It’s been a couple of months since I posted a hand-drawn sketch. I’ve been sketching less lately. Often I start with a dot pad and quickly move to EQ8 when I’ve decided on a motif that I want to explore further. Other times, it’s just easier to start with EQ8. Hand-sketching can require a level of concentration and thought that I don’t always have. But of course, concentration and thought take practice, and they’re easy to lose if you don’t nurture them with time and attention. A gentle reminder to myself that I should make time to sketch, even when there seem to be easier alternatives.
Anyway…! Here’s what I was working on when I last opened my dot pad.
I’ve explored this idea of ‘folded ribbons’ before – see Sunday sketches #74, #75 and #76, for example – and it’s the sort of thing that could spark a thousand more designs. But this time, I wanted to play with the idea of the ‘folded’ bit being a feature, creating its own path.
I ended up designing quite a few variations, with different canvas shapes (square-ish above; rectangular-ish, below), or numbers of lines in each group, or proximity of lines.
Imagine using a really bold print for those lines in the foreground. Wouldn’t that pack a punch?
I’m still working through this idea in my head and on paper, so I may have more of these to show you sometime soon (assuming another design idea doesn’t grab my attention in the meantime!).
This design could be translated into a quilt pattern using long strips (and some careful cutting to maintain the proper angles) or even a lot of triangles.
This week’s design started on my sketchpad. I often doodle half-square triangles or parallelograms, and I began with a shape I’ve used before – overlapping parallelograms that create little cat ears poking out the top (I used something similar in Sunday sketches #114 and #160). I’d never really done much with just that shape though, so I decided to keep working on it. I knew if I wanted to play with colour or transparency, I’d have to recreate the shape in EQ8. So I did.
This design actually started out a little differently… I began with a looser arrangement. The same elements were all there, but the blocks were wider and longer, leaving more negative space.
As always, I’m never completely sure which version I like best. I think in this case, the tighter version with less negative space wins out. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it brings those white squares (on point) a bit closer together and makes them more obvious, which adds another interesting element to the design.
Each design could be translated into a quilt pattern using squares, rectangles, half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles.
Arrows, this way and that.
This design started out a little… busier, but I pared it down a bit. Here are the precursor designs…
I think the top-right design is a bit too crowded. Maybe a better colour palette would help to differentiate between the 4 directions?
Anyway, I think I prefer a design with some of the blocks left empty. Here’s one with just two colours, crossing diagonally.
See that centre square, on point, where the blocks of different colour overlap? That’s another opportunity for some colour play. You can see it more clearly if I use a different palette.
Of course, I usually go for a regular, symmetrical design first, then follow it up with a more irregular, asymmetrical design.
Lots of opportunity for playing around with colour and placement!
These designs would be pretty easy to translate into a quilt pattern. The arrow heads are just triangles, and the tails are smaller triangles separated by a rectangle. The tails might be easier to make using paper-piecing to get the necessary precision.