Pattern and Texture: Kathleen Zimmerman


“Sea Waves” by Tanor. Found on his commercial store profile REDBUBBLE.

Repeating waves in this image make the composition a pattern. A pattern is the repeating of individual components to make a whole. The repetition of individual components creates an image which looks cohesive. In this image, the waves are the individual components. There is a blue swirl to signify water, and then a white part to signify the wave’s foam. The piece is very fluid because of the curving of the lines. This pattern is an example of a random repeat pattern where the image is made up of repeating sections. You can see where the composition repeats by looking at the biggest two waves on the left side and comparing them; they are identical as are the smaller waves around them.




Image by Sania Pell taken on a trip to Croatia. Image found on her blog.

A critical part of design is texture. With texture we are able to understand more about the design by just looking at it. Texture is the visible physical attributes of an object which give it its appearance. Yet, texture can also be digital, or man-made. In this photograph of ropes, we see actual ropes, but it is an image, the ropes have been created into a 2D photograph. Even in a 2D photograph, we can still see the texture and imagine what the ropes would feel like. We see a small juxtaposition of texture in this image; the braiding of the rope is very smooth and fluid, yet the material the rope is made of, is rough, fibrous and even a little weather worn. This juxtaposition makes the image even more interesting to viewers.




Photograph by naughton of the Tate Museum. Image found on Flicker. 2007.

To create a visually interesting piece, point, line, plane, texture and pattern can be used. In this photograph, all of the above mentioned design elements are used. Point is best illustrated by the figures at the bottom third of the image. These figures represent points on a surface. Next line can be seen in the vertical windows in the upper two thirds of the image. These lines are very apparent as well as the lines created in the shadows they cast. Plane is also prominent in this image. The two main planes are the floor and back wall which are both large flat surfaces. The three windows could also be planes since they are too thick to be lines. The vertical windows when viewed as a group also take the form of a plane. Lastly, we will look at texture and pattern. Texture is visible on the floor of the building. The way the light hits the floor lets us see the texture otherwise hidden by the shadows. Pattern is observed in the vertical widows where many tiny horizontal lines run length ways. This gives the windows a striped pattern.


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