Learn how to make paisley shapes in Illustrator using Graphic Styles. I demonstrate graphic styles such as scallop edges stroke style, dotted stroke and a stroke that shows dots that vary in size from big to small.


Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. Today we’re going to be using Adobe Illustrator and we’re going to be making paisleys with graphic styles. Before we go ahead and actually create our paisley shape let’s have a look and see what we’re aiming for.

This is a paisley that I’ve created using graphic styles and we’re going to create these graphic styles so that we can create it ourselves in future. You can see that there’s a scalloped border around the edge and you’re going to learn how to make this scallop border. You’ll also see how to make these blue dots which are another graphic style and then how to make these pink dots so that they change in size. So each of these is a graphic style and it’s just applied to the shape really, really easily. So it’s a very simple process to create this once you create the graphic styles. And they themselves are pretty simple too.

So let’s just close this down for now and we’re going to work on this document here. For ease we’re going to start with a rectangle because it’s just a whole lot easier than drawing paisleys right now. So let’s do a rectangle. And the first graphic style we’re going to create is that scalloped edge. So we’re going to start by selecting a stroke color to use. And I want my scalloped edge to be a sort of pale blue so I’m going to select that as my stroke color. And I want the fill color for this to be a sort of darker blue so I’m going for a darker blue here. Now the stroke is going to need to be fairly wide so I can see my dots so let’s make that 20.

And here we have the beginnings of our scallop edge but it’s just not looking a lot like a scallop border right now. What we need to do is to go into the appearance panel. So you would select Window and Appearance to get to it. Now we’re going to change the stroke so that we actually have dots. So I’m going to click Stroke here. And what I want to do is I want to make sure that the Cap is round and I want to use a dash line and I want this option here that aligns dashes to corners and paths. And I want to make my dash zero and then my gap something less than the weight of the lines. So here 16 is a pretty good fit here and that’s going to give me my scallop border.

Well it’s giving me a two side scallop right now, but that’s easily fixed. You see this appearance panel works very much like a layers panel and so the appearance that’s at the very top is the one that way we’re seeing over the top of everything. And right now that’s the stroke. If we put the fill over the top of everything then the fill would fill up to the edges of this rectangular shape and we’d be left with a scallop border not on the inside of the shape. So all I need to do is to target the fill here and just drag it up above the stroke. And you can see when I drag it above what I’m seeing is this scallop border. So now that we’ve created the first of our graphic styles we’re just going to save it. And I’m just going to click here for new graphic style and it’s now saved.

Now we can go ahead and create the second one which was those blue dots. We can continue to work on the shape here. That’s just fine. Because we’ve already saved the graphic style we won’t be losing if we make changes here. The first change I want to do is I want to remove the fill entirely. So this will be an empty rectangle with just a border. I’m going to select a different color for the stroke and this time I’m going for an even darker blue than we’ve been working on. So let’s go for this dark blue here. And let’s go for stroke and we want to change the values here. I want the weight to be 16. So this is going to be a slightly thinner set of blue dots which would be appropriate if we’re trying to make a shape that’s going to be reducing in size every time we add a graphic style to it. But I want the gap to be bigger because I want things to be circles and I want them to be dots separated from each other not overriding each other. And I do that by changing the gap value. So I’m going to make that 25. And you can see that that’s giving me my circles. So there’s our second graphic style. Let’s just save that.

And let’s go ahead and make the third one. The fill again is nothing, but this time I’m going to choose pink as my shape and we want to make pink dots that vary in size. And that’s just a little bit different to what we’ve been doing previously. Now the weight needs to be a bit smaller because it’s going to be further into the center of this paisley shape. So I’m going to reduce the weight down to 12 points. Because the weight is 12 points I’m going to decrease the gap. So I’m going to make that 16 so the dots are a little closer together. And now we have to make sure that our dots are going to reduce in size. So I’m going to make sure that I have my shape selected. Again, let’s go to stroke and let’s have a look at how we make them reduce in size. At the moment the profile is uniform so all these dots are the same uniform shape. If I change it to width profile one what I get is small to large and that’s what’s giving us these different shape dots. So there’s our third graphic style and we’re just going to save that.

Now if I was to trash this document I’m going to lose those graphic styles so let’s go ahead and let’s make our paisley in this document. So I’m just going to delete the rectangle shape. And we’ll go ahead and make a paisley but use the pen tool to do that. So I’m going to click and drag to start my shape. I’m just going to make it using 3 points so click and drag at the top of the circle. And you can see that we’re still using that last graphic style so it’s happening in place as we draw. It’s not the one we want but we’ll put up with it for now. What I do want is this original style so I’m just going to click on it to apply it to that shape. And here is our paisley shape with the first style on it.

Now all we need to do is to make the same shape but a little bit smaller. So I’m going to select the move tool here and I’m going to choose Edit, Copy and then Edit, Paste in Place. And that should give me a second version of the shape. Let’s just make this a bit bigger here so we can see where we’re working. I’m just going to size this down. And right now I’m going to size it down in proportion so I’m holding the Shift key as I resize it. I’m just going to drop it into place here. And this time instead of this scallop border I want to use the blue dots. So I’m just going to tap on the blue dot graphic style and you can see that we’ve got the scallop with its second layer. And again, I’m going to select that layer, choose Edit, Copy and then Edit, Paste in Place, Paste in Back, placed anywhere, really it doesn’t matter. I’m going to just move it out of the way here. I’m going to Shift and resize it so it’s a smaller size, apply my pink dots to it and just move it back into place. Actually I think I want it a bit smaller still because I have an idea for an intermediary step.

Okay let’s just go and get the blue one. We’re here. I’ve got it selected. I’m going to Edit, Copy and Edit, Paste it. And this time I’m going to add just a very plain stroke. So I’m going to get a green and I’m going to make it a weight of about 10 points. And let’s just go to the stroke options here and let’s just turn off this dash line because I want it to be a plain line. Now I’m thinking that’s a bit wide for this purpose. So let’s just make it that and let’s put that into place. It’s not small enough yet. I think I can resize this in place a little bit. So there’s our paisley shape. And we can do this over and over again using graphic styles. We will have to save these graphic styles though if we want to use them in other documents. So from this right click menu we can choose Save Graphic Style Library and we could save that as a set of graphic styles that we could use again in future.

But you’ve seen here how to create a scallop border, how to create a graphic style that is just dots and how to create a graphic style that is a series of different size dots and then how to apply them to increasingly smaller size shapes so you can create a paisley that looks like this very quickly and very easily. And of course these graphic styles can be applied to any shape so you could do it to circles or stars or whatever it is that you want to draw.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. Look out for more of my video tutorials on this YouTube channel and please subscribe to the channel if you’d like to hear about new videos because we do distribute them twice a week. You can find more of my tutorials and links to other work on projectwoman.com and please like this video by clicking the like button if you liked it. And I always look forward to hearing your comments.

Helen Bradley