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  1. Pattern
  2. SUMMARY
  3. EXERCISES & PROJECTS
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EXERCISES & PROJECTS

1. IDENTIFYING PATTERN

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY

A. A PATTERN THROUGH TIME: Pattern, like the other elements, can be used to identify a person or group, a place, or even a brand. Historically, complex plaid patterns known as tartans represented specific regions, families, or clans in Scotland. These tartans signify heritage and are a source of ethnic and national pride.

SUPPLIES: Colored pencils or pens, computer with graphics software.

COMPOSE AND SHARE RESULTS

  • Research the history of Scottish tartans and how they're designed and created— and why.
  • Use visual elements such as color and line and shape to represent yourself, your family, or a group to which you belong. Consider what colors represent the person, family, or group. What kinds of lines and/or shapes work together with the colors to make the complex pattern unique?
  • Create a tartan using the chosen visual elements. This can be created by hand with colored pens and pencils or digitally on a computer.
  • Photograph or scan the compositions and save in a digital file.

Share results with the class. How is your tartan similar or different from everyone else's? Be able to discuss how and why yours represents you or your family or group.

2. VISUAL OXYMORON

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY

A. CONTRADICTING TEXTURES: A texture, whether represented two- or three-dimensionally, carries with it a specific feel or connotation. Pairing opposites against each other results in a visual surprise. Create a visual oxymoron!— an incongruous or seemingly self-contradictory composition.

SUPPLIES: Any imaging media such as paint, pencils, ink, crayon, etc., plus any number of three-dimensional objects that have specific texture(s).

COMPOSE AND SHARE RESULTS

  • Pick two objects that are opposites or represent an oxymoron (see Oppenheim's Object— a teacup, saucer, and spoon, covered in fur— in this chapter). Consider an object that has a “slippery” connotation, like a banana, wrapped in grippy tape.
  • If working two-dimensionally, visualize (draw, paint, collage, etc.) the object covered with the oxymoronic texture. If working three-dimensionally, cover, wrap, or otherwise envelop the object in the textural substrate. Be sure not to lose the form (and therefore the identity) of the original object, or the effect will be ruined.
  • Photograph or scan the compositions and save in a digital file.
  • Share the archive with the class on Pinterest or in a group digital file system.

3. ORGANICALLY GROWN PATTERN

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY

A. ZENTANGLE: Zentangles are images of repetitive patterns that grow spontaneously and without “rules”. Growing the pattern focuses creativity and is meant to be relaxing.

SUPPLIES: Black felt-tipped marker. Smooth Bristol board. A quiet room.

COMPOSE AND SHARE RESULTS

  • There are no requirements or rules for a Zentangle but the process is not doodling. Be deliberate.
  • The resulting image can be a non-objective organic or geometric multi-unit pattern. Suggestion: 8“ x 10” board.
  • Start in one corner of the board with a simple unit such as triangle with a swirl within it.
  • Repeat the unit and allow it to grow geometrically or organically outward in any direction and change as your thoughts flow.
  • The point of a Zentangle is to focus on the design process so that external distractions fade away.
  • There is no end. Keep tangling.
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