How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator
How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator
How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

How to Create a Pencil-Themed Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial we’re going to take a quick look at the process of creating a pencil-themed pattern in Adobe Illustrator. You’ll learn how to put it together easily using a few basic geometric shapes and tools.

Oh, and don’t forget you can always expand your library by heading over to GraphicRiver, where you’ll find a great selection of vector patterns.

That being said, take a quick sip of that magic bean juice, and let’s jump straight into it!

1. How to Set Up a
New Project File

Let’s kick things
off by setting up a New Document by
going to File > New or by using
the Control-N keyboard shortcut. Then adjust it as follows:

  • Number
    of Artboards:
    1
  • Width:
    1560
    px
  • Height:
    1360
    px
  • Units:
    Pixels 

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color
    Mode:
    RGB
  • Raster
    Effects:
    Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default
setting up a new document

2. How to Create
the Background

Once we have our
new project file, we can start working on the actual pattern by creating the
background.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M)
and create a 1560 x 1360 px shape, which we will color using #FFD44D and then center align to the underlying
Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

creating and positioning the main shape for the background

Step 2

Start working on the repeating holes by creating the main shape for the
initial instance using a 120 x 32 px ellipse, which we will color using #FFB450 and then center align to the Artboard as we
did with the larger rectangle.

creating the main shape for the first instance of the repeating hole

Step 3

Zoom in on the shape that we’ve just created and add its inner darker section using another 120 x 32 px ellipse, which we will color
using #E2963B and then position on top of its bottom half as seen in the
reference image.

adding the inner darker section to the first instance of the repeating hole

Step 4

Since we want the darker section to remain confined to the surface of
the lighter ellipse, we’ll have to mask it using a copy (Control-C) of the latter, which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then, with both of them
selected, simply right click > Make
Clipping Mask
. Once you’re done, make sure you select and group both shapes
together using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut before moving on to the next step.

masking the inner darker section of the repeating hole

Step 5

Now that we have our first hole, we can use it
to create the middle row by making two copies (Control-C > Control-F twice) which we will position on the sides,
at a hefty distance of 400 px. As
soon as you have the holes in place, make sure you select and group (Control-G) all three of them before
moving on to the next step.

creating the first row of holes

Step 6

Start working on the wider row by pasting another copy of the initial
hole using the Control-F keyboard
shortcut, which we will position above the original instance, at a distance of 104 px, making sure to align it to the
Artboard’s left edge afterwards.

creating and positioning the main hole for the wider row

Step 7

Create the remaining instances using three copies (Control-F three times) which we will position 400 px from the one that we’ve just
created, making sure to select and group (Control-G)
all four of them together afterwards.

adding the remaining holes to the wider row

Step 8

Add the rest of the rows using copies of the ones that we’ve just created, which we will vertically stack
at a distance of 104 px from one
another, alternating them as seen in the reference image. Take your time, and
once you’re done, make sure to select and group all of them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the remaining holes to the background

3. How to Create
the Upward-Facing Pencil

Now that we’ve
finished working on the background, we can gradually add our different elements. We will do so starting with the first variation of
the pencil.

Step 1

Position yourself onto one of the holes, and create the pencil’s main
body using a 48 x 152 px rectangle,
which we will color using #FF7348 and then center align to the ellipse’s bottom
anchor point.

creating the main shape for the upward-facing pencil

Step 2

Add the lower section of the tip using a 48 x 16 px ellipse (#FFE5CC). Remove its
upper half by selecting its top anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then pressing Delete. Close the resulting path using
the Control-J keyboard shortcut,
positioning the adjusted shape as seen in the reference image.

adding the lower section of the tip to the upward-facing pencil

Step 3

Create the upper section of the tip using a 48 x 48 px square (#FFE5CC), which we will turn into a triangle by
adding a new anchor point to the center of its top edge using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and then
removing its top corner ones using the Delete
Anchor Point Tool (-)
. Then, we want to adjust its sharpness by
converting the top anchor point to smooth using the Convert selected anchor points to smooth function, and repositioning its handles.

adding the upper section of the tip to the upward-facing pencil

Step 4

Add the colored tip using a 40 x
40 px
circle (#916353), which we will position as seen in the reference
image, making sure to mask it using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the underlying shape. Once you’re
done, select and group (Control-G)
all of the pencil’s composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

adding the colored section to the tip of the upward-facing pencil

Step 5

Since we want the lower section of the pencil to follow the curvature of
the hole, we’re going to mask it using an adjusted copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the underlying
ellipse, which will follow the entire height of the object.

masking the upward-facing pencil

Step 6

Once you’ve finished creating
and masking the pencil, you can populate some of the background’s inner holes
using copies (Control-C >
Control-F
), varying their height as seen in the reference image.

adding the upward-facing pencils to the background

4. How to Create
the Downward-Facing Pencil

Now that we have
the upward-facing pencils in place, we can move on to the downward-facing ones,
which we will create using a couple of basic geometric shapes.

Step 1

Position yourself onto one of the empty holes, and create the pencil’s
main body using a 48 x 194 px rectangle,
which we will color using #FF7348 and then center align to the underlying
ellipse’s bottom anchor point.

creating the main shape for the down-facing pencil

Step 2

Add the main shape for the bottom of the pencil using a 48 x 12 px ellipse, which we will color using #FFE5CC and then
position on top of the larger rectangle so that it ends up overlapping its
bottom half.

adding the rear end to the down-facing pencil

Step 3

Create the inner colored section using a 16 x 4 px ellipse, which we will color using #916353 and then
center align to the larger shape from the previous step. Once you’re done,
don’t forget to select and group (Control-G)
all of the pencil’s composing shapes before moving on to the next
step.

adding the inner colored section to the down-facing pencil

Step 4

As we did with the previous variation of the pencil, make sure you mask
the current one using a modified copy (Control-C
> Control-F
) of the underlying ellipse so that it covers the entire
height of the object.

masking the down-facing pencil

Step 5

Populate some of the empty holes (both inner and outer facing ones),
using a couple of copies of varied height, setting the Fill color for some of their bodies to #7BA1FF.

adding the downward-facing pencils to the background

Quick tip: when you populate the outer holes that fall
within the edges of the Artboard, make sure you always add them in pairs found
on opposite sides, otherwise the pattern will end up breaking.

5. How to Create
the Eraser

Now that we have
both variations of the pencil in place, we can move on to the last element, the
eraser, which is probably the easiest one to create, as you’ll see in the
following moments.

Step 1

Start by positioning yourself onto an empty hole, and then create the
main shape for its lower body using a 64
x 16 px
rectangle, which we will color using #FFE7E1 and then center align
to the underlying ellipse’s bottom anchor point.

creating the lower section of the eraser

Step 2

Add the eraser’s upper body using a 64
x 64 px
square (#5EC9F7), which we will adjust by setting the Radius of its top corners to 8 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties. Once you’re done, make sure you select and
group (Control-G) all of its
composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

creating the upper section of the eraser

Step 3

Quickly mask the eraser using an adjusted copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the underlying ellipse so that it
matches the height of the object as seen in the reference image.

masking the eraser

Step 4

As soon as you’ve finished working on the eraser, you can use copies (Control-C > Control-F)
to populate some of the background’s remaining holes, adding variations by flipping
some of their fill colors as seen in the reference image.

adding the erasers to the background

6. How to Create
the Pattern

Now that we have
all our composing elements in place, we can finally use them to create the
actual pattern.

Step 1

Start by selecting and grouping all of the shapes (except for the
background) using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut, making sure to mask them using a copy (Control-C) of the underlying background, which we will paste in
front (Control-F), and then with all
of them selected simply right click >
Make Clipping Mask
. Once you’re done, select and group (Control-G) the masked shapes and the
background before moving on to the next step.

masking all the shapes together

Step 2

Select the artwork that we’ve just grouped and then go to Object > Pattern and hit Make, which will bring up a new window where
we can adjust some of its settings, but first let’s give it a custom name.

naming the custom pattern

Step 3

Next, we want to choose Grid
as our Tile Type, making sure to set
its Width and Height values to the same ones used for the Artboard (1560 x 1360 px). You can also use the Size Tile to Art option, which should produce the same result.

setting the size of the pattern tile

Step 4

Finally, we’re going to leave the Overlap
and Copies settings as they are and
hit Done, which will save all our
settings.

pattern overlap and copies settings

7. How to Use the
Pattern

So we’ve now finished
creating our new pattern, but how do we go about using it?

Well, if you open up the Swatches
panel, you’ll quickly notice that it has been added to its Library, which means we can set it as our Fill color and then use the Rectangle
Tool (M)
to draw different sized shapes.

example of using the custom pattern

Quick tip: since we’ve used larger shapes to create the
actual pattern, you’ll need to draw a large enough rectangle to fit
the entire composition. If you want to use the pattern in smaller projects, you
can easily resize the final composition (right
click > Transform > Scale
) to
a custom size depending on what you want to achieve.

Great Work!

There you have it: a nice, easy way of creating your very own pencil-themed pattern.

As always, I hope you had fun working on the project. If you have any
questions, feel free to post them within the comments section and I’ll get back
to you as soon as I can!

finished project preview