I love to design surface patterns. Here’s a selection of them.
I use a range of techniques to create the elements that make up my patterns. Pencil sketches, doodles, painting, printing, markers, pastels, scraping, scattering, splattering, and photographing or scanning objects. I find that the most satisfying designs start with some kind of organic, artistic process.
Here’s a selection of examples.
My work has focused heavily on abstract textures for some time now but it feels like time for a long-overdue return to making seamless patterns. I wish I had photographs of my early pattern doodles done as a kid. There were hundreds of them but I can’t remember what became of them. I do, however, have piles of doodles from the last 10 or so years.
I’ve doodled during long journeys, I’ve doodled in cafes, I’ve doodled between calls in call centres and while pupils completed exercises when I was a TEFL teacher. About the only time I didn’t doodle was when I was a graphic designer – which is partly why I’m not any more 🙂
So many years and so many doodles yet I never really did anything with any of them. I considered training as a tattoo artist but I’m not sure I could make needles and blood my friends.
Many wise proverbs speak of doing something you love and that comes naturally to you. Check and check. Bring on the patterns.
I love finding interesting textures in the world around me and sometimes walk around my town with a camera. I’ve found an abundance of grungy urban decay such as peeling paint, cracking walls, rusting metal, water and weather damage, pitted stone, lichen, gritty gravel and concrete. It’s amazing what’s out there if you look closely enough.
I made fifty urban grunge textures into black and white vector images traced from high-contrast photographs. These are for sale through my adobe stock portfolio.
The following thumbnails give an overview of the range of images I created.
Here are close-up detail views of a small selection of the textures.
The textures are perfect for simulating the effects of age, wear and decay on your photos and graphics.
They are also perfect for use as grungy abstract backgrounds in your graphic design projects such as stationery and flyers.
You could also add some hardcore grit and grunge to your text and images.
Save yourself hours of walking, photography and processing and let my grunge textures bring the grungy urban outside world into your digital reality.
Can you guess what happens if you take a large sheet of paper, a packet of hot-pink Holi powder, a camera and a furry four-legged ‘supervisor’?
Things quickly get messy as I start chucking powder around and my cat fortunately loses interest.
But the mess is worth it as the results get interesting.
I gradually added powder, starting with a light sprinkle, progressing to a heavy, textured layer of almost full paper coverage. I took photographs throughout the experiment and the end result is twenty seven black and white powder vector textures which are for sale on Adobe Stock.
The following thumbnails show the full range of images.
Here are close-up detail views of a selection of the textures.
The textures are great for adding irregular, organic texture effects to flat colour graphics and illustrations.
You could experiment with layering, changing blending modes or using colour and gradient fills to produce complex and colourful backgrounds.
Create eye catching abstract backgrounds for use on product packaging.
I hope my few examples give you a taste of the creative possibilities offered by these unusual textures. They’re easy to use and ready to go, with no mess and zero powdery cleanup required.
In my ongoing hunt for interesting texture possibilities I decided to experiment with some scratchboard or scraperboard as it’s known in the UK. It’s a heavy foil-coated cardboard with a scratchable matt-black top layer and is generally used to craft intricate and laborious metallic engravings.
Alternatively, you can drop it and scrape it (and your knees) around on the floor and up the walls, attack it with sandpaper and maybe even a fork. This enjoyably experimental abuse created an eye catching variety of ‘scratch and scrape’ abstract textures.
I then digitised the boards to create a set of forty black and white ‘scratch & scrape’ vector textures. These are available to buy from Adobe Stock.
The following thumbnails show the full variety of textures.
The following are close-up details of a few of the images.
These textures are perfect for adding scratchy damage effects to your design or illustration.
They also make it super easy to create strikingly grungy abstract backgrounds.
Create unusual and unique abstract images by combining, colourising, filling and blending.
I had a lot of fun experimenting to create this texture pack and the final results were definitely worth the effort.
I love the unpredictability of printmaking using lino sheets. Simple variations in ink density, pressure and paper texture provide a wonderful variety of results. This is a small sample of the numerous sheets I printed to produce some versatile faux-printed textures which can be purchased on Adobe Stock.
After scanning the printed sheets I kept any tidying and retouching to a minimum to preserve the authentic ‘physical’ texture. Finally, I converted the scanned images to a series of forty eight black and white vector files.
The textures range from dark and intense to light and subtle and are printed on a mixture of bristol board, cartridge and watercolour papers. The following thumbnails demonstrate the full range.
The following images show close-up details of a selection of the textures.
These lino printed texture files have a wide variety of potential creative uses. They are a perfect way to quickly create faux-printed effects in your illustrations or graphic designs.
They are also great for creating grungy distressed effects in your graphics or photographs.
The textures also make great abstract backgrounds.
Easily bring organic physical textures into your digital work while saving yourself the time, mess and inconvenience of printmaking. Open an array of new creative possibilities with these print-themed vector textures.
I’ve been drawing, painting, tearing and scanning a variety of textures to experiment doing some digital collage.
I spent quite a long time retouching the scan of the torn paper strips and now I’m layering and arranging them into colourful collage textures like this:
I’m looking forward to experimenting with some more varied colour combinations now I’ve thoroughly explored the monochrome palette options. There will be for sale within my stock image offerings asap.
I’ve been trying to use a variety of media to produce my background textures. I love the effect I can get if I scan pencil lines at very high resolutions. I produced two simple striped textures, one in pencil and one inverted to look like chalk lines on a blackboard. These are for sale in my image collection on Shutterstock.
I opened an etsy shop to sell my patterns as printable craft papers. It’s a surprisingly time consuming process but I figure once each listing is up there it’s done and can be used as many times as I want in the future. Here’s an example:
I’ve had no sales so far but then I’ve done zero promotion. I’m looking into setting up the usual suspect social media stuff for Quirky Mundo to see if I can drive some more traffic to my selling sites.