The Process of Drawing Tile Patterns

Recently I started adding color to my drawing of a Portuguese tile pattern that I saw at the National Tile Museum in Lisbon, Portugal last summer (although I wrote Porto in my sketchbook). I love the way one block pattern can be complicated enough that it takes 16 tiles to show it!

These are some pictures taken during its progress to being currently somewhat painted. I typically work on my projects about 30 minutes at a time. For these tiles, I start with a pencil and ruler and mark out on my sketchbook page where I’m going to place them. I like to draw a solo tile, then in a group of four, and then, here, in a group of sixteen to show the additional pattern that is made. I find the center lines and diagonals in each square and then start sketching out the pattern. Sometimes I will draw the whole pattern first then ink it, but here the design was complicated enough and my hand would rub off the graphite, I inked some parts before I did more pencil. Once the whole page was inked, I scanned it so I have it available for the future - I was thinking of a coloring book of Portuguese tiles. Then, I added color to match the tiles I had photographed.

It’s a time consuming but very satisfying process. I will continue to add blue watercolor to the rest of the drawing but I rather like partially complete painting too. I will scan that before I continue. Which do you like better - partially painted or fully painted?

Students' Work!

I have been teaching a six-week travel journaling in ink and watercolor workshop recently but there’s been two weeks off unexpectedly because of lots and lots of snow which is not the usual for this area. Roads are finally clear and the weather more mild so we were able to meet up again. It’s nice to be able to get back to the regular routine again! Here are some examples of what my students are working on. It is so interesting seeing what people come up with.

Travel Sketch from Porto, Portugal in Progress

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I love to travel and I love to draw and paint in travel journals. I work on them while on trips, but mostly after the fact using photographs that I took during the trip and bits of ephemera that I brought back. This is an in-progress sketch of the first outside tiled church I saw in Porto, Portugal this past summer. It’s from the Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina (Chapel of Souls on Rua Santa Catarina).

If keeping a travel journal is something that you’d like to try, please join me for my next offering of Creating an Ink and Watercolor Travel Journal 6-week workshop on Monday evenings that starts on January 7th, 2019. See my workshops for more information and to register.

Everyday items in Cuba

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I like to do travel journaling in my sketchbooks. This is a page from one of my Cuba sketchbooks that I completed recently with some of the bits and pieces brought home from my trips. I have fun with trying to make the items are realistic as I can within the ink and watercolor format. The coins, bills and card in this sketchbook spread (11"x8.5"/28cm x 21.6cm) are real size. I like to record the memorabilia of receipts, tickets, pamphlets, maps and odds and ends in my sketchbooks. I will usually mix them in with sketches related to the event. What do you like to record?