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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Repeating Pattern Sans Computer Tutorial

For the past 3 months, artist Mike Perry hosted an open event exhibition in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn called Wondering Around Wandering where Mike and invited guests had an art gallery and conducted workshops, screenings, gatherings, and more!  All of the events were open to the public and were free to RSVP.

I made it to a few of the workshops including a Saturday morning sketchbook workshop where we learned to throw our drawing apprehensions out of the window!  The most recent workshop I went to was a creating repeating patterns event with Dan Funderburgh.  Now, I've made many a repeating pattern in my day but usually with the aid of the computer.  I wanted to share a method of making a legit repeating pattern like they did in the old days sans computorial assistance.

Take a piece of paper any size, an 8.5" x 11" sheet is a good place to start since it's easy to photocopy but by all means if you want to go bigger or smaller, make it happen!  To ensure that it is perfect, you can use this image I made and then print it out!  It helps if you use a single color marker that has a good thickness to it.  Start to drawn in the middle of the page and continue outward.  The most important part in this first step it to make sure your drawing extends to the top, bottom, and side edges as mine does (above), but do not exceed the cross marks to ensure your pattern will properly repeat.

Once your drawing hits the top and bottom edges, use a straight edge and a cutting device (something that will cut in a straight line) to cut your drawing into 4 squares using the cross marks as a guide.  Use the diagram above to know what arrangement to place your cut squares in and tape it together on the back lining up the edges as close to perfect as you can.

If you did it correctly, all of the blank area that was on the edge before is now in the middle.  Fill up this blank area in the same style you did in the first step to make it look like a cohesive drawing.  No need to worry about lining anything up in this step because if you did everything correctly when you cut and taped it together, your pattern is guaranteed to repeat!

Once you're finished, make a few photocopies of your square (ok, so you have to use modern technology a little bit).  Cut out each of the photocopied squares on the exact edge of the drawing and tape them together.

You should now have a real life tangible repeating pattern!!  You can make it as big as you want and use it as wrapping paper or hang it on the wall as a poster.  The possibilities are endless!!

You can also scan your finished square to repeat it on the computer or to change the colors.  Now, make another!!

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