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How to Draw Easy And Cool Patterns in Your Art Journal

So you want to start filling up your art journal with cool patterns and drawings? Awesome! This blog post is going to show you how easy it is to draw some of the coolest designs in your journal. We’ll be using shapes, lines, dots, and other basic drawing designs.

I am going to show you how to draw the coolest and easiest patterns in your art journal. This is a great way for beginners like you to get started with drawing, because it’s easy and fun.

Patterns are a really great way of adding interest and texture to your pages. They can also be used as backgrounds or as drawings themselves, or borders. These patterns are very simple, but they can make a big impact on the overall look of your pages. Fun, right?

What’s the most important thing about drawing patterns?

The most important thing about drawing patterns is that you need to plan them out.

Nooo, I’m just kidding. You don’t need any plans, just go with the flow and experiment. That’s what I want you to remember: just have fun with them.

The cool thing about patterns is that you can make them as big or small, detailed, simple, or complex. You can combine them, mirror them, go in any direction, make a flow…anything goes. That’s the fun I was talking about.

But, the only thing you should remember about patterns is that they should have a repetitive element. That’s why patterns are called patterns, right?

Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something through that link, I get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

How to get started with drawing patterns?

To get started on pattern drawing, let’s go over the basic tools and then move to more advanced things you can do with your patterns.

cool patterns in a sketchbook

What can I use to draw patterns?

To start out on your journey of pattern drawing, there are some basic materials and tools you will need:

If you’re afraid you’ll make a mistake when you’re drawing, simply use a pencil so you can easily erase it. Later, you can use a pen or paint to go back over the line you want to keep.

For those who really want neat patterns, you can use drawing tools like rulers. This way, you can draw the line all at once to be sure that it’s straight.

GRAB YOUR FREE ART JOURNAL STARTER KIT

beginner art journal starter kit

Where to start when drawing patterns?

There are many types of cool patterns you can draw. But the simplest way is to start with something small and build on it later. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Dot Patterns
  • Scribbles
  • Circles
  • Squares
  • Lines
  • Rectangles
  • Half-circles
  • Stars
  • Triangles
  • Abstract shapes
  • Nature patterns
  • Geometrical patterns
  • Zig-zag patterns
  • Create patterns with paper scraps

Examples of easy patterns to draw

If you want to start simple, you can draw cool patterns with just lines, dots, and circles.

Here are a few examples:

  • use dots and circles for simple patterns
dot patterns
  • start with simple lines, straight, curvy or zig zag
patterns with straight lines
patterns with curvy and zig zag lines
patterns with curvy lines
  • draw dots and lines together
patterns with lines and dots
pattern with lines and dots

Combined cool patterns

After you’ve mastered the simple ones, challenge yourself to add more shapes and combine them together to form interesting-looking patterns.

You can add any shape you want, it doesn’t have to be a geometrical shape. You can use cool patterns to create things like nature and animal shapes.

Just be creative with the patterns you want to draw in your art journal. You don’t have to limit yourself because there are so many cool ways of drawing these easy, yet still unique-looking designs.

Here are some cool patterns you can create by combining different elements:

  • combine circles, dots, and lines
patterns with curved lines and dots
patterns with circles, dots and lines
  • play with different lines and shapes and their combinations. There are no limits to what you can do here
  • you can use plant patterns as well, or combine curvy and straight lines:
cool patterns with plants
patterns from nature
  • draw shapes inside shapes, like in the triangles and circles below:
triangles and lines
stars in circles

How to play with patterns in your art journal

There are many different ideas on how to have fun and be creative when drawing patterns. I’m going to list a few ideas here to inspire you.

Draw in a certain direction

This means that you start your pattern with a few elements and then develop it further in a direction of your choice, up or down, left or right.

Here’s an example of a pattern that can go endlessly to the right:

pattern with a direction

Draw your pattern in a circle

Yes, you can frame your pattern for a cute look. This doesn’t have to be a circle, it can be any shape you want. I’ll give you an example of a circle here:

patterns within circles

Create patterns with a mirrored effect

This can sometimes be challenging because you have to figure some things out before you start, but it’s not impossible. And it’s a fun challenge.

So, you can create a mirrored pattern vertically or horizontally. First, create a center line from where the pattern elements will flow on both sides.

mirrored pattern

Color in your pattern shapes

This can also be so much fun and you can create amazing images like this. Coloring in the shapes reminds me of a coloring book, don’t you think so?

So, you create your pattern and then decide on how many colors you want to use (or all of them, aka rainbow craziness). Then, you figure out which shapes to color in so you get an even-colored, patterned look.

nature patterns in an art journal

If you’re drawing smaller elements, I suggest you color them in with a pen or a marker with a tiny nib. But if your patterns are bigger, you can experiment with paints and brushes.

Draw patterns within any shape

I already showed you an example of patterns in a circle. You can fill any shape you want and even combine those shapes afterward.

Patterns look really cute in small little containers like circles, squares, stars, or hearts. This idea can be great for decorating your art journal borders or adding a bit of interest to your backgrounds.

cool patterns within shapes
patterns in squares

Combine patterns together

Add different patterns next to each other and make new, larger patterns with their combinations.

For example, you can use a simple line pattern, then follow with a circle pattern, and just repeat the process.

To make it easier, you can use a pencil and draw containers where you want to draw the patterns. Later, you can just erase the pencil marks.

What can you create with patterns

We can draw patterns all day long, but how can we use them to spice up our pages and add interest to them?

Here are some ideas on how you can use patterns in your art journal.

Backgrounds

We all love creating backgrounds and we usually do it with paper and paint, right?

What about using a pattern?

If it feels daunting to cover the whole page with your pen and small pattern drawings, you can create amazing background patterns with your brush and paint.

Depending on the size of your page or spread, decide if you need a bigger or smaller brush. I suggest using a flat brush for patterns.

The easiest way to make patterned background is to use acrylic paint and a brush. Simply dip the brush in paint and leave marks on the paper in a repetitive fashion.

You can also experiment with different shapes a brush can make like circles, flat and thin lines, irregular dots, etc. Play with the thickness of lines and their length. You’ll have So. Much. Fun.

In the photo below, I used a brush and a marker to make these patterns. So, you see…you can cover the whole page or just some areas. Do what you like at the moment.

patterns in an art journal

Also, you can create background patterns with paper scraps. Choose two or three different paper sheets. Tear them into approximately the same size and glue them down in a pattern-like fashion.

Zentangles

Zentangles are amazing and are usually created with patterned shapes. So, all you need to do is doodle away. Start with a dot or a circle, add some lines, and repeat the process in any direction.

One of the most amazing zentangles start from a center and spread in a circular motion, or they form a mirrored design. You’ll choose this if you like neat drawings with a clear visual.

However, you can also make zentangles in any form and shape. In the image below, I started drawing a patterned zentangle using circles, lines, dots, etc.

patterned zentangle and micron pens

Meditative pattern drawing

I believe that any drawing, especially doodles or patterned ones can help you relax. And it’s not just my opinion, therapists often suggest this for anxiety. It’s not a cure but it can calm you down.

So, why not try it out?

Play some relaxing music, take a pen and paper and just draw some repetitive elements. After a while, you’ll get into it and you’ll be amazed at how your brain focuses on your drawings rather than on things that make you nervous in the first place.

Your mind will thank you. It needs a rest from all those thoughts you have during the day. Try drawing patterns and see how you feel.

But, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see relaxation right away. Your brain needs training, too. You train your muscles to be fit, the brain needs some time to get used to you feeding him peace and quiet.

Filling in your other drawings

You can use patterns to fill some of your other drawings.

For example, I love filling in the hair, clothes, and cheeks of the girls I draw. It adds interest and a magical feel.

Also, you can fill in shapes or forms with patterns, like clouds, trees, abstract shapes, flowers, etc.

This adds a new dimension to your drawings. They stop being too realistic and get that “anything is possible in art” vibe. Furthermore, it takes the pressure off of trying to have perfectly realistic drawings. The more whimsy you add, the more possibilities you can see.

a girl drawing

In the image below, you’ll see how I used scribble patterns for her hair and line patterns for her shirt. Simple things to draw but create gorgeous results.

Where to get inspiration for cool patterns

As with anything in art journaling, you can also find inspiration for patterns anywhere. Here are some ideas for finding inspiration:

  • In your home. You can look at anything, even the things you wouldn’t expect to find patterns in. For example, look at your pillow cases, many of them have interesting patterns. Also, linen sheets, baskets, carpets, even electronics such as computer and TVs. I found neat patterns on the back of my computer: crosses, circles, dots, and lines. Maybe you have pretty interesting tiles, check them out, too.
table cloth
table cloth with an interesting pattern design
  • In nature: well, nature is full of patterns. Scan your surroudnings, your garden, street, and city places. You can find interesting patterns in flowers, leaves, and trees.
cactus
this cactus has an amazing pattern
  • Architecture is full of patterns. Search for windows, walls and roofs. Sometimes they have such an intersting design that you’ll even be surprised at what they have to offer.
  • Mandalas: similar to zentangles, mandalas are visually appealing and often drawn in patterns. You can search them online to see how they can inspire you. And I’m sure they will.

How to draw cool patterns in your art journal – fINAL THOUGHTS

The cool thing about patterns is that you can make them:

  • big
  • small
  • detailed
  • simple
  • complex
  • combined

There are so many possible combinations for creating a cool pattern design. No rules except the repetitive element. Everything else is just your creativity.

Take your pen or pencil and just start drawing some simple shapes or lines. Add more to them as you go and just repeat the process. It’s all about enjoying and experimenting. Switch your drawing tools, draw patterns even with paintbrushes or ink.

Never stop playing :).

GRAB YOUR FREE ART JOURNAL STARTER KIT

This kit will help you start your pages without the overwhelm and guide you through the simple process of starting an art journal.

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