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Fearless Drawing by Kerry Lemon

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23
Drawing as
Pattern
I LOVE pattern and find it deeply inspiring. I add it
to all my drawings, even inventing it where it fails
to exist. I find constructing areas of pattern in my
drawings deeply meditative; it is a relaxing, repetitive,
simple task that allows me to become completely
absorbed in my drawing (and completely unaware
of the time!). For me, pattern is play. It is the closest
thing to doodling I have found, and it allows me to
take an imaginative, creative, and deeply personal
approach to my work.
We are surrounded by a vast number of inspiring
patterns every day; think of a brick wall, braided
hair, parquet flooring, and all the wonderful
patterned textiles in your home and wardrobe. Have
a look around the space you are in now—there
will be a dazzling array of patterns if you look for
them. Because I draw every day, this has had an
enormous effect on the way I see. I really look at my
surroundings; I’m drawn to pattern so I notice the tiles
on a roof, leaves on a fern, or stripes on a shirt. When
you begin to draw regularly you will become aware
of a shift in how you look at things. Perhaps you’ll feel
drawn to observing texture or light and shade, but
you will certainly change the way you see your world.
This chapter is completely about play. I’ll give you a
few ideas to copy and get started with, but fill these
pages with many more of your own ideas. Use this
book as a safe private place to document all your
experiments, which you can refer to as your journey
continues. Just get started and doodle!
24 > Fearless Drawing
Drawing as Pattern > 25
PATTERN PRACTICE
Use this page to practice different patterns. If you can find some
colored pencils, that would be really fun! Remember to keep
your sharpener close at hand for a nice, sharp point.
Circles
Stripes
Grids
Triangles
Swirls
Zigzags
Waves
Squares
Practice doodling these patterns while you’re in meetings, on
the telephone, or in front of the TV. Gradually, pleasing repetitive
shapes and patterns will emerge.
RHINOS
I drew the outline of this rhino while watching the animal at a
zoo in the south of England. It was a freezing cold day and once
I’d completed the basic outline I retreated to a cafe to fill the
interior with glorious, imagined patterns. I worked slowly with no
preconceived plan, just building it up gradually while drinking a
much-needed hot chocolate!
As you continue with the exercises in this book, watch for and
record interesting patterns that you see around you—sketch
the lines in the surface of a wood table, the weave of a sweater,
or the arrangement of the seeds in a pinecone. If this book is
too big to carry with you, try a small sketchbook—even scraps
of paper or a receipt will do. The important thing is to make a
little time each day to really look at the world around you and
enjoy creating small drawings, doodles, or scribbles. Consider
collecting your pattern doodles in a single sketchbook that you
can refer to later on for inspiration.
26 > Fearless Drawing
TIPS
Begin by defining some anatomical outlines within the basic shape of
the animal.
Splitting up the large interior into smaller sections will make the
patterning easier to tackle.
Repeat different patterns as you move around the space to create
areas that relate to each other. For example, I repeated a row of circular
patterns to define the rhinos ribs.
Now its your turn! Begin with the rhino outline and fill it in with
patterns and shapes
Drawing as Pattern > 27

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