Creative Summer Week 2 Patterns and Textures

Hello and welcome to week 2 of Creative Summer!!

This week we are working on building our creative habit as we talked about in the last post. It sometimes takes sacrifice and some serious determination to be there for your creativity, as you know. Little by little we let it become part of our everyday lives until it’s just something we do without much effort or planning. It hopefully will even become a necessity for finding your inner peace.

So as we work on showing up and learning to increase our creative expression, I want to give you ideas to play with every week while you are work. This week it’s patterns and textures.

Patterns and textures bring interest, variation, expression, cohesion, and beauty to your work. There is so much to be done with both of them. They are endless points of creativity.

What are patterns?

Patterns are repeating elements in some form. You can be flexible with the definition, if you like. I certainly am.

They can be made of lines for example, or motifs that you repeat through a work, or say a repeating pattern of dots forming a background, for example. You can play around with doodles and sketchbook practices and make pages that are only repeating patterns. This gives you the opportunity to build your knowledge and create a library of your own patterns that you can use elsewhere.

You could scan and print out your patterned papers and use them as collage material, or take the individual elements and make a repeating pattern digitally that could be for fabrics or other printed merchandise, for example.

You can challenge yourself to make a whole book of patterns to develop your style and follow where it leads you.

As you work on your own pattern libraries, take time to look around you and notice objects that are made of repeating elements. Leaves, flowers, houses. walls and floors. What do you see?

What about textures?

In a way they are a type of pattern, but they aren’t necessarily regular. They add interest, variation, and expression as well. They enrich and deepen your work. They take plain areas and make them lively. I like to think of them as surface treatments on your artistic elements. Despite the “surface” nature of texture, as already said, they add much depth.

They can be literal textures like using various plasters or collages materials in your art. Or if you do written or musical work, they might be thought of as adding descriptions and emotion to something.

If you aren’t sure where to start, try taking a piece of bark and look at what gives it texture. The grooves, the lines, the bumpiness or smoothness, the variation in color too. Take these ideas and play around, practice them.

If you are writing, think of a character, and what you could add to make them more textured, less of a blank vassal. Everyone has something about them both their outer form and their inner self that makes them into an interesting and perhaps conflicted person. What are those things that create a textured character?

Here are a few examples from my own works where I play with pattern and texture:

In the above robin drawing, the feathers and the moss are textures that I worked on creating using various marks.

Above I used color and repeating patterns to create the feeling of meadow flowers.

Pattern practice can be simple and easy! Just play with making simple flowers with your watercolors and see what you come up with!

Have some fun with color and shape!

In summary, patterns and textures offer limitless possibilities for our creative work. They add so much interest, variation and depth. Learning to use them will increase our creative expression and help us develop our own style.

Keep playing and having fun with whatever you are creating! Have a very creative week!!