Bold Pattern Play

Boldly Drawing Patterns on Small Spaces by Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow


There is such an interesting freedom in creating in a tiny format. Each bit of paper is a fresh canvas of sorts, a whole new space for play. Yet each piece is not precious or scary. We’re going to combine tiny papers and BOLD lines! For this exercise, you’ll need some sort of wide markers such as Pitt Artist Big Brush Nib Markers, Copic Markers or Sakura Pigma Brush Markers. So grab a sheet of white card stock, Strathmore bristol paper, mixed-media paper or watercolor paper. Cut the paper into a variety of square and rectangular pieces measuring 2″ x 2″ or less. No need to measure anything, just guesstimate! We’ll start by working in black and white {black marker, white paper} and then add some color into the mix. Note the way the black lines and shapes form white shapes in the background. The white areas {the negative space} are part of the design.

Watch the video, or pop over to Vimeo to watch. {9 minutes}

After you watch the video, grab one of your little papers and draw a pattern. Any pattern will do! Draw one pattern per paper. If you need inspiration, just look around you. Take note of the pattern in your socks, curtains, table cloth and wallpaper. In the cactus on your kitchen counter or the pebbles in a potted plant. Consider swirls, chevrons, circles, stripes, waves, letters and symbols. Wide-nibbed markers allow you to make bold patterns that are imperfect and imprecise.


So have fun immersing yourself in the process of creating patterns. After drawing patterns on your papers, arrange them in an interesting grid. Play, arrange and re-arrange the patterns, then glue the papers to a larger sheet of card stock, use them as collage fodder on your art journal pages or continue to work on them by adding more intricate details in finer nibbed markers.

tammygarcia-iconTammy Garcia is a mixed media artist who writes about bringing creativity into your life. Tammy draws elaborate doodles, sews paper, snaps photographs, works in her art journals and blogs at Daisy Yellow at



T0396_CM_CreativeTangle.inddFor more ideas about finding and creating patterns, check out Creative Tangle by Trish Reinhart.

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One Response to Bold Pattern Play

  1. judysheart says:

    Well, Tammy, that was just plain ole fun. What a great project to do remotely and away from your studio. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.