Let’s Make Patterns in March

Just like with February, March totally snuck up on me!

Let's Make Patterns in March

I will be honest, part of me wanted to take a break this month. The rhythm of this challenge started to feel a little stale to me. I thought about how I might make it interesting for myself, and one thing that I’ve become re-interested in lately is zines. So why not make some pattern zines?

I’ll be drawing one or two mini patterns each day in March. With 31 days in March, I’ll do between 9 and 10 zines this month depending on how many patterns I create each day.

I’m thinking I might switch up mediums for each zine, but we’ll see how it goes. Since I’m writing this post a little late, I’ve already started one zine with Day 1’s patterns.

Day 1 Pattern a Day March

If you are interested in making daily patterns this month, I’d be happy if you joined me! Feel free to tailor this challenge to suit you, your schedule, and what you want to accomplish, using any medium at any size that you like! There is really only one “rule”: make patterns. Even if you can’t get a pattern done every single day, I’d love to have you create a pattern when you can!

If you make patterns this month, be sure to tag your images with #patternadaymar and/or #letsmakepatterns. Also add your images to the flickr group.

Yay for mini patterns in March!

Pattern a Day December

December was certainly a crazy month in a lot of ways. I was still in Alpine, Arizona, and took a mini vacation to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Then I drove across the country back to Maryland, got home and got sick, and somehow managed to prepare for the holidays and celebrate them successfully! In the midst of all that, I created a pattern everyday.

I didn’t bother posting photos while I was staying in hotels with crummy lighting on my road trip home, but by working with simple tools–a watersoluble carbon block, a brush, and paper–I was able to stay creative every day, even after driving for 10 hours, or spending most of the day in bed with the chills.

Because of my choice of medium for the month, all my patterns were black, white, and/or grey. I know I already mentioned it in my December round up post of other artist’s patterns, but since I was only working with one “color,” I was especially glad that other people were making lots of vibrantly colorful patterns in December. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love black and white, especially in pattern form, but I also love a little variety!

One of the things that was most eye opening, especially when I considered the way I approached creating patterns in November, was how much the medium and color (or lack thereof) drives the way I create a pattern, and ultimately the imagery that I put down on paper.

In November many of my patterns had a lot of depth and complexity, while most of my December patterns tended to be more flat and graphic.

November/December pattern comparison

I don’t think either is necessarily better than other, it was just interesting to reflect on my processes over the past few months and recognize the difference!

At times I felt like some of the patterns I made weren’t my most creative, which is ok. This challenge was never about producing something ground breaking everyday, it is simply about creating everyday. I think as part of that, there will naturally be times when the work is excellent, while other times when it’s just so so. To me what is important is that I get in the habit of working with my hands everyday, as my natural tendency often leaves ideas stuck in my head for days or even weeks before I get around to getting them down on paper.

That said, there were definitely days I got excited about–especially the days where I tried out an idea that in my head I thought was a little odd or unattractive, but the results were sometimes quite striking.

Day 11 Pattern a Day December

Day 14 Pattern a Day December

Most of the patterns this month were abstract. Either focusing on form or the texture of the water soluble carbon.

Day 6 Pattern a Day December

Day 21 Pattern a Day December

I did manage to sneak in a few that were representational, and most of those were inspired by the season.

Day 9 Pattern a Day December

Day 22 Pattern a Day December

One of my favorites was the pattern I created on New Year’s Eve. Although abstract, it really captures the festive feeling of a New Year celebration.

Day 31 Pattern a Day December

I like to think of this as a good omen for the year ahead, which I hope to fill with even more patterns! I’m not necessarily intending to make this a year-long commitment, but you never know! Bit by bit, month by month, I might just get there!

See the rest of the patterns in my Pattern a Day December set on flickr, and check out the Pattern a Day group for more patterns and lots of inspiration.

Happy New Year!

Pattern a Day December Round Up!

What a whirlwind December was! It was a busy month, but in the end, I was surprised by how easy it was to make a pattern everyday. And I wasn’t the only one! A bunch of other awesome creatives joined in and contributed a huge variety of colorful patterns to the mix. I thought it would be fun to share a few patterns from group that came together in December.

Sarah Rowe shared a beautiful variety of textures and colors using watercolor, marker, and even some collage!


Minerva wins the award for the cutest patterns! Aren’t they adorable?


Julie Tillman contributed a variety of styles of patterns in December. I love the donuts!


Natalie Davies delivered some awesome bright colors and fun patterns. I also love that she shared the markers and pens she used for each pattern in her photos!


Tammy from Daisy Yellow was an enthusiastic participant in the pattern challenge, using watercolor for her patterns.


Tricia from Daring Hue gave the challenge a second try in December, and this time she made one every day!

Pattern A Day Challenge - December 7-8

Barbara Wanhill’s patterns were all inspired from events that happened during her day.

Dec 6

Jeannine Saylor drew, stamped, and painted her nature inspired patterns.


Carin Cullen created layers of texture as well as pattern.


Rachel Kinbar had a really unique approach to pattern making, and it was always fun to see what she shared.


Carlene Taylor Simmons drew some awesome patterns with marker and pen.

Part of today's #letsmakepatterns #patternadaydec

Connie Hozvicka from Dirty Footprints Studio drew a few mandala style patterns.


D. Schuyler created colorful, geometric patterns, among others.



Rachel from Staunch Studio created a daily pattern on her iPad!

December pattern no. 14 Trying out the paper app.

Becky Canham went with a holiday theme for the month of December, which really helped me to get into the holiday spirit!


I hadn’t planned for it to become a group project, but I’m happy it did! When I started creating daily patterns, it was something I did on my own as a way to get me doing what I love every day. Little by little it has caught on, and it’s exciting to see so many beautiful patterns everyday, especially in December since I chose to do only black and white patterns.

If you’re on instagram, check out the #patternadaydec tag to see even more awesome patterns from last month, and #patternadayjan to see this month’s ongoing daily patterns. There is also a Pattern a Day group on flickr where you can see even more patterns!

Change in Plans for Pattern a Day January

In my last post I wrote that I planned to create my January patterns using watercolor backgrounds with paint marker details. For some reason, once it got down to it, I wasn’t really feeling the watercolor. Maybe I just needed more of a change from using water based media last month. When I saw that Tricia from Daring Hue was doing hand carved stamps this month, it seemed like too much of a coincidence since it’s one of the ideas I’d initially considered for January.

When I saw Tricia’s first January pattern, I mentioned that I’d been thinking about doing block prints too, and Tricia encouraged me, so I dug out the block printing supplies I bought a while ago. I only have one block and 2 colors of ink, but I made the most of what I had to get me started.

I cut a 2×2 inch piece off the block and cut that into 3 triangles, then carved some detail lines on the two smaller triangles.

carving a block for printing/stamping

pink ink on black palette

I used these to create my first 2 patterns for January today.

Day 1 Pattern a Day January

Day 2 Pattern a Day January

I had to play catch up today because Otto gave me a scare on the 1st, and I spent the evening at the emergency vet instead of at home making patterns. I’m happy to say that he is doing very well now. His back was out which was causing him a lot of pain. He got some pain meds from the vet, and after a visit to the chiropractor today, he should be good as new. Phew!

Otto is on the mend.

Let’s Make Patterns in January!

A new month in a new year is upon us, and I will be doing another month of daily patterns!

Let's Make Patterns in January!

Last month my friend Tricia from Daring Hue created watercolor backgrounds and added patterns to the color. I really loved the idea and how the patterns turned out, so this month I’m taking inspiration from her and will be creating a watercolor background everyday and then adding a pattern to the page with white, grey, and/or black acrylic marker.

I would love for you to join me and create your own pattern everyday. You can use any media at any size you want. Feel tree to tailor this challenge to suit you, your schedule, and what you want to accomplish. There are very few set in stone rules, besides the obvious: make patterns. Even if you can’t get a pattern done every single day, I’d love to have you join the fun when you can!

If you’ll be playing along, be sure to tag your patterns on instagram and twitter with #letsmakepatterns and/or #patternadayjan!

There is also a flickr group now, so if you post photos over there, please add your photos to the pool!

Starting the year off with lots of patterns seems like a good start for 2013. I hope to see daily patterns from you too!

Pattern a Day November

It’s close to the end of December, and I’m just now getting around to posting about all the patterns I created in November. I thought this might happen since I was planning a big road trip from Arizona, back home to Maryland earlier in December.

I’ve been back home for about a week by now, but I’ve been down and out for the count with the flu. I’m always amazed that being sick makes it so much harder to accomplish anything, but that’s the way it goes. I’ve been taking it easy, despite all the ideas that are wanting to be pursued. I thought updating the blog would be a good task to ease me back into a normal schedule, but then I thought about how I haven’t scanned the patterns from November, and I really should do that before I start writing anything.

But I didn’t feel like scanning anything, so I was conflicted about what to do. Then I thought about it, and realized that I don’t really HAVE TO scan in the patterns right away. The photos I took and posted to instagram with my iphone really aren’t too bad. And I decided that sometimes pretty good is just good enough.

I feel very happy to be writing this, but it also feels great that it didn’t have to be perfect!

Isn’t it funny how we have to let ourselves off the hook sometimes?

For November I worked with copic markers and black fine liner pens. Instead of drawing the forms with the fine liner, I started each pattern by drawing the colorful shapes, and then used the black pens to add details or enhance the pattern as I saw fit. This is very backward to the way that I usually work, and I think I got some really interesting patterns as a result.

Day 26 Pattern a Day November

Day 23 Pattern a Day November

I was in Arizona for the entire month of November, and my southwest surroundings definitely provided some awesome inspiration, both subconsciously and directly.

Day 11 Pattern a Day November
I pieced the above pattern together bit by bit, and when it was all complete, I was surprised by how “southwest-y” it looked. Not that I mind! This is one of my favorites from the month!

Day 17 Pattern a Day November
On one of my hikes, I had the opportunity to investigate and old Pueblo, and was surprised and delighted to come across quite a few pot shards! I took several photos, and drew some direct inspiration from the shapes and patterns of the various fragments.

Day 27 Pattern a Day November
The landscape of shrubby juniper and cacti inspired a botanical, horizontal stripe pattern.

One of the last patterns I created in November was noticed by Copic Markers themselves on twitter (@copicmarker)! They’re tweet said simply, “this is. very. cool.” It was pretty fun to get a little shout out from one of my favorite art supply companies!

Day 29 Pattern a Day November

I completed 30 patterns in the month of November. You can check them all out in the Flickr set.

December’s patterns are going great. I’m doing monochromatic black and grey, using only a water soluble carbon block made by Artgraf. I’m loving the various shades of grey, but after reviewing November’s colorful collection, I’m maybe missing color a wee bit.

January is another month though, and at this point I’m toying with the idea of using color and collage to make patterns–something I haven’t done before!

Let’s Make Patterns in December!

It’s hard to believe another month has zoomed by. I have only one more pattern to do for November, which I’ll be sure to finish tonight! I’m going to keep the daily pattern making momentum going, and continue the challenge into December. It might be a little more challenging with a big road trip (driving back to MD from AZ in a couple weeks) and the holidays in the mix, but I’m game.

Let's Make Patterns in December!

This month I’ll be using an artgraf water soluble carbon block! Check out this video on youtube if you’ve not seen it in action before. I may or may not add color to my patterns this month. Part of me is interested in seeing what I can come up with using only black and white. Plus, then it would be easy to scan the black patterns and add color digitally which I need to get more practice with. I’ll see how the first few days go before deciding for sure.

How about you? Care to join me in December and make a pattern everyday? You can use any media at any size you want. Feel tree to tailor this challenge to suit you, your schedule, and what you want to accomplish. There are very few set in stone rules, besides the obvious: make patterns. Even if you can’t get a pattern done every single day, I’d love to have you join the fun when you can!

If you’ll be playing along, be sure to tag your patterns on instagram and twitter with #letsmakepatterns and/or #patternadaydec so that I will be sure to see them!

Looking forward to another month of patterns!

Pattern a Day October

I know what you’re thinking: “Pattern a Day October? But it’s the end of November!” Well, my internet connection at the cabin is slow and limited, so I didn’t want to upload all the scans of my October patterns. I discovered that my laundromat actually has a decent connection, strong and speedy, so I brought my laptop with me last time, and uploaded a bunch of images while my clothes were washing and drying.

For October I worked with watercolor, and sometimes added details with gray ink that I filled a couple of my rapidograph pens with.

Before I started the month, I tried out my new mixed-media sketchbook with some colorful inks I had on hand.

Extra Pattern a Day October

I liked the different line quality I was getting with wet media, but I didn’t want to limit my color palette this month with the few colors of ink I had. I decided to use watercolor for all the color possibilities it would give me.

I completed the first few patterns while I was still in Maryland.

Day 2 Pattern a Day October

Day 7 Pattern a Day October

I left Maryland for Arizona on October 10th, so I created several patterns while I was on the road! I used a small travel watercolor set, so I had fewer colors to work with, but I still came up with some interesting combinations.

Day 12 Pattern a Day October

Day 13 Pattern a Day October

When I finally made it to Arizona, the daily pattern making continued.

Day 16 Pattern a Day October

Day 26 Pattern a Day October

Throughout the month, there were some days where I wasn’t 100% happy with a pattern I created, so I wanted to redo it, or I just wanted to keep painting, so I did! I ended up with quite a few “extra” patterns and paintings. Some were rather experimental or rough, and the explorations were a lot of fun.

Extra Pattern a Day October

Extra Pattern a Day October

You can see many more daily patterns and all the extras on flickr.

At the moment I’m nearing the end of another month of daily patterns, and although December will be full of travel and holidays, I’m planning to keep going for at least another month! Feel free to join me and make a pattern everyday (or so). Tag your photos on instagram and/or twitter: #letsmakepatterns and #patternadaydec

Yay patterns!

Let’s Make Patterns!

There is only one rule: make a pattern everyday!

Let's Make Patterns!

I know I already wrote an info post about the daily pattern challenge I’ve been doing, but I’m excited, so here’s another one!

If you want to join in on the fun, tag your photos with #letsmakepatterns &/or #patternadaynov on instagram and twitter.

I’ve decided to add the #letsmakepatterns tag because I wanted something that referenced the fact that the patterns are created, not just found patterns in the world, which I’ve seen pop up under the #patternaday tag.

I like to use the daily pattern challenge as an opportunity to try out a different medium, or limit myself in some way with a few preset guidelines. If you usually work with a lot of color, maybe try only black and white patterns for the month. If you are very comfortable with oil pastels, try out markers. The patterns can be simple or complex. You can make them as a warm up exercise before you work on other creative endeavors, or they can stand on their own. Ultimately that part of the challenge is up to you though. Feel free to use the same materials that I use in a particular month (for November I’m using markers!), set your own parameters, or just be completely open and free with it.

Unlike a year-long challenge, this is just for a month, which I’ve found to be much more sustainable. Maybe it’s just a psychological difference, but I know that I have the option not to do it for a particular month if I don’t feel like it, and I think that helps. Not so much pressure.

In my internet wanderings I came across Art Every Day Month which is this month! Rather synchronous, don’t you think? It might be another good way to share your daily creations.

If you’re on flickr, check out the create everyday group started by Kari Maxwell. I’ll be posting at least some of my patterns there. Kari is also offering a Create Every Day online class from November 5 – 9 if you want some help getting started on creating everyday.

Looking forward to lots of patterns in November!

Pattern A Day Challenge

I’ve been having a great time creating a pattern every day. I’m posting my daily pattern on instagram and twitter, and I do a round up at the end of the month on this blog. I wanted to write a general post about the challenge, since I’ve had a few people interested in joining me, and wanting to know more about it.

patterns from pattern a day october

There is only one rule: make a pattern everyday!

This project actually started back in August in a slightly different form. I participated in Doodle-a-Day-August started by Rhianna Wurman. It was great, and I love the way it challenged me to think differently and stretch myself and my drawing to fit the themes. However, having the daily set theme was sometimes too much to deal with, and I had more than a few “catch up sessions”. Even that was ok, but with a busy month in September, I didn’t think I’d be able to stick with it. In just a month I’d grown to love being creative everyday, so instead of opting out entirely, I adjusted the challenge to suit.

For September I set a couple of paramaters: I would use a specific sketchbook that had exactly 30 pages, and a set of IKEA gel pens I’d recently acquired. Those were the only “rules” other than creating a pattern everyday.

For October’s challenge, I changed the parameters slightly. I’m using a larger sketchbook, and working with watercolor and occasionally adding details with grey ink in a rapidograph pen (although as the month has gone on it’s more watercolor, less ink).

I’m not sure what media I’ll be using next month. I’m considering copic markers and zig writers, but I’ll wait til it’s November to decide.

If you’d like to join me, that would be great! I’d really love to see what you create. Tag your photo on instagram and/or twitter with #patternadayoct (for this month) and #patternadaynov (for next month). I’ve been using #patternaday as well, regardless of the month.

I like to use the challenge as an opportunity to try out a different medium, or limit myself in some way with a few preset guidelines. If you usually work with a lot of color, maybe try only black and white patterns for the month. If you are very comfortable with oil pastels, try out markers. Ultimately that part of the challenge is up to you though. Feel free to use the same materials that I use in a particular month, set your own parameters, or just be completely open and free with it.

Looking forward to lots of patterns in November!