Pattern & Texture

Humans Like Repetition

After going through this chapter, you will realize just how obsessed as humans we are with repeating images, sounds, and activities. We will explore in detail some of the ways that patterns and textures are used in art and design.

Creating a Pattern

This tutorial is based on Design Sponge - Welcome Julia, How to Make a Pattern

One of the questions I frequently get emailed is -how do you make a repeat pattern? I thought it would be fun today to do a little tutorial showing you how simple it is even with a very complex drawing. And you don’t even need a computer! (I usually do my repeats on the computer but today I’m doing it the way I was first taught.) Here’s the old fashioned way of making a tile-able design:

Step 1: Draw the Base

On a clean piece of paper draw a design in the middle of your paper without letting any of the drawing touch the edges - this is very important.

Step 2: Split the Drawing Twice & Re-attach

2a - Split It Horizontally

Once you finish the middle space as much as you want you are going to cut your drawing in half- scary I know- but that’s why computers are helpful. Once you have the two pieces flip them and tape your drawing back together. Put the tape on the back of the paper so it doesn’t obstruct your drawing at all later. Also try to tape your drawing back together as perfectly lined up as possible. It’s hard to see that I’ve even taped mine since I’ve lined it up so well.

2b - Split It Vertically

Next you are going to cut your drawing in half again the other way- (yikes!) and flip those pieces and tape them back together. Now your design should be on all the edges only and you have a big middle white space.

Step 3: Fill in the Blank

Now fill this space with the rest of your design. Remember again - do not draw to any of the edges of the paper.

Step 5: Color It

Once you finish filling in all the parts you want to fill in you now have your repeatable tile. If you have a scanner or copier, it would be a good idea to copy the linework so that you have multiple chances to color without potentially ruining the original linework.

At this phase, you can use marker, watercolor, colored pencil, or if you have Photoshop skills, you can color it that way.

And there you have it!


As always, please email me if you have any questions!