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Art doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful. Sometimes drawing a simple pattern or repeating patterns can make amazing art. I like to tell people…if you can draw a circle you are an artist. Some of my favorite patterns to draw involve a simple circle or dots.
From kids to adults, drawing patterns can be meditative, fun and easy to do. Get inspired by the 60+ different patterns I cover in this post along with the best supplies to use for drawing patterns.
How to Draw Patterns
Patterns don’t always need to be complex designs. It’s easy to turn basic shapes and lines into great textures and patterns. One of my favorite things to do is to take one shape and then just repeat it over and over in different colors throughout the page. If I want to mix it up, I change up the sizes of the shape throughout the pattern.
Below is an example of just using a heart to create a pattern. I left a small white accent on the top left of each heart to give it a more bubble like appearance. A repeating pattern done in different colors is one of my favorite sketchbook doodles.
What I love is that drawing something so simple takes all the stress out of drawing. If you want to relieve any anxiety, try a repeating pattern design using circles, dots or basic shapes.
For this doodle I just drew small circles using vibrant colors. I kept the circles together in curved rows to give the appearance of a rainbow at the end.
Line patterns can be created freehand or using a ruler. I prefer freehand as it gives a more natural look to the illustration. However, if you want to create geometric patterns, using a ruler can be useful for these intricate designs.
Lines to Draw
- Straight lines
- Vertical lines
- Chevron patterns
Lines don’t always have to be straight. Try curved lines in a basic rainbow shape. Or expand your creativity and try using different design elements to create interesting patterns of horizontal lines.
Ideas for Simple Patterns to Draw
Create a Pattern Grid
One way to get better at drawing patterns is to come up with a grid in your sketchbook that has a bunch of different examples of patterns.
- Start by drawing a grid with the same size squares.
- In each square draw any pattern idea that comes to your mind.
- Let your mind relax and be creative as you come up with your own patterns to draw. There is no right or wrong way to do this!
- Use different shapes, stripes, abstract shapes, lines and more. The possibilities are endless.
- If you get stuck and can’t think of any more patterns to draw, look some ideas up to help.
Easy Cool Patterns to Try
Here are a few of my favorite go to patterns. For all of them I typically use pens when drawing these patterns, but you could also try them with other mediums. These patterns would work well for filling a whole page or just filling in smaller areas of a design.
For the bubble pattern start off by creating both small circles and bigger circles. To give the effect of something rounded, I left a small white highlight at the top of each circle.
Choosing a single zentangle pattern for antire sketchbook spread is a beautiful way to draw a repeating pattern.
Try experimenting with different sizes circles to create a unique textured design. If you want to cut down on the time required for this doodle, consider just drawing on one page or a partial page.
This pattern consists of raindrops which also look like petals. Change up the direction of the raindrops as you add them. There doesn’t need to be any set way to draw each drop, just fill in the space as you go.
Continuous Line Drawings
A fun way to experiment with simple lines and patterns is to create a continuous line drawing. Mix it up by changing colors. You can also tryout curved and circular lines.
Triangles are a great shape for creating pattern designs. For a bolder look fill in the triangles with color. You can also add patterns on top of the triangles for an added design element.
Raindrops are great for making burst like patterns. They also look a like like petals and are perfect for a floral pattern feel.
If you prefer to keep things a little more simple, this spiral drawing is for you. To create the look of the spirals overlapping create a few that you see the full design and then create half spirals to fill the in between space.
Mandala patterns are more complicated that other patterns but with a little practice they can actually be quite easy.
Traditionally mandalas tend to be circular in design, but often nowadays you’ll see mandala designs used in many different ways such as fill in different shapes and patterns.
One of my favorite ways to use mandala designs is to either create a shape or to fill in a shape using mandala lines.
Mixing Patterns Together
If you want to expand your pattern designs, try mixing different patterns together. You can even use patterns and shapes to create images within your design.
Even if you just cover the page in all different types of patterns you can create cool designs that are easy to make.Another great way to combine patterns is to take a single shape, draw it in a pattern throughout the page and then create a different pattern within each shape.
You can also combine many different designs onto one page.
Supplies for Drawing Patterns
There are all kinds of supplies and drawing tools that can be used to create patterns. But you don’t need a bunch of fancy supplies to practice your pattern drawing. Sometimes it’s as simple as using just a pencil and piece of paper.
Pens and Markers
It’s great to have both felt tip pens and fine tip markers on hand when it comes to drawing patterns. Wider pen tips will allow for bolder and brighter designs while extra fine tip pens are best for intricate patterns and fine details.
The best pens and markers for drawing patterns:
- Stabilo 68 Felt Tip Pens
- Stabilo 88 Fineliner Pens
- Ohuhu Double Tipped Brush Markers
- Ohuhu Fineliners Drawing Pens
- Sharpie Markers
Sketchbook for Pattern Drawing
While you can use single sheet paper for drawing patterns, I prefer to keep my patterns in a sketchbook so that I have them all in place and can look back at previous patterns for inspiration.
The best sketchbooks for drawing patterns:
Different Mediums for Creating Patterns
You don’t always have to use pens for creating cool patterns in your sketchbook. Try some other art mediums and basic tools for different textures and designs.
Watercolors are a great option when you want to cover the sketchbook page more quickly. Abstract shapes make for an easy pattern idea to paint with watercolor paint.
Surfaces for pattern design
Think outside of the box when it comes to the surface you draw your patterns on. It doesn’t always have to be paper!
Other surfaces for pattern design:
If you are working on a surface other than paper such rocks, wood slices or ceramic, paint pens are a great option for drawing patterns. You can also use paint pens on paper, you just have to be careful not to smear the paint as it takes a little longer to dry than regular markers.
How do I get started drawing patterns?
Don’t overthink things. Just sit down with some paper and a pen or pencil and start drawing. If you can’t think of a pattern to draw pick a single shape to draw repeatedly over the entire page. You can also create a grid or cheat sheet of patterns to look at when you can’t think of what to draw.
Should I draw my pattern first with pencil?
Skip the pencil and grab a pen instead. Drawing patterns is all about relaxing and just letting the art flow. Don’t worry about making mistakes or doing something wrong. There’s no right or wrong way to draw patterns.
Can I make my own pattern?
Absolutely! Have fun experimenting with designs and different drawing elements. Sometimes I like to combine several pattern ideas like shapes and lines to make a new pattern.
Drawing patterns is a great way to relax and an easy way to create art. Whether you’re a beginner artist or someone who has been practicing art for a long time, pattern drawing is all about enjoying the process and having fun.