If you have been following my series of mini-tutorials on how to create repeating patterns, you know that I use only a handful of Apps. There isn’t one big App that will do absolutely everything, and although I do have Photoshop on a Creative Cloud subscription, I struggle with its user interface. I’d much rather use the Apps, filters and effects that I know the results of, even if that means moving the image I’m working on from one App to another on my smartphone.
To recap, while we’re here, my list of Apps used for patterns is as shown in this screenshot. These are a mixture of Android and “universal” Apps (i.e Apps that are available on both Android and iOS). The powerhorse in this lineup is PicsArt, which, iPhone artists will be happy to know, is a Universal App.
Lately, I’ve been a naughty girl. I’ve been playing around. With an iOS-only App called “Frax”. I have it on my iPad 2 as “Frax HD”, it cost about $2…and after playing with it for 10 minutes, I was impressed enough to fork out another $8 to upgrade to the Pro version.
Now, there are essentially 2 ways to make a repeat – 1) split and 2) mirror.
Split means to quarter an image and rotate each quarter 180° to meet in the middle again. Which means throwing the centres of the image to the four outer corners…I’ve heard these described as “Magic Corners”. This then is your working template. Bear in mind however, that a split image will not give you a seamless repeat, and you may have to use erasing and cloning filters to smoothen out the joins. Split is what I use if I want to place, for example, clipart in the empty space between repeats.
I much prefer the Mirror method. Which does alter your initial image, but which does give you unusual and intriguing abstract or geometrical images. If you do a Horizontal pass and a Vertical pass, at least once each, you are guaranteed to get a perfectly seamless repeating tile. I like to call my tiles “Modules” as they form the basis of repeats which build up to something bigger.
So, here we are with the Frax image that I’m putting through my trusty workhorse PicsArt.
And after the PicsArt treatment:
After this, it’s a simple matter of using the grid system in PicsArt’s Collage section, to play around with finding a pattern that appeals. You can do this easily by experimenting with flipping the modules within the grid system, or rotating them.
I like how the pattern’s tendrils interlock naturally to bring the whole together cohesively. This design and colourway remind me of a William Morris wallpaper, or a Victorian tapestry or brocade wallhanging.
For the next design, I chose a grey Frax design.
I manipulated this in PicsArt until I got this result.
Which I repeated in a grid to get this.
Hmmm, that looks a bit drab. Let’s spice things up just a little. I went over to Litho to see if the developers had ironed out those freezing/unresponsive buttons. Happy to say I can save my work now in Litho, yay! I used a simple Half-tone effect to add a splash of colour to the middle of the image.
Then I thought, let’s see what my newest App acquisition “A Beautiful Mess” can do…apart from creating a besutiful mess, of course ;-). I found that if I used a thick white border on my image, I could get a 1960s geometric look.
That looks promising indeed. But will it work as a repeat? I repeated this Module in PicsArt, and arrived at this result. This CAN, I am pleased to report, be repeated over and over again seamlessly. Happy Days! :-)
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