My principle goal with drawing is to make my subject feel as real as I can make it. That requires a strong sense of place and person. And THAT requires detail.

Detail is where I feel reality congeal and it’s where I love to spend my time. I rough in a scene and panels, and then I spend hours lovingly sculpting my fictional world and its inhabitants. A few scars. A mannerism. Clothing preferences. Textures and patterns either drawn or overlayed. I thought I would share one of the shortcuts that, for me, really makes a scene pop.

Adding Patterns and Textures

The pages I post here today are of Avestine’s quarters in the palace at Castlebejel. I merged several reference photos of real palace bedrooms to get the layout I liked. Then I roughed in the scene. Then I shaded it. Then I found a pattern on the web that I thought went well for my vision of this room. This pattern was a low-resolution image that I copied and pasted together repeatedly so it covered the entire curtain area. Then I set the layer to Multiply at about 80%, and voila…curtains made from a patterned material. I show you the example of the bed curtains below. Click to view larger images.


The curtains are complete but lacking. The “material” is patternless. Who uses real materiel with no pattern?


I found this low-resolution pattern on the web. I desaturated it before I copied and pasted the square repeatedly on its own layer to cover the curtains.


I cut the pasted the pattern to fit the curtains’ shape. Then I used the layer function “Multiply” at 80%. The material looks patterned and the shading shows through.

Use your judgment for how dark, how small, and how to shape the pattern. I could have gone lighter, even reversed it to light on dark, and distorted the shapes to flow with the folds. I didn’t think I needed to do those things in this particular image. The dark pattern gives the image weight and depth, and likely if I hadn’t posted about this, you might not really have spent much time examining the pattern.

This is the kind of process I would have expected to do in Adobe Photoshop, but I was able to do it all in Procreate!