How to create a pattern – Part 3: Step by Step to a great step-out

Lisa has been working hard! And again, I cannot thank her enough for allowing me to use her step-out as an example!

Let’s recapture on the step-out she provided first:

Pattern Design by Lisa Jane

When posting play pages in the group for approval, the quality of the photo/scan is not relevant. When it comes to submitting a pattern via email, try to provide the best possible quality that you can. It saves me a lot of time! I am quite good at ‘fixing things’, and for this purpose, I will show you just how far I can go if I have the time to do so.

Here is the original submission:

Aztec by Lisa Jane - Pattern Submission

I am always happy when I see strong, thick lines! Use a thicker pen (0.1 nib is okay, 0.3 nib is better!) Any new step is marked in red, then repeated in black on the next step.

I can see 3 problems though. Firstly, pencil lines should be drawn in green in the first step, in grey on any subsequent step.

On the original, Lisa split step 3 into 2 steps. This is important to show clearly that the one is a straight line, and the other is a C-shape. She also repeated the step on the top and on the bottom in the original first post. In this step-out, only the bottom row has been done. So I took my time and tried to correct some of the problems:

Aztec by Lisa Jane - Modified Pattern Submission

I was able to add the green lines. And I even added the top row (it comes in handy to know your Photoshop!), but in the excitement, I also made the error to not split Step 3 into 2 individual Steps. I can’t do this without actually redrawing her step-out myself.

To demonstrate what I can do, here is the original artwork:

Aztec Artwork by Lisa Jane

And here it is after I ‘fixed’ it:

Aztec Artwork by Lisa Jane

For me to be able to correct issues, it is very helpful to have a white or grey reference area. If you scan or take a photo, ensure that there is some white or grey visible. Do not crop, do not resize, do not modify in any way. Just send it through as-is, please!

And some more words of wisdom regarding the artwork: The artwork is what ‘sells’ your pattern to the tanglers out there. The most beautiful patterns get ignored because the artwork is not appealing. The main focus of the artwork must be the pattern itself. If Lisa had used this pattern only as a border and had some other colorful pattern as part of the artwork, it would distract from the pattern. Please do not rush through your artwork! Take your time. Patterns that have been submitted to the site get thousands of views! It’s your name on the line. You want to be recognized as a great artist. And you want your pattern to be used by other tanglers. Quality is more important than quantity!

And that is this for today from me. Time for bed – keep the designs coming. I shall look at them all in detail in the morning.


How to create a pattern – Part 4: Common mistakes in pattern submissions

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