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Design a half-drop repeat pattern (seamless)
Standard grid-repeat patterns are great, but sometimes more variation is needed in the repeat to make it more interesting. Half drop basically means that, rather than a tile repeating in a grid form, each tile will be one "half drop" down from the tile next to it - think how bricks are laid, except vertical. This tutorial builds on my previous tutorial for Basic Repeat Patterns, so be sure to check out that one first!

Posted by Abbi Laura from Wimborne Minster, England, United Kingdom • Published See Abbi Laura's 7 projects »
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  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 1
    Step 1

    Start off exactly the same as the basic repeat tutorial - I use a white box 75% of the size of my canvas as a guide and draw or paste my pattern elements within this area. Turn on your Canvas Guides and set them to the maximum scale to create a 2x2 grid guide. Alternatively, use paper!

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 2
    Step 2

    Create 4 black boxes on separate layers, each at 30% opacity. Just as in the other tutorial, each box should be a quarter of the area you're working in. Duplicate the pattern sketch and organise your layers so that each black square has its own pattern sketch layer. This time, however, you want to organise them into two folders: one for the left side, and one for the right.

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 3
    Step 3

    Swap the left and right side over, using the edges of the black boxes and the Canvas Guides to check that they are lined up. Remember to keep Magnetics checked in the Transform menu if you're using Procreate!

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 4
    Step 4

    Leave the new left side as it is. Open up your folder for the new right hand side and split it into one folder for top right, one folder for bottom right. Swap the two over. It should look like this, with elements against the mid-left edge corresponding with the elements at the top and bottom of the right hand edge.

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 5
    Step 5

    Now what used to be on the right is on the left, what used to be top left is now bottom right, and what used to be bottom left is now top right. Still with me? Good.

    Again, you can do this with paper just by cutting your piece of paper up, moving the pieces around, and sticking it back together again!

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 6
    Step 6

    Now, fill in the gaps. Once again, you can move elements and add new ones anywhere within the square, so long as you don't make changes to anything along the edges of the box/canvas/piece of paper.

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 7
    Step 7

    Your finished tile, once cropped, should look something like this! Again, if working on paper, you may want to trace it onto a blank piece or scan it into Photoshop.

    This tile can be uploaded to sites like Spoonflower and Redbubble which support half drop repeats - just upload the tile and select "half drop" under repeat options. It will automatically repeat seamlessly!

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 8
    Step 8

    You'll notice that if you repeat the tile side-by-side, the pattern doesn't match up. If you want to use your pattern anywhere that doesn't support half drop repeat, you'll need to do an extra step to make a suitable tile which will repeat just like the basic tile.

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 9
    Step 9

    Simply Line two tiles up next to one another. Duplicate the tile on the right. Move one tile upwards until its bottom edge lines up with the centre of the original tile, and move the other tile downwards until they align. You can then crop so you'll end up with a tile that's the same height as the original tile, but double the width.

    This tile will be able to repeat seamlessly!

  • How to create a drawing or painting. Half Drop Pattern - Step 10
    Step 10

    And there you are! An awesome half drop repeat pattern, totally seamless.

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