Pattern a Day June

I’m really excited to finally share these patterns. Because of the craziness of my schedule in June, it was all I could do to simply make the patterns; too much to share them daily, so here is your first glimpse! (unless you saw the sneak peek because you follow me on Flickr!)

In June I approached the daily patterns a little differently from previous months. I knew it was going to be a super busy time filled with trips, family visits, and deadlines, so early on in the month, I filled several pages with icons and marks made with black ink and a brush.

black and white icons for Pattern a Day June

I scanned in the pages and had them ready to pull shapes from as I made digital repeating patterns everyday.

Pattern a Day June

Pattern a Day June

I was surprised by how challenging choosing digital color is for me. Selecting color with a color picker is not the same experience as mixing paint or working with a limited number of marker colors. I often found myself hitting a wall. I might be happy with the first few colors, but just couldn’t figure out what the fourth or fifth color should be. Early on in the month, I would just go with something even if it didn’t feel “perfect,” but I did notice that it got easier as the days went by. There is still room for improvement, but it is pretty cool to notice how much more comfortable I became picking color digitally in just a month!

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out all of June’s patterns over on Flickr.

Have you tried working with digital color? Do you have one great tip that might make my life easier when creating a harmonious digital color palette? I’d love to know what you think!

Pattern a Day March, April and May

I’m happy to say that I’ve kept up with my daily pattern design challenge, but haven’t found the time to write intro or recap posts here over the last few months.

I continued my trend of using different mediums in March, April and May.

For March I actually created two patterns a day, but they were all very small. I drew the patterns in little zine style books that I made from one sheet of paper. It was fun to explore a lot of different ideas this month.

Pattern a Day March Days 16-18
Days 16-18

See all the patterns from March on Flickr.

In April I created a painting everyday for the DE Fun a Day, an art show that is held yearly where artist from (or near) Delaware create “something-a-day”. Since I was already doing a pattern a day, my friend Kati (who just so happened to also be the organizer for DE Fun a Day) invited me to participate. I jumped at the chance and decided to create an 8x8in painting each day. On instagram I shared mostly sketches and ideas for the paintings, while saving the actual paintings for the show.

Day 1 pattern a day April
Day 1 Sketch

I sketched for Day 1’s pattern with marker, and the final painting turned out quite different, although I used the colors and some of the shapes in the different composition.

Pattern a Day April Day 1
Day 1 Final Painting

See all the patterns and some sketches from April on Flickr.

April’s challenge was quite a lot of work, so initially I thought I’d go easy on myself and do simple pencil sketches. Then Rhianna Wurman’s (@ellolovey on instagram) Doodle a Day challenge caught my eye again (the last time I participated was in August), and I decided to combine the two challenges, using her daily prompts to come up with ideas for patterns! So I ended up with a more challenging task, but I had a lot of fun with it, and got to draw a lot of cute things!

Pattern a Day May Day 15
Day 6

Pattern a Day May Day 6
Day 15

See more patterns from May on Flickr.

In June I’ll be creating repeat patterns. I’ll doodle shapes to use for the pattern each day, then digitally color and create the pattern in the computer. I’ve done a number of repeat patterns in the past, but not specifically as part of my daily challenge, so this should be a good chance to practice.

If you’re feeling inclined, you’re always welcome to join me and tag your patterns with #patternadayjun or #letsmakepatterns.

Looking forward to another month of patterns. It’s pretty cool to think that in just 3 months I’ll have completed an entire year!

Pattern a Day Februrary

In my post about the February Commit to Create Challenge (FCCC) that I took part in with Kari Maxwell and others, I mentioned that part way through the month I separated that challenge from my daily patterns. Initially I thought the two challenges would dovetail together perfectly, but partway through the month, I realized it wasn’t working as well, so I went with the flow and pursued 2 challenges a day. Therefore, this month I have a mix of designs: some inspired by the daily prompts from the FCCC and some that had other sources of inspiration.

During the first few days of the month, I easily came up with patterns that were inspired by the daily prompts.

Day 1 pattern Splash It!
Inspired by Day 1 “Splash It” of the FCCC.

On day 2 the prompt was “Stamp It,” and I had to smile since I spent all January “Stamping It” but this was actually great because it gave me the excuse to try out one more idea that was lingering from the previous month.

Day 2 Stamp It

I created day 16’s pattern in preparation of the FCCC prompt “Tear It”.

day 16 pattern a day february

After the pattern was drawn, I tore up the page into little pieces and rearranged them into a collage.

day 16 tear it

Early in the month I explored various media, but by the end of February I was mostly using zig writers to make my patterns. That didn’t stifle my creativity, however, and I came up with quite a few cute ideas!

day 19 pattern a day february

Day 22 pattern a day February.

day 26 pattern a day february

The strawberries are probably my favorite pattern from this month. I just love that they each have their own personality.

Check out the flickr set to see the full collection of patterns I created in February.

Pattern a Day January

In January I created daily patterns using stamps that I carved during the month. This was the first time I made stamps, and I was surprised and pleased by how easy it was.

Starting out the month I used the two block printing inks that I had on hand: black and hot pink. They were well over a year old (and truthfully probably closer to two or three years old!), so their consistency was sticky. Watering them down helped, and I worked with them for several days. Despite the limitations of using only two colors of imperfect ink, I achieved some interesting results by layering and working with different consistencies of ink.

Day 4 Pattern a Day January

Day 8 Pattern a Day January

Day 11 Pattern a Day January

After several days, I was itching to try some other colors! I hadn’t had a chance to go to the art supply store to get actually block printing ink, so luckily I had the idea to use what I had on hand: gouache. The consistency was probably not ideal for “official” block printing, but I liked it! I had to make sure that the layer of paint I spread out was very thin, but more often than not the results were good!

Day 18 Pattern a Day January

day 22 pattern a day january

Day 17 Pattern a Day January

day 23 pattern a day january

As you can see in the images above, I explored several different techniques for printing including repeats, overlapping layers, and what I call “painting” with the block.

Creating blocks for printing and working with them throughout the month was a great introduction to the medium. I even used the stamps I created for my 2013 Sketchbook Project which I’ve already written about. Since January I haven’t done too much more with stamps, although they did make an appearance in one of my patterns in February. In the long run I’m sure it will be a great new tool to incorporate into my creative practice!

See the rest of the patterns I created in January, including sever “extras” on flickr.

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!