Elements and Principles of Design - Pattern


a decorative design, as for wallpaper, china, or textile fabrics, etc.; decoration or ornament having such a design; a natural or chance marking, configuration, or design: patterns of frost on the window.

Related Concepts


Pattern uses the art elements in planned or random repetitions to enhance surfaces of paintings or sculptures.

Patterns often occur in nature, and artists use similar repeated motifs to create pattern in their work.

Pattern increases visual excitement by enriching surface interest.

Pattern in Fine Art

Jasper Johns - Numbers in Color
Jasper Johns - "Numbers in Color", 1958-1959

The pattern in Johns' painting is regular, consisting of 121 rectangles stacked in eleven rows, each with eleven rectangles. The numbers (0-9) seem irregular because of the irregular use and application of color. There is no focal area in many patterned paintings.

Source: Elements and Principles of Design: Student Guide with Activities, published by Crystal Productions