Illustration, Running your own art business

Using Adobe Illustrator for pattern design

It’s lesson 2 of Anne LaFollette’s ‘From Doodles to Dollars’ free mini course about pattern design.

As I had thought, the lessons are from her Skillshare course ‘From Sketch to Wrapping Paper’. Consequently, I am running ahead a bit as I know most of the techniques in this course.

I’m using Procreate on the iPad to draw my sketches, saving as a JPEG, and then importing into illustrator using the ‘place‘ tool.

Using Procreate before Illustrator

What’s been cool about using procreate, is that 1) I don’t have to photograph my sketches, 2) I can also import my colour ideas from Procreate into Illustrator using the same ‘place’ technique. I can then place it on the outside of my artboard and use the dropper tool to create swatches to use in my designs.

I find it much easier to find colours and colour plates on the iPad right now.

A screenshot of what I’m currently doing in Illustrator.

The more I’m using Illustrator, the more I like it – I wish it didn’t cost so much!

Adding sketches to Illustrator

Once imported, I used ‘image trace’, selecting black and white logo from the default and ignore white. I then went to object>expand>ok>object>ungroup.

Now the four sketches are separate images and I can move them around using the move tool.

More courses!

Anne mentioned another pattern designer, ‘Bonnie Christine’, who has more in-depth courses on Skillshare. So, I’ve started watching her course, ‘Intro to Surface Pattern Design’.

Many thanks to the member or Anne’s Art Community Facebook group who suggested I add a ‘Genko leaf’ to my design. (That’s the yellow ones – I had to google what one was!)

I’ll update you with the next part of the course and how my pattern is going in Illustrator soon.

Take care,


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