Dot patterns can be used in a variety of ways, from stationery, wallpaper, and fabric design to paintings, sketches, and portraiture. Whether you’re a professional designer or a casual hobbyist, add dot designs to your repertoire with our tips, and be inspired by 15 beautiful designs.
What is a Dot Pattern?
A dot pattern is a pattern made up of numerous dots or circles. These dots may be arranged in a regular pattern, such as in rows, or more irregularly. Dot patterns can be abstract and purely decorative, or figurative, with the dots arranged in a way that creates an image of a person, animal, object, scene, or something else.
Design programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator have expanded how designers and artists can work with dot patterns, taking some of the monotony out of the creation process. But, dot patterns can also be created by hand using traditional media like pencils and paint. The pointillists of the late 19th century were a branch of the Impressionist artistic movement and showed how dot painting patterns could be used to create landscape scenes and portraits.
How Do I Create a Dot Pattern?
Making a Dot Pattern in Photoshop
Design programs such as Photoshop are a useful way of creating a wide variety of dot patterns and effects with dots. You can create visuals that would be very difficult, perhaps impossible, to create any other way.
If you’re new to using Photoshop, there is a bit of a steep learning curve, but this is worthwhile for professional designers and artists and anyone who is serious about their artistic hobbies. Photoshop lets you create geometric and mathematical dot patterns, such as rows of polka dots, and can be used to create dotted effects in other graphic designs, too.
Other programs that can be used in similar ways include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fresco, and Procreate.
Making a Dot Pattern Using Pen, Pencil, or Paint
You don’t need to be a tech whiz or have advanced software to make a variety of dot patterns, however. From geometric, polka-dot patterns to figurative portraits using stippling or pointillist techniques, you can create dot patterns using your favorite media, including ink pen, colored pencils, sketching pencils, or paint. If you want to create “perfect” circles, use a compass, too.
When creating dot patterns by hand, you can come up with designs from your imagination or search for pattern png files online for inspiration.
Add Texture to Your Designs With Dots
Dot Pattern: Smart Texturing in Photoshop.
15 Examples of Dot Patterns
1. Colorful Polka Dots
Coloring regularly spaced dots in different colors changes the look of a very simple dot pattern.
2. Classic Polka Dots
Polka dot patterns consist of large, filled circles of the same size, and the dots can be arranged regularly or irregularly. These are spaced close together.
3. Scrapbook Dots
Dots can be placed at random intervals for a more organic feel to a pattern.
4. Halftone Circle Pattern
Dots of differing sizes and colors create a bubbly look in this pattern, created with Photoshop.
5. Stipple-Textured Swirl
Combinations of dots can be used to create swirling patterns. This floral design is further enhanced with stipple effects on each individual dot.
6. Dots Upon Dots
This regular polka dot pattern is enhanced by adding organic, irregular dots to the background and the polka dots themselves.
7. Dot Mandala Patterns
Mandalas are circular patterns used in various spiritual traditions as a meditation aid. These dot mandala patterns use differently sized and colored dots to create dramatic effects.
8. Dot Portrait
Dots can be used to create figurative images, such as this self-portrait.
9. Photo Overlay Macaw
From a distance, this picture looks like a photo, but close up you can see it’s composed of hundreds of dots of different colors. This effect is created using Photoshop.
10. Dots for Texturing
Dots can be used to create texture in graphic designs. This was created using Photoshop.
11. Halftone Hearts
The dot pattern on these multi-colored halftone hearts give texture and depth, were created using Adobe Illustrator.
12. Hand-Painted Dot Mandala on Canvas
A lot can be done on computer programs, but you don’t need any specialist technology to create beautiful dot patterns. (If you need inspiration for your design, simply Google “free dot mandala patterns.”)
13. Dot Painting Patterns on Stone
Stone painted with dot patterns are decorative and can be used functionally around the home, as paperweights or doorstops.
14. Stippled Crab
Stippling is the art of using monochromatic dots to create a picture with depth, shade, and dimension.
15. Stippled Frog
A great amount of detail can be given just by using dots to create a figurative image.
Create a Dot Self-Portrait!
Designing with Halftones: Create a Dot Pattern Portrait.