Creating Slow Drawing Patterns

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

One of the questions I get a lot is how I come up with my slow drawing patterns. In December, I come up with the batch of patterns that we will explore in the first six months of the year, and in May, I generate the second batch. Since I just created this new group of drawings, I thought it would be fun to share more detail about my process with you:

Coming up with new patterns is a several step process, and I’m happy to share with you about it.

Join Me For Weekly Free Slow Drawing Sessions

Take Photos and Sketches of Natural Patterns

I have a lot of fun taking photos of patterns I find in nature throughout the year. This is ice formed on top of a stream. Isn’t it beautiful?

Here you can see how I’ve taken a photo of the underside of a turkey tail fungus and blown it up so that I can imitate the shapes for a drawing and painting pattern. I’ve interpreted this one in paper cut too because I find it so fascinating.

Experiment a Lot With Patterns

I spend a lot of time experimenting with the natural pattern ideas I’ve collected. My criteria for a slow drawing patterns is that it needs to be simple enough that anyone can draw it, but interesting enough to draw many times, many ways. Because I offer so many patterns throughout the year, sometimes folks think generating them is easy and quick. But while coming up with new patterns is something I love, it takes a lot of time, dedication, and work. They are very precious to me.

Use Slow Drawing Patterns In Lots of Different Ways

It’s fun to use slow drawing patterns in a variety of mediums and contexts. I love layering slow drawing in journals and collage pieces, and over watercolor.

My other favorite way to translate my nature inspired patterns is in paper cutting. The lines, textures, and shadows fascinate me.

Slow Drawing Resources:

Book: Draw Yourself Calm

Supplies for Slow Drawing

It’s so fun to share this process with you. I’d love to hear about your adventures with slow drawing.

Creatively Yours,



  1. Kimberly

    Dear Amy I’m so glad that I found your site two years ago. I have been enjoying your posts immensely. I even purchased your book in October of last year. Still working my way through it. Keep up the great work!!!

    • Amy Maricle

      I’m so happy you are a part of this community, Kimberly. Cheers

      • Julie

        I love joining you for the slow drawing replays (I work during live casts) and loved my DYC book so much I gifted it to my sister and her husband with two pens to get started. Then I bought another book for me 🙂 Thank you for putting. Your creative energies out in the world.

        • Amy Maricle

          Oh I’m so happy you loved Draw Yourself Calm. It was a labor of love. So glad to have you in this community! XO

  2. gwen

    Hi Amy,
    Wow, after reading this, I see that you are an artist and a scientist.
    I love nature too. And, your drawings have fascinated me since I first saw them.
    I look forward to your book making with Ali Manning. I belong to her Handmade Book Club, so I will see it through her class.
    I hope that you are able to share these as scientific illustration for science as well.

    • Amy Maricle

      Hi Gwen: I’m so happy you will be joining us for the Botanical Books webinar! And yes, I love the natural world. Cheers!

  3. cheryl dolinger brown

    I am in the second year of slowing down my psychotherapy practice (started when I turned seventy last year) to make more time for my creativity in art and writing. I am a beader but not used to drawing or painting and have really enjoyed the freedom of your type of slow, small art. This year I plan to do more of the inchies in drawing, watercolor and collage. I just received your book and am really enjoying pondering over it. Thanks so much, Cheryl

    • Amy Maricle

      I’m so happy that slow drawing is speaking to you. I find a lot of freedom in it too.


  4. Betsy

    When is the first class in 2023?
    I’m new to this group. I have little experience in pen and paper, but looking forward to the process of slowing into mindfulness.

    • Abigail Castillo-Hernandez

      Hi Betsy, So happy to hear you joined the Mindful Art Community! The first Slow drawing class will be taking place on January 18 at 12 PM EST! Hope to see you there!

      • Abigail Castillo-Hernandez

        Correction: The first Slow drawing class will be taking place on January 18 at 1 PM EST! Hope to see you there!

  5. Sandra Worrall-Hart

    This is inspirational for how to observe our own environment to develop a personal artistic interpretation. I don’t have the means to enlarge and print photos so I use a magnifying glass or a 10X loupe. It takes a little concentration to keep observing through a magnifyer but it has taught me to slow down, which of course is preparation for slow drawing! Thank you.

    • Amy Maricle

      I love looking with a loupe – I’m so happy to hear you engage in this practice of slow walking and looking. 🙂


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