Making Patterns in Illustrator

Today I used my scanned drawings to create patterns in Illustrator.

First I opened a new document with my scanned image pasted onto it. By using the ‘Image Trace’ tool you can remove the background and enhance the lines of your drawing. Once you have done this click ‘Expand’ which is in the top toolbar.

Next I opened a new document and pasted the new version of the drawing into it. By playing around with scales and angles using the transform tool, and changing the colour using the fill tool you can create something that is quite different to the original drawing. Another interesting technique is to layer up line drawings and play around with the opacity of each layer.

Once you create an arrangement you are happy with, select ‘Object > Pattern > Make’. This will open up options of the type of pattern arrangement you want (grid, half drop etc) and once this is up you are able to add/remove parts and move things around until you create a pattern you are happy with.

These tools are extremely useful to create a seamless pattern that looks professional. It enables you to experiment with different arrangements and colours until it looks perfect.


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