Patterns with Inkscape

I love patterns. On anything: shirts, upholstery, curtains, wallpaper, gift wrap paper. I like patterns that lean towards a retro vibe. I like geometric ones especially with a dash of Art Deco. Or designs featuring nature elements like flowers and leaves. I like simple, elegant ones, I like loud ones. Even ultra minimal designs like polka dots or stripes can be pretty and interesting too, as the variations one can play with them in colour, size and background are endless.

Recently I came across some YouTube tutorials on how to create patterns on Inkscape and decided to give them a go. They seemed easy but I was fumbling and had to keep repeating the steps. However I will do more of them to better get the hang of it. I like trying different types of digital drawing to see which ‘clicks’ with me, when I have the time. Drawing patterns is definitely something I’d like to explore further as a hobby.

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This is the tutorial I tried first, by Logos by Nick. The video is 11 and half minutes long. The first part deals with creating the crown design and the second part shows how to tile it via a clone tool.

After first creating the crown as designed by Logos by Nick, this is how parts of the crown is arranged on the original tile, ready to be cloned into a repeated pattern:

The resulting pattern reminded me so much of a sofa I once had, in navy blue :-) that I decided to have fun trying it in different colours:

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The second tutorial, by Paul Friedl, was more difficult for me to follow. The tile on which the design is based on is created first, and when you start drawing on it, it is replicated on the other cloned tiles. But I kept losing the link to the other tiles for example when I drew with anything other than the bezier (pen) tool, and I had to keep going back to re-link it. Just a matter of practice, I guess. Otherwise it is a pleasant video to follow.

After many tries I settled on this as the design on the original tile. In the process I learned two things: 1. I am utterly shit in drawing arcs and other curvy lines freehand, haha. 2. I had the idea to circumvent this by using the spiral tool to create arcs, by reducing the turn of the spiral to just 1 or 1.5, for example. And that suddenly led to spirals being the theme of the design hahaha.

The original tile design. Not pretty like the one in the tutorial video, but it’ll do. I’ve been watching episodes from the British crime drama series Endeavour, set in the 1960s, and wanted a somewhat retro feel :-) hence this blue.

Cloning the tile shows what it looks like as a repeated pattern:

Click to enlarge

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I certainly had fun with these two tutorials, and there’re a couple more I’m really keen to try out too next time.

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