A Drawing Exercise


A question I get asked a lot is:

“How do you come up with ideas for patterns?”

It’s a hard question to answer, as there are so many different ways that I come up with ideas. There’s no set formula.

And often, I don’t actually start with an exact ‘idea for a pattern’ at all.

Often the pattern or motif emerges as a result of a creative process – as in the case of our Falling Leaves design (above).

So to begin answering this question – I thought I’d share a drawing exercise I have come to use time and again. It’s not only fun, but it’s a great way to create ideas and motifs for pattern designs.

I found this drawing exercise in a book called ‘Learning Linocut – A Comprehensive Guide to the Art of Relief Printing through Linocut’ by Susan Yeates. It’s fantastic book. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about printmaking.

The exercise is a series of timed drawings, using different methods and approaches to drawing the same object over and over again on one side of an A1 sheet of paper.

I used this exercise to draw the eucalyptus leaves – as you can see above – that later became the motif for Falling Leaves.

You can download the full instructions for the drawing exercise as a pdf file here.

If you like (or even don’t like drawing) – give this exercise a go as it’s also a great way to loosen and warm up your drawing hand.

Have fun.

If you’ve tried the exercise – let us know how you found it in the comments below.

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