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In this tutorial we’ll be creating an elegant seamless pattern with precious gems in CorelDRAW® X7. Follow the process together with me and learn how to make a set of shiny gems with basic shapes and then build up a repeating pattern using the Duplicate feature and Pattern Fill function in CorelDRAW. We'll finish up by recoloring our pattern in a few clicks with the versatile Color Styles docker and using the Find and Replace function. Interested? Let’s get started!
1. Create a Drop-Shaped Gem Using Basic Shapes
Let’s start rendering our first gem from its central part made of a Complex Star (you can find this tool in the same folding menu as the Polygon tool (Y)). Hold down the Control key to form an even star. We can adjust the corner Sharpness and the number of the star Points in the Property Bar. Let’s set the Points number to 8 and the Sharpness to 2.
Convert our star to Curves (Control-Q or Object > Convert to Curves) and move its upper point by dragging the node up with the Shape tool (F10). Let’s enable the object snapping in View > Snap To > Objects in order to make our workflow more precise and convenient. Make all the sides of the star straight by double-clicking the nodes in the middle of each side to delete them, thus getting rid of the unneeded corners inside our star.
Continue shaping our gem by creating its outer part. Arm yourself with the Polyline tool (it is located in the same folding menu as the Freehand tool (F5)) and connect the points of the star, clicking them one by one.
Now we have the base of our drop-shaped gem. Select both the star and the created curve and Group them (Control-G). Keep a copy (Control-C > Control-V) of the created gem for a while, as we’ll need it a few steps later.
Great, now we can fill the shape with some bright colors! We could do this manually by dividing the gem into pieces and then coloring each of them separately. However, CorelDRAW has a great feature called the Smart Fill tool, which allows you to fill any closed path of a complex shape automatically. Let’s try it out!
Take the Smart Fill tool and head to the Fill Options in the Property Bar. Open a Fill color menu and click More to reveal the Select Color window. Here we can choose the desired color. Let’s make our gem bright lilac.
Apply the color to our gem by clicking the outer row of triangles with the Smart Fill tool one by one.
Select a lighter-lilac color in the Fill Options of the Smart Fill tool and move to the middle row of triangles, making them a bit lighter and, finally, end up in the center, forming the lightest part of our gem. Set the Outline to none in the Smart Fill tool options, or just select the whole object and click the crossed square on the top of your color palette with the right mouse button to get rid of the outline.
Let’s make our gem more glassy by adding a bright highlight on top. Use the basic curve we made with the Polyline tool earlier, duplicate it, make it a bit smaller, and place it in the upper part of our gem.
Fill the shape with the same light-lilac color as the middle part of the gem and use the Transparency tool to form a semi-transparent overtone. Click in the upper part of the shape and drag the mouse cursor down, creating a Fountain transparency. Our first gem is ready! Now that we know the technique, let’s move on to the next gem.
2. Render a Heart Precious Gem With Perfect Shapes
Our next gem will be a lovely heart-shaped ruby. Switch to Basic Shapes in the Tools panel (in the same menu as the Polygon tool (Y)) and select the heart shape from the Perfect shapes drop-down list, which you can find in the Property Bar. Click and drag to create the heart and Convert it to Curves (Control-Q). Now we can make it more rounded by selecting both side nodes with the Shape tool (F10) and dragging them down a bit.
Let’s form the inner part of our gem, using the Complex Star tool as we did previously. Form an even star and place it inside the heart, so that its lower points are touching the edges of the heart, but not crossing them. Convert the star to Curves (Control-Q) and then select the star points with the Shape tool (F10), dragging them closer to the edges of the heart. Double-click to delete the unwanted nodes in the middle of the star edges, making the sides straight and thus expanding the center of the shape.
Here is how the base of our heart-shaped gem looks after we modify its middle part.
Continue and color our ruby in sparkling shades of pink and red. Take the Smart Fill tool and paint the outer row of elements with a deep pinky red. Make the next row a bit lighter and, finally, fill the central part with pale pink.
Duplicate (Control-D) the heart shape on top of our gem and fill it with the same light pink as in the center of the gem. Make the new heart-shape a bit smaller and turn it into a highlight using the Transparency tool, thus creating a glass effect. Now we have a smooth and glossy heart-shaped ruby!
3. Make a Rounded Sapphire in a Few Clicks
Now that the complex-shaped gems are finished, we have a couple of simple gems on the way. Let's shape them!
Start forming the base of our sapphire with the Ellipse tool (F7) by holding the Control key and forming an even circle. Take the Complex Star tool, click and drag to create while holding the Control key to form an even star and set the Points value to 9 in the Property Bar. Proceed by placing the created 9-pointed Complex Star in the center of our circle. You can center both objects towards each other by selecting them both and then Align Centers Horizontally and Vertically in Object > Align and Distribute or simply by pressing the C key and the E key while both objects are selected to align the centers in the same way.
Delete the unneeded nodes inside the star with the Shape tool (F10), thus forming a neat outlined base of our gem.
Fill the sapphire with bright shades of blue, from darker blue at the edges to the lightest blue in the center. Add a smaller even circle on top of the gem and turn it into a gentle highlight with the help of the Transparency tool.
Now we have a perfect glossy sapphire. Let’s move to the next piece!
4. Shape a Chamfered Emerald From a Square
Start by making an even square with the help of the Rectangle tool (F6). Click and drag while holding down the Control key to constrain it to a perfect square. Keeping the shape selected, find the corner types in the control panel above and switch to the Chamfered corners. Now you can set the corner radius to some value (140 px in my case) and see how the corners change.
When you've found the desired size of your chamfered corners, go on and place an even 9-pointed Complex Star in the center of our gem. Convert it to Curves (Control-Q) and adjust the position of its points with the Shape tool (F10), so that they touch the square base, but not showing outside its edges.
Color the gem with the help of the Smart Fill tool, applying emerald shades, moving gradually from darker to lighter green. Place another square with chamfered corners of a smaller size on top of our gem and make a glossy overtone using the Transparency tool. You can use the Elliptical fountain transparency by applying it from the Property Bar in order to make the gem more realistic and dimensional.
You can switch between the fountain transparency modes in the Property Bar, trying various options. Let's apply the Linear fountain transparency to maintain the overall flat style of our gems.
Fantastic! Our precious gems are ready, and we can move to the next part of our tutorial.
5. Build Up a Seamless Pattern Using the Created Gems
Deselect everything by pressing the Escape key a few times, or click on the Pick tool and click in the white area off the page. Set the page dimensions to 600 x 600 px from the controls on the Property Bar, making a square canvas with equal height and width. Move on and find the Duplicate distance option with X and Y-axis values. Set the X-axis value to 600 px and Y to 0 px.
Now place our sapphire on the left edge of the page, so that its center and the edge are aligned (set the Horizontal Object Position to X=0 px in the Property Bar). Keeping the object selected, press Control-D to Duplicate it to the opposite side of the page.
Let’s do the same with the ruby gem, but this time we place it across the upper edge of the page. Set the Vertical Object Position value to Y=600 px in the Property Bar if you wish to align the center of the ruby with the edge of the page. Otherwise, just let any part of the ruby cross the edge. Deselect all objects and set the Y-axis Duplicate distance value to -600 px and the X to 0 px. Select the ruby and Duplicate (Control-D) it. This way we make the copy appear in the bottom part of the page.
Distribute our gems on the page, creating several copies of every element and changing their sizes to make our pattern more variable and rhythmic. Fill the blank areas between the stones with small circles, using the Ellipse tool (F7). Fill the circles with gentle pastel shades of blue, pink, lilac and turquoise.
Let’s fill the background of our pattern with a neutral tint. With everything deselected, double-click the Rectangle tool (F6) to place a rectangle of the size of our page right beneath all other objects. Fill it with a pale-yellow color, making our pattern feel warm and sunny.
Now we need to get rid of those parts outside the edges of the page. We could just crop or erase them, but this will delete the elements completely and we won’t be able to edit the pattern any more. Let’s choose another way and hide the objects!
Deselect all objects and double-click the Rectangle tool (F6) to create another square. Find the created square in the Object Manager docker (Window > Dockers > Object Manager), click it with your right mouse button and select Frame Type > Create Empty PowerClip Frame. You will see a crossed square, indicating an empty PowerClip Frame.
Now select all our objects in the Object Manager, except the PowerClip Rectangle, by clicking on the first and the last group of objects while holding down the Shift key. Click the right mouse button and find PowerClip Inside in the context menu. Right after that your mouse cursor will change to a thick black arrow. Click the empty space between the objects, thus placing them inside the PowerClip Rectangle. Voila! Now the unwanted pieces are hidden, but we can access them anytime by editing the PowerClip contents.
You can check the position of your objects in the pattern by Duplicating (Control-D) it a few times. When you are happy with the result, use the Export (Control-E) function to save the pattern tile and use it outside the program.
However, let’s continue tweaking our pattern. We have a couple more interesting and fun CorelDRAW features to explore! Move on and see how we can create a pattern fill and how to recolor our pattern in just a few clicks!
6. Create a Pattern Fill and Recolor Your Pattern
Select our PowerClip Rectangle and Extract Contents, revealing the hidden shapes. Head to Tools > Create > Pattern Fill and select the Vector type of pattern in the Create Pattern pop-up options window.
Now click your left mouse button and start dragging it, thus covering an area that you wish to turn into a pattern fill. Make sure you've enabled the Objects > Snap > Snap to Objects to get the needed object boundaries. We need to cover the whole page (600 x 600 px) without the elements which are outside the edges. Click the Accept button as soon as you've selected the desired piece, and Save your Pattern.
Let’s apply our new pattern fill and see how it looks. Create a rectangle of an optional size and double-click the Fill bucket icon in the bottom control panel to open the Edit Fill options window. Select the Vector pattern fill, click the fill drop-down list, scroll down to then new fill we just created and double-click it to apply our gems pattern.
Here you can flip it horizontally or vertically, change the scale, and play with some other settings. In our case, let’s set the size of our pattern fill to 300 x 300 px.
Now let’s see how we can change the color of our pattern rapidly. Open the Color Styles docker in Window > Dockers > Color Styles. Select our pattern elements, drag them to the new docker and drop to the area with the following description: Drag here to add color style & create a harmony, leaving the settings in the pop-up options window as default.
Now we have all the colors grouped into separate palettes. Select the first group of turquoise shades, which refer to our emerald gem. Hold the Shift key to select all the colors of a single group.
Then grab the slider inside the color wheel in the Harmony Editor section and rotate it, changing the color from turquoise to yellowish-green. You will see the colors of the emeralds change on our pattern in real time.
Do the same with other color groups, applying entirely new color combinations to our gems.
We have one more element left to recolor: the square light-yellow background. Go to Edit > Find and Replace > Replace Objects. This will open the Replace Wizard dialog box with a variety of options. Select Replace a color and click Next.
Click on the Find drop-down menu, select the Eyedropper tool and pick the light-yellow color from our pattern background. Choose a pure white color in the Replace with color drop-down menu and click Finish.
Finally, click Replace All in the Find and Replace menu that opens right after you close the Replace Wizard, and see our background change from yellow to white.
In this tutorial we’ve used only one feature of the Find and Replace Wizard, but it can also be used for a wide range of actions, such as replacing pen or text properties, and changing the color model or palette. It makes editing very convenient and versatile, allowing you to apply changes only to the selected object.
Congratulations! Our Seamless Pattern With Precious Gems Is Finished!
We’ve successfully created two colorful versions of the pattern, learning how to shape the gems with basic forms, how to recolor them, and how to unite them into an intricate seamless pattern. I hope you’ve discovered some handy tips and tricks while using various CorelDRAW tools and features. Feel free to use these techniques as a guide for creating your future illustrations. Good luck!