little bonus behind the scenes peek at my uploading process. 15. Uploading to POD: Before we dive into a little behind the scenes where I show you how I upload my patterns to print-on-demand sites, I want to take a second and give you my inside scoop into print-on-demand sites by answering this one big question. Is it possible to make money through print-on-demand? After all, there is so much competition. Answer, absolutely. Here are my best tips for succeeding on print-on-demand based off of my eight years of being a top seller on Society6. Tip 1, your personal shop on a print-on-demand site makes for a fabulous portfolio. In fact, this is how many of my licensors actually found me. They found many of my designs on Society6 first, and then they clicked my bio and found a link to either my email address, my website, or my social media handles all in my bio. This is why it is so important to have your contact information listed in your bio, whether it's your e-mail, link to social or website, or all of the above. This makes it really easy for clients to find you and reach out. Tip 2, you can and should sell your designs through multiple print-on-demand sites. As long as the platforms you're selling through stipulate that all the designs you upload are non-exclusive only, you're good to go. Always read the terms and conditions to make sure that the licensing agreement is non-exclusive and that you always retain the full copyright to your designs. Tip 3, look for new print-on-demand companies so you are first in the door if they make it big. Society6 is a fabulous print-on-demand site, but they've been around since 2009 and they have a lot of content creators, just like me, selling through their platform. This is good and bad. It's good because they're a well-recognized company, and like I mentioned, many of my clients initially found me because they found my work on Society6 first. But it can be hard to get noticed when you're competing with thousands or hundreds of thousands of other artists. One strategy is to look for new print-on-demand websites so you can grow with them. Mixtiles is one that I got involved with at the very end of 2019, and the very next year, 2020, they were actually my third most profitable print-on-demand site. It can pay off big time to be first in the door. New print-on-demand sites are opening up all the time. I recommend doing some research online to find new ones before they become massively popular. Tip 4, upload your artwork consistently. My goal is to upload one new design every day to print-on-demand websites, and of course, by creating ten different color palettes out of one design, that gives me ten full days' worth of uploads, which is awesome. I don't upload all of my color palettes at once. Instead, I try to spread them out over a few weeks or months so my entire feed isn't just one design in multiple colorways. It's time for the bonus example to show you how I streamline the process for uploading my designs to the three primary print-on-demand sites I'll be showing today, Society6, Spoonflower, and Redbubble. I hear from a lot of people that uploading your files to print-on-demand sites can be a big pain, and trust me, I've definitely been there. I'm going to show you my method plus I'll show you how I optimize for keywords and titles to get the most traction out of my artwork. I'm going to start under the assumption that you already have accounts set up on these sites. If not, it's really simple to get your shop set up. I'm going to start by uploading my sweet floral pattern in the original color palettes. Also, a quick reminder that if you followed along using my exact same floral illustration, you can't upload it to sell online since I'm the one who designed it. However, if you have your own pattern that you digitized in this class, that isn't mine, go for it. I'll start by opening up Society6. I'm going to start right here with Society6. I'll hit sell. Then go here to add new artwork, select file, and in my sweet florals folder, I'm going to start again with that original pink blue color palette as the pattern file, not the block, but the pattern for Society6. I'll go ahead and press "Open", and it's called sweet florals pink and blue. Perfect. I'm going to go ahead and Command A to select that, Command C to copy. Then go over here to Redbubble. I'll go up to my account, add new artwork, upload new work, and grab that exact same pattern. Press "Open" and click under Title Command V to paste. Next up is Spoonflower. I'll go to my dashboard. Click where it says "Add Designs", and now something I want to point out, your files for Spoonflower have to be less than 40 megabytes. If I go over here to my folder, my block file is actually quite a bit bigger. I'm going to go ahead and resize that down just for Spoonflower, but not right over my original. I'll open up that block in Photoshop and go to Image, Image Size, and let's bring that down to 20 by 20 inches. Half of the original size. Press "Okay", File, Save As. Remember, we don't want to write over the original block because that's much higher res so if a licensing client or partner needs that later, we still have the high-res block to send them. We'll do a lower res for Spoonflower since we're over that file limit. After block, I'm just going to do Spoonflower, and that's my reminder to myself that this block is actually a lower res image. Again, it's a JPEG. I'll go ahead and press "Save". Now let's take a look over here on our files. Perfect, now we're under that 40 meg limit, which is exactly what we want. Now I can go back to Spoonflower, click "Choose Files", grab that Spoonflower option and press "Open". I've confirmed my copyrights and I want to upload. While we're waiting on those Uploads, I'm going to show you a little trick I use in my folders. We're back here in my sweet florals folder, and there's a lot of stuff going on in here. What I've just done is uploaded this color palette to all three print-on-demand sites. I want to create a little reminder to not upload this again a few weeks or months or years from now. I'm going to use a tool called a color tag, which is something you can do with MacBooks. What I'm going to do is select all of my files, Command A, press Command, and click to unselect those original scans, and I'm going to Control click and put a red tag on there to remind myself to upload these to Redbubble, control-click again. Put a purple tag on there to remind myself to upload these to Society6, and put a green tag on there to remind myself to upload these to Spoonflower. Now, since I've already uploaded the pink blue version, I can go ahead and turn those tags off since I've already done that action. Again, control-click, go to my tags and delete all three. Now if I open up this folder a few days or months or years from now, I'll know that everything that has a color tag on it is a file that still needs to be uploaded to these print-on-demand websites. Since I have thousands of designs in my portfolio, this is a really good way to just give myself a quick reminder of what has been uploaded and what has not yet been uploaded. Going back to Society6, it finished uploading. I'll go ahead and press "Continue". Yes, this is my work. No, it's not mature. Continue. The category for this is painting. Before I add my tags, I'm actually going to go ahead and do that over here on Redbubble. Keyword tags are any words that relate to what your artwork might be. These are really valuable to include when you upload your design because many users will find your work because they've searched maybe one of these tag words. For this, I'm going to use tags like flower, flowers, floral, florals, pattern, bloom, spring, summer, nature, leaf, leaves, watercolor, garden, vacation, colorful, and my brand name, catcoq. I think that's a pretty good number of tags, and now that they're listed, I'll do Command A to select all, Command C to copy, and then come back over here to Society6 and paste them here. Perfect, and the reason I do it this way is so I only have to write out the tags once and then I can just copy and paste into Society6 and Spoonflower, speaking of, let's go over here to Spoonflower and paste those tags in. I'm also going to go ahead and revise the title, suite florals. Pink and blue. I keep my titles consistent across all Print On Demand sites. Let's go back to Society6. By defaults, many of the products start out being toggled off so I want to find the ones that are off and turn them back on. Now for some products like this poster, I think this design is too small for this exact product. I want to go ahead and enlarge it on this poster, so I'll go to Edit. Don't forget to save your changes. This is where I can bring that scale up a little bit to make it look a little bit more natural on a poster. One thing I want to keep in mind is that my signature is always visible. In this case, it's up here twice. I think that's okay. I want to point out here with the scale, this is 100 percent of what I'm able to scale this artwork as on this product. Society6 won't let me scale it past what it's capable of to still print with a high quality resolution. Because these files are again so massive, I can actually get this pretty big. I don't need it that big, but I just want to point it out so that you can see an example. Society6 will never allow you to scale your product past what it's capable of to still print with a high quality resolution, which is pretty awesome. Let's bring that back down. I think this placement looks really nice and there's my signature right there so we'll go ahead and Save & Enable. This is one of the cool things. Society6 lets you batch enable your products, which means we don't have to do the exact same enlarging and resizing thing for every product. For products that have comparable dimensions, we can go ahead and tick more than one on. Serving tray, wall hanging and acrylic tray, let's go ahead and make them look exactly like this. Enable. Cool. Now you can see how this looks with a larger design. I think it looks a lot better. What I'll do is just go through, toggle on the ones that are good to go and maybe edit and adjust the ones that need to have that pattern, be a little bit larger. For example, this throw pillow, I didn't really like the way it looked with a very intricate, fine pattern. I think patterns look a little bit better when they're modern and enlarged so I'm going to blow this one up a little bit too. Again, my signature is getting cut off here and here so I'm just going to adjust it to make sure my signature is still visible. Perfect. You can always generate a preview to see what that scale looks like on the product. This is just a helpful tool to see your design in real time on a product. That looks awesome to me. There's my signature nice and evident, but not too overpowering. I'll go ahead and press "Save & Enable''. I want that same dimension for the tote bag, for the wall wood arts, and pretty much all of these except wallpaper. We're going to get there in a second. Cool. Now I can see what my enlarged design looks like as wood wall art. Because remember we enabled this when we edited the pillow. I also see how it looks larger on things like wall clocks and that floor pillow. But what I want to tackle next is wallpaper because this does require a repeat pattern. I'll go to Edit, and remember this pattern file isn't a perfect repeat. You can see the flower that gets cropped off on the left side isn't getting repeated perfectly on the right side. This is where the block comes in handy for Society6. I'm going to upload a new file, go ahead and grab that block and press "Open''. Wallpaper is the one product on Society6 that actually requires a seamless pattern. This is the only product that I actually upload that block to. On Society6, everything else is that pattern file, which remember is not a perfect repeat. I saved that block for just wallpaper on Society6. While this is uploading, I'm going to go over here to Redbubble and start enabling some products. I generally turn off patterns on T-shirts like this. I don't think they look very good. They work much better as a full-on print, like on these shirts right here. Stickers. Why not? Somebody might be interested in that. I'll just continue scrolling down. Same thing, I want to go ahead and scale up the pattern on the pillow, which you can see in real time, which is really helpful and get it to a nice place here. Where is my signature? There it is down there. Cool. I'll go ahead and apply changes. You can't batch enable products on Redbubble like you can with Society6 so it's a little bit more maintenance. We'll go down here, enable the skirts and pretty much go ahead and turn everything on. For some things, I might want to resize them and make the pattern a little bit larger. I'll just go through and enable products that are good to go and resize ones that need a little bit more work. I'm going to show you something down here. I'll use the duffle bag as an example. I think this pattern looks too big on that product and I actually want it to get a lot smaller and fine-tuned. Even though that pattern file is uploaded, we can still get there with Redbubble. I'm going to go to Edit, and I can't bring my pattern any smaller because that's literally where it ends. If I want my pattern to be smaller on the product, what do I do? The block. I'll go to Replace Image, I'm going to grab this block and upload it. One of the cool things with Redbubble is they actually allow you to upload your block and then control how it gets stacked and repeated and how large and small it gets. You can't do this with Society6 so Redbubble is pretty cool in that way. I need to wait for this to upload before I show you how. While that's still uploading, I'm going to go over here to Spoonflower. My design is already uploaded. I have my title, all of my tags, and what I want to do is position this so it looks good on a product. Remember that block was really big so our pattern is huge on fabric. It's hard to get an idea for scale right here on Redbubble even with the ruler. I'm a visual person so I need to see what it looks like on a real product. You can do that by choosing View All Products. I'm going to right-click and open this in a new tab so that this stays right here and I can go over to my new tab and see what it looks like on a real product. Wallpaper, interesting. Here we go. The pattern looks really cool on products actually, but it's way too big. Even here on this pillow, that's way too massive of a pattern. I definitely want to scale it down a little bit, maybe a lot bit. To make the pattern a little tighter and smaller, I can go right over here and click "Smaller 21''. That's literally half the size of where we were before with 40. Let's go even smaller and see what happens. 10.5, this one's looking pretty good. I'll go ahead and save the layout. While that's saving, I'm going to go back and check my progress on Society6. Cool. The block has fully uploaded right here to our wallpaper products. Let's go ahead and click Generate Previews to see how it looks. Awesome. That looks really good as wallpaper actually. You can see that that seamless pattern did a perfect job of repeating, stacking and tiling absolutely perfectly with no misaligned edges. That looks awesome. I'll go ahead and click, "Save & Enable''. I don't need this on any other products so I'll click, "Skip this step''. Cool. At this point, I'll just go through Society6, enable products that look good and go ahead and edit products where I want to adjust that scale a little bit. Like this rug, I might bring that up a little bit and make sure my signature is still included somewhere in that design. Press ''Save'', and enable that for the other product types as well. Society6 has a lot of different products. Once you finish going through and enabling all of them, you can come over here and publish your artwork. When it's published, the status here will change to indicate that and you'll be able to see it live on your Society6 shop in all of the products that you enabled, which is pretty cool. Society6 is finished. Let's go over here to Redbubble and check our progress. The block finished uploading for our duffle bags. As you can see, the elements got even larger on those duffle bags, which we don't want, but instead, we uploaded that block so we can scale it. You have the option to grid your pattern and that way, you can make it as small and detailed as you like or as big as this, which again, we don't want for the duffle bag. Again, I can see this in real time as I scale it and I can find a nice size that works really well. I actually like that a lot, so we'll press "Apply Changes''. With Redbubble, you have both options. You can upload your pattern file or you can upload your block and then stack it and repeat it on products. Once your Redbubble products are finished, you can go ahead and save your work. Once it's entirely processed, you'll be able to see it live on the Redbubble website. For both Society6 and Redbubble, sometimes it can take up to 15, 20 minutes before you see it live on your shop. It's just processing in the backends. Last but not least, let's go back over here to Spoonflower. Now that this new size is saved, let's see how it looks on products. Awesome. This smaller size is actually looking a lot better on products than the larger one so I think this is going to be good to go. This is exactly where I'm going to keep it. I'll go back to Spoonflower, and I want to go ahead and enable it for all products. Spoonflower is a little bit different from Society6 or Redbubble. For Spoonflower, you actually have to purchase a sample swatch of your design before you can enable it for sale. The reason they do this is again, because those repeat patterns are so tricky to make. They want to make sure that it's actually going to line up and look good when you approve that sample before other people can purchase your artwork. If you want to have a particular design for sale on Spoonflower, you have to purchase a swatch first. But for the other two, Society6 and Redbubble, once your design is published, anyone can buy it. That is a wrap for the behind the scenes with Print On Demand. I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek into my uploading process. Next up I have a few final thoughts to share with you in our last video of today's class. 16. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] First of all, I just want to tell you how impressive you are for making it to the end of this class. Seamless pattern design is the most challenging pattern type and it took me years to fully master the process. You are already ahead of the curve when it comes to surface design. You can take the skills you'll learn today and create so many cool designs that have real-world applications in the surface design industry. I can't wait to see how your pattern came together. Please, feel free to share your artwork in the student project gallery down below. You can find the gallery under the Projects and Resources tab. On the right, you'll see a green button that says Create Project. Click that and once you're there, you'll have the option to upload a cover photo, add a title, and write a little description. You can include both text and images here. If you happened to snap a few process photos along the way, I would love to see those, as well. Please, consider sharing a photo of your sketch or painting then how the final pattern came together in Photoshop. Since the Photoshop files that we created today are massive, it'll work best if you just take a screenshot of your Photoshop file. Then upload that screenshots to the project gallery. Screenshots will upload much faster to Skillshare than our massively giant Photoshop files. Once your project is uploaded, it'll appear in the student project gallery. You can view other projects here and I encourage you to like and comment on each other's work. If you want to share your project on Instagram, please tag me, @catcoq, and Skillshare @skillshare so we can like and comment there, as well. Bonus, from time to time, I decide to highlight student work in my emails, so there's always a chance that you can get your artwork future there, as well. Speaking of emails, if you want to get a heads up as soon as I launch my next class, please, click that follow button up above to follow me on Skillshare. Not only will you be the first to know as soon as my next class comes out, but I also send out messages to my followers and they're packed with useful tips, freebies and artist resources, and the occasional free Skillshare membership giveaway. I love giving my students these fun perks. You can also follow me on Instagram to see new artwork I'm creating and where in the world I'm living at the moment. Right now, I'm in my Airbnb in Mexico where I've been living on and off for the last year. My next destination is Spain, where I'll be hosting an artist retreat over the summer and after that, who knows? I've been living out of a suitcase for the last six years so life is a complete adventure. Last thing, I want to recommend a few classes for you since you took my seamless patterns class today. If you enjoyed this one and you want to check out more of my classes along the same thing, I recommend watching, Cultivating Color, Vary Palettes in Original Art and Grow Your Portfolio. In that class, you'll take a deep dive into color exploration in Photoshop. Plus, I drop a lot of value bombs in terms of creating color palettes that sell especially well, and how to track color trends so your artwork can rise to the cream of the globe. You can find that class by clicking my name above this video and scrolling down my profile to see all of my other classes. Another one you might be interested in is a Step-by-Step Guide to Art Licensing. Sell your first piece of artwork online. In that class, you'll basically get a headstart in selling your artwork online, focusing on print on demand sites like Society6. Since I've sold over 100,000 products on Society6, this class is essentially me telling you everything that's worked very well for me. Last but not least, if you want to learn how to create a repeat pattern on your iPad using the drawing app Procreate, checkout, my class, drawing seamless patterns in Procreate plus professional surface design tips. That's another beginner friendly class. So even if you've never used Procreate before, you'll be able to follow along just fine. If you enjoyed my class today, please, leave a review. These reviews mean a lot to me and I love reading about what you thought of my class. I've been teaching on Skillshare for over five years. In the fulfillment I get out of being a teacher is what keeps me motivated to continue inspiring my students. You guys are awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining me today, I can't wait to see your seamless patterns. Take care and I'll see you next time. [MUSIC]