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.

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

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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.

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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!

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