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How to Create a Seamless Vintage Nautical Life Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

It's summertime—the time to hit the beach or take a sail. What better time to decorate with a nautical pattern that'll repeat perfectly

Using Adobe Illustrator, you will learn to create marine life wallpaper in a vintage style, In this tutorial. And learn to make the wallpaper seamless, You will use the Pencil Tool to draw different elements. You can follow these steps precisely to make the nautical pattern pictured above, or you can use the steps this tutorials shows to make a pattern with any objects you'd like that repeats perfectly

1. Creating the Marine Life elements

Step 1

PressControl-NButton to create a new document at size600 pxIn the width and height. Select thePencil Tool (N)And on theStrokeSelect, panelRound CapThen adjust thePencil Tool (N)Options:Double-clickOn it on theToolsPanel (Window > Tools) and in the new dialogue window, makeTolerances Fidelity 3 pixelsAndSmoothness 40%CheckFill New Pencil StrokesAnd then pressOkay

Let's draw a seagull as in the image below. You need to hold the, To close the pathAltButton as you finish the path. For the feather decoration on the wing, make the pencil stroke slightly thicker and for the legs, very thick

bird drawing

Step 2

Select the wing and legs, and expand them (Object > Expand). Also you need to expant the beak

bird wings

Step 3

Now remove the strokes and add the fill colors as in the image below

add fill colors

Step 4

Let's draw another element—the anchor. Using thePencil Tool (N)Draw two circles. While keeping them selected, on thePathfinderPress, panelExcludeButton. Then draw bottom part. Now, draw the left arrow. Don't forget to hold theAltButton when as you finish the path. Make sure that the left part of the anchor (arrow) is selected andRight-clickYour mouse. SelectTransform > ReflectCheckVerticalAxis of reflection andAngle 90 degreesThen pressOkayShift the right arrow to the right. Delete the stroke and make the fill color orange (, Select the whole anchorR=214 G=84 B=59). Keep the whole anchor selected,  and on thePathfinderPanel press the UniteButton.  

make anchor

Step 5

Now, let’s draw the lifesaver buoy. Draw two circles again and press theExcludeButton on thePathfinderPanel. Make the fill colorR=232 G=229 B=209Then make very thick stroke on theStrokePanel (stroke colorR=178 G=31 B=41) and draw stripes using thePencil Tool (N)As in the image below. When you are finished, select red stripes and expand them (Object > Expand)

Make one more copy of light gray circle (, NowControl-C) and send it to the front (Control-X, Control-F). You now have two copies of light gray circles. Keep the upper copy selected and while holding theShiftSelect the red stripes, key. Then press theCropButton on thePathfinderPanel

lifesaver

Step 6

Let’s draw the helm—the steering wheel. Using thePencil Tool (N)Draw the helm with thick strokes. Be sure to select theRound CapButton on theStrokePanel. Select the whole thing and expand it (, When you are finishedObject > Expand). Set the fill color to R=188 G=166 B=109

Helm

Step 7

We now have all the elements we need to create the seamless wallpaper. As you can see in the image below, I added one more anchor with the same fill color as a body of the seagull. You first need to select the new anchor, then take the, To easily use the same fill colorEyedropper Tool (I)And click on the body of seagull

all elements

2. Creating the Background

Step 1

Let’s draw a large square by using theRectangle Tool (M)Click on your artboard and in the new dialogue window, make the following rectangle options:Width600 pxAndHeight 600 pxSet the fill color toR=61 G=66 B=73Send this square to the back (Control-X, Control-B). Helm, two anchors, Randomly scatter all elements (seagull, lifesaver buoy) all over the square

artboard with scattered elements

3. Creating a Seamless Pattern

Step 1

Pick theSelection Tool (V)And select all the marine life elements, without the background. Group them together (Right-click > Group). Press theEnterKey andMoveWindow should pop up. Enter inHorizontal Position 600 pxVertical Position 0 pxDistance 600 pxAnd set the Angle b 0 degreesPress the, NowCopyButton

copied elements

Step 2

Select all the elements inside the artboard again and press theEnterKey. In theMoveWindow, makeHorizontal Position -600 pxVertical Position 0 pxDistance 600 pxAndAngle 0 degreesPress theCopyButton

copy again

Step 3

Select all the elements inside the artboard once again and press theEnterKey. In theMoveMake, windowHorizontal Position 0 pxVertical Position 600 pxDistance 600 pxAnd theAngle 90 degreeS. Press theCopyButton

final copy

Step 4

Select all the elements inside the artboard for the last time and press theEnterKey. In theMoveWindow, makeHorizontal Position 0 pxVertical Position -600 pxDistance 600 pxAnd theAngle -90 degreesPress theCopyButton

completed scattershot

Step 5

You need to ungroup everything, Now. Select all the elements (Control-A) and ungroup them (Right-click > Ungroup). You need to delete all the marine life elements that do not cross the background

For example the seagull on the top of the wallpaper, Important point—if you want to move, you need to select the corresponding seagull on the bottom of the wallpaper at the same time. Or you need to move the helm from the left side of the wallpaper, you need to move the same corresponding helm from the right side of the wallpaper

Your result should look like the image below:

4. Cropping the wallpaper

Step 1

Group all the marine life elements without the background. You can select everything (, For thisControl-A) and while holding down theShiftKey, then uncheck the background. Anchors, helms and lifesaver buoys, Now that you have selected just seagulls, group them together (Right-click > Group). Make another copy of the background (Control-F, Control-C) and send it to the front (Control-F, Control-X). Keeping the new copy of the background selected, hold down theShiftKey and select the grouped marine life elements. Go toPathfinderPanel and press theCropButton

 and go to, And last but not least: keep the cropped wallpaper selectedObject > Path > Clean upThenOkayYou need this to delete the paths without the fill and stroke

all paths

Step 2

You should now have something like the image below:

finished artboard

Step 3

You did it. Now your summer vintage marine life wallpaper is done. You can drag the whole pattern to theSwatchesPanel and use it for printing, set as a background, fill the shapes that you created in AI, and more

completed pattern

Conclusion

And it looks beautiful, Congrats, you got your seamless pattern created. Go find a unique way to put it to use, Now, or make another seamless pattern using other elements you've made






Read more: How to Create a Seamless Vintage Nautical Life Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

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