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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Another Repeat Pattern - Blue Watercolor Flowers and Leaves

Last week I wrote about my first experiment with repeat patterns. After I finished, I could imagine other approaches I wanted to try, and this is the result. The process is basically the same as the one I used last time, with just a few changes. Here's how it came about. It's fun - you might want to try it!

Here's the original painting. It's watercolor, and the paper is 8" square. I am by no means an accomplished watercolor artist, but I do enjoy playing with it. As with the previous design, I kept the image towards the center of the paper for this first step. Now to cut it and rearrange the pieces.

Last time, I cut the original square into exact quarters, but this time I wanted to avoid cutting through any of the flowers, leaves, berries, or stems. I realized that as long as my cuts began and ended in the centers of the sides, the rest of the cut could snake around the images - through the blank space. I used a craft knife rather than scissors to make these cuts.

Just like last time, I slid the upper left piece to the lower right; the upper right to the lower left; the lower left to the upper right; and the lower right (which, as it happens is totally blank) to the upper left. Now the corners of the original square meet in the center.

After taping the pieces together on the back, I filled the center space with more flowers, leaves, berries, and stems. I tried to minimize images crossing the cuts, partly because I didn't think the watercolor would flow very well over the seams, and partly because any image crossing a cut would need to be reassembled in the repeat process.

Here I've reassembled the pieces in the original configuration - back to a square. Next, I scanned the piece and, using Photoshop Elements and the spot correction tool, got rid of the lines marking the cuts.

I sized the image to a 3" square then tiled an 8 1/2" by 11" 'canvas" with the image. The result is what you see at the beginning of the post.

My result impresses me with the importance of precision. My first problem is that my original piece of paper wasn't quite square. In the end, this imperfection caused misalignments where a leaf crossed the edge of the paper. I'll be printing 8 1/2" by 11" sheets to use as backgrounds in mixed media, and it's good enough for that use. But I'll be more careful in any future attempts.

I'm already thinking of another improvement in this approach - not starting with a square. But it's easier to demonstrate than describe, so I'll have to go ahead and do it then post about it. So, stay tuned! And in the meantime, why don't you give it a try?

BTW, working with watercolor in this simple way was really fun.

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