How to create a seamless pattern from your watercolor illustration.

Hey guys!
Today I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to create a seamless pattern from the watercolor illustration.
I want to go through the whole process with you: from watercoloring to creating the seamless pattern in Adobe Photoshop.

When you want to create a pattern you need to know two things:

1. All elements should be unique (unless you want to create a pattern with same elements because this was actually the idea).
Why? Because when you create a pattern from your illustration it will look the best when your elements are different, believe me, or try it yourself, and learn from your mistakes.

2. Elements in the pattern should be close to each other, actually not very close, not too far away. Just try to find a “happy medium” for yourself. It took me a while to find my “happy medium”, but you’ll never learn if you don’t try!

For this lesson, I prepared a marine design pattern. I made a sketch with different marine elements, I found some ideas for on the internet. You’re welcome to download my sketch and use it, in case you like it. In fact, you can use any other theme you like.

I divided this lesson into three parts. I’ll show you how I paint the pattern elements, then I’ll show you how to make your background completely white in a very easy and simple way. And after that, I’ll you show how easy it is to make a seamless pattern! It’s even easier than making a white background! Really! I promise! Let’s begin!

1. Painting

When I choose a theme, first of all I browse the internet to find out which elements I can use in my theme. It’s very helpful! Sometimes I just google, or I go to photo stocks and find the elements I need over there. So I browsed and sketched my elements one by one. All the elements are unique. I placed them not too far and not too close to each other, just as I felt it would be good enough.I chose two main colors: blue (of course! It’s a marine theme! =) and red – it’s bright and attractive! I started my painting from blue colors and when the color dried out I continued with red.

2. Preparing the background

To make a perfect seamless pattern we need a completely white background. But how to make it? If you have no idea how to do it – I’m here to help! You’ll learn how easy it is! I made a small video to help you and guide you through this small and easy process.

1. Goto Image > Adjustments > Replace Color
2. Using SHIFT, pick the places, where you want the background to be white
3. Then increase the lightness and press OK
4. Use the History brush tool to restore the colors where needed

3. Making it seamless

Yoohooo! The last step! Finally! I will show you how to create a seamless pattern using Adobe Photoshop. And you know what? – this is so easy to do! Once I learned that, I started to make patterns more often, because patterns are great! And they are easy to sell. Everyone love nice patterns!

1. Go to Filter > Other > Offset
2. Play with horizontal and vertical pixel settings to find the variation you really like
3. Click OK and SAVE your seamless pattern when you finished
Thank you for watching my class! I hope you enjoyed it!



Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for my lesson. These are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog!

Paper Canson XL Watercolor Pad / Cold Press 9 in x 12 in / 140 lb
Watercolors Kuretake Watercolors set of 36
Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors
Brush Silver Brush Black Velvet (natural squirrel hair and black synthetic filament)
Pencil Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil
White Marker Posca Extra Fine White Marker

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