Normally I sketch on a plain square grid using a Rhodia dot pad. I like the absence of lines; it frees up my design mind a little more. But lately I’ve been trying to sketch more designs using equilateral triangles, and the easiest way to do this – short of drawing up my own triaxial grids – is to use Grid Paint. It’s a free online resource with different grids for painting, including two types of triaxial grid (one that runs horizontally and one that runs vertically). The design features are pretty limited, but they’re enough to get rough ideas down on the screen for exploring later.
I’ve made no secret of my love of transparency and (paradoxically) my aversion to using colours in my designs. A hexagonal colour wheel is the perfect way to achieve both:
The design above is a ‘subtractive’ colour wheel – the main/primary colours are cyan (I’ve used a darker blue), magenta and yellow. If you mix all three equally, the light is subtracted, giving black in the centre.
You can make an additive colour wheel by mixing red, green and blue (which looks more like a purple here), to get white in the centre.
If you look closely in both designs, you can see the faint lines outlining the triangles. These designs would be so easy to make into quilt patterns! Fewer than 100 equilateral triangles, arranged into only 8 strips to make the hexagon. I’m so tempted.
Part of what kept me interested in last week’s sketch is the odd perspective — on the left, the top of the zig-zags is in full view; on the right, it’s the bottom. That sort of unnatural, confusing perspective makes me look at the design again and again.
I haven’t played with perspective much yet, so this might be an area I delve into a little more. This week’s sketch is based on a quick doodle that I made of an apartment building façade in Melbourne awhile back; I found it on the back of a receipt when cleaning out my wallet recently.
I like how rotating the sketch gives an entirely new look — a new perspective — to the design:
If you were brave enough to try a Y-seam, this design could be made into a quilt pattern by combining a triangle and two right trapezoids. Otherwise, you could just use two rectangles, one half-square triangle and one 2:1 half-rectangle triangle per block.
I haven’t done much sketching in awhile. I’m not sure if I’m in a bit of a slump, or if I’ve just been overwhelmed with other stuff – work, life, more work, etc. Probably a bit of both.
So here’s a design I sketched a few weeks ago. I set it aside because I wanted to work on it some more… maybe add a second colour on the other side of those crinkly shapes, maybe work on the angles a little. If I get around to developing it a bit more, I’ll post that too.
To translate this sketch into a quilt, you could combine lots of strips (pieced together at an angle, not unlike last week‘s design) or use triangles, rectangles and squares. The 6 crinkly shapes are made up of multiple copies of a single repeating unit (2 x 4 squares in the sketch), so another approach could be to chain-piece a bunch of them instead.