Which vegetable do we associate with Halloween? Of course, it is a pumpkin with a scary carved face, also known as a jack-o’-lantern.
In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a Halloween pumpkin pattern in Adobe Illustrator using basic shapes, the Pen Tool, and the Pattern Tool.
If you would like to skip the tutorial, you can just purchase the result as a part of my 23 Halloween Seamless Patterns package. And if you’re looking for more Halloween patterns inspiration, you can find some over on GraphicRiver.
1. How to Set Up a New Document
First we need to set up a New Document (File > New or Control-N) with these settings:
- Number of Artboards: 1
- Width: 1200
- Height: 1200
- Units: pixels
From the Advanced tab:
- Color Mode: RGB
- Raster Effects: Screen
- Preview Mode: Default
- Uncheck Align New Objects to Pixel Grid
2. How to Create a Halloween Pumpkin
Let’s start building a pumpkin from a 280 x 255 px ellipse made with the help of the Ellipse Tool (L). Set the Fill color to default white and the Stroke color to default black, changing the Stroke weight to 4 px.
Add two narrower ellipses inside the first one.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 18 x 45 px rectangle with the same default colors and stroke weight of 4 px.
Select the figure and double-click the Rotate Tool (R) to open the Options menu. Set the Angle value to 45 degrees and press OK.
Choose the angled rectangle and select the Reflect Tool (O). Holding the Alt key, click on the middle of the shape. In the Reflect window, set the Axis to Vertical and press the Copy button, getting a mirror copy of the angled rectangle right over the first one.
Holding down Shift, select both figures that we created with the Selection Tool (V). Use the Unite option on the Pathfinder panel, merging them into one shape. It is going to be the eye of the pumpkin face.
Place the eye on the left side of the pumpkin and create a mirror copy of it on the right side using the Reflect Tool (O) method.
Let’s continue adding details to the pumpkin by creating a 35 x 52 px rectangle. Choose the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and click in the middle of the bottom edge of the rectangle, adding one more anchor point. Delete the left and right bottom anchors with the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-), getting a triangle shape.
Select the bottom anchor with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use the Live Corners feature to make the corner rounded by dragging the circle indicator to the center of the shape, setting the corner radius to about 4 px. Then slightly round the top anchors using the same method.
Add a small ellipse to the top of the triangle-like figure, forming the pumpkin stem. Group (Control-G) all the objects together and place the stem on the top of the pumpkin.
With the help of the Pen Tool (P), add a crooked mouth to the pumpkin face.
We should make some color changes to prepare our pumpkin for pattern making. Change the Fill color of eyes and mouth to black and the Stroke to None.
Set the fill color of the head and the stem to
Choose all the pumpkin parts and go to Object > Expand. Check the Stroke option, and uncheck the Fill option, pressing OK. Our strokes will transform into filled shapes.
Select all shapes and go to the Pathfinder panel using the Divide function. The artwork gets cut into small pieces. (1)
Double-click on the Magic Wand Tool (Y), uncheck all options except the Fill Color option, and click on any black part of the pumpkin. Press Delete, getting all the black pieces removed. (2)
Choose the orange parts of the pumpkin and use the Unite option on the Pathfinder panel, merging all the small pieces into one shape. (3)
The pumpkin is ready!
3. How to Create a Pumpkin Pattern
Select the pumpkin head and go to Object > Pattern > Make. In the Pattern Options, set the size to 1200 x 1200 px. Rotating and copying, spread a few pumpkin heads inside the blue outline, leaving empty spaces between them.
Fill up the remaining space with more pumpkin heads, rotating them and varying their sizes to create a balanced composition.
Then press Done on the upper panel. The pattern will appear in the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches). You can edit it any time by just double-clicking on its thumbnail to open the Pattern Options window.
Build a 1200 x 1200 px rectangle, which we will fill using
#BD6B21 for the background, and align it to the Artboard.
Create another 1200 x 1200 px rectangle. Keeping it selected, go to the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and press on our pattern thumbnail.
You can easily change the size of our pattern by going to Object > Transform > Scale. Then choose only Scale Pattern and set it to 70%.
In Options, check only the Transform Patterns option, leaving other options unchecked. Then press OK.
Happy Halloween Celebration!
Our pumpkin pattern is ready. Great job!
You can use your imagination and create complex patterns by adding more Halloween symbols and details.
I hope you enjoyed the process and learned some new tips and tricks that you can use for creating patterns in future. Feel free to share your results in the comments below.