Open Sketch at The Art Students League
Happy Chinese New Year!

#28Patterns Update

I am loving working on #28Patterns -- my month-long project where I'm creating a pattern each and every day of February.  I want to share what I've done.  There are so many ways to make patterns -- drawing, painting (acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache, etc.), collage, etc.  The only definition of a pattern is:

A pattern, apart from the term's use to mean "Template," is a discernible regularity in the world or in a manmade design. As such, the elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner.

Easy enough, right?  I've had a lot of fun exploring many different styles and types of patterns, as well as various art mediums.


Gelli printed deli paper collaged to a white background.


Opposite time! The leftover pieces of deli paper collaged to a white background.


This is a mixture of hand carved stamps and some of my new Balzer Designs stamps for Impression Obsession.


Exploring the versatility of that large pod stamp by using it again, but going for a totally different look.


To get a darker impression, I used block printing ink with my hand carved stamp for this pattern.


I used liquid watercolors for this one.


I'm eye obsessed! This one is acrylic paint.


Have I mentioned that I'm eye-obsessed?!  For this pattern I used collaged gelli printed deli paper, acrylic paint, hand carved stamps, Balzer Designs stamps for Impression Obsession, and markers.  Whew.


Last Friday I showed you this pattern coming together!


And here's the opposite with a bit of doodling added with my favorite white pen.


I carved a set of four zentangle-inspired stamps.  Then, using a ton of paper masks, I stamped this pattern of scattered tiles using my new favorite white ink pad!


I was going for an off-set printing look here.  Mixing acrylic paint with a nib pen and acrylic ink.


Using the same tools as the previous pattern, with the addition of my white Sharpie.


For this pattern I tested out my white acrylic ink on top of black gesso.

A couple things I've learned so far from #28patterns:

  • Patterns are everywhere.  Seriously, now that I've started thinking about patterns I can't stop seeing them.  They're in obvious places like rugs, curtains, paper, clothing, etc.  But you can also find them in nature, on a city street, on your bathroom counter, in your jewelry box, etc.
  • I naturally create patterns.  I've posted a lot of non-#28patterns art on instagram and I keep realizing that I could have used them for this daily project, because it's a pattern.  I doodle, I stencil, I stamp, I can't help myself.  It's the way my brain works.  I think that's why I design the stencils I do.  I think in patterns and most of my stencils are patterns!
  • To make a daily project work I need:
    • A dedicated book.  I really like having a place that a project lives.  It makes it easy to find and keep up with in the mess of my studio.  A book also creates some natural parameters because it's a particular size, particular paper, etc.
    • To make it a priority. I almost always head straight from bed to the studio to work on my pattern.  If I don't do it first thing, chances are it's not going to happen.  In fact, this is a huge change I've made in my day in general.  I try to make art to start the day and end the day with the business-y end of things.  Otherwise, I never make it into the studio.  (Also, I never wash dishes.)
    • To allow bad art to happen.  There are several patterns I've shared today that I *hate,* but c'est la vie.  The only way to get better at something is by doing it and making plenty of mistakes along the way.  On the other hand, there are several patterns that I've shared today that I love.  And I never would have created them if I hadn't followed a bad idea, which turned out not to be that bad after all!
  • As always, there are so many benefits to a daily project, but the biggest is something I mentioned in yesterday's post: practice makes perfect (not that perfect is my goal).  By immersing myself in a disciplined daily practice, I find that I grow.  Each and every day I push myself to try something and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not, but it's always a learning and growing experience!

I'm looking forward to the next 11 days of patterns.  It's not too late if you'd like to play along (for 11 days or just 1).  Simply create a pattern and post it to social media with the hashtag #28patterns. Easy peasey!

Thanks for stopping by!