Subtle Textures in Illustrator – Double Trouble


For this next tutorial, we won’t be making new patterns but will be recycling patterns we’ve already made and combining them in the Appearances Panel to make more even complex patterns.
1. Open the file that has the taller vertical diamonds (from this tutorial)
2. Open up the Swatches Panel and drag the swatch out of the panel and onto the artboard. This gives you a version of the pattern that you can modify and then return to the Swatches Panel as a completely new pattern.

3. With the pattern selected, double-click the Rotate Transformation Tool and rotate the swatch 90 degrees, click OK.

4. Drag the swatch back into the Swatch Panel.

5. Make a new large rectangle (any size is fine) and change the fill to a color of your choice.

6. In the Appearances Panel add a new fill and choose the vertical diamonds as the fill, change the Opacity to Screen at 20% – this will make the black of the pattern disappear and the white will modify the base color by making it lighter (if you want to make the base color darker and maintain the same base color for the lines choose Multiply as your blending mode.)

7. Make another fill in the Appearances Panel and change the top fill to the newly created horizontal diamonds – keep the same Opacity of Screen at 20%.

8. Make another fill and change the top fill to a black to white gradient, change the Opacity to multiply at 40%. Use the Gradient Tool to change the direction of the gradient to a vertical direction.

Some more variations:

– Instead of changing the rotation of your second Swatch, change the scale to 50% and make a new swatch (when scaling make sure that Scale Strokes and Effects is checked in the Scale Rotation Tool.)

– Use different variations of the patterns. For instance, in the version below I used the vertical diamonds, but then modified the horizontal version to have a radial gradient fill.

– You can add a third pattern to the mix. In the instance below, I used the reverse-out version of the first diamonds. Set them to Screen with an opacity of 20%. You can add as many more as you desire (bear in mind that if they are created using the same proportions you will have better results lining them up)

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