I love drawing pattern repeats by hand, even though I compose the majority of my patterns from individual (often hand-drawn) motifs digitally, because of the variation options.
But the hand-drawn pattern repeats just still have a special appeal.
When I did my apprenticeship in embroidery over thirty years ago, computer-based work in this field was not really thought of. Even today, in the embroidery craft, the templates of the unique pieces are usually still drawn by hand and therefor, of course, also the repeating decorations and patterns.
So how do you draw a pattern repeat by hand?
Probably everyone has their own preferences. I like to draw completely interlocking patterns. Even if this approach is a bit risky and it happens to me now and then that the repetition becomes visible in a too conspicuous part. But the appeal of creating something that can’t exist a second time is even greater.
Most of my hand-drawn repeats are created on a square paper measuring 21cm x 21cm using a black ink pen with a soft tip. Where neither the format nor the size of the paper really matter. It should just be a sheet with straight edges and right-angled corners, otherwise it will be difficult to put the drawing together.
It also doesn’t matter whether you also draw in black ink or prefer to draw in color or use completely different techniques, it should only be possible to cut through your work without any problems and put it back together again.
So how should you proceed?
- Start in the middle of your shwith your motifs.
I usually draw without a big plan. In this example I just had the idea to try out paisley-like shapes.
- Make sure that the edges remain free by at least one design width.
I.e. if you draw very small, uniform motifs, you can use your first flow and fill the sheet much closer to the edges. If the motifs are rather large and very jumbled, leave more free space at the edges
Once you’re done with your drawing in the middle, it’s time to reassemble it so that the pattern can be used as a tile later.
- Cut your drawing into quarters and put the quarters together in the opposite direction. That means, the edges and corners of your drawing sheet now become the center.
- Fix your quarters with a (removable) adhesive tape from the back.
Tipp: Make sure that you put the quarters together correctly, otherwise the connections at the end won’t be right and your pattern repeat will be more creative than you intended :-).
Now fill in the empty space in the middle of your sheet with your designs, and your hand-drawn pattern repeat is ready.
Do you want to try this technique?
Feel free to let me know.
Article contains advertising