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Create a Seamless Pattern with Photoshop

My background in art involved paintbrushes, paper, pencils, paint of various sorts, and something to paint. As I began a major in Graphic Arts I moved into the realm of photography, copy, advertising, layouts, fonts, and the technology which existed in the late 1960s. Would you believe that in order to "justify" the print in those days, I had to type my copy on a keyboard that kicked out a roll of tape with a pattern of holes? The tape was then fed into a linotype machine.

The holes matched the copy that had been typed on a keyboard. The copy could then be set to align to right, centered, left, or justified.

Can you imagine? I am typing this now and all I have to do is look to the top and pick out my desired alignment.

Point of note: in 1967 when I was a graphic arts student at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) I was allowed to do the copy process whatever we were working on...but I was NOT allowed to work the printing press because that was a "man's job."


My next art experience was when I transferred to Westfield State University to continue my education. My major was then "fine arts" so I was back to using paints, and paper, and added potter's clay, weaving, sculpture, and art history.

Back to the point. I LOVE ART. I say it often and now, in retirement, I paint almost every day. I also have a mantra that may seem cliché: Learn something new every day.

I have written here in this space, however, that digital art is a whole other animal. One of my principals at one of the schools where I taught elementary art proposed that there be a computer at every grade level, and he mandated that at least one teacher in each level learn how to use it. This was around 1976, and the computer was still elusive in the classroom. Most teachers cringed. I couldn't wait.

When I started using watercolors again after my retirement, my daughter gave me a phone case from Society6 with a small bird. We began to check the site, and she said, "Mom, you should upload your work to this platform." I didn't know what "upload" meant; I had to learn about pixels and assets and edit my artwork for print.

I've come a long way since then. I can resize, HTML, embed, change the hue, rotate, and transform with the best of them (well. maybe not with the best). My daughter has been impressed with how well I can navigate in Photoshop. It has been a slow process but I love learning.

I have subscribed to SKILLSHARE. This is where I really took off in learning how to make Seamless Patterns from my artwork. I joined my favorite artist-friend, Cat Coquillette You can read my earlier Meet the Artist - Cat Coq to get to know her better.


Here we go. Start with the more traditional plan: watercolor image. You want one dominant form, then some middle-sized elements, and finally small "pieces" of the floral designs.

Cat's sample

My dogwood painting


Next, we remove the background.

Cat's class: Removing the background

Removed my background in Photoshop


Next, we isolate the pieces into separate layers:

Cat's class: each element on its own layer

My isolated layers


Next, arrange the block with the elements: