5 Ways to level-up Patterns (Part II: Composition)

Last week we explored how to add interest to that background of the patterns. Go back to that background and check if you can fix something there to add depth to your composition. In this blog post, I show you some ideas to work with the background such as background texture, filling gaps, adding shadows, a simple and a complex pattern-in-pattern technique and why not, combining some of them.


This week, I'll show how to add interest or complexity in terms of the composition.

try adding texture

This option applies not only for the background but also for the whole pattern. Make sure the texture is also in repeat so the pattern still makes sense. You can purchase great texture bundles on sites like Creative Market (always taking care that you purchase the right kind of license) or what's more fun, create your own.

try changing the composition type

If you haven't read my blog post about the different kinds of pattern compositions yet, I invite you to do it here. Sometimes, the pattern gains interest by the type of composition. Maybe what started as a basic grid pattern gains interest by turning it into a half-drop. This too is a matter of practice.

try creating different motifs

Especially at the beginning (I know it because I've been there, we tend to use a single motif in the pattern. For some pattern it may work, but for other it just looks boring. Try to think about this when you are drawing or painting your motifs. For example, if you are drawing a flower, draw it from different angles, full bloomed, half bloomed, as a bud and so on.

try turning it monochrome

This is one of the newest thing I've tried. Sometimes, less is actually more. Some compositions are too colorful, too busy but somehow you can't make it work even when you love the pattern. Try going monochrome, you might be surprised how well it looks!

change the color palette

This is such a game-changer. Some color palettes are great and look so promising. BUT when we apply them to the pattern it's like... blah! Explore, experiment, practice with color and color combinations! They can either make or break a pattern.

What do you think?

I hope you've found this helpful!

Let me know in the comments.


Are you curious to know how to level-up your patterns? Should I give it a try?

If you are interested in knowing more, let me know here. I'd be happy to help you!

interested in licensing one of my patterns?

let's create something for your brand!

more tricks & tips especially for designers?

Write a comment

Comments: 4
  • #1

    Kate Frances (Sunday, 21 March 2021 15:28)

    This is a great blog post! Thank you
    Looking forward to trying some of your suggestions

  • #2

    Lucia from DEINKI (Monday, 22 March 2021 09:24)

    Hi there Kate, thank you so much for your comment, I'm glad this is helpful! :)

  • #3

    Adriana (Wednesday, 07 July 2021 18:50)

    At first, you are a great artist! I love your artwork. I really want to learn more about surface pattern design. I've just started in the artistic world as watercolour painter, I've found myself. And looking around I found a way to make money with that, I hope so! It'll be great to learn more with you. Your blog is amazing, thank you for the tips and all good content you've shared.

  • #4

    Lucia from DEINKI (Friday, 09 July 2021 12:38)

    Hi Adriana, thank you so much for your kind comment!! Let me know if you have any questions, I'm glad to help!