Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#DSPSblogtour : How To Use Adobe Illustrator Blend Tool.

Welcome to this stop of the Designing Surface Patterns From Scratch blog tour!  

If you missed the blog tour yesterday here's Nika Nartinez. Don't miss tomorrow's blog tour with Pattie Sokol. This blog tour sprouted from Bonnie Christine’s Design Surface Patterns From Scratch at Creativelive . I watched Bonnie's class live and I thought I already know enough about Adobe Illustrator to do what I needed. But what an eye opener watching Bonnie go through her process and the use of each tool as she created her designs and patterns. I was frantically taking notes because I watched it live. But no worries because it is still available for purchase at Creativelive. Bonnie was so open with sharing her knowledge. Talk about an amazing person and teacher!!!

Bonnie's Class At Creativelive Still Available For Purchase
One of the tools that Bonnie showed us was the blob tool (which is now one of my favorites).  She showed us how to outline the element or motif that you like from a photo, then simplify or clean up the lines and then fill in with colors. You can go over all those steps again by watching her video so I am not going to repeat them and only going to share how I use the Blend tool to create my own gradient color swatches to fill in the colors.

In this case I am using one of my own photos (no need to worry about copyright) of a rose for demonstration purpose. So after outlining my rose and cleaning up my lines, this is what my rose looks like.

Outlined Rose With The Blob Brush

Now I turn off the visibility of the flower outline (#1 in the image below) and turn the visibility of the image back to 100%. If you forget to do this, when you use the eye dropper in the next step, the color that is picked up will be a very light shade of the color. 

Now create a couple of squares and space them apart (#2 in the image below). Select one square and use the eye dropper tool (#3 in the image below) to fill the square with the darkest color that you would like for your flower. Then select the second square and fill it with the lightest color you like.

Select The Darkest & Lightest Shades

 Select Objects->Blend->Blend Options ... and the Blend Options window will appear (see the arrow pointing at the options window below).

Blend Options Window
In the Blend Options window, click on the "Spacing:" drop down arrow and select "Specified Steps". In the box next to Spacing, enter the number of steps. The number of steps is the total number of colors you would ultimately want minus 2. So if you want to have 6 colors, you will enter 4 in the box (always minus 2 from the total number of colors you want) and click OK. Again select Objects->Blend ... but this time select Make.

Blend Make
 If you look at the LAYERS, there are now 3 paths. Two are the squares with the darkest and the lightest colored squares. The new path (see Blend Path below) is the blend of the 4 new squares.
Blend Path
 Select Object->Expand ... and the Expand window will appear (see below) and click OK.

Expand window
After expanding, each color is its own path but they are all in a Group.

Color Group

 From the swatch panel's top right corner, click and select to create a new color group. The group of squares has served it's purpose and I usually just delete them. Now that the colors are in the swatches panel, select the element or flower in my case and color to your heart's content. I use the Live Paint Bucket tool and Bonnie explained how to do that too in her video.

Colored Rose
  If 6 colors is not enough, just follow the same steps and you can create as many new color groups you like.

More Color Groups
I am sure you can pick and create much better groups than I can. So follow the steps above and go wild!

And just when you think that's all ... there is more! Hop on over to Bonnie's site, goinghometoroost and join in her Roost Tribe. and even better, get the 1st month free. It's very affordable for what you get. Best of all you will be part of a family!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Color Inspiration 2

The site that got me really hooked on colors and pattern design is COLOURlovers. I've used their site's tools to create color palettes and patterns and shared with colourlovers community. It's been over a year since I've been there. One of the reason was because I discovered Adobe Illustrator and started using it to create patterns and got totally hooked.
A few days ago I wanted to log back in just to look around. There are lots of groups to join and one of my favorites is the Artist Palette Challenge. It's been so long that I almost forgot how to post my palette correctly. But there is easy to follow instructions and after doing one, it all came back. This is what I created today based on the image below.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Never Too Late For A Testimonial!

Yes, it's been 6 months since I was in the The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course so why do the testimonial now? Well, to be clear ... all the posts (e.g. this post) that I had written about the class were really all testimonials to the class. But this one is a Typography testimonial. Ok to be really honest there is an extra incentive ... a chance to win the next module of the class. How great will that be if I win! It was a lot of fun to do. But what was not fun was when I couldn't save a jpeg (high resolution version) because my stupid computer ran out of memory. Good thing this was done with Adobe Illustrator, so I was able to scaled it down and save it that way. This is what I came up with.
#ABSPD Typography Testimonial
And now to raise a cup to Elizabeth and her T Stands for Tuesday gang. This is a mandala I did a while back but it was fun putting it on a product. Who knows maybe I will put it up at Society6 or Zazzle for sale. Ok got to run to go say hi to the T-gang.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Pattern Collection

It's been a while since I posted but that doesn't mean that I have dropped off the edge of the earth. I am still creating patterns and also taking a few more classes on pattern designs.
But first let me raise my glass to Elizabeth and her T Stands for Tuesday gang.
Icy Cherry
We had some cherries that were not tasting so sweet fresh, so I pitted them all and threw them into the freezer thinking that we could use it with ice cream. But I found this really simple recipe for an icy on the web. I made the simple syrup (one part water to one part sugar) with some lime zest and lime juice. My daughter blended the frozen cherries with ice and added the syrup to taste. We don't like drinks too sweet so we didn't add the full recommended amount. It was SUPER good. This recipe actually worked quite well with peaches and I am sure it will work just as well with other fruits.
Now going back to the classes ... the first one was part of the Make It In Design Module 1 class that I took a few months ago. This is a free Summer School that's 6 weeks long with 3 design briefs. I didn't submit to all of the design briefs because some of them I just simply couldn't come up with anything that I thought will be different or unique. So I winded up just looking at what everyone was doing. Of course now that I thought about it, I should have just turned the computer off and just do my own thing first.
The other was a free 3 days live broadcast class with Bonnie Christine called Design Surface Patterns From Scratch  put out by Creativelive. While the class was being broadcast live, it was free or you could buy it at a discount. You can purchase it right now. It is an incredible value for the price they charged for that class. Bonnie Christine is such a great designer and teacher. Check her out at her site called goinghometoroost. She showed not just her process but a lot of Adobe Illustrator techniques as well. I really can't say enough about how wonderful she was and somehow her process just clicked. At the end of the class she challenged all the students to create a 6 pattern collection for a chance to win a whole lot of prices. Also she had started a blog tour for any student who wants to join in the fun of showing their pattern designs. A few of us raised our hands after this initial blog tour list came out but she will be adding us to the tour and mine is October 28th. So keep an eye out for that.
Here's the inspiration board and the collection I did for the Design Surface Patterns From Scratch class. Most of the images are my own but a few were from the web. The pattern collection image may not show all the details for each pattern. But after reading about how some designers got their designs stolen and people are selling them as their own, I guess I should post only low resolution version. I am not sure if I will use this exact version for the blog tour, or tweak it or use a whole new collection. We'll see ...
Inspiration Board

Pattern Collection - My Sanctuary
Ok off to visit the T-gang!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Mug For T

I have a few more hours, so I should be able to post this on Tuesday so I can join Elizabeth at T Stands for Tuesday. I've been drinking water later, so instead of posting a boring cup of water, I decided to put one of the flowers I did for a pattern on a mug. I am learning how to do product mockups so this will work as one of my practices.
I know (and was told) this pattern has a country look to it and would fit in a country kitchen curtain. But since I don't have a blank mockup for cafe curtain, I put it on a dress instead. Actually it's not too bad as a dress. I need more practice with getting the lighting and pattern to look more natural on the mockup image.
Off to visit the T-gang ...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Still Creating Patterns

I have not posted for a while but I am still creating patterns.  And since I am posting and it's Tuesday, I should raise a cup to Elizabeth and her Tuesday gang over at T Stands for Tuesday. I've really been into ginger mint tea since I planted some mints in the backyard. I have found that with very little effor, I could have a very refreshing drink of mint water. Just add the fresh mint in a glass (or cup for me)and muddled it and then add ice water. But don't over muddle if not your water will taste "green". Yuck!
I don't post too much because I have a tendency to ramble on and it winds up taking me a LONG time to do one post. So I will keep this short with mostly pics, so I can spend the time visiting the T-gang instead.
Here's a couple that was sketched using Sketchbook Pro, then pattern created with Adobe Illustrator.

I've used mainly Adobe Illustrators to create my patterns but lately I have started to learn how to do it with Photoshop. The motifs can be a bit more painterly. It's a lot of fun as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Missed 2 T's

So bad that I have missed a couple of T for Tuesday over at Elizabeth's. But wanted to join them this week. First off, what' in my cup today. Nothing fancy ... just felt like some good old Lipton and a bit of mint from the backyard. The container in the back are filled with cookies that my daughter made. But I was good and had my healthy oatmeal instead.
Black tea with Mint
The 5 weeks of Module 1 Surface Pattern Design at Make It In Design is over. Here's a sweet gift all the way from England (super sweet) for each student.

Even though the class is over, the private Facebook page is still buzzing. Everyone is producing a lot of work and setting up their web sites and coming up with their logo, etc. I am not as prolific but I am still doing what I like. I do find that the more I look at others work, the more influenced I am. That can be a good or a bad thing. I guess I will need to put a filter on what I am looking.
Here's one inspired by some jade plants in the backyard. I was very unhappy with the first color palette. I posted it at the class' private Facebook group and got some great feedback and encouragement and here's a few variations. Like always hours can be suck out just playing around with different color palettes. So much fun!

Ok now off to go visit the ladies at T for Tuesday!