Summer heat in a tropical paradise! What
could be better? In this tutorial we’ll create our own tropical pattern, making
it seamless and discovering several ways of applying our pattern! We’ll be
using basic geometric shapes as well as some default custom shapes, creating
fancy objects in a few clicks and making them detailed with the help of texture
Patterns and textures surround us
everywhere in our daily life. They are used in web design and for print
materials, they decorate our clothes and walls, and they are used for wrapping
paper and many other purposes.
In this tutorial we’ll be creating a
nature-inspired texture. By the end of the lesson you’ll be able to
create any other kind of pattern in the same style, whether it is a floral seamless pattern or birthday pattern, food wrapping pattern, or anything else.
If you wish to enhance your skills by creating a variety of textures, be sure
to check out Envato Market for inspiration, and then be ready to start!
1. Use Basic and Custom Shapes to Draw
Let’s start by making a New File of 2000 x 2000 px size. We’re making the file big enough to be used for print, if needed.
Let’s take the Ellipse Tool (U) and start making a pineapple. Make a 550 x 660 px bright oval of yellow color.
You can adjust the size of the shape and its fill color in the Properties panel (Window > Properties).
Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the bottom anchor point and
drag the anchor handles, making them longer and so making the bottom of
the pineapple a bit flatter.
Now we’ll shape the top, or the “crown”, of
the pineapple. Continue using the Ellipse
Tool (U) to make a 70 x 400 px
oval, filling it with turquoise-green color.
Take the Convert Point Tool (in the same drop-down menu as the Pen Tool) and click the bottom and
top anchor points to make the tips of the shape pointed.
Now let’s bend the shape. Press Control-T for Free Transform Path. Click the right mouse button and select Warp. Head
to the control panel on top and open the drop-down menu to select the Arc effect. We need our shape to be
bent to the left, so let’s click Change
the warp orientation and set the Bend value to 30.
Looking good! Press Enter to apply the effect.
for Free Transform Path and rotate
the leaf, attaching it to the pineapple. Apply the transformation and press Control-J to make a copy of the leaf
layer. Make it a bit larger, using Free
Transform Path, and attach it above the first leaf. Make another leaf,
changing its size as well.
Select all three leaves, duplicate (Control-J) them and apply Edit
> Transform > Flip Horizontal to mirror the shapes to the opposite
side. Finish up with the top of the pineapple, attaching the leaves to each
other and putting a vertical leaf in the center.
Now we need to make our pineapple editable
in order to add details to it. Select the yellow shape layer in the Layers panel, click the right mouse button and Rasterize Layer. After rasterizing the
shape, we won’t be able to change its size without quality loss anymore. However, it allows us to work with brushes and the Eraser Tool (E).
Let’s depict stylized scales or segments
above our pineapple. We’ll be using a Clipping
Mask so that we can easily undo or redo any action, working in a
Select the yellow shape layer in the Layers panel and click Add vector mask at the bottom of the
Now arm yourself with the Pen Tool (P) and make a diagonal line across
the pineapple while holding Shift.
Select the Clipping Mask in the Layers
panel and select black Fill color in
the Color panel.
Take the Brush Tool (B) and click the right mouse button to open the list of
brushes. Select any round textured brush to your liking. I’m using the Hard Round 9 #1 brush from the default M Brushes set.
Switch back to the Pen Tool (P), click the right
mouse button on the Artboard and select Stroke Path. Set the Tool
to Brush and click OK to make a textured stroke. As you can
see, the vector line made with the Pen Tool
(P) is still visible too.
This way we’re actually making a gap,
erasing a part of the pineapple, using the Clipping
Draw a new diagonal line with the Pen Tool (P) or select the existing vector path with the Move Tool (V) and press Control-T for Free Transform Path. Move the line down. Press Enter
to apply the transformation, and then take the Pen
Tool (P) and click the right mouse
button to Stroke Path.
Continue moving the line down and Stroke Path, adding more blank textured
strokes across the pineapple.
When you’ve finished covering the pineapple with
strokes, select our vector path and Edit
> Transform Points > Flip Horizontal to mirror it horizontally.
repeat the same action with Stroke Path
to add overlapping lines across the pineapple.
Switch to the Brush Tool (B) and use the same brush to add short strokes or dots
in every cell. Remember to draw on the Clipping
Now that the base of our pineapple is
ready, Group (Control-G) the elements.
Now let’s shape a simple palm leaf for our
tropical pattern. Take the Ellipse Tool
(U) and make an 80 x 700 px oval
on a new layer. Use the Convert Point
Tool to make the top and bottom parts of the oval pointed.
Now press Alt-Control-T for Free
Transform Path. Click the pivot point in the center of the leaf and drag it
down, placing it on the bottom tip of the shape. As you may notice, a copy
of the shape will be created in the Layers
panel after you move the pivot point. That’s exactly what we need, and it works
only when you use Alt-Control-T for
Now we can rotate the copy of the leaf.
Press Enter to apply the
transformation, and keep pressing Shift-Control-Alt-T
to make more rotated copies. This is the fastest way to create equally rotated
and transformed copies automatically.
Select all the shapes and duplicate (Control-J) them. Apply Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal
to mirror the shapes to the opposite side, forming a big palm leaf. You can add
a few smaller pieces at the bottom to fill the blank spaces. Group (Control-G) all the parts in
order to keep your layers neat and organized.
Now that we have a couple of elements for
our tropical pattern, let’s see the easiest way of adding more of those. Take
the Custom Shape Tool (U) and open
the drop-down list of shapes in the control panel on top. Here you can find a
great variety of flowers and leaves, which suit our theme perfectly. Pick shapes to your liking and combine them with each other, varying their colors and
2. Apply Textures to the Elements
Let’s start with our pineapple. Select the
yellow shape layer in the Layers
panel and Lock transparent pixels on
top of the panel. This allows us to paint over the shape with the brush,
without affecting any blank areas inside or outside the object. Let’s see how
Select orange color and start painting over
the bottom of the pineapple, gradually making it darker.
Let’s do the same for the crown or top of
the pineapple. First of all, Merge (Control-E) the green leaves of the crown together and Rasterize them by clicking the merged
layer with right mouse button in the
Now we can Lock transparent pixels and paint over the shape, making it
slightly textured by adding a touch of dark green at the bottom and making its
Let’s apply the same technique to the palm
leaf. Select the group of green elements and Layer > Merge Group. Be sure that the layer is rasterized and Lock transparent pixels in the Layers
panel. Use a dry textured brush to make the leaf more detailed and intricate.
Now let’s color one of the flowers, using a different technique. We won’t be rasterizing it this time. Let’s select the
flower layer in the Layers panel,
hold Alt and click Create a new layer.
In the pop-up dialog window, tick the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask
checkbox to link a new layer to the flower layer.
Now we can use a
linked layer to paint over the flower, without crossing its edges.
Group (Control-G) the
flower layers together, keeping your artwork organized.
Use one of the previous techniques to your
liking to color all the rest of the elements, making them textured and detailed.
3. Compose a Seamless Pattern With Tropical
Select the Background layer in the Layers
panel and fill it with light blue. Let’s start arranging our elements
around the canvas.
(Control-J) the elements, rotate them and mirror (Edit
> Transform > Flip Horizontal) to make the pattern versatile, adding a playful rhythm to it. Use the Custom Shape
Tool (U) to add more flowers in order to make the elements look different.
Now let’s see how we can actually make our
pattern seamless. As you may notice, some of the elements cross the left edge of the Artboard. Select the
element (or group of elements) that is crossing the edge, duplicate (Control-J) it and press Control-T for Free Transform.
Head to the control panel on top and find the Horizontal and Vertical positions, marked as X and Y. You will see some
values, defining the position of our objects. Click the triangle button to Use relative positioning for reference
point, this way setting the values to zero. Now type 2000 (which is equal to the width of our Artboard) in the Horizontal
position value, thus moving the selected objects 2000 px to the right. Press Enter
to apply the transformation.
Do the same for the objects, crossing the top edge of the canvas. Duplicate (Control-J) the elements,
press Control-T and type 2000 (which is the height of our
Artboard) in the Vertical position
value, this way moving the element 2000
If you need to move the objects in opposite directions, use negative values (-2000) to move the elements from bottom to the top or from the right side to the left.
Add some minor custom shapes to fill the
blank spaces of our pattern. I’ve used contrast color combinations for new
elements, such as green with a touch of pink or red and yellow. I like how it looks with a
dry textured brush, adding a playful and diverse look to our pattern.
Try adding textured colorful stains to
other elements of our pattern: palm leaves, the top of the pineapple, flowers, and so on. This will make your pattern look unique.
Now that we’re happy with our pattern, with
the position of the elements and their colors, let’s see how we can save our
pattern and apply it to any custom shape.
Go to Edit
> Define Pattern and give your pattern a proper name in the pop-up
Now, if we take the Paint Bucket Tool (G) and head to the control panel on top, we can
set the fill option to Pattern and
find our pattern in the drop-down list. From here, we can either click the tiny
cog icon and use Save Patterns or
open the Preset Manager and Save our pattern from there.
Now there are several options that we can
use to apply our newly created pattern. We can use the Rectangular or Elliptical
Marquee Tool (M) to define a selected area and apply a Pattern Fill with the help of the Paint Bucket Tool (G).
Apart from that, we can use the Custom Shape Tool (U) to create any
custom shape and apply a Pattern Fill
from the control panel on top. From here, we can also adjust the Scale of our pattern.
Last but not least, we can create a
New File of larger size, make a New Layer and use the Paint Bucket Tool (G)
to fill all the Artboard with our tropical pattern!
Voila! Our Tropical Seamless Pattern Is
Great job! We’ve finished
creating our fancy summer textured pattern with tropical elements. I hope this
tutorial brought you a sunny mood and helped you to discover some new tips and
tricks which will be useful for your future artworks!
Feel free to apply these simple techniques,
creating new patterns and textures, which can be used as web backgrounds, for
print, fabric, wrapping paper and any other purpose!