Tuesday, April 19, 2011
All of the great artists have been inspired by nature’s designs. When I taught elementary art, I always took my students outside at the beginning of the year. They were asked to find geometric shapes and repeated patterns in plants and textures made by nature. Try it in your back yard. Pretend that everything you see had to be turned into geometric shapes. What would it look like? Is there a pattern repeated? How? In what direction?
I have found the most interesting patterns are created using a grid. This can be a grid of horizontal and vertical dots, squares, triangles diamonds or rectangles. This is because patterns repeat easier if they are confined to a geometric shape. (Triangle, square, rectangle or square.) Also a circle can be divided with these shapes. This process also allows the pattern to create a different form when connected in all four directions.
When I am doodling in an unusual shape, I pencil in the grid I need, then doodle in marker and then erase the pencil grid.
Many of my patterns begin with drawing a geometric shape. For example, I might begin with a square. Then I add three lines or shapes inside the square. I repeat that on a grid of nine squares to see what it will look like. I want to make sure it has an interesting mix of black and white. So I don’t decide on where to shade it in until I put it on the grid.
Sometime today, doodle a geometric shape and try this technique. As you look for patterns on the web, be mindful how the artist has used this process to create their pattern. The more you see it, the more innovative you will become doing it.
In the beginning I decided I want this to be a portable art. Something to do in those” wait times” of life. I found a memo pad that is 3x3 inches. It has a hard cover on it with a slot for a picture. Found at Good Will! I also have a bigger sketchbook with a spiral edge which is great. It is 7x7 inches and has a rubber strap at the page edge to hold it together which really is NICE! I carry a small plastic pencil box. I use a soft pencil, eraser, also an ultra fine line sharpie marker, and a silver metallic medium point marker and a medium point black sharpie. All this fits in my purse or sometimes I just put it a big zip lock bag.
The zentangle group teaches over 200 patterns to their certified teachers. They offer a three day workshop. If that interests you, check out their website http://www.zentangle.com./
I have found several on the web through Google’s Image Search. It led me to other blogs like this one where artists share pattern directions. When I find one I like, I copy the directions onto a 3x5 index card. I also found a plastic index card holder at Walmart that holds the cards. It is perfect! How do you keep it portable? Or is your approach completely different?
This art form will addict you to seeing patterns around you. Most of the students in my workshops return after the first session amazed at the number of patterns they see everywhere. Look around you right now and find a few. Look at texture lines, shapes on objects, and fabrics, and shapes in nature. Copy them onto paper or note cards to refer to later. As I said, once you start, you will find this process ongoing and you will begin to see your world in a different perspective. Welcome to a doodler’s mind set!
Did you know that the brain’s first priority in learning is to find patterns it can compare to ones it already knows? That’s why this exercise is very acceptable to your brain when it seems idle and bored. You brain feels right at home and relaxed when you let it look for patterns. So this whole process can be calming and relaxing. Try it and give us some feed back.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
This time I started with a cut out from a fashion magazine. Then
I doodled around the image.I tried to keep the strings that divide the
tangles to reflect the hair direction. Another idea might be to just put a
hat on her head and tangle that. Has anyone tried this?
I found several stamps a a garage sale that had just facial features.
I fould out that I need to let the stamp dry 24 hours before I draw around it. But what fun! And a challenge!
Another thing to notice is the design trick of not putting the subject in the center and also notice that the line in the background is not centered. This makes the composition more interesting