Just like M.C. Escher's Tessellations, Part 2: Draw Using a New Symmetry Method and Your iPad | Francine Champagne | Skillshare

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Just like M.C. Escher's Tessellations, Part 2: Draw Using a New Symmetry Method and Your iPad

teacher avatar Francine Champagne, Tessellation Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Mirrored Triplets

    • 2. Turning a Louis Cube into a Fish

    • 3. Explaining this Symmetry Group, the Magic Sentence for P31m

    • 4. Many Examples of P31m, Simple and Complex

    • 5. A Vampire Reveals Itself in a Nested Shape

    • 6. A Cellphone Zombie Tessellation, a Bonus

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About This Class

A second class on creating nested shape tessellations, just like M. C. Escher's. We will dive into a second method this time, symmetry group P31m. Instead of a square grid, we will be using a matrix of triangles. All of this creative fun, on your iPad with a stylus and a free app.

No math involved, no technical jargon, no programming skills, and we've already covered the basics in the previous class. All you need is the magic sentence to get you pointed in the right direction, then it's up to you to add a good dose of imagination.

Plenty of examples for you to view, five short videos on the creative method, many completedĀ tessellations and a few more tips on how to use KaleidoPaint, professor Jeff Week's marvelous iPad app to create nested shape tessellations.

Meet Your Teacher

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Francine Champagne

Tessellation Artist


Intertwining lovable animals, hilarious humans or geometric shapes, is my passion. Just like MC Escher, and his regular division of the plane drawings, tessellation topics are endless. They can be simple repeating patterns or more complex characters, quirky humans, whatever strikes your fancy. Originally from eastern Ontario, now living on Vancouver Island, I’ve been creating tessellations for quite a few decades. I've done my 10,000 hours of practice!

Time has come to share my intuitive and creative process, as well as the now easy, technical side. The how of tessellations. I've refined my methods, made it super simple with a few tricks, magic sentences I call them, to achieve a true nested shape tessellation in just a few strokes of a stylus on the ... See full profile

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1. Introduction to the Mirrored Triplets: Hello, my name is Francine champagne. I'm a tessellation artist, have been for over 30 years. If this is your first time joining me. Welcome. For those of you that took the first-class while come back, we are still at the beginner level as we will be learning something new. Today, I will be showing you how to accomplish a nested shape tessellation in a very specific symmetry group. What is known as P31m. Different method than in first-class. This method uses a three-way rotation point in the middle of each equilateral triangle in a matrix of triangles. A bit different from the first class where we use squares. There are 17 classic ways to divide the surface using identical shapes. Just like MC Escher. I will teach you all 17 ways, one class at a time. I will give you the magic sentence, the trick to create a tessellation and P31m, as well as how to use the free iPad app KaleidoPaint. I've created dozens of classic nested shape tessellations using this P31m symmetry group. We will examine the method and how they were created. I will give you the trick to do these easily. No math, no jargon, no programming. We do it the easy way. And your drawing skills don't need to be at the Leonardo da Vinci level. Mine aren't. The class will consist of five videos for a total of 30 minutes. I will show you many examples, some of the mine, some from other artists. And your project will consist in installing KaleidoPaint on your iPad and testing your new found knowledge, your insider information, the magic sentence, and testing how far you can tweak your outlines to create a classic nested shape tessellation of your very own. Let's get started. Oh, and do follow me on my blog, tessellations dot ca, or on Instagram or Facebook. And please share this video with anyone you believe might be interested in learning how to create tessellations. 2. Turning a Louis Cube into a Fish: Open a new drawing in KaleidoPaint. Choose your symmetry group for this class, P31m. It's basically a grid of equilateral triangles with a three-way rotation point in the middle. Now, we're going to try and do a Louis cube in one pass. And I'm going to choose black as a color. From the center rotation point to one of the corners, gives me a Louis cube. I'll turn off the grid so you can see that this here is Louis cube. Okay, So now we're gonna go to the Edit menu. And with the few points that we have on our line, we're going to do a fish. convert this. There is a fish mouth duplicate or split the control point, just get a couple more control points. Split, round that out. Put a fin in there. Let me see. No convert to a corner point, convert to a corner point. Split this again. There we go. We have a bottom fin, which doubles us the top fin too. And then we'll go back and draw a line from the middle of the mouth. To about here. Zoom in, edit and bring all the points together to make it just one line instead of a line and it's mirror. We've got fish. Let's make the mouth bigger. The tail, bigger. See now. Okay. We can put the gill, which is an arc that is mirrored like so. A dot, which we can edit, edit the size like about, like dot. And then draw another dot on top. But we'll draw a white dot. Edit, edit the size of the white dot. A little bit bigger. The white one we want a little bigger. So another black dot, edit size. And then align it, like so. And give them fish some fin lines. Line those up. And how did I do that? There we go. It's a bit of a better fin. Okay. Here we go. Got the fish. 3. Explaining this Symmetry Group, the Magic Sentence for P31m: This is my second class, so it'll be about symmetry group P31m. That's what I like to call the mirrored triplets. In this symmetry group, only one line is necessary to create a closed shape. It's quite similar to the previous symmetry group who tried P4g. Except in this case it's inside an equilateral triangle mirrored grid. Instead of a square box grid. The outline, a single thick line here within a triangle from one of the corner points joining in the middle at the three-way rotation. Add the dot and an arc for the mouth. Both of these marks mirrored for a face add a few facial details. Bits of hair, the fists, clothing, a single extract of the tile. Well, two parts mirrored. That is, He does look a little weird as if seen through a fish eye lens. Which brings me to the practice of drawing what you see in a convex mirror. It's a good exercise in drawing, what you see, not what you think it shouldn't look like. Good for forgetting standard proportions of everyday items. And it greatly helps us imagine these crazy dudes like this one. Magic sentence here. Link the three-way rotation point, with a single line to any of the three corners. That's it. I call this system the mirrored triplets. All in good fun. I will show you many examples in the next video. 4. Many Examples of P31m, Simple and Complex: The second class on rekindling your love of tessellations deals with a grid built up of equilateral triangles of mirrors with a three-way rotation point in the middle of each triangle. It can be as simple or as complex as you want. I call this one the mirrored triplets. This tessellation from MC Escher is quite similar to the flying fish in the previous class. And the video that I showed you with the drawing process. But in this one, Escher adapted his design to a three-point rotation system. From the corner to the center, linked with just one line. Again. Because of the mirrors, the figures have bilateral symmetry. Mirrored triplets. Is it good enough way to remember the symmetry system Here's another simple line also by Escher connecting the central rotation point of the corners. Look at the white squiggle. Then it's repeated two more times around a central point, the green line and the yellow line. In this P31m tessellation, Hidekazu Nomura has used the same principle, but slightly modified the outline. The little Chinese boy, a some call this tessellation by MC Escher. Note the bottom of the sleeves is located at the three-way rotation point. The legs are apart on either side of a combination of two hat edges. Universally speaking, the form of the straw hat lends itself well to a 120 degree space to fill. I came up with this tessellation a few weeks ago. Not even thinking of Escher's Chinese boy. All our minds work in similar ways. We can imagine objects within the shapes within the available space. In my character, the shoulder is at the three-way rotation point, not the sleeve as in Escher's Chinese boy. I also dented the top of the hat and pushed the hat and figure down. I slipped both legs in there together rather than Escher's legs apart placement. Here's a progressive animation of the Lai Tsi tessellation from its first single line connecting one of the corners to the central rotation point. This one, Manta Rays has the simplest line connecting one corner to the middle rotation point. Let's take it apart. The most simple line connecting one corner to the middle rotation point. This was done in an older version of KaleidoPaint where you couldn't edit the line. If I needed to erase, I would paint a wide white line over top of everything and start over. Omega boy was my aha moment for this iPad app, the original version of the app did not have the edit option, as I've mentioned, it had a sketchy feel to it. But I was still proud of my first tessellation. I sent a copy to the app developer's gallery. This was my introduction to Professor Jeff Weeks in 2012. He actually replied, which is rare these days, and treasured. The version on the right is my redo, done with the newer version of KaleidoPaint. Same quirky sharing of hair, tiny neck, cape's bit better, wrapped around his fingers, feet facing sideways rather than the tiny forward ones in the original. These are all decisions you make as you design your characters. I spent a lot of time with the interior details on this Ruffles, tessellation, period costume, puffy shirt, and adorable little character. You should have enough examples now to understand how to create a nested shape in this symmetry group, the mirrored triplets is how I call them. I will show you one more progress video, my Vampires. Then you need to show me what you can do. 5. A Vampire Reveals Itself in a Nested Shape: You never know when you start a tessellation drawing if it's going to be a toss into the recycle bin or an actual success. Which is why this tessellation in two videos is precious, in that it shows the whole creative process from start to finish in just over eight minutes. For some tessellations, I will try different symmetry groups, different alignments, different nesting possibilities, till I get a hunch on how to create it. In this case, the one single line required for the perimeter of the character revealed itself quite quickly. And I was recording it. There's not that many symmetry groups that only use one line to enclose the shape of the tile. So enjoy this simple little wonder. It's quite similar to the first symmetry group we studied. Enjoy the mirrored triplets. . . . . Here's the final version of the vampires. Just a few minor changes from the end of the video. A white shirt and the open collar on his jacket, red tie and buttons. All of this from one single line to start from one of the corners to the middle rotation point. KaleidoPaint paint is great. It does the rest of the repeats, but you need to do the tweaking, much tweaking of the perimeter and the inside of the shape. Always keeping in mind that the line has two sides. What you add on one side is removed from the other. 6. A Cellphone Zombie Tessellation, a Bonus: Here's the grid for the symmetry group P31m, the mirrored triplets, a matrix of equilateral triangles with a three-way rotation point in the middle. All of those lines represent the same mirror. The magic sentence, link the center point with any line, to one of the corner points. KaleidoPaint will do all the repeats for you. Here it is without the mirrors option. It shows the three different repeats of the line in three different colors. That's one of the settings that can help you see your lines, under the symmetry menu at the bottom, choose colored by symmetry. The next step is to tweak your line, add some nodes in edit mode, and pull those nodes here and there. Follow your intuition, something usually pops up. Add nodes and tweak the line, that's single line that connects the three-way rotation to one of the triangle's corners. I could pull in part of the line to create a neck space. And round out the head. Tweak some more. Always. That flattens the feet space on the other side of the line as a bonus. Edit the line and keep track of what happens on both sides, given and take, stretch and tweak those lines, move the nodes. Seeing head, shoulders, elbows, hips, legs and feet. Something is starting to take shape. Shirt details. If you round out the design of the hands with full fingertips, it would look like a stack of sausages. So the fingers are simple, straight lines across the mirror, unconnected. It seems to work to create the illusion. Here on an exported image from the bottom menu, I alternated the colors three ways in Pixelmator for the three characters and added a bit of texture. Using the Pixelmator app will be another class. Now you have the tools and knowledge to go out and create two types of tessellations. The previous class P4G or head to head, feet to feet, elbow to elbow. And now this class P31m, the mirrored triplets. Both of these tessellation methods are quite similar in that you link with one single line, either the triangle's corner or the square's corner to the central rotation point. Practice. Tweak your lines and insert some imagination. It's amazing what can pop up. Our next class, will deal with cemetery group P3, no mirrors in the next class. See you then.