I've always wondered if there was a specific method/technique that graphic artists use to create the patterning in this croc?enter image description here

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    Do you have any other examples of the type of pattern you're talking about? – Zach Saucier Feb 13 '19 at 15:37
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    It looks manually drawn. Is that a digital illustration, are you sure it's vector? – Luciano Feb 13 '19 at 15:51
  • @Luciano: The image is saved as a JPG, which introduces artefacts, which makes it look manually drawn. If this is originally a digital image, it should not have been saved as JPG (but as PNG), and the artefacts wouldn't have been there. – Andreas Rejbrand Feb 14 '19 at 7:13
  • @AndreasRejbrand jpeg artifacts come from the fact that this image is a jpeg, doesn't prove the original is also raster. Or digital. – Luciano Feb 18 '19 at 9:34
  • @Luciano: Of course not. – Andreas Rejbrand Feb 18 '19 at 10:46

Using Illustrator:

  • Make a Pattern Brush using two paths


  • Adjust the spacing and choose Tints and Shades method to apply a brush color

Pattern Brush

  • Make some irregular paths with this pattern brush


  • Select them and from menu Object → Expand Appearance
  • Apply a Roughen effect to give a handmade appearance


enter image description here

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    Impressive; I thought for sure it was manually drawn. And it may be, but here's a technique to produce that result more easily! – Wildcard Feb 13 '19 at 20:57
  • The original is obviously not done like this, because all the "scales" are different. – OrangeDog Feb 14 '19 at 12:31
  • @OrangeDog See my answer – Ovaryraptor Feb 15 '19 at 15:15

As a Follow-Up to Danielilo's excellent answer and to reply to OrangeDog's comment.

The original is obviously not done like this, because all the "scales" are different

You can achieve almost exactly this with a few more steps.

To achieve even more non-uniformity than just roughening them.

Start off by ungrouping all the elements and then you can use Transform Each (Alt+Shift+Ctrl+D)

enter image description here

One more step further you can perform a Transform Each on the individual components (swoop and line) to further control.


enter image description here


enter image description here

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    Pretty cool. But I'm still not convinced the original isn't hand-painted. OP has no evidence that it wasn't. – OrangeDog Feb 15 '19 at 15:20
  • @OrangeDog There are enough repeating elements that patterns probably were used. Then hand-drawn elements were added to up the authenticity. – Ovaryraptor Feb 15 '19 at 15:23

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