Art Inspiration – Playing with Patterns

I'm always looking for ways to inspire my little artists.  They love to draw, but that ever elusive "what to draw" frequently trips them up.  Patterns can be a great way to inspire creativity and teach depth and contrast.

I remember one snow day when I was a little girl and school was canceled, my sister and I doodled on a white board with some friends while we talked about nothing.  We each made patterns in small spaces and eventually filled the board with our designs.  It ended up morphing into a fish, and we were so proud of that piece of art.  It was a unique treasure!  And it kept us entertained for hours!

handprint art with patterns

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My daughter came up with this fun hand print art the last time we were listening to a great book on audible together. Audio books are a great way to help kids sit still while they draw.  Repeating patterns in limited spaces is a great fine motor skill building activity, but having the patience to complete a project like this can be tricky.  She started with drawing a deer as we listened to Hind's Feet on High Places.

I've finally let them start using my good markers.  I don't know why it's taken me so long!  It's almost like they know that there's something different about the markers that makes them want to create something unique.

playful patterns

All my daughter did was trace her hand, making sure to not draw over the first hand there to make it look like the hands were overlapping.  Then she filled each hand with a unique pattern.

I love how they turned out.

meditative doodling

Her little sister decided to join in on the fun.

I traced her hands and she tried out some colors and patterns to complete her art.

zen doodles

art inspiration

It took time and dedication to fill her whole hand with circles, but the smile on her face when she finished was radiant.

It was just as precious as the giggle that told the secret of a hidden smile in her art.

smiley face art

Even if you don't think you're an artist, anyone can practice with patterns and colors to build technique that will grow and blossom into creativity, vision, and expression.

Every art project doesn't need to be a piece that will hang on the wall - an artifact that is a masterpiece.  But you never know what will come of a little doodle...

Inspiration for Doodles

If you're not even sure where to start, check out this cool video that gives thirty different ways to fill a blank space.  This would be a fun project in itself!

Do you like to doodle?


  1. Monica Miller on February 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I’m always looking for new ways to integrate art in the second language classroom – I can see this being a lot of fun!

    • Betsy on February 23, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      I hope your students enjoy it!

  2. Samantha on February 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Awesome! Great art to teach older kids! 🙂

  3. Stefanie / The Monarch Mommy on February 22, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    This is so much fun! I love doodling!

  4. Shann Eva on February 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    So cool. This is a really great idea to get creativity flowing. I love to draw, but often get tripped up on the what to draw thing too. Going to try this activity with my boys.

    • Betsy on February 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks Shann! It’s fun to play around sometimes with patterns when you don’t have to worry about it being perfect.

  5. Tiffany on February 23, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    This is such a great stress reducer for kids and adults! I love the hands! What a great idea!

    • Betsy on February 23, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      It really is! Thanks Tiffany.

  6. Tessa on February 23, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I love how you say even if you aren’t an artist, it’s still something you can practice and appreciate. I 100% agree–even if it’s not your passion or calling, it’s so beneficial. Love this idea.

    • Betsy on February 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      It can be so intimidating to feel like you have to be a professional in order to try something! You never know until you try!

  7. Jenn Corter on February 26, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Ah, this is cool! My little guy is just starting to recognize patterns!

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