Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sketchbook Day 9 - puzzling pattern

The previous day's exercise is quite challenging so I thought it would be a good idea to look at a simple pattern on a flat surface such as fabric and then to create 3D forms with it.

TODAY'S TASK - Choose a surface that has a very simple pattern such as stripes or large checks. It could be a piece of newspaper text, a piece of wall-paper or wrapping paper, a piece of fabric. I've chosen a tea towel in the first drawing and decided on repeating the exercise with an even simpler pattern - a  stripy fabric.
Manipulate your surface so that it undulates, perhaps gently pleat, scrunch - but not too much as you'll regret it! Note how the pattern is distorted by the way the surface undulates; you are now going to record this pattern - only the pattern.
Use any drawing medium you think would be appropriate to make the pattern. I've used my favourite fine pen to draw the narrow lines of the 'tea towel' and a card strip dipped in writing ink for the wider stripes of the second fabric.
A second idea was to paint the whole page with ink and when dry, to draw the white bands, leaving the darker bands as the lines on the tea towel. This didn't entirely work out as the bleach just kept spreading, making some areas too white. So I added some pen lines to define the undulating surface better.
Left - Fine pen, Centre - 'Framed' tea towel, Right - Bleach drawing with some pen lines

TODAY'S TIPS - Place a frame around your chosen area of crumple that reflects the size/proportion of your page.
Lightly draw the edges of the main manipulated shapes dividing up your page into simple sections. Look at the rhythm of the pattern within each section and notice how it changes as it crosses into the next section. You could either follow one line of pattern across your page OR complete each section one at a time.- I found this the easier option but see what works for you.
Lastly, if you have used a soluble medium use a wet paint brush to sweep along the 'dips' to smudge the inks a bit to add some shade to imply depth. If you have used a dry medium perhaps you can smudge with your finger instead or drag the crayon lightly along the 'dip'.

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