Learn how to create a laurel pattern brush and other details on a patch design.
(intense intro) - [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. Over the years I've picked up some of the most useful workflows by merely observing others, seeing how they did something and realizing that it was far easier than how I was doing it. So, everything in this movie are methods I learned from fellow creative people over the years who I've either worked with or I know, and I've put their methods into use on a lot of projects over the years and it's helped me a lot, and I think it might help you, too.
So, let's jump into this and I'll share them with you. So, we're going to create some really tiny, you see something right there, so we're going to go ahead and zoom in on this, and by the way, this file might look like a normal size, but in actuality if you look at the exercise file, this is pretty small. This was a badge graphic that I created, and we're talking... The badge itself is maybe two-and-a-half inches, so this is kind of tiny but it's very simple methodology to create what's called a laurel motif. If you're not sure that I mean by a laurel, think of Roman Caesar or the Roman leaders and they had those laurel wreaths that went around the side of their head, that's kind of what we're creating but for a graphic purpose, in this case on a badge that we're creating.
But it all comes down to simple vector shapes. What I'm showing you here, everybody should be able to build this, super easy. We're going to create a leaf at the top here and it's just two simple elliptical shapes, intersect them to get the leaf. That's pretty easy using Pathfinder as I just did there, but the other thing is we want to establish the look and feel we need, and in that case this stroke needs to be a little bigger. So, we're going to go to stroke right now, it's just 0.25 of a point. I always work in points, by the way.
It's really easy to think that way. I've been doing that for over 20 years now, so I think in points and I can make pretty close estimates on how many points it's going to take to do this and this. I actually think in points better than I think in inches, if that... You know, I think it has to do with the metric system. When I was growing up they tried to adopt that here in the States and it didn't go anywhere. Nobody wanted it, made sense to me because everything's divisible by 10, and that's the way I look at points.
It makes a lot more sense mathematically to me, but that's kind of a rabbit trail, but there you go. I changed it to one point, we're going to change the coloring here like this, and this is the motif we're going to create. Now, to create a pattern brush, that's what we're going to create, it has to have a repeat. So, I'm going to turn this on because it's going to define the repeat we're going to create. Now, before we utilize this shape we have to convert our paths into shapes.
So, let's turn that off really quick. I'm going to select these like this. Go up to Object, go up to Path, go Outline Stroke, and now these are shapes, no longer strokes and that's what we want. So, I'm going to go ahead and move this guy... Actually, I'll leave him there. I'll clone it, make this one down here. I'm going to select these shapes and I'm going to just unite them together like this, then I'm going to take this shape and I'm going to slide it up and I'm going to remove it from that shape.
Now, you might be wondering why I'm doing that and it's going to make sense here pretty quick. I'm going to go in, we don't need these two anchor points and I'll remove them so we have a flat base there. Now, the whole reason I did this is let's turn on that repeat layer again. We want it to repeat, so as it wraps around a path, that's how a brush works, it just takes vector art and forms it along a path, and in this case a pattern, meaning it has to repeat from one end to the next. So, we want this top edge here, we're going to select the repeat and we're going to select this artwork we just created and we're going to go intersect, and that's going to give us our end shape we need for our brush.
Now, we don't want it this color and we don't want to color it gray. Eventually it will be gray, so we'll get rid of this outline. We're going to color it an RGB black because we might... Right now we're working CMYK, but at some point is somebody wants to utilize this or we want to change a graphic into RGB, if a brush was created with just raw black, which is like this color right here, it will appear transparent in an RGB environment.
So, it's important to always create your base art on brushes, whether they're pattern brushes or not, as RGB black. Once we have this we need to orientate it so it reads from left to right, as shown here, and now this gives us everything we need. So, if we go over here you can see I have a couple of other brushes that will make sense later, but I'll go ahead and drag this in and on this one we're going to go pattern brush, we'll go Okay. Once again, Illustrator's algorithm tries to create art for you.
Never a good idea, create it yourself. So, just disable that, we just want it on the straight areas as it's showing in this preview. Change method to tint so we can color it, and then we can name it whatever we want. We'll just call this... Do I want to call it, yeah, why not, Laurel Beta. We're not sure if we want to use it yet, so we'll just call it that and we'll click Okay. So, you can see that's showing up here, and now we can start utilizing that.
So, let's go ahead and zoom out, and I'm going to turn on another layer here and this is going to be the badge graphic that we're actually creating, and the first thing that I want to touch on before I show you how we put that brush we created to use is I want to go ahead... We can go ahead and turn these off. I want to turn on this layer because I want a dotted line going all the way around this patch. I think that would add a nice aesthetic to it, and so I'm going to show you how you can create a dotted line and actually, when I use freehand, you could just do dots on lines.
There's no big deal, but when I moved to Illustrator I found out, oh, you can't do dots on lines? What, it's just dashes, how do you do dots? I don't know how to do dots. Took me, like, a couple days before somebody showed me how to do this and I've been doing it ever since. So, if you want to create dots you start to create a dash as if you were going to create a dash but you're really not, and we're going to make this dash zero, and then on the gap we're going to go 2.5 like this, and if we zoom in on this you can see that it's not dots yet.
Well, why isn't it dots? Well, you have to do something, and that is on the cap we need to do rounds. So, that just turns those little dashes, which are no length, hence zero, but they have rounds, hence it creates a circle, and that's how you create them. Now, to get them bigger you just make your stroke bigger. In this case, a two-point stroke would create a two-point dot such as this on a square shape. Now, there was a time in the past where if you tried to do this, this is what it'd look like and obviously, why would anybody want that? Nobody wants that, and so Illustrator added this precision one where if you click it it'll align it to those anchor points and it looks a lot better, and so I thought, "Well, great, this is how I'll do this one." Well, come to find out if you take a circle, which isn't even a square.
It seems like it would be easier, and we'll go ahead and take this eye dropper and sample the path we created and it applies to the aesthetic and I go, "Wow, that looks really cool. "That's exactly what I want," only to discover, for whatever reason, you kind of get this down at the bottom, and you're going, "Well, why's it "doing that? Why is it not spaced right?" Well, I don't know, you know, and I've asked a few people and they don't know either. Even if you change the weight. Let's say we do this, well, that doesn't look any better.
Well, what if we go lower, you know, like this, it's like... It's just any way I tried to adjust this it would either overlap and it just didn't look perfect and I'm going, "Well, this is nuts." It's like, that seems like they should fix that and I think they should. In my opinion, that's a bug, but whatever. I don't know, I just know that this methodology wasn't going to work, so how else would I pull this off? Well, I think there's a better way and a more precise way to do that, so let's focus on that.
We're going to just create our own dot, and that's what we did here. So, you see this dot, let's go ahead and zoom in as much as we can here so you can see the full motif, and we've created our dot. So, I'm going to select that dot. Now, I have the circle down here just so we could get the center point of the circle, which is centered on the badge itself. So, we're going to select this dot and the next thing we're going to do is we're going to go over to the rotate tool and I'm going to double click on it and it'll bring up this dialogue.
Okay, and actually, I forgot a step. We're going to select this and with the rotate tool we're going to hold Option down and we're going to find the center point of the shape here and click it with Option held down, and that establishes our orientation of our rotation off of this center point, which is based off of the badge is what we want. Now with the rotate palette open we want to set the angle and then copy it so it goes all the way around the circle.
Well, a circle is 360 degrees. I want to have 100 of these dots perfectly spaced around the circle, so I would take 360, which is a circle, and divide that by 100, and that's 3.6 degrees. So, that's what we're going to type in here. Now, what you don't want to do is just hit Okay, because all that'll do is move the shape you have selected. We don't want to do that, this will give us a preview of how it will move, that's what we want.
We're going to move it like that, but we want to copy and move it, and so we're going to hit Copy and it's going to copy that shape. Once we've done it once you can hold Command down and the D key and it just starts cranking them out and you just go all the way around. I usually stop a little before, like that, and then I'll go Command + D, Command + D to get everything I want, and that's how you can do it with far more precision and it looks a lot better and there's no wonkiness to it whatsoever.
So, that's how you can build precisely, and if you're working digitally there's no reason not to build precisely, in my opinion, but that's how I go about doing that. Once I figured this out it made life a whole lot easier for certain things, like you can create the same interior shape I have here on this kind of burst shape. Just created one shape, rotated it using the same methodology, then fused them all together to create that, very easy and simple. So, what might look complex can be handled very simply, so I just wanted to point that out.
Now, the next thing on this design is just taking this mic that we created and this shape and masking it into place. By the way, I have... Mask is found under Clipping Mask, but notice I have F1, so that's all I did is I just selected both, hit F1 and that shows you how fast keyboard shortcuts can cut down time. Now, we're going to go back to our laurel brush that we created and we're going to turn on this layer, and this is the path we're going to apply our laurel brush to, but we don't want it this pink.
So, we're going to color it this white or this gray color that we're using, the same color is in the mic, and now we're going to go to our brush and we're going to go Apply, and you can see how it applies that nicely to our overall design. I think that's going to work really, really well. It's going to look great, and now we're just going to make a few edits, and so using the same tolerances with the original art, here's the leaf we created. I'm just going to move this over into place like that, and then on the bottom I'm just going to take one of the dots that we created, but it's silver, and bring this over and now you can see how nice it looks in context.
It buttons everything up nicely, but this is where I would take this shape and I go ahead and actually will take this path... Let's go ahead and zoom in, sometimes it's easier to select if you're zoomed in. So, we have this path down here, we have our pattern brush applied to this path and this path, and then we'll go to Expand. It'll turn our brush into shapes, that's what we want.
We're going to select these two paths and we'll go to Path and we'll go to Outline Stroke. Select that, select the end cap like this so we have all the shapes, fuse those together. Unite them together using Pathfinder, and right now it's a group, so we'll change that to a compound path. I'm going to go ahead and copy this, so Command + C, Command + F to make a copy of it.
Go to the reflect tool, find your central anchor point and reflect it over, and that's how quickly and precisely, I should point out, you can create that kind of laurel design on a design like this. Now, there's a lot of things you can do with pattern brushes, so if we take this one. Here's the base art, and I just made the repeat a little differently so there's more to it than one single set of leaves on this one, and this one is just a seamless repeat.
So, we can take this and we can go to our brushes and we can apply it to that and you can see how quickly you can get a seamless repeat to do something that looks pretty complex, but it's very easy to build out using the same methodologies we created. Now, that obviously wasn't part of the seal or this little badge graphic that I created for a vintage radio museum, but it shows you the possibility of what you can do with this type of workflow.
So, learning these types of time saving creative tactics can speed up the process, but it also allows you to build better artwork as well, and that's really important. You work digitally, there's no excuse to build sloppy. So, take your time, pay attention to details and do it well. For more examples of pattern brushes, watch my Drawing Vector Graphics Pattern course, I think you'll like it. Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and as always, never stop drawing.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.