How to make an Elizabeth Passini inspired repeat pattern on Procreate on iPad

Elizabeth Passini inspired Repeat Pattern © Sophie Sharpe

by Sophie Sharpe

Burgh House is home to a selection of Elizabeth Passini’s (1911-1995) artwork, including a selection of striking repeat patterns – one of which can be seen below. While Passini’s work is hand painted, her bold style is very graphic.

Bouquet Design Wallpaper by Elizabeth Passini, found in the Burgh House Collections. Accession number 2018.46.

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to create your own Passini inspired repeat pattern using Procreate on the iPad.

What you will need:

  • An iPad compatible with the Procreate app (this includes: iPad Pro or the 5th, 6th, 7th
    generation iPad, iPad Mini 4, iPad mini 5th generation, iPad Air 2 or iPad Air 3rd
  • Procreate app downloaded on your iPad (costs £9.99 – one time purchase).
  • Apple Pencil for precision drawing (or you can use your finger).

Let’s get started!

  • Select a square shaped canvas. 10” x 10” 300 dpi is recommended for high resolution if you
    want to get your pattern printed perhaps on fabric in the future!
  • Draw your design within the canvas making sure nothing goes over the edges.
  • I have gone with a bouquet design inspired by Passini’s and I have selected a minimal
    colour pallette, using 6 shades as Passini often sticks to around 6 or less but it is entirely up to you.
  • Once you have drawn your image add a new layer and fill this new layer black (or any dark colour), then tap on the ‘N’ of the dark layer and make the opacity around 50%.
  • Next tap the dark layer on the layers drop down > select combine down, then select group slide left > duplicate. This will duplicate the whole group so you will have two of your
    drawings and two dark layers as seen in the image below.
  • Now select the bottom group on layers drop down and select the selection tool cursor in the top left of the screen. Select magnetic and uniform and drag the image half way down.
  • Next, go back to layers and take the group on top but this time move half way up. Keep
    dead centre and as close to the middle as possible leaving no overlap whatsoever.
  • Now you will be left with the bottom half of your design and the top half as one image.
    Delete the black squares from your layers and pinch the layers with your drawing on
    together to merge the layers together.
  • Your design will now have your image split in half and will have some free space in the middle. If you wish to add to your design, do so now (as seen in the example image above – abstract shapes are filling some of the additional space). Again stay within the edges of the canvas.
  • Merge all layers together if they are not already.
  • Repeat earlier steps again – add a new layer and fill the new layer black or any dark colour and then tap on the ‘N’ of the dark layer and make the opacity around 50%.
  • Then tap combine down and then select group slide left and duplicate group = two of your drawings and two dark layers
  • Take the bottom group > click selection tool > slide to the left, still keeping dead centre and close to the middle of the canvas
  • Take top group > slide to the right.
  • Delete black layers again and merge all layers.
  • Add to your design filling in any gaps for a more full design if you wish. I added some dots.
  • Finish and save – export as a jpeg.
  • Once saved. Shrink your design into the top left quarter of the canvas.
  • Next import your saved image and match it against the other, putting it in the top right
    quarter of the canvas.
  • Merge the layers together.
  • Your will have the top half of your square filled with your design and the bottom half empty. Use 3 fingers and swipe down > copy.
  • Click select tool and drag the copy of your pattern down so that it matches up with the
    pattern at the top of the square.

Now you should have a repeat pattern that looks like this:

  • Repeat the process to achieve a busier pattern
  • You now have a seamless repeat pattern!
  • These steps can be repeated again and again but of course the pattern will become smaller.
  • There are other helpful tutorials and resources online for instructions on how to produce a repeat pattern on Procreate, especially on Youtube if you would like further guidance.

Happy pattern making!

We would love to see what you come up with! Tag us in your creations @burghhouse1704 and @sophiesharpe_creative.

Text and images © Sophie Sharpe

Burgh House
New End Square
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