Every artist should learn how to draw basic patterns and textures.
Although everyone likes to focus on lineart, it’s actually a good pattern or texture that can really bring your drawing to life.
Some drawings like a mandala consist only of repeating patterns.
In this post, you’ll find different types of patterns to draw. These patterns including dots, circles, lines, squares/rectangles, and leaves/flowers.
At the end you’ll also find some guidelines to help you come up with your own patterns.
How to draw patterns using dots
Dots are great.
They are actually so great, that they inspired their own art style called pointillism.
Not only are dots very easy to draw, you can actually see them in lots of different patterns.
Here are some patterns that I came up with while doodling.
To create interesting patterns with dots yourself, you want to try one or more of the following:
- Alternate the size of the dots from big to small
- Draw the dots in a clear order or randomly
- Use small dots to draw a bigger circle or other objects
- Combine dots with lines
- Make good use of white space
How to draw circle patterns
Dots and circles are pretty similar. So you might see some similarity between the patterns with dots and the patterns with circles.
However, the empty interior of the circles opens up new possibilities and more intricate design.
You can color inside or outside the circles, or you can give the circles more interesting decorations.
Here are some simple patterns with circles that I came up with.
When coming up with ideas to draw your own patterns with circles, try one or more of the following things:
- Play around with the location of the circles
- Use both big and small circles
- Draw small circles inside larger circles
- Use overlapping circles
- Decorate the circles
- Color some circles while leaving other circles empty
How to draw line patterns
Let’s look at some geometric patterns with lines.
Of course, before you can make any of these patterns, you have to learn how to draw straight lines consistantly.
Just like all the previous patterns we have looked at so far, you want to play around with the positioning of the lines. Especially, with the angle at which lines cross each other.
Here are some line patterns that I drew for practice.
If you want to make your own interesting patterns with lines, you want might want to try one or several of the following:
- Make use of both long and short lines
- Draw lines at different angles such they cross each other
- Alternate horizontal and vertical lines
- Draw zigzag lines
- Fill in the area between some lines
- Incorporate other elements like dots or circles
How to draw geometric patterns using rectangles and squares
Let’s look at some more geometric patterns but with squares and rectangles this time.
Sure, you can draw squares and rectangles with lines, but I felt like they deserved their individual section.
Although they are surprisingly easy to make, I’m super happy with how the square-inside-square patterns turned out.
If you wanted, you could make similar patterns with triangles as well.
Here are some patterns with squares and rectangles that I came up with:
You might think that there is only a limited amount of patterns you can make. But once I got started, I noticed you can pull off amazing patterns by simply:
- Using squares and rectangles of all shapes and sizes
- Rotating them at different angles
- Drawing smaller objects inside bigger ones
- Letting different squares and rectangles overlap with each other
- Coloring some of them while leaving others blank
How to draw floral patterns & leaf patterns
Nature is always a great source of inspiration, so I tried to come up with some patterns that use leaves and/or flowers.
The variety among these patterns mostly comes from the different types of leaves and flowers. There are so many to choose from: the proud Canadian maple tree leaf, the elegant lily, or the romantic rose.
Additionally, you can place them randomly or in a repeating pattern.
Here are some patterns with leaves and flowers that I drew.
If you want to make your own pattern that include leaves or flowers, you can keep things interesting by:
- Drawing different types of flowers and leaves
- Drawing them under random angles
- Including more than one type of flower or leaf
- Coming up with intricate design that include both
- Adding bright colors to your patterns
- Drawing flowers and leaves that you came up with yourself
Rules of thumb for drawing patterns
I hope seeing all these examples of different patterns was useful.
Maybe you can use some of them in your own drawing, or maybe they gave you the inspiration for an even better pattern or texture.
There are definitely some similarities among all the patterns. So I tried to come up with a few rules of thumb that you can refer to when drawing patterns.
- Use both small and big objects
- Try rotating things around a lot
- Adding color can totally change a pattern
- White space can also be part of the pattern
- Both repeating and random patterns can work
- Incorporating different elements into a single pattern works great
I hope you found this post useful and that you tried drawing a few patterns and designs by yourself.
If you let your imagination run loose, you can easily come up with new patterns to draw.
However, if you need some more inspiration or if you want additional instructions, I would suggest you one of the following drawing books: