In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an ornamental traditional
winter pattern (similar to the ones on your cozy sweaters) within the
grid, using just the squares. This pattern is seamless, so it can be
used on fabrics, wrapping paper, surface design, and much more!
Why not try looking for winter pattern inspiration on Envato Market.
1. Draw the First Design of the Pattern
After opening your Adobe Illustrator and creating a new document 600 x 600 px Width and Height, we need to adjust a few options. Go to Edit > Preferences > General and adjust your settings using the image below.
Go ahead and enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) because it will help you to draw the pattern. Adjust the grid options: press Control-K and choose Guides & Grid from the pop-up menu. Enter the settings you see in the image below. After that, go to View > Snap to Grid—this will help you to draw within the grid.
Your art board should look like in the image below: six big grid squares horizontally and vertically, which consist of many smaller grid squares.
For the pattern, we will use the two colors shown below. To make the colors easily accessible, drag each color to the Swatches panel.
Ok—so everything is all set, ready to go! Let's get started!
We will start the pattern from the top left corner of our art board.
We’ll take the green fill color from the Swatches panel and use the
Rectangle Tool (M) to draw four green squares diagonally.
Before setting the position of the first square, be sure to count how many grid squares you want to leave from the top and left side of your art board. Your finished First design should be exactly in the middle of the one of the six big grid squares. I left five small grid squares from the top and the left side of my work space.
By the way, did you notice how easy it was to lay the green squares over the grid? That's because you checked Snap to Grid!
Choose the red fill color and with the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a few red rectangles as shown in the image below.
Create more red rectangles.
Now, we want to reflect our design vertically. Select everything you created before and press the O key on your keyboard (to create a reflection) and then the Enter key. In the new dialogue window, enter Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. You will get a reflected copy of your design. Using the keyboard, press the Right Arrow key 17 times and you should have a design element similar to this:
Select everything you created before this step, press the O key and then the Enter key again. We will now create a horizontal reflection. In the new dialogue window, check Axis Horizontal, Angle 0 degrees and press Copy. Again, press the Down Arrow key on your keyboard 17 times. You should have something like this!
Add a few more green squares for further decoration.
Select all the elements and press the Enter key. When the Move window pops up, enter the following options and press Copy.
Keep pressing Control-D on your keyboard four more times to fill the line.
2. Draw the Second Design of the Pattern
Count down six grid squares (from the First design we created) and draw a red square. Add a green square diagonally to the right.
Select the two squares that you just created and press the Enter key. Enter the following options and press Copy.
Your result should look like this:
Keep pressing Control-D until you fill in the whole width.
3. Create the Third Design of the Pattern
We will now begin by creating a quarter of what will be our whole design—we will create the rest by making copies and reflections.
Referencing the image below, carefully arrange the green squares.
Select all the green squares from the previous step, press the O key (reflection) and then the Enter key. Make a vertical reflection of the design just as you did for the first element. Press the Copy button in the dialogue window.
After that, using the Right Arrow key on your keyboard, move the copy to the right. Your result should look like this:
Create a horizontal reflection of the design you got from the previous step. Move the copy down.
Voilà! You should have a design like this:
Select the entire design that you just created, press the Enter key (moving) and then make a copy of it horizontally.
Press Control-D a few more times to fill up the line.
4. Create the Fourth Design of the Pattern
Draw the design you see in the image below.
Select the design you just created, press the Enter key, and move the design horizontally.
Press Control-D until you fill up the line.
5. Create the Fifth Design of the Pattern
Draw three diagonal lines like the ones you see in the image below.
Follow a similar process—press the O key and then the Enter key.
Move the copy using the Right Arrow key on your keyboard until you get a triangular form like this:
Select the triangular form from the previous step and press the Enter key. Use the following settings to move the design.
Keep pressing Control-D and your result will look like this:
6. Create the Sixth Design for the Pattern
Draw the design you see in the image below.
Move it horizontally:
Press Control-D twice more.
Select the design from the previous step, except for the line of four green squares on top, and move it vertically:
Add a few more red squares:
Select the design from the previous step and move it horizontally:
Press Control-D a few more times.
7. Create a Copy of the Second Design
Now that you have created several different design elements, feel free to reuse them. For example, I took the Second design element, created a copy and then moved it down using the Down Arrow key.
8. Recolor the Copy of the Third Design
You can also take a copy of the design element and change the color. For example, I took the copy of the Third design and recolored it.
Then I moved it horizontally and made copies just like I did for the Third design.
9. Create a Copy of the Second Design Once More
You can create a copy of the designs you like as many times as you want.
10. Create a Copy of the First Design
Create a copy of the First design and move it down.
11. Create a Copy of the Fourth Design
Create a copy of the Fourth design and move it down.
Awesome Work, You're Now Done!
Let’s finish off our pattern now. Create a big square (Height and Width 600 px) behind everything—this will be our background. Set the fill color to R=241, G=240, B=219.
Grab the whole pattern with the background to the Swatches panel. Draw a few basic shapes using this pattern and enjoy! Don’t they look like Christmas ornaments?
Congrats on finishing this winter fair isle pattern! You just learned how to draw a pattern using the grid. Why not get more inspirations and create even more winter patterns? Hope you are having a warm and cozy winter!