Creating a Seamless Print: Using Photoshop & Illustrator to Maximize your Artwork | Elizabeth Weglein | Skillshare

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Creating a Seamless Print: Using Photoshop & Illustrator to Maximize your Artwork

teacher avatar Elizabeth Weglein, Artist and designer

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Preparing Your Artwork


    • 3.

      Setting up your Illustrator File


    • 4.

      Filling In Your Print


    • 5.

      Finalize Your Print


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Final Tips + Class Project


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About This Class

Take your hand drawn or digital illustration to the next level by creating seamless repeat prints in Adobe Illustrator! For me, creating prints is a great way to expand my portfolio without creating anything new by hand. With Photoshop and Illustrator there are infinite design and color possibilities just a click away. Prints are also a way to keep creating if you are traveling or in a situation where it is hard to whip out the paint and markers! Also, if you are an artist who sells on print-on-demand sites like Society6 and RedBubble, prints are perfect for every product.

In this class you will learn:

  • how to prep your illustrations to create a print
  • setting up your file on Illustrator
  • how to make your print a seamless repeat
  • editing colors for new combinations
  • tips for uploading prints for print-on-demand sites

You do not need to have experience with Illustrator for this class, but you will have to get a free trial or a subscription to incorporate your new skills into your art routine. You can download a free trial here: 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Elizabeth Weglein

Artist and designer


Hi! I'm Elizabeth Weglein and I'm an ink illustrator of mermaid & marine life! I live in Philadelphia, PA but I love to travel and create anywhere. I've always been drawn to the ocean and I absolutely love spending time outside. I've been drawing and painting my whole life and evolved to working on ocean inspired artwork for the past 5 years. I have a degree in apparel design from the University of Delaware and my fashion illustration experience heavily influences my mermaid artwork!

You can learn more about me and check out my work on my website and follow me on Instagram to check out what I'm working on! I also sell my artwork on both Society6 and Redbubble and I'm super passionate about print-on-demand.

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: My name is Wolves with leg line, and I'm a freelance artist and designer as an artist. A lot of my work revolves around beachy ocean themes with a lot of sea creatures, mermaids and seashell motifs. I saw my artwork on print on demand sites like Society six and Red Bubble, as well as on my own website. And I'm always looking for ways to expand my portfolio with artwork that will look great on every product. Creating a print is a great way to maximize the illustrations that you've already created by using them in a new way. Bo Shop and illustrator unlock infinite design possibilities with just a few clicks. Creating a print is also a great way if you're traveling, or you can just use your laptop or any other situation where it's not the best to about all of your art supplies. So in this class I'll show you guys how to create a seamless repeat print. I show you how to prop your illustrations in Photoshopped, how to set up your file and illustrator and create that seamless repeat and a few weeks. You can add the colors to create even more possibilities, and their few tips brought voting for print on demand sites. Let's get started 2. Preparing Your Artwork: The first step in preparing your artwork is to choose even the digital or hand illustration that you're gonna be using to create your print. So today I'm gonna be using this illustration that I've been working on, which had a lot of different elements. So I'm able to dio a lot of different things with it. So I'm gonna choose a couple of elements from here and that I've drawn in micron pen. So once you've decided what artwork you're gonna use, you want to scan it into your computer using the highest DP I that your scanner will allow . So mine allows 1200 dp I and I'm gonna skin in as a tiff on and then we'll be already opening infomercial. So once you have your illustrations scanned into your computer, um, you want to open it in photo shops? You concert me at its before you do your print. So since the artwork that I'm pulling from is large on to do multiple scan, So I have all the different elements open in different photos here to edit them separately . So starting with this one, I'm just using these three seashells from this part of the artwork. So I'm gonna want to delete the white background, um, from all of it. And I just want to keep the black. That way, it'll be on a transparent background, and then I can leader at it the background color or the black to be different color, and I leave it open for lots of options. So I'm gonna start with using the eraser tool to go quips jeweler, selected and unlocked. Um, use the eraser tool and just get rid of these other elements that were in the background that I'm not gonna need. So go here, delete these, okay? And I don't want to use your magic wand tool and I d select in contiguous. And then I want to select the white part of this. My tolerances on 30. Right now, you concede it a little bit of variation on this color. Wanted to make sure that it selected all of it. It's that I'm running first go to select universe eso. Now the black is selected and what I like to do is again go to select to modify and expand by one pixels. Let's just make sure that none of my artwork is gonna get lost and she expand the selection just a little bit. Claim your back slightly in verse again. Now the white is selected and I can just delete that. And now I have my change parent file with just the black. Now that the first part of my artwork is ready, I'm gonna go through and repeat this process with all my other illustrations. But don't worry, all speed it up. So you going to watch it in real time? - Once you have edited your illustrations to make them transparent where you want them to be, you want to go ahead and save it as a photoshopped file. So you go to file save as make sure that photo shop is selected, which will be a dot psd. So once you've done that, you'll be able to open that Photoshopped file in illustrator to start creating your print. One other note. So since I had, like I said, I had to scan all my elements separately based on where they were in my larger illustration . Um, most of these are just one element per file, but this one has the three seashells. So if I open this one in Illustrator it's going to treat all three of these seashells as one object, so it will be able to manipulate them individually, which I would like to be able to dio. So what you're gonna do is use the lasso tool, which is right here. Use this one. So you just go around and select each one separately, and then you can copy and paste it on to a new layer what you will do for each of the elements and then just go back and delete the original with all three of them. This way, when you open it with your layers preserved in illustrator, you'll be able to treat each of the sea shells as their own supper elements. 3. Setting up your Illustrator File: So the next steps in creating your print will be in Illustrator. So I'm going to do is open illustrator anger to create a new file. So I'm going to be creating a, um, file. It's gonna be 10,000 about 10,000 pixels, which isn't gonna be a big file. But since I upload my artwork to print on demand sites, this large file allows me to upload my artwork onto almost all of the products without making any edits. But if you're not gonna be doing that, you could definitely do a smaller file on whatever pre show you want to do as long as it's square. Um, swimming this skill, share print and then just want one or board, um, and go to create. So now you have your square file, which is going to be, um, what you create your print tile on. So then you can go on open your photoshopped files that you edited an illustrator go through, hold down the shift key like all them, and open them, and then you wanna have convert layers object selected, cause then you're elements will be able to be, um, edit it and you don't want to flatten the layers to a single image Looking okay, since I absolutely files anything, who will? Okay, So as you can see now, each of these elements you'll be able to shift. Move, um, to create your print. So what I'm due to start is just to copy to man, See, command each of the elements onto my print tile on this will allow me to then start working , Prince. - Okay , Now all your elements are with in your tile, so you can go ahead and close all your other files, since you will be okay. So, um, the great thing on negotiator is that it doesn't cut off your elements if you move them outside of the canvas. So what I would do it I'm creating a print is I just keep one of each thing to the side, and I'll just keep copy and pasting them as a routine reflect on and move them around to create my print 4. Filling In Your Print: So what you're gonna do to make your prints seamless is too. As you fill in your tile, you wanna overlap your elements on the top edge here and along the left side. So either you can start by doing that first and then go ahead and filling in your other edges so that you can then just fill in the middle knowing that your print has already seamless or you could fill an almost the whole thing. And as a last step, copy and paste. Um, so now I'm gonna still in my print and show you how it's done. - So now that I've gotten to this point in my print creation, I want Teoh copy and paste the edges on along other edges so that I have an idea of where those objects will fall before I fill in the rest of my print. Um, so the first thing that I'm going to do is I wanna make sure that these air all moved out of the way so that when I have the other omens A in the way. Okay, So what, you're going to dio? You'll see these aren't I haven't completely filled in, but I'm at least going to start with what I have. So what you want to dio is copy or select all the ones along this edge, and you do command C and command F which is going to paste your elements exactly in front of where they just were. So then you go to object. Transform, move. And this is where you're gonna need to know your canvas size. Like I said, my canvas was 10,000 by 10,000 pixels. So I want to move it exactly 10,000 pixels over to make sure that it is seamless, that make sure preview is checked. And as you can see, that's what we'll go. And then you don't need to copy because we already copied it. And OK, so there you go. So now you're print is gonna be seamless horizontally. So now we have to do the vertical part. So you want to select all these ones overlap on the top of the same thing command. See, command s two picks to me and in front. Then you go to object, transform, move and then see, uh, $10 pixels. There we go. Then you just okay, So now you're print is seamless. So now you're gonna need to go through and edit a little bit. Um, you want out of humor elements that which will then need to copy and paste again. Um, but now you can keep working on your print, knowing that it's at least part of the way to the exit list. 5. Finalize Your Print: Okay, so now you finished your tile, and there's just a few more steps. So first you want to make sure you saved your file as an illustrator file. So in case you want to go back and make any changes, it will be preserved in this format. So go to format and make sure that it will be all shooters clicked and then say that. So the next thing to Dio is you want to go to your rectangle tool and you want to go to that top corner, and it should tell you when you're there with this pink intersects lines, click hold shift and you want to draw a square over your exact tile if you'll be able to tell. As you can see, it says like width and height under the 10,000 pixels. So once you've done that, you can use your direct, select, select everything and then make clipping mask. So this way your artwork is clipped to the inside of your tile. But you know it's seamless from this. Absolutely are you went through. So now you can go to file export export as anyone expert as a PNG, make sure that use art boards. It's also quick because it will clip, um, your image to the are for that you created export. And then, unlike illustrator, I mean, unlike Photoshopped, you can't see the transparency when you're in illustrator, but you'll see it here that it is preserved. And then you could choose higher resolution. I'm just gonna go with 1 50 Just a little room on my computer, um, and then was hit. Okay, I've already saved it, but perfect. So now you're ready to make some color edits? 6. EditingColors: So now that you've finished your print tile and exported as a PNG, you can open that PNG in Photoshop, and I can show you how to make the different color. Edits to make some fun versions of your print. So since I have a black and white version, I can simply use the color overlay feature to change the block on my illustration to any color that I want. So select your layer and then go down to FX, and then you want to choose a color overlay so you can go ahead and choose any color that you would like. I'll do. How about a nice turquoise color? Make it a little bit darker. Nice teal click OK version of your print. You can also go ahead and add a layer and Draghi tones at it under, and then use the paint bucket tool and at a background. If you like, you can choose any color. We'll do a crazy combo and will do light pink, so these are easy ways just to make a few edits. You can add many different background colors and different color overlays. If you just have a two tone print, so another option. If you have a two tone print, it's used the color overlay future to make it a multicolor print so you can start by. Let's go back to the original artwork. So if you use your lasso tool here, you can go through and select a few elements that you want to make a different color. So it when you're doing this, you want to make sure that if you select one of the pieces that falls on the edge like this part of the shell, that you go ahead and select the other part of it, too, that your print will stay seamless. You can see here I reflected this starfish and let's all those select this big seashell what you mean by hitting shift and I will add that to your other selection. So once you selected all the elements that you want to make a different color, which you can do, how are you? Like you want to create a new layer you can command, see? And then oops. Make sure you're correctly reflected, man see, and then command shift the and you re posted those layers on a new layer. So what you can do now is use that same color overlay feature and for example, we made these to read. So the color overlay is great and you to use if you have a two tone print. But what if you have a multi color print? So for this, I open this illustration, which I already did. So this I have already repeated. I did these in gua sh Andi repeated them to create a print, and what I did was this is the original color scheme and I use the hue and saturation levels here, um, color, balance, brightness, contrast black and white to create different versions of it. So you can see I've organized my file by the different color schemes. So when I turn, all of these on that are marked blue. You can see this is my blue version off my print, which I've done through various color edits, and then the same thing with my pink and green. So let me go ahead and create a new version of this to show you some of that it's you can make. So going back to my original illustration, I can choose hue and saturation, which you can move along the slider to get all different combos. How she can see here, It will change all the colors according to the hue. Here I can make it even more saturated really bright or tone it down. Change the lightness. It won't really talk for now. Um and then you could also just click black and white. If your original illustrations in color any wants make a black and white version, then you can go through and edit this to get all different combinations, so we'll save this one as black and white. So then turn it off again on. And if you want to change just certain colors of your illustration, you want to use the magic wand tool. So if I just want to change the purple in their tails, I can make sure that continuous is not checked and then click on that tail purple and all of that purple hue is selected. So from there, I can do the same thing with edits, and it will only affect that part of the illustration. As you can see here on the layer on Lee, the tales air selected so I could go through Andi. Yes, let's do this bright green. So this just leaves even work up even more options if you have a color illustration. So now I just want to show what my final color edits were for my illustration. So again, this is the final black and white version of my print. I added this white background layer just so that I could see my color at its better because it's a little bit difficult Time to see your color changes with the checkerboard background . So I also decided to create this blue color, um, as blue and white version of the print. And then it also went ahead and made this neutrals palette of kind of shell tones. And I organized these layers for these colors into a group which you can do here after you've selected them. So within that, I have renamed Huge Layer with what it contains, so that I could easily go back and reference it if I need Teoh and make anymore at its. So when you have a spin ish, you want to save this as a photoshopped file because you can go back and add more color edits later if you'd like, and then when you're exporting your file. You'll simply want, um, use the I Icon year Teoh show which one you want export. So if you want to export your black and white, just make sure that this is checked, and if you want to save it as a transparent PNG, you want to de select your white layer. 7. Final Tips + Class Project: Now that you created your print and experimented with different colors, I want to give you a few final tips about using your print and uploading it to print on demand sites. So first I want to show you how to use Illustrator to actually repeat the tile of your print, if you would like. So here I opened the, um file to create a duffel bag for Society six Sings Year. These are the ends of the duffel bag, and this is the middle. And so since I don't care where exactly the print falls, I just wanted to cover the entire, um, piece. I can ignore these guidelines and just go and fill in my print along this entire panel. That's what you want to do is bring up your print, and you can just drag and drop it into illustrator and again. Since it's such a large file, it might take a minute. And as you can see, it is huge. So you want to zoom out, and then you can hold the shift key to maintain that square and put in here, and then you can choose exactly what scale you're gonna want. Um, and the great Theo illustrator as it easily snaps your illustration into corners. Um, And then you can command C command V to copy and then paste the exact same size of the square that you just created so that you can keep tiling your print and that you see here it snaps right into place. So you get that seamless repeat right here. So I have already finished tiling. My prints here turned at all. So this is what the final piece well look like for society six. So for society six, you'll have to keep creating new files and tiling and scaling your print in different ways . If you want, upload it to different products. But inbred bubble, you can actually just upload the singular tile off the print that you created and then within their upload, er, you can choose to skillet and then repeat it as a print. So that's super easy. So for the class project, I want to see what you guys create for a seamless print, Um, and show it off with at least four repeats so we can see how it all comes together. Optional. You can add the other colors you created or even your favorite products. We during your print on your rentable or society six store. Um, if you're not sure what illustration you want to use yet I've put my Nautilus shell illustration Photoshopped file in the class project section so that you can download that to use to try out to create a print. I just asked if you do use my illustration and please give me credit and don't put up anywhere for sale, but have fun with your prints and I can't wait to see what you guys create.