1. Distorting Shapes Into Flowers
Open a New Document and let’s begin with the first flower-making technique.
- Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool (F7).
- Using the Distort Tool, select Push and Pull Distortion in the Property Barand drag the tool to the left from the center of the circle (this is the Pushdistortion).
- Continue dragging the Push distortion until you have four flower petals whose shape you like.
Let’s build that “pushed” shape into a simple flower!
- Duplicate (Control-D) the flower petal shape and Rotate it 90°.
- Align the two shapes by their centers in the Align and Distribute docker.
- Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool and place it in the center of your flower.
Set your shapes’ fill and outline colors in the Object Properties docker and Group (Control-G) together your flower components.
An alternate method of creating simple daisies is using a polygon to start.
- Draw a ten-sided figure, or a decagon, with the Polygon Tool (Y). Set the number of sides in the Property Bar.
- Once again, use the Distort Tool to Push the decagon into a petaled flower shape.
- Draw a circle and place it in the center of the design.
You’ll notice that before and after distortion, you can change the number of sides so long as you haven’t converted your object to curves.
Another style of flower or flower-like shape starts with a circle as a base.
- Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool. Using the Distort Tool, select Zipper Distortion from the Property Bar. You can either drag the tool out from the center of the circle, or enter 81 for Zipper Amplitude and 5 for Zipper Frequency.
- Switch to Push and Pull Distortion and either Push (to the left) your shape into a flower-like shape, or enter -60 into Push and Pull Amplitude.
There are a lot of fantastic shapes that can be made with the Distortion Tool. For now, we’ll set our final one at a jagged leaf.
- Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool.
- Select the circle and Convert to Curves (Control-Q). Use the Shape Toolto pull the topmost node upward.
- Use the Distort Tool to apply a Zipper Distort with 34 for Zipper Amplitude and 5 for Zipper Frequency.
2. Create a Pattern From Your Shapes
Layer flower shapes on top of each other. Some can be filled while others simply outlined. Note how the amount and depth of petals is different for each. Additionally, create sparkles by using the Pull Distortion instead of Push on circles and polygons.
- Use the Pen Tool to draw veins on the leaf we drew previously.
- Place it beneath the other flower shapes in the Object Manager docker.
When satisfied with your pattern components and their placement, Group them together. Then, go to Tools > Create > Pattern Fill… and select Vector as your pattern type. You’ll have to select your pattern area after this, so it works best if you’re zoomed in on your pattern design.
Hit Accept when satisfied with the marquee around your design and you’ll be prompted to name, tag, and save your pattern (you’ll also have the option to share your pattern through Content Exchange).
You’ll find your pattern in the Object Properties docker under Pattern Fill. Select it from the Personal header within your Fill Picker and apply it to any shape. I applied it to a rectangle drawn with the Rectangle Tool (F6). Adjust your pattern as needed under Transformations. It’s here you can change how the pattern tiles behave: whether they’re stretched out or aligned differently, and the spacing between each tile.
In order to give the pattern more complexity, I placed a solidly filled rectangle beneath it in the Objects Manager docker. Additionally, I created a simple sparkle pattern and placed it over the first, also applied to the same size of rectangle.
Great Job, You’re Done!
Well done you! Now that you’ve played with the Distort Tool and created a floral pattern, what other shapes and designs can you create with other settings or presets of the tool? Share your creations with us in the comment section below!