Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Repetition in art is always interesting - and no-one has ever surpassed Escher's drawings and the fantastic tessellations he produced.

Endlessly fascinating and so clever.  So this post is about tessellation on a much simpler scale, using just the outline of a girl's head.

If you haven't tried this before, you start with an outline grid of squares, drawn lightly in pencil.  The size of your grid squares, and the number of squares you decide on depends on (a) the size of your paper, and (b) how much patience you will have in repeating the drawing.

I decided on a 3 x 4 grid to give 12 repetitions, and this sketch shows the faces after I had outlined them again in ink and erased the pencil grid.  Each face overlaps the adjoining squares just a little in this case to achieve the tessellation.  The amount of overlap depends on your choice of design.

You will see that the faces are not identical.  This is partly due to the fact that I'm not very good at repeating a drawing identically, and because if I wanted exact repetition of the faces I could create the drawing on Photoshop.  To me, part of the charm is the slight difference from one girl to another.  This shows up more when the faces are painted.

But when it came to colouring the faces I decided to use the computer, simply because I like combining my drawings with the Photoshop program.

It wasn't necessarily easier than painting.  I found one big mistake when I started work on it - I had forgotten to draw in the pupils of the eyes, and this took time and patience.  I considered making each head a different colour, but decided to keep to the repetitive idea.

I like the colours I've chosen, but once I am on Photoshop I can never resist trying out some colour changes.

The pink is not bad, but the blue doesn't work so well.

And the orangey-brown is not bad, but ugh! the green is sickly.

Takes a fair bit of patience, but gives a good sense of achievement.


  1. oh, but I love all the color variations lined up like that. On it's own, the green might look sickly, but in line with all the others it's just really cool.

  2. Esher is realy clever, I like what you've done on the computer.


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