Tag Archives: tutorials

Pattern Observer

For those of you interested in designing and printing wallpapers, or indeed any kind of surface design, Pattern Observer is an invaluable resource. I cannot praise it highly enough. It offers an insight into the burgeoning surface pattern design industry, you can subscribe to their regular email updates (I do), join their Textile Design Lab to enter into discussion with fellow likeminded artists, keep up to date with the latest news and trends in the industry. There are even e-courses you can sign up for to improve and hone your designing skills, learn new techniques and improve your own sales and marketing.

If you are the least bit serious about becoming a surface pattern designer, or even if you just want to investigate the ins and outs of surface design before you decide, you simply MUST join or follow Pattern Observer.

I love the layout of the blog, which can be used as a launchpad to visit other areas of the Pattern Observer microcosmos, all neatly organised and categorised for your benefit. Use the drop down menu there and you’ll see what I mean.

Pattern Observer can also be found on Facebook. So you can keep abreast of the latest news without even having to leave your favourite social media platform.

One of the many highlights of following Pattern Observer is that each week a different artist is showcased, providing insight into their processes, techniques, business practice, etc. Very useful and inspiring for aspiring designers.

Here I’m simply posting the links to bring together Parts 1 and 2 of Pattern Observer’s primers on wallpaper printing techniques through the ages. A potted history, if you will, for your enjoyment.



For those wanting to take the guesswork out of designing pattern repeats, check out Pattern Observer’s 5 week self-study e-course, The Ultimate Guide to Repeats. Be aware though, this course assumes some prior knowledge of, and experience with, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

(Photo taken from the blog’s “About” page shows Pattern Observer founder Michelle Fifis and her family.)

Posted from WordPress for Android.


ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD – first impressions from a total greenhorn

The other day, hubby, myself and the kid found ourselves at Booragoon Apple Store. Why? Because I woke up that morning with the crazy idea that, if I was going to start my education in all things Adobe, I would need a dedicated computer for that. And, seeing as hubby already owns a 21 inch iMac that I’d bought him with my very first Australian paycheck 2 years ago (well, ok I paid for 2/3 of it), and that, with his new music studio in our house slowly coming together, he was probably hankering after a bigger screen…a bit of handing-me-down seemed called for.

So, hubby got a new 27 inch iMac that is so thin our current flatscreen TV wept. And I “inherited” his/my old 21 inch iMac. Happy days! A look-in at Dymocks bookstore in the same shopping centre unearthed a “Creative Cloud for Dummies” book…cool, right up my street. Plus, I have a couple of books on the same subject on order from Amazon, but those will probably take a couple of weeks to arrive. But now, with Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscribed to monthly (AU$49.99), and bolstered by my new Dummies book on the subject, I can get started immediately.

The Dummies book is reassuringly thick. Possibly like me. And it will make a wonderful pillow for my poor head, when all that hard learning gets too much.

Creative Cloud for Dummies book

(I’ve posted the link to The Book Depository as they offer Free Delivery Worldwide, so anything you find on Amazon that they also offer, do yourself a favour – check their own site first and see if you can get the item cheaper directly from them).

I realise now that I have to sift through tonnes of Photoshop videos to get to what I want, and that is pattern repeats.  I don’t intend to utilise Photoshop fully, as I am perfectly happy using my Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone and Google Apps to create my mobile photography images.  However, what I do need to use on Photoshop, or Illustrator, is the offset pattern repeat functionality.  Here is a video of an interesting tutorial I found on Lynda.com.


I also found this lovely one on YouTube.  She makes it look so easy!!


I followed Helen Bradley’s wonderfully simply video tutorial on using scripted patterns.  Here are my first 2 efforts in creating a brick and weave tiling pattern.  One’s a strawberry flower, the other is a red poppy.

While that worked for brick and weave patterns, it didn’t come out nicely for spiral or random patterns.  I thought about it, then realised that was because I hadn’t actually cut out the flower, I’d merely selected the image and put a black background around it.  So, in actual fact, my image was a rectangle, hence the jaggedness when formed into a spiral pattern.  Back to the drawing board!

Strawberry flower1 RedPoppypattern1

Day 2 – today I used Photoshop’s very handy crop tool, which is soooo easy to use, by the way, to cut out my Poppy image completely free from its background.  Then, I opened up a new image and pasted the Poppy to it, so I now had just the Poppy floating about on its own.  A definite improvement!  I also found a handy script pattern UI that someone else had created, and played around with it.  http://uebelephoto.com/CS6_Fill.html

Here are some results from today’s foray into Photoshop CC.  Much better…but I think I really need a lot of practice to be able to remember how to do this!

RedPoppyAgain Red Poppy mixed