You have seen them everywhere, detailed patterns repeated intricately on fabrics, wallpapers, vinyls, and plastics. I was once in awe, trying to figure out where the pattern began and where it ended.
Some time ago I decided I wanted to give it a try. As you can imagine where to start left me scratching my head. A few headaches later I came to conclusion that I had to go look at a few examples to figure it out. As far as I know, there are no tutorials, no how-to’s, no let-me-enlighten-you’s out there when it came to creating these detailed patterns. Some existed for the most basic, simple mirrored tiled ones…but well…I guess you have to start somewhere.
Starting simple is the key to learning anything. I started with a basic wavy swirl (image #4) mirrored and slightly offsetting it. Using the basic shape I expanded the detail, using alternative positions to achieve different looks.
Now for the more intricate ones it usually starts with a inspiration pattern and a shape (like flowers or feathers). The top image was created solely for my mother’s website. The conceit was simple, her first publisher was the Wild Rose Press, so I wanted to use roses in the design.
I started with a rose and then worked my out, mirroring what needed, and creating other typical damask patterns and shapes to compliment the focal point. Each design takes anywhere from two to fours day to completion. The dark side of this image was outlined numerous times to add more depth and detail.
Well there you have it, damask patterns in a nut shell. The key is patience and practice. It helps to use other designs as a guide (layout mostly), but make it your own. The software I used was Adobe Illustrator CS3. For those interested in having a design for your own purposes (fabrics, wallpapers, websites, etc) design fees are usually $75-$150. Some restrictions may apply. License fees may apply (mass productions). To view more examples visit my Graphic Design Gallery.
If requested I may do a more detailed tutorial on how to create these type of patterns.
Here’s a thought: If you had a personal pattern made for you, what would be the inspiration?