Icthus: a tangle pattern


Another church inspired pattern… this time I was playing around with the Christian ‘fish’ symbol whilst trying out different church logo designs. By organising a shoal of the symbols, a pattern can be built up – and you can see that there are possibly quicker ways of drawing the base pattern by the time you see it in step 2. I think the directional lines make this a more complex looking pattern.

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Tiling a tangled pattern

Ever had one of those moments where you’re half way through a project and wondering why on earth you started at the scale/level of detail/size of page that you did? This one is a case in point. I have wanted to have a personalised pattern on the background of my blog page for some time now, and decided to draw one in pen and ink. I wanted it to tile perfectly so that it would scroll with the page, and I did it the old fashioned way


Take a sheet of paper, and start your pattern, drawing to the edge of the sheet, but not over it. Then slice it into quarters. Eeek.

IMG_6217_wRotate each quarter so that the inside corner now points to the outside, and stick back together on the underside. I used 160gsm card to help with the lining up, but as you can see, my cutting wasn’t all that accurate… it still worked out though.


Fill in the rest of the page, again not allowing any new drawing to go over the edges. This piece is 21cm square in real life, and drawn with a Lamy Safari fountain pen with extra fine nib using Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink. It took around 6 hours to do.

I then scanned in the image at high resolution, tidied up the image in Photoshop a little (mainly removing evidence of the cut edges) and it was all done. The final ’tile’ looks like this:

PaisleyAnd just to prove it tiles nicely, here’s a sample roughly 5 wide and 2 tall…

PaisleyHeaderAnd for my next trick, I’ll be adding some colour digitally 🙂
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‘1704’ – Quilt No. 13

Quilt No 013Notwithstanding a minor burn injury caused by not having my arm far enough away from the iron whilst folding the binding for this quilt, I’ve finished my sampler quilt for the workshop I am running at Quorn Country Crafts in Loughborough on 17th April. As you can see, it’s a nine 10×10″ panel quilt-as-you-go with contrast joining strips featuring continuous line free motion quilt patterns that I have adapted from my tangle patterns.

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I’m a published artist in a proper book!

I’ve just found this book on Amazon – and my tangle features on the front cover!
Zen Doodle: Tons of TanglesMy ‘Arabian-Style Tangle’ is in the middle on the bottom row. It features on page 2 as well, and step-by-step instructions are on page 60. Best of all, I’m a contributing artist in the list on page 122. I’ve yet to get hold of a copy – I’m wondering if it’s the parcel that went missing back in October. I’m also hoping to be able to get hold of discounted copies, but in the meantime, follow the link through to Amazon and get it there… I’d be happy to sign any copies, should you desire me to deface the book 😉

P&P means getting a stock from the US is unfeasible. For UK purchasers, please use the links above. For US purchasers, please use the publisher’s website: www.northlightshop.com. This will make signing for those that want it a lot more difficult 🙁

Tangle 026

I had a play with a broad Signo white pigment pen and a page in my 12×12″ Derwent black page sketchbook… and this is what happened over around three evenings:

Tangle 026


I particularly like the ripples – will be doing more of those in the future! The white Signo ink is very opaque, though pens seem to vary in respect of smooth ink flow. I’ve found from experience that if a pen is misbehaving, it’s better to chuck it away. Not necessarily the most cost effective way of managing it, but far less frustrating!

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First Birthday Giveaway – the commissioned piece

If you remember, I had a giveaway at the beginning of March in honour of this ‘ere blog’s first birthday. The first prize was for the person giving the most comments and is featured here. The second giveaway was to the longest active subscriber to the blog at the 12 month point – and that was/is Shirley at 11 months and three weeks. I asked her what she would like as her commissioned artwork and this was her reply: “I have been looking through your blog and saw the ‘largest ZIA to date‘. I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch (until my eyes rebelled). Samplers was one of my favourite things. Would I be asking too much to have that as my prize?”.

Of course I couldn’t give that particular example away again as it was a unique piece for that particular giveaway. So I’ve created this one instead, including some of my new Faberge patterns and using my first attempt at a Celtic Knot. It’s a biggie again, being A3 sized, and took almost 6 hours to complete. Well done Shirley, I hope you like it!