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 šŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “Tiling a tangled pattern

  1. Wow Neil, this is soooo cool!!! I had no idea how one could tile a design – that is very clever indeed! And I do love the new blog background – it’s fabulous. Your work is downright amazing altogether.


  2. That is brilliant Neil. Like Shoshi I had no idea that you could do this – it must take some courage to cut it up in the first place! I look forward to seeing the added colour too.

  3. Thank you so much for that construction! I have tangled a background for my blog now and I’m so happy, you told us how to do!
    I was a bit frightened to cut my tile in pieces but I’m glad about the result šŸ˜‰
    Thanks again and many greetings from germany,

  4. Wow Rick!
    I’ve definitely noticed your great “hand drawn” paisley tiling and wondered how it could be done! Thanks for sharing your process. I’ve always been a paisley fan, what you have done is a total inspiration.

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