Make Patterns in Illustrator - learn to use Illustrator by making useful designs
Are you ready to learn Illustrator? Do you want to increase your Illustrator knowledge?
This course is for you. It's a fun and a practical way to learn Illustrator.
Here you'll "learn by doing" as you make a range of seamless repeating patterns. You can use these patterns for scrapbook papers, stock imagery, backgrounds and for your own projects. You could upload them to Spoonflower to make fabric and wallpaper, you can print them on book covers and mugs. There are literally hundreds of ways to make use of the patterns you'll make in this course and you'll be so proud when you say "I made that".
What will you learn?
When you complete this course, you'll:
- be able to create a range of different types and styles of patterns in Illustrator
- have extended your knowledge of Illustrator tools
- have learned new tips and techniques that you can use every day
- be able to confidently create pattern filled objects for a range of design and commercial uses
Do I hear you say "...but I don't know how to use Illustrator (and frankly, I'm scared of it)"?
I've been there.
Illustrator can be really scary to use when you first start out.
… but I've created a better way to learn Illustrator. One that makes it a lot less scary and a lot more fun.
You see, you'll learn to make patterns you can sell, give away on your blog, and use yourself. So you'll be making designs that you can do something with at the same time that you are learning Illustrator. There's no waiting! There's no hours of learning before you can get started doing something. In fact you can start today. Complete the first few lessons and you'll have your first patterns made!
Do I hear you say "... but I hate the Pen tool!"?
I understand! Most people hate the pen tool. You are not alone!
… I believe that Illustrator is so much more than its (dreaded) Pen tool – so we'll use the pen tool only when we have to (which is practically never) and you'll see just how much you can achieve without it.
Do I hear you say "... but I can't draw"?
No problem! If you can use a mouse you can complete this course.
Quite simply, you don't need to be able to draw. In fact many designers can't draw and yet they make fantastic designs and great products.
If you can draw – great! If you can't draw – don't worry, you'll be able to do succeed in this course even if drawing isn't a skill you have mastered.
Are you ready to extend your Illustrator skills?
If you already know the basics of using Illustrator, taking this class will elevate your skills to a new level. You'll learn to use tools and techniques in a practical situation. No laboriously making shapes just to learn what the pathfinder tool does. No! In this class you'll learn the pathfinder because you need it, you'll draw shapes intrinsic to the pattern you are making - you'll be putting your skills to practical use from the first lecture. You'll reinforce your existing knowledge as you apply it to real world designs. And if we use tools you've never used before - great! You'll learn to use them fast and easily so you understand how you can put them to work in your daily workflow.
Do I hear you say "Please don't waste my time"?
If there is one thing I hate it’s wasting time and you probably do too.
So, I don't say "um", I don't fluff about, I don't make mistakes, I know my stuff and I show you how to do things efficiently and effectively. I speed up the videos where appropriate so you don't get bored or distracted.
I'm 100% focused on helping you learn.
In short, I'll get straight to the point and I’ll maximize what you learn in every class.
Do I hear you say "... but I can't afford the latest Illustrator version"?
Again, I understand. I teach thousands of students who can't afford the monthly Creative Cloud payment. If you're using practically any version of Illustrator you should be able to complete this class.
Where a pattern is made using the Pattern Make tool which was introduced in Illustrator CS6 (and which is in Illustrator CC), you will always find a second version of the class that teaches the same pattern in Illustrator CS5 and earlier. I won't let you down. I will teach you to make use of the tools you can afford.
So, provided you have a version of Illustrator that's less than 10 years old (from around CS3 onwards) you are good to go. I'll help you get the most out of it and you won't miss out on anything in this class.
Will I just learn to make patterns?
Well Yes, and No!
Yes, you'll learn to make patterns – lots of wonderful seamless repeating patterns. Each pattern has been chosen for a reason, there are the basic patterns like polka dots and stripes which are foundation patterns that everyone should know how to make. You'll learn to make checks and spirals because they teach different techniques, you'll make faux leopard skin and you'll make patterns from lines and geometric shapes.
But you'll also learn to use tools, like the Blob brush and the Wrinkle tool. You'll learn to make spirals and use the warp tools.
You'll learn techniques and tips for working everyday in Illustrator.
You'll learn to recolor your patterns. You'll fall in love with the recolor tool as you use it to explore wonderful color schemes for your art.
You'll get plenty of practice using Illustrator and you'll grow in confidence with every lecture.
How will I learn?
This course is made up 100% of video content. You'll watch my screen as I show you how each pattern is made. I'll explain what I am doing and why so you can learn as you watch.
In one lecture you'll make a pattern from lots of small objects. Because making those objects isn't an important part of the class, I'll give them to you so you can get to work straight away. That way you can focus on the pattern and not the bits that go to making it.
I hope you will join me in this Illustrator class. I look forward to meeting you and I invite you to contact me if you have any questions as you work through the lectures.
A quick overview of what you will learn in this course and the recommended way to study it. Learn which videos you should watch and which of them are optional. This will help you quickly plan out your learning and ensure you don't miss out on anything important.
Learn to fill a shape with a pattern and how to scale, rotate, size and move it within that shape. This is important so, in future, you can place a pattern where you want it to be and size it to your desired size.
Many patterns are available online free or for a fee. Here you will learn how to download and install these patterns in Illustrator and how to locate these when you need to use them in a project.
When patterns have some transparency in them you can layer them either with other patterns or with solid fills to achieve interesting effects. Learn to use the Appearance panel to stack patterns and fill in a shape in Illustrator.
This class is so much fun! You will learn to use the Recolor tool to recolor a pattern - the tool is both fun to use and essential to know if you need to change the color of a pattern or create different color ways for your patterns.
Learn what a pattern is in Illustrator and how it is constructed. This is important information to understand as it is fundamental to all Illustrator patterns. You will make your first pattern from a simple shape and learn how to edit the pattern to add more space around the shape.
If you are using Illustrator CS6 or Illustrator CC you have a Pattern Make tool which helps you create patterns. This lecture shows the basics of using this tool to make a pattern. You will use the Pattern Options tool to make your own custom pattern and you will learn what the settings in the Pattern Options dialog mean and how to use them.
The process of creating more complex patterns in Illustrator is different in earlier versions of Illustrator (CS5, CS4 and earlier). Here you will learn to make a polkadot pattern by hand in these versions. You will learn how to make copies and move shapes around in Illustrator to create a pattern that has elements nicely offset from each other.
Once you have made a pattern it is available only in the document where you made the pattern. Learn to save patterns where you can find them in the future and see how to open a pattern file that you have saved in any document so you can use your patterns any time. This technique is fundamental to creating and using patterns in Illustrator.
Learn to make a pattern of multi colored ovals in Illustrator. This lecture teaches the basic steps for making patterns that contain multiple different elements. This lecture is appropriate for users of Illustrator CS6 & CC.
Learn to make a pattern of multi colored ovals in Illustrator. This lecture teaches the basic steps for making patterns that contain multiple different elements. This lecture is appropriate for users of Illustrator CS5 and earlier.
The Pattern Make dialog in Illustrator CS6 & CC has a feature which allows you to control the way elements overlap when you are creating them as a pattern. This lecture shows how to use this feature to make a pattern of overlapping circles.
Learn to make a pattern of overlapping circles in Illustrator CS5 & earlier. You will learn how to lay out and layer the shapes and how to create a bounding box to mark out the edges of the pattern swatch.
This is a quick pattern to make and you will be making it the same way in all versions of Illustrator (so it doesn't use the Pattern Make tool). In making the pattern you will be learning a bit about making semi transparent objects in Illustrator.
The Quatrefoil pattern is a classic pattern and, in this lecture you will learn to make it in all versions of Illustrator.
Learn to make the highly recognizable and elegant Moroccan Trellis pattern in this class. You will see how simple shapes such as circles and rectangles can be broken apart and reassembled to create more detailed shapes.
Learn to make an isometric cube shape from a simple hexagon by dividing it into three pieces and coloring them. Make a repeating pattern of 3D isometric cubes from the basic shape.
Learn to make an isometric cube shape from a simple hexagon by dividing it into three pieces and coloring them. Once created, make a repeating pattern of 3D isometric cubes from your basic shape. This lecture is appropriate for users of Illustrator CS5 and earlier.
Learn quick and easy steps for creating a range of patterns of alternating stripes both horizontal and vertical. This lecture is appropriate for all versions of Illustrator.
Learn how to make a repeating pattern of diagonal stripes in Illustrator. This class covers all versions of Illustrator.
Chevron Patterns are a fun pattern to make and use and in this class you will learn how to make a Chevron pattern using the Pattern Make tool in Illustrator CS6 & CC.
Chevron Patterns are a fun pattern to make and use and in this class you will learn how to make a Chevron pattern in Illustrator CS5 & earlier.
Learn to create a pattern of spirals by hand in Illustrator CS6 and CC. This is a complex pattern in terms of getting all the shapes to work so you will learn steps involved in creating a larger repeating pattern.
Learn to create a pattern of spirals by hand in Illustrator CS5 and earlier. This is a complex pattern in terms of getting all the shapes to work so you will learn steps involved in creating a larger repeating pattern.
Learn to create a freeform large size pattern with many elements in it in all versions of Illustrator. You will learn techniques for ensuring that there are no visible gaps or awkward spacing in your design. If you wish to do so, the resources for this lecture include a set of vector shapes you can download and use to follow along.
Learn to make a pattern of organic lines in Illustrator. You will see how to make sure that lines, even though they are wiggly, line up and make a seamless repeating design in all versions of Illustrator.
Make a fun faux leopard skin pattern in Illustrator CS6 and CC. Along the way, learn about using the Blob Brush and Wrinkle tools.
Make a fun faux leopard skin pattern in Illustrator CS6 & earlier. Along the way, learn about using the Blob Brush and Wrinkle tools.
There are some situations where creating a design as a pattern will work against you - in that you won't be able to recolor elements reliably. In that situation you can create many simple repeating patterns using the Rotate and Transform Effect and in that way, your "faux pattern" will be able to be recolored. In this lecture you will learn how this is done.
Learn to use the Warp tools in Illustrator to warp a pattern to give it a more freeform and organic feel.
Learn the basics of applying a pattern to an object in Illustrator. In this Lecture we'll apply a pattern to a flat rectangular object making the required cutouts so the pattern fits nicely over the object and adding shadows to blend in the effect.
The origin on an artboard in Illustrator CS4 and earlier is different to what it is in all versions of Illustrator from CS5 onwards. If you are using Illustrator CS4 then you should watch this lecture to learn how your artboard differs from those shown in this class so you can make the necessary adjustments, where necessary, so that your patterns will work just fine.
Helen Bradley is an expatriate Australian designer and photographer. She specializes in teaching photo-editing with Lightroom and Photoshop, and teaching design in Illustrator and Photoshop. Helen has taught thousands of students world wide and she is recognized as a skilled trainer who "knows her stuff" and who is able to communicate even highly technical and complex processes so they are easy to understand.