Abstract Information on shrubland biomass across wide semi-arid regions is of limited availability. A new model is presented that estimates shrubland biomass based on biomass-pattern-precipitation relationships. The model uses a pattern parameterization that represents the effect of the shrub patches’ spatial arrangement on their water use efficiency. Shrubland biomass productivity is then estimated by modulating rainfall availability along climatic gradients by this Pattern Water Use Efficiency. Preliminary assessment of the new model was achieved by comparing its results with biomass as extracted from high-resolution imagery based on allometric equations. This assessment utilized ten high-resolution images acquired from an ultralight aircraft flying at low altitude over sites between the Northern Negev (100 mm annual rainfall) in the south and Avisur Highland in the north (500 mm annual rainfall).