Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101. For people asking "What's a surface pattern?" | Sandra Clarke | Skillshare

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Repeat Surface Pattern Design 101. For people asking "What's a surface pattern?"

teacher avatar Sandra Clarke, zero-waste textile and fibre artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Birds intro


    • 2.

      Lesson 1: Set up workspace + art board


    • 3.

      Lesson 2: Draw Image on AI


    • 4.

      Lesson 3: Place + color image


    • 5.

      Lesson 4: Repeat the surface design


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About This Class

Repeat surface patterns are everywhere.  Take a glance around the room you are in now.  Wallpaper, textiles, pillows, comforters, towels, stationery, wrapping paper, fabric ... all were created by a designer making a repeating surface pattern.

This class gives artists + makers a comprehensive and concise demonstration of a simple surface pattern design.  

Lesson 1: Set up the workspace + art board

Lesson 2: Draw the image on Adobe Illustrator (AI)

Lesson 3: Place + color

Lesson 4: Repeat the surface pattern
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Meet Your Teacher

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Sandra Clarke

zero-waste textile and fibre artist


Award winning artist and educator. 

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1. Birds intro: hello and welcome to repeat surface patterns. 101 I created this class because when I was first learning how to make surface patterns, it drove me crazy to go through really long, long, long classes and processes on how to create it. When what I really want it is, show me a class in a boat 10 or 15 minutes from beginning to end of a surface pattern to see if I can actually do it. So that's what I created here. Is this classes for people that heard about surface patterns? They kind of want to get into it, but they're not exactly sure if they can do it. So here's the class that for you it's a one, a one class. I've also added a link to the trial that you can get from Adobe Illustrator if you don't already have Adobe Illustrator on. Also, there's a link to a little YouTube video about getting a re adobe illustrator CS two. So you can practice on that. I hope you enjoy this class. Please let me know what you think, and I look forward to seeing your patterns in the project Gallery 2. Lesson 1: Set up workspace + art board: Hello and welcome to class. In this lesson, we're just going to set up our workspace with an art board. I'm going to file new I'm just gonna title this birds. I want a custom size it and pixels. I'm going to make my pixels 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels. I'd like to work with a square and I'll hit. Okay. And there's our art board. Now. What I'm going to do is just go toe windows and bring up some colors. So let's just hit our our colors. And I'm just gonna set that up in the corner over here and will be working with the pencil tool. You can use your mouse that's in your laptop, or you can use an external mouse or you can use a drawing board. Okay, I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Lesson 2: Draw Image on AI: Hello and welcome to class. In this lesson, we're going to draw our bird on the art board. So first thing gonna go is to fill. I don't want any Phil at the moment. I just wanna work with a nice black line. So I've got my stroke is black and I'm going to round the ends. I just like that. I find it that when you start to connect the ends, it's got a cleaner look going to my pencil tool and then anywhere on my art board, this is a really simple bird, and I'm going to start with a simple curve up, and then I'm gonna curve and there's the beak. It will come around to here, So that's my simple bird to begin with. Now, what I want to do is just zoom in a little bit by control, plus plus plus plus grabbed my little hand so I could move my board. And you see this little area here? I want to fix that up. So actually, I'm going to go in quite close now. What's happened here is when I was drawing, everybody's got kind of that natural. When you lift your pencil, there's almost a little tick to it. So I look along my path and I see there's an anchor and then continue more path and here's an anchor. So I just want to get rid of that anchor. So I'm gonna come over to my pen tool, click on my pen tool and then move over to the pen minus. So I want to delete an acre point and I wanted to leave that one, and we'll get rid of everything from this anchor point to the previous anchor point click. And there she is. Now I want to click on my direct selection tool and connect these anchors, so I'm going to click on this anchor and just move it down so it touches the next anchor. So no, have a nice closed image. Now this bird needs wings. I want to complete it. So it's OK if I go into the body of the bird because I'm gonna be coloring it and then just moving it to the back. So let me just go over here, stop there and zoom in You go. And I am gonna fill with white, zoom out, but to our shapes, tool and go to circle, and I'm just going to put an eye in Let's fill that I black. So I'm going to fill black Good. And I think how we're gonna finish with this one is with some really simple legs because I want this toe. Have a hand drawn. Look, I'm not going to use my pen tool. My pen tool would give everything a very straight, almost mechanical type. Look, but I would like my bird to have a hand drawn. Look, zoom in and with my pencil tool, Just draw. Nice simple feat. When have this guy kind of walking? So here we go. Zoom right in direct select tool. I'm going to attach the foot there, and this one looks really good. Let's see, I'm gonna bring it back just to make sure that I do get a good attachment. And there I go. So here is our very simple bird that we're going to start with. I'll meet you in the next lesson. 4. Lesson 3: Place + color image: Hello. Welcome to class. In this lesson, we're going to position the bird so that when we make a repeat pattern of it, it will all connect seamlessly. But I also want to play with color in this lesson as well. I have four colors in my head that I want to use. And I think what I'm going to do is make four different birds to start with with these different colors and go from there. So let's get into the process of this with my I selected the whole bird and with my free transform tool, just gonna move the bird to the left side of the art board. And I don't want to go to the top line. I want to make sure that my bird is on Lee on the left side of the art board, because when I copy to move it, whatever is on the left side has to be identical on the right side, and whatever is on the top has to be identical on the bottom. And then you could start filling in the art board. As long as things don't touch the lines, your pattern will work out beautifully. So the colors that I have in mind are a dark blue A very light blue, almost the gold color and a pink color. So just using the default color box that comes up I'm gonna play with some color a little bit here and start the wing in a select the wing And let's just go simple with a dark blue That's a nice dark blue Okay, so the fail is dark blue The stroke is black But I want to take up the stroke Just so that all we see is dark blue and no lying Let's see good I'm just gonna select the body of the bird And I'm gonna turn that a light blue coming over and taking out the stroke so that there's no stroke, No black line I'm gonna leave the feet black in the eye black So we have a nice consistency So here we go Here's our first bird. I'm gonna select all of her right click so that I get up the menu with transform on it Go to move I'm moving along the horizontal because I know that my box is 1000 pixels long and when do 1000 pixels But I don't want it to move vertically. So I'm just gonna put zero If I hit, OK, that whole bird will just move over 1000 pixels, so it'll be on the right line. But if I hit copy my original birds days and I have a copy that moves over there. So what's on one side is on the other Now I'm gonna select my bird again. This time I wanted to start walking the other way, right? Click transform. So I want to reflect it. So when you look in the mirror, things are reflected. I'm gonna reflect. I wanted to reflect 90 degrees and again if I click OK, this original bird will flip over 90 degrees. But I don't want that. I want my original birth to stay and I just want a copy The bird Good. And I'm gonna move that bird down. And now I want to play with color here. So I want a gold and a pink color. Let's do a gold wing. So, sunshine, let's see. That's gold Enough. I like that. That's cold enough. I don't want to stroke, but I want my field to be gold. And now I'm going to select the body. I don't have a pink here. So what I'm going to Dio is go to my global pure red, and I'm going to change the opacity to make it more of a pink. Let's see if I do it. 50% of this color. I have pink. That's really nice. With a little deeper pink that I want someone to change it to 40. I'm getting towards a nice light pink that I like 30%. Good. I like that pink. So these are the colors that I'm gonna be playing with the dark blue, the light blue, the gold and a light pink. So now I'm going to select our pink bird. Right click. So I have my transform tool. I want to move this bird over the same horizontally. I want a copy to move it over 1000 pixels vertically. I don't want to move it all. I'm going to copy it. So she moves over. Good. I like her now. Let's go to the top in the bottom. So I am going to all this bird is selected. I'm going to copy Paste. I'm going to now move this bird. Uh to the top line Gonna make a color change again I think I shall keep the pink and change the wing toe light blue And I like to that light blue just to change it up a little bit I'm going to select on and right click for transform I want to move This time I'd like to move vertically. I don't want to move horizontally, so verdict are so horizontally zero We're going to stay there, but vertically I wanted to come down four down as negative, so I'm gonna press negative. I wanted to move down 1000 pixels and coffee. Now, let's make sure this bird did not touch any any other birds. Very good. So here we have birds all along our edges, which is great. Now I'm just gonna put one more bird in the center, so I'm just gonna copy any bird. I'll take this all take this one and copy Paste, gonna move her into the center, and I want to rotate her. So she's going in the other direction. So I'm going to write, clip, transform, reflect. So I wanted to turn her all the way around. I wanted to flip over 90 degrees. This time instead of copying is I don't need this one copied. I'm just going to click. OK, so the bird that is selected is going to move. I'm gonna center her a little bit more. So she's not touching any birds. If I need to, I would even make her a little smaller, but I think I'm going to keep her there. But I'm going to change her colors. I'm going to make see I don't have a pink wing. So let's do a pink wing and again have got my red. I'm gonna go to my opacity and I remembered that it's 30% and I'm going to click on my body . And what body color don't I have? I don't have a dark, dark blue body, so I'm gonna dark blue body that guy. But the opacity is still 30% single. Change that to 100. Let's see. How does that look? This is really neat. Look at this. You see how this went purple? I like this. I'm going to keep that. So that's what our beginning of our pattern looks like. And in the next lesson, we're going to start repeating it 5. Lesson 4: Repeat the surface design: welcome to class in this lesson. We are going to take our birds, make a swatch, put it in our swatch area, and then we are going to make it into a repeating pattern. So what I'm going to do first is go over to my rectangle. Just click anywhere on the board. I would like a rectangle to actually get square, so I want it exactly the same size as the art board. So it's 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels and okay, I want to remove the Phil and no stroke. Now, I want to move this right over the board so I can kind of hover and move it around. Or I can go over to my X and y access and whatever the art board is, you just half it. So here I need 500. That's half of 1000 and that's going to make it exactly over my art board in this 1 500 as well. There. Now what I want to do is send that invisible square to the back. So going to right click while I have the invisible square selected. Go to arrange, send to back. Come up over to select, select all. And then I'm going to bring this into swatches. Let's test our repeating pattern. So I'm just gonna go anywhere on the workspace Freehand. A big triangle on their it ISS. Here we go. So you can use a pattern like this for any surface pattern design you want. If you want to make stationary or wrapping paper or even go to society six and put it on a great big bedspread, you can add a colored background instead of it being white, or you can just leave it white. So I hope you enjoyed this class. It was a how to make a repeat pattern 101 And if you have any questions, just add them in the comments area. And also please share your work in the Project gallery. Thank you for joining me in class.