How to create watercolor Easter eggs in Adobe Illustrator

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What better way to celebrate easter than with a traditional easter egg! Keeping with the nostalgic and homely feeling of this holiday, this tutorial looks at creating a patterned egg using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. We'll be using pattern brushes, distortion effects and applying water colour textures to create a homemade feel, perfect tools for that homemade look.

Hi I'm Emma. Today I'm going to be showing you how to make water color texture eggs in Adobe Illustrator and adobe photoshop. Before starting this tutorial, I recommend sketching up some egg designs to work from in Illustrator. I've gone for some based on traditional folk eggs. While sketching these out, I try to keep in mind I want to keep a simple thick line, since this is what we're going to be using digitally. But if you want to create something more complicated, just use a thinner line stroke in Illustrator. Once you've completed your pattern, take a photo and save them onto your computer. To start off with, I'm going to go to File > Place; and I'm going to start with this sketch here. I'm going to place one on one side for reference off my board, and I'll hold down Alt to copy across the other onto my board to work on top of. Then I'll size it up to it's about this big on my board. And press Ctrl + 2, to lock it, so it doesn't get in the way. So first, I'm going to draw around my egg by getting into my Circle tool and drawing an oval. Judging it by eye. If I wanted, I could play with this point and make it more fat, but I'm going to go with a simple oval. I'll select my Pen tool and start drawing out, on top of my lines. Not thinking about patterns, but where my line comes across and holding down Shift to keep it horizontal. After I draw one line, I just hold down Alt and drag my line to copy it. I keep going and when I get to my center line, I find my center point of my oval and align it with the Align tools here. If they don't come up, you can just go to Window > Align, and they'll appear in this panel. Then I select my circle and line, holding down Shift to select both of them at the same time. And I click here to align them. If they're not aligned, the action looks something like this. But mine's OK, so I'll just and undo it. I've got my dotted lines here, my horizontal diamonds, horizontal and zigzag. And I'm just going to take all of these and reflect them in this middle line. So, to do this I'm going to select them all, press O, left-click on my center line, and then holding down Alt, I'll left-click on the opposite point. And that's them reflected along the line. Now I'm going to put these elements in these lines. So to demonstrate, I'll start with a diamond pattern. So I'm going to begin by drawing out my square, which is just the Rectangle tool and holding down Shift. Then I'll rotate it by hovering around the corner, and then holding down Shift and dragging my left-click, till 45 degrees. And this gives us a diamond. I'll size it down slightly till about the size that I want. And then I'll make it the same thickness as the rest of my lines, which in this case is 0.6. I'll go to Stroke, and I can change my Capping here to make it rounded, but since my line is closed, I just need to click on Rounded Edges and this will give us a softer diamond. Then if I move this to the side, and go to Window > Brushes, which is up. I can turn this into a Pattern brush. So to do this, I'm going to click on my shape and I'm going to drag it onto my Brush panel. You can see at the moment, it's not that great, because it's white, so we can't see it. So to make my life easier, I'm going to give it a pink color. So with that setup, I'm going to go back to my Pattern brush, and I'm going to give it a higher value of spacing. I'll put in a value of 50 for now. And then I'll click OK. And then I'll click on this line and click on the brush, and we have our pattern. If I wanted to, I could go back into the brushes property by double clicking and play with the spacing. If Preview is switched on, you can see the results in the line. So if I give it a high value, the spacing is wide, and a small value the spacing is closer. Then I'll apply it to my other line. I'll use Direct Selection tool and now my lines are up properly. On to my next pattern. I've used this alternating pattern of small dot, long dot. So to create this, I'm going to select my Pen tool, I'm gonna draw out my long line first, while holding down Shift, then I'll copy it across and resize it. And then just make sure the line size is the same. Then I'll select Round Cap. Then I'll use the same process of selecting my pattern. And if it's not letting you select, then just zoom in a bit. Then I drag it into brushes to change the spacing. Then I'll apply it onto here and this line, and I'll use the Direct Selection tool to fit in properly onto the egg. I want this flipped along, so I'm going to copy my brush by clicking it and then dragging it onto New Pattern. And then I'll enter the new pattern by double clicking and ticking Flip Across on the Flip tool to reflect it.Then I'll apply that brush to my bottom line and I'll change the scale to 60. So my middle line, I'm just going to do a line of dots. So I'm going to draw a circle with my Circle tool and I'll hold down Shift to do that. And then I'm going to make it a fill instead of a line and I'll scale it by using S and Enter. And then when that's done, I'll drag it onto my brushes. Finally for the zigzag, I'm just going to draw a line and reflect it in the middle line. And then to make our zigzag, I'm just going to go to Effects > Distort and Transform > Zigzag, and play with these tools. So as you can see, we have Size, which changes the height from the middle of our zigzags. And we have Ridges, which changes the number of zigs and zags. I'll choose Corner since I want zigzag. But you can use Smooth, and this will give you a wave. So for speed. when I change the other line, I just click on it and go to Effects > Zigzag. OK, so next I want everything to be white, so I'm going to select everything and give it a stroke of white. Then what we need to do, is make our brushes respond to this new color. So I click on each of my brushes and in the properties, I choose Colorization Method: Hue, or Hue Shift. And I do the same for all the others. So your last tip; if you've changed your scale, but your unhappy with the shift and line scale, or you just want to change individual elements, you can click on your line and go to Object > Expand Appearance, and this will separate your elements. So then selecting them all, I can change their stroke to six, so it's the same as everything else. Now I'm going to give our lines a rougher feel. So I'm going to select all my lines and go to Effect > Distort and Transform > Roughen. And I'm going to click on Preview. And at the moment it looks a bit confusing. So the reason for this is that the sizing at the moment is all relative to our overall shape. So at the moment or shape is roughening by 5% of what it is. But if I go to Absolute, the increments are in pixels. So I'm going to zoom in and go back to Roughen. And then I'm going to change the Detail to 6 and the Size to 5. And make sure it's Corner. So I'll tweak some of my lines with Direct Select and that's my shape done. OK so now I'm going to go through my second easter egg design. The only real difference is that after I've applied my brushes to my lines, I rotate everything by 45 degrees to get this diagonal effect. And then I tweak everything with the Direct Selection tool, since I'm using the same techniques of creating lines, applying brushes and adding Distortion, I'll speed up this part of the process. So, as you can see, using these tools the possibilities to design are endless. So I recommend when designing your shapes, don't confine yourself to diamonds or dots, just choose any symbols that could be heart shapes, rabbits, flowers. And the patterns don't need to be in a line either. If you search for traditional eggs, you'll find loads of motifs and designs so I just say, go with what you like. The next step is going to use our water color texture. So to find this, I went to So F R E E P I K. And then once on the website, I typed in watercolor. So as you can see, there are numerous resources to choose from. I recommend searching for one which isn't too transparent, because this way you're white's gonna show up more. But you can always experiment. I've gone for this pink and blue background. So you just hit Download. And then when you get your file it will come as a .zip. So on Windows 10, all I needed to do was then double-click on the file and select the AI file.And then you'll need to go into Illustrator and delete the text to use the texture, but then you can just save it as a JPEG. So once you've done this, open the file up in Photoshop and copy your pattern in. For this step, I've copied in my lines using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for paste. And selecting pixels. And I've done this separately from my egg outline, so I've just got the pattern lines. And then I've copied in my egg outline. So I'm going to unlock my background by double-clicking, and then making a new background and making it white. So now I'm gonna select my outside line layer. And then I'm going to use my Magic Wand tool to select inside my shape. And I'm going to make sure Sample All Layers is turned off and Contiguous is turned on. With this selected, I'll make a new layer and then using my Fill tool our color in the area I've just highlighted in black. And I'll move this layer below my watercolor layer. I right click on my watercolor layer in the layer panel, and click Create Clipping Mask. And we now have something which looks like our egg. I can then click on my watercolor layer again in the layer panel and using the Move tool, I can move it till I get a section of color I like. Then I'm going to clip my pattern layer to the egg as well, so now we don't get any overlaps. If I want to move everything as one, I need to hold down Shift and click on each of my layers in the layer panel. If I make my background a different color you can see that having left my outside line layer, I get a sticker effect. I've decided to show this because it's another way of creating a slightly different egg pattern. But I'm going to delete it in this case. I want to make a second egg, so before grouping everything together, I'm just going to select my watercolor layer and copy it by dragging it onto a new layer. Then I'll move this new layer to the top and just hide it for now. So now I'll select all three of our layers by holding down Shift and hitting Ctrl+G to group them all together. So I'll turn my watercolor back on and I'll start my other pattern. So I'll repeat the steps of copying the pattern and outside line separately, and then I'll color and create new egg shapes on the layers. So I clip my watercolor on top and then my pattern. And I move everything around till I'm happy and I group everything together. So what you decide to do next is up to you. On this occasion, I want to make a scattered egg pattern for the background of a card. So I selected my eggs and I copied them around playing with different colors, positions and angles. I continued these steps until I had a bunch of different eggs scattered around and was happy with the effect. As a tip in case you're new to Photoshop, a shortcut for selecting groups is to make sure your Move tool is set to Auto Select and Group. This will allow you to copy eggs just by clicking on the shape and holding Alt, without going into all the layers and groups. If you're using this technique though, remember to turn it off when it comes to altering the watercolor background, as auto select when paired with group, will ignore the layer and will just keep moving the egg. And that's it, I hope you've enjoyed the
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