How to create a pattern – Part 8: Artwork

Look through the patterns on the website. What is getting your attention? The artwork on the pattern!

Let’s take this a step further though. Look at the artwork posted on blogs or in Facebook groups. do you notice how the patterns were drawn by tanglers? You will see that 90% are drawn EXACTLY the same way as the step-out or the artwork on the step-out. Especially new tanglers do not have the experience to experiment. It takes time for them to get really creative.

Our job as a pattern designer is to show them how to draw the pattern in creative ways!

The first part is, of course, to inspire them through the variations posted on the step-out. These should be simple to follow and not be artwork!

I do not want single out anyone, that’s why I simply took a screenshot of the first patterns listed in the Ribbon section. Have a look and tell me which pattern is catching your eye immediately. I am sure you will get my point right away 🙂

Screen Shot

I bet it was 2P’s in a Pod and 2C Ribbon. You probably ignored 03 completely and scrolled right past the second row. Am I right? 🙂

And the reason for this is the artwork! There is no way that you can ignore Tricia’s bright green! And the movement on 2C Ribbon is catching your eye immediately.

But I also made mistakes in the past! Drawing the pattern 7 on a warped grid looks too difficult for a beginner. This pattern is so easy to draw, but the step-out is too difficult. Not even the artwork is straight. Now have a look at the artwork for AAC. You can hardly see the pattern! And that is just not good enough. I have to redo the artwork one of these days. This pretty pattern deserves decent artwork in my opinion.

What have we learned from these examples:

  • Artwork in color is more visible than the artwork in black and white.
  • Ribbon patterns drawn on an S-Curve are more visible due to the movement the artwork suggests.
  • Pattern step-outs should be drawn on a straight line.

Here are some templates that would work well to display a ribbon pattern:

Ribbon pattern templates

The top row of templates could be filled with other patterns. On the bottom row, you can include a variation of the pattern as well.

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. And it’s not a rule to use these templates! They are only suggestions! I am not going to limit your creativity in any way!

Have fun 🙂



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