Patterns and their uses
Wherever there is a repeating shape or line (motif) a pattern appears. Patterns appear in every area of visual culture whether it be textiles, architecture, printmaking; It appears in the very fabric of materials and the walls of buildings.
You will need: Paper a pencil, colored pencils if you have them. A piece of patterned fabric, another object.
Find a piece of patterned fabric. This could be an item of clothing or a cloth or quilt maybe. and drape it over an object you can fit comfortably on a table or desk. Try to draw what you see, capturing the pattern as it is distorted over the folds and creases of the fabric.
Things to consider with patterns
- The design could have a border around the edge.
- What colours will you use?
- Will your pattern use a ‘motif’ that is a graphic interpretation of a concept. For example, you could have a floral motif repeated over the pattern.
- Will you use an optical effect composed of geometric shapes?
- Think about rapport. This is the basic module of repetition of a design. The design that repeats in rows and columns, alternative squares or in a brick pattern for example.
- How complex will the pattern be? How the pattern is distributed and detail determine complexity.
- Will you have any overlaps? Think about tartan for example.
- Will the design have interlacing? That is elements which pass over each other. Like knot work.
- How much space will you leave in the background?
- How will you use scale? That is the difference between large and small elements.
You will need: Paper a pencil, colored pencils or paints if you have them.
Choose a person, either someone you know or a celebrity and design them a pattern, decide where the pattern will be used for example, an item of clothing or a wall hanging. Taking into consideration the list above, think about how you will design a pattern for your chosen person to fit their personality or history.
Was a movement from the end of the nineteenth century that came out of the revival of the decorative arts in a variety of countries around the world. The term art nouveau is used to describe curvilinear vegetal ornament that can be seen in the patterns above.
Batik printing is an ancient form of textile printing with traditions in a variety of countries. It was developed to a very sophisticated level on the island of Java in Indonesia. It involves a wax resist process and carefully mixed dyes. The effects are striking and effective.
You will need: Paper a pencil, colored pencils if you have them.
Pick one of the fabric patterns from this page Think of a design for an outfit made entirely out of material out of this chosen fabric. Draw sketches of items of clothing on a figure or draw individual items of clothing if you prefer.