Inking Natural Elements for Design Work with Adobe Illustrator by Kimberly Crawford — SkillShare — Free download

In this class, we will learn about using objects we find in nature and combining them with India Ink to create motifs for design work. Flowers, leaves, twigs, grass, even rocks can be looked at in a new and inspiring way. Once captured on paper, those images can be turned into digital format using Adobe Illustrator its Image Trace tool. We will learn about using this tool, even without prior experience using the program. Within a short amount of time, we will have digital images ready to be used on a variety of projects. If you are looking to expand your design ideas, or simply want to use the inspiration from your own surroundings, this class will help you grab that moment in nature and capture its beauty tangibly. Let’s get inky.

We will learn:

  • how to stamp natural objects such as flowers, grasses, or branches with ink to create motifs
  • how to choose objects that will make interesting impressions
  • techniques for effective stamping results
  • how to use Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator to create vectorized motifs ready to use in surface pattern creation


  • Natural elements-flowers, leaves, twigs, petals, rocks
  • Black India Ink
  • Watercolor paper
  • Flat paint brush
  • Palette: glass or plastic palette, palette paper, or even a paper plate
  • Printer paper: left-over paper works perfectly
  • Scanner or smart phone with a camera
  • Adobe Illustrator

Optional Supplies:

  • Gloves
  • Tweezers

Lesson Overview:

  1. Class introduction
  2. Materials Needed, Class Project
  3. Inking Natural Elements
  4. Flower Pressing
  5. Scanning Images
  6. Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator
  7. Final Design Inspiration and Ideas

If all you can do in Adobe Illustrator is open the program, perfect! Following the steps in the class, you will be able to easily open and Image Trace your impressions. This class does not cover design work or pattern creation, however. I encourage you to find a class here on Skillshare and learn from some amazing instructors.

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