Maddie willis

Digital Surface Pattern Design (Online Short Course)

Course Duration

5 weeks; online

Launch Date

Jan 2021
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We are surrounded by surface pattern design, from the soft furnishings in our homes to the patterns we see packaging and wrapping paper in the shops.

This creative course encourages you to draw and paint to create patterns that could be used for surface pattern and textile design. This course explores the breadth of surface pattern design and how it can be used across many products.

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Please note this workshop will be taught solely online via Google Meet.

All courses are subject to student numbers and will only run if sufficient numbers are achieved. Plymouth College of Art reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient student numbers are recruited.

Lessons will be taught online and are interactive. Classes will use Google Meet to demonstrate software and allow participants to speak with the tutor and each other. Google Classroom will be used as a means of communication outside of class. Information will be shared using Google Drive.

Each week your tutor will give a full live demonstration that will be recorded so that learners can refer back to after the lesson has finished. There will be a discussion at the end of each class and time for students to try the techniques demonstrated in class and ask questions.

A critique of students' work will take place at the beginning of each lesson so that members of the class can share work, ideas, and your tutor can monitor and help with your progress.

You will develop skills on how to generate primary visual research and how to create a mood board, along with how to identify potential themes and ideas, experimental drawing and mark-making techniques, layout ideas and how to create and use a successful colour palette.

By the end of the course, you will have developed the skills to create a collection of hand-generated designs on paper, great for a portfolio towards further study or to develop further into product ideas.


Good computer literacy is essential, you must be able to effectively use a computer in order to watch and interact with the tutor on this course.

You will need:

  • A laptop or desktop computer (tablets WILL NOT suffice.)
  • Adequate internet connection*
  • Google account for Google Meet/Classroom access
  • All handouts to be supplied electronically by lecturer
  • Paper or sketchbook, at least A3
  • Drawing materials - pens, inks, gouache, watercolour, acrylic for example
  • Scissors and glue
  • Working and up to date copies of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator

*In order for you to receive the best possible experience for this online course your internet connection must be fast enough for you to clearly watch demonstrations by the tutor. Unfortunately Plymouth College of Art is not liable for any refunds if you are experiencing any technical difficulties due to your own internet connection not working effectively.

To make an application to this course please click the "Book now" button at the top of the page to be redirected to the Eventbrite booking form.

For further information or to request an alternative format, please email