Lately I've been drawing a lot of patterns, and I wanted to share one way I learned how to make patterns from illustrator Julia Rothman who was so gracious as to substitute my business class at SVA. I'm not as artful at the craft of pattern making as Julia whose designs are subtle and full of movement, nor am I very experienced I would say. Nonetheless I wanted to share this fun way to create a very basic pattern and share my some of my designs with you. So lets begin!
Tiling is very easy to do, you can do it by hand with a copier or on the computer using Photoshop. Below are basic instructions on how to create a wraparound tile pattern.
Take a piece of paper, it can be regular old shitty printing paper or you can open a new document in photoshop. It can be any size but I personally like starting out with a square piece of paper. You can use virtually any medium too, it really depends on your personal tastes. For fun I use ballpoint pens.
Then once you're ready:
Step One: Draw an item, a person, a flower, anything in the center far enough from any of the edges.(Preferably centered.) Have fun with the design, don't think too much especially if its your first pattern.
Step Two: Cut the paper in half vertically. I'd try to be as straight as possible as you need the edges of the paper to be able to meet up neatly. Now take the edges with the design (the edges in the middle that you've just cut) and place them on the outside. So now what was the outside edges are in the middle touching, with the two halves of the design facing OUTWARD. I would tape the pieces together so as to keep the pages together. (Use tape on the back)
Step Three: Cut the paper in half again, this time horizontally. BE CAREFUL! to not mix up the edges. Now doing what you did in step two... take the edges with the design (the edges in the middle that you've just cut) and place them on the outside. Now the design is split four ways, and the design you've created is in either OUTER corner. Tape the pieces together so as to keep the pages together.
Step Four: Draw a design in the middle of the page. It can be the same design, or a totally new design. This will be in the middle, and the design that you've created before shall become the tile of the pattern.
Please refer to the diagram above, it may help with any confusion when you're making your own pattern! Then using a copier or if you're in photoshop, the stitching tool, copy the pattern you've made and connect the corners to complete the pattern effect!
Notes on pattern making, from sketchbook
Here are some examples from my sketchbook of some patterns and doodles I made for fun that I think can take on a pattern like quality.
I had wanted to make a dress or the figure of a woman
Some notes on psychology that quickly turned into mindless doodling
snake doodle, opposite some brush markings
Now I wanted to share with you a pattern I've made using this basic technique. I'm fascinated with Fungi. Although I refuse to eat them because that very fascination with this organism has totally turned me off of consuming them. Drawing these different types of mushrooms was so much fun with all of their different colors, shapes and patterns. Thinking about the balance of these 'shrooms was fun too, the negative and positive space is important in the movement of the piece.
Then I made this little Salamander for the middle of the pattern.
Now using the tiling effect here's my wallpaper all put together!
I hope you liked it, and I hope you attempt to make a pattern even if just for kicks.
Little Salamander nestled in 'shrooms.