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Wavy Pattern in Illustrator

Posted on 13th February 2019
1 - In Illustrator, create a “New Document”.

2 - Select the “Ellipse Tool” (L) click inside of your Canvas and input a “Width” and “Height” of 80 px. Set the “Stroke” color to Black and “Fill” to “None.

3 - Use the “Direct Selection Tool” (A) (+ “Shift” key) to select the Top and Left “Anchor Points”. Then, hit “Delete” to erase them. You should end up with the Bottom-Right quarter of a circle.

4 - With it still selected, go to the “Appearance Panel”, click on the “Effects Menu” on the Bottom-Left side and navigate to Distort & Transform > Transform and use a “Horizontal Move” of 40 px and “Vertical Move” of -40 px, check the “Reflect X and Y” boxes and make 1 “Copy”. Click “OK”.

5 - Check if the ends of the two shapes coincide and double-click the “Transform” setting in the “Appearance Panel” to correct the “Horizontal Move” value to 39.5 px. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Finally, click on the “Convert Selected Anchor Points to Smooth” button on the left side of the Top Menu.

6 - Go back to the “Appearance Panel” to apply another instance of Distort & Transform > Transform. This time use a “Horizontal Move” of 6 px and “Vertical Move” of  0.5 px and make 1 “Copy”. Click “OK”. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

7 - Use the “Direct Selection Tool” (A) to select one of the “End Points” (the one that is on the Top-Left of the first Wave) and pull it until it is in the same spot of the one Top-Left of the second Wave. Repeat this with the Bottom “End Points” and close the Shape.

8 - Use the “Direct Selection Tool” (A) to select the Center-Left “Anchor Point” and move it a few clicks to the Left using the “Arrow” keys. Do the same with the one on the Center-Right but move it to the Right to make the inside of the Shape larger. Click on the Top “End Point” and pull the Left-hand Handle while holding the “Shift” key and make the top curve a bit larger. Repeat with the one at the bottom and left and pull to the right. Create a uniform looking Wave.

9 - Select all the “Anchor Points” on one of the Center (Right side), right-click on top and choose “Group”. Repeat with the other side. Or you can “Join” them together (Command/Control + J). Go to Object > Transform > Reflect and use a “Vertical Axis”. Click “Copy” instead of “OK”.

10 - Go to Object > Transform > Move and use a “Vertical Distance” of 79 px with a -90° Angle. Click “OK”.

11- Select the Top-Right ends making sure that all the “Anchor Points” are selected right-click on top and choose “Join” (Sometimes you can get an error message. The paths are probably not in the same group. Ungroup them then try again).

12 - Then, click on the “Swap Fill and Stroke” icon (Shift + X)  on the Tool Bar to make the Fill Black.

13 - Move the Shape to the Top-Left corner of the Document and resize it if needed using the “Scale Tool” (S). We applied a “Uniform” 50% Scale.

14 - Go to the “Appearance Panel”, click on the “Effects Menu” on the Bottom-Left side and navigate to Distort & Transform > Transform and use a “Vertical Move” of 79 px, and make 7 “Copies”. Click “OK”. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance. If the copies end out of the Canvas use the “Selection Tool” and resize them to fit.

15 - Duplicate your Shapes and place them in the opposite side of the Canvas. Hold the “Shift + Option/Alt” keys while dragging to the right to create the duplicate. Select both sides (Shift key) and change their “Fill” color if you want (we used a Medium Brown from the “Swatches Panel”). Then head to the “Pathfinder Panel” and choose “Unite”.

16 - Select both sides and go to Object > Blend > Make, then go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and use “Specified Steps” for “Spacing” and input 75.

17 - Pull the Left and Right sides of the Pattern so they finish outside the Canvas so there is no White space in the sides.

18 - Select the “Rectangle Tool” (R) and make a rectangle that covers the entire Canvas, fill it with a lighter shade of brown from the “Swatches Panel”.

19 - Right-click on top and choose to Arrange > Send to Back.

20 - Create another rectangle with NO “Fill” and “Stroke” on top of everything. Select all your Layers, right-click on top and choose “Make Clipping Mask”.

21 - Check out your “Pattern”.

by @lornacane

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