Kendyll Hillegas
artist & illustrator

Blog

Experimenting with Pattern Design

Strawberry Pattern.jpg

I've wanted to learn how to make patterns from my illustrations for several years now, but had never quite gotten around to it. I'd had some fun composing things that looked like patterns, but I couldn't get them to actually function as a seamless repeat. Finally, after watching a bunch of tutorials (this one was the best) I learned how and used Affinity Designer to create one from a few of my strawberry illustrations.

I used elements from each of these pieces to make the pattern:

I had a good idea of how I wanted to compose the pattern, and knew that I wanted it to look organic and dynamic, but I had no idea how to make the repeat work. Through trial and error, and lots of YouTube videos, I learned that the kind of pattern I wanted is called a "half-drop repeat."

Here's how it looks:

Untitled.jpg

Basically the mistake I had been making was trying to estimate and eyeball the layout. While I love detail, precision and numbers aren't my usual comfort zone. Let's just say, there's a reason I'm an illustrator and not an engineer. Apparently when creating a seamless, repeating pattern one must be very exact. Who knew?

Anyway, the tutorial I linked explains this all really well, so if you're interested in pattern design I'd definitely give it a watch!