Don’t be afraid to use a pen! “Mistakes” become organic design elements once they are transformed into pattern. —Cathy Nichols
This technique shows you to to draw repeating patterns by cutting and taping a floral sketch that, once digitized, can be repeated seamlessly with endless colors and variations! Having a supply of unique patterns you’ve drawn yourself, can be a wonderful tool for mixed-media artists. I use many patterns in my own encaustic work; I love to layer them to create whimsical, collaged landscapes.
pencil or micron pen
*A glass grid & light box are a great alternative for the math-challenged, but they are not essential
1. Gather your materials together
2. Cut your paper into a 6″ x 6″ (15cm x 15cm) square and draw several flowers, careful not to let any of them touch the edges of your square.
3. Cut your square horizontally in half (make sure to use your ruler at 3″ (7.5cm) down on either side).
4. Switch the bottom and top halves of your drawing and reassemble using masking tape on reverse. Then Draw several more flowers, careful not to touch the left and right sides of the paper.
5. Cut your square vertically in the exact center (make sure to use your ruler for 3″ across on either side) and flip the left and right sides.
6. Reassemble your drawing.
7. Flip over and use masking tape on reverse for greater stability and so that pieces stay together.
8. Continue drawing more flowers, creating a nice balance.
9. Cut the drawing on the horizontal one final time, flip the upper and lower halves and reassemble.
10. Draw more flowers to balance out the design. And you now have a repeat pattern that can be digitized, multiplied and colored!
I like to use my patterns to add interest and variety as underpaintings for my encaustic mixed media pieces. You can see the pattern on the right!
Here is the whole encaustic painting, “Flow.” I love the way the pattern creates a balance for the figures on the left.
BIO: I am an encaustic painter and licensed artist that loves to inspire other creatives. My paintings celebrate color, joy and storytelling.
Cathy’s art titled, “If You Want to Get Lost, Follow Me” was selected for the cover of the latest edition of Incite bundle.
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