Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about and looking at how to make repeating patterns.
I’ve tried the old fashioned way of working on paper and cutting the paper and so on, and not found the results at all satisfactory.
I’ve had a bit of a go in Adobe Illustrator, but I find Illustrator so confusing and frustrating to use. There seems to be a total disconnect between my brain and the software architecture of Illustrator, and other similar pieces of software.
A day or two ago I found a little app in the Microsoft Store called Amaziograph that lets me create repeating patterns in sheet form, which is great if I want a sheet of black and white repeating, entangled line art, but not what I want if I want a coloured repeating pattern. Oh, the app is a lot of fun to mess around with for sure and no doubt I will use it to generate patterns.
Looking around at software today, a lot of it either works in Illustrator or is prohibitively expensive given that I just want to have a play, see what I can come up with and see if it’s something that I’d like to spend more time with. Where they offer free trials, I know they’re not going to be a long enough trial for me to get to grips with Illustrator and the software/plugins, so I’d not be able to make my mind up.
So, on a wander around the corners of Google, I found a lovely little program called Repper. It had an online trial version that I could play with quite happily, and I decided to purchase it afterwards.
In Repper, you open your own artwork and use parts of it to create repeating patterns. The pattern above is an example of that, kind of.
What I did was to take one of my coloured mandala patterns and use that to create a pattern that was pleasing to me. Actually, I had many, many patterns that were pleasing to me, and I saved them as tiles that would form a repeating pattern. With some, I saved them as a surface pattern, where the tiles were already repeated.
What is nice is that the program lets me set both the size and quality of the tile or surface image.
Next, I put the tile I particularly liked into GiMP (GNU image Manipulation Program, open source software) to copy the black lines and create a new, uncoloured tile with a transparent background.
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro was my next destination so that I could colour the tile as I liked. Not so easy where the edges of the tiles will meet and to have no edges showing up.
The tile is partly finished in terms of colour, but I wanted to see how it would look tiled. Go, back to GiMP I went and the above was the result!
My head now hurts a little after this, which means I need more tea, LOTS more tea and a bit of a break.
I absolutely love that I can take my artwork and use it to create more interesting designs and patterns with. It’s absolutely fascinating, very easy to get lost in it all.
Definitely a very nice way to spend a few hours on a chilly and very rainy afternoon! My Surface Book and Surface Pen have had a good workout in the process too!