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Pattern Play: Layered Designs

July 5, 2017


This is just a quick note to tell you my FIFTH (that’s number five, guys! Five!) Skillshare class, Pattern Play: Layered Designs, is on the books. In this course I show you a workflow for how to make surface patterns in Illustrator that have multiple layers of repeating motifs.

The thing about layered repeats is the depth, interest, and sometimes abstraction that they offer can make designers feel like they’re 10x harder to make than regular-old single layer patterns, but really, it’s a similar process! The key to making awesome and pleasing layered patterns is to stay organized and test your pattern often.

In this course we:

  • Review other artists’ patterns and learn how to break them down in language we can apply to our own work
  • Go over grouping, arranging, and layers
  • Talk about how to get your pattern idea down
  • Go over how to tile your repeat and helpful tips for making your patterns better
  • Look at ways to color your patterns, as well as how to utilize blend modes to change the look of a repeat
  • Cover how to save and store your patterns

And also, since I know learning something new can be really intimidating, I typed up some course notes for you to reference, so you can just sit back and let everything sink in 🙂

So now you can take your favorite themes (cats and flowers, obviously) and combine them in layer upon layer of repeating awesomeness. The cool thing is if you loved adding texture to your tiles like we do in Pattern Play: Combining Illustrator and Photoshop, you can use the same technique for these patterns after you’ve finished your tile in Illustrator. Win!

Here’s what students are saying about the course so far:

What a remarkable class – Dylan really has generously shared some great tips and tricks. As I’m self taught in Ai , I learnt so much and can’t wait to try out a different route to pattern making. What I loved most was the pattern having lots of movement and being organic in feel, something I find challenging in my designs. Many thanks in advance! -Ohn Mar Win, Illustrator

Dylan covers everything you need to know and more in her classes. She’s one to watch on a regular basis and I always look forward to her classes. -Kathleen Ruhl, Textile Designer

Thanks, ladies! So inspired by your work and thrilled I could offer some new tips and tricks to you.

After you take the course and make an incredible, drool-worthy project that you can’t wait to post on Instagram, be sure to use #skillsharebydylanm so I can find your work! There also may be prizes in it for you 🙂 Which reminds me, are you following me on Instagram yet? It’s easily my social media of choice, and I love connecting with you all on there!

Don’t forget about the two month promo. I’ll See you in class!

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  1. Melanie says:

    You are killing it! I love your classes, and I am always inspired when I look at your Instagram or your channel.

    • Dylan says:

      Melanie! Thanks girl ❤️ I pour everything into those classes and my work, so that’s the best compliment. Ever.