Patterns with Inkscape, Pt.2: Geometric

The next stop in my journey of learning how to create patterns: geometric ones. And my usual go-to guy on YouTube for Inkscape tutorials, Logos by Nick, has just the video:

Well, purple being my favourite colour, and light blue goes ever so well with it, I decided to go with those two. To make the trio, a dark grey on one of the panels like the selection in the video.

I love the result! Although the purple is a bit too dark. And the dark grey could be lighter too to be more interesting.

After doing the second tutorial (detailed below) where the panels are given a linear gradient, I decided to return to this design to give it a gradient too. I love it even more now.

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The second tutorial, by Draw Simple Things, features practically the same design of polygon shape, except that they feature outlines of two different thickness, plus a subtle linear gradient on two of the three panels of the design.

As with the first tutorial, I enjoyed creating the design with the polygon shapes. However, turning it into a repeatable pattern involves duplicating the shapes themselves ‘manually’, as the following images show:

I prefer the method of the first tutorial, so I went back to the polygon shape to duplicate it to a cluster-of-7 thing, to turn into a rectangular template which I can clone faster and much more easily. So I applied that here:

which gave me this glorious repeated pattern:

Of course I just had to try it in purple:

Somehow I did my polygon ‘wrong’ in size or shape or both, so that when duplicated there is space (the white negative space) in between the shapes. That’s perfectly fine to me, though, I think it looks lovely that way too. More of a basket weave look. It has also given me an idea to incorporate my own design of vines of leaves and flowers, to be intertwined among them.

I’m loving this and can’t wait to try more! I have already chosen the next tutorial to try.

Patterns with Inkscape

I love patterns. On anything: shirts, upholstery, curtains, wallpaper, gift wrap paper. I like patterns that lean towards a retro vibe. I like geometric ones especially with a dash of Art Deco. Or designs featuring nature elements like flowers and leaves. I like simple, elegant ones, I like loud ones. Even ultra minimal designs like polka dots or stripes can be pretty and interesting too, as the variations one can play with them in colour, size and background are endless.

Recently I came across some YouTube tutorials on how to create patterns on Inkscape and decided to give them a go. They seemed easy but I was fumbling and had to keep repeating the steps. However I will do more of them to better get the hang of it. I like trying different types of digital drawing to see which ‘clicks’ with me, when I have the time. Drawing patterns is definitely something I’d like to explore further as a hobby.

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This is the tutorial I tried first, by Logos by Nick. The video is 11 and half minutes long. The first part deals with creating the crown design and the second part shows how to tile it via a clone tool.

After first creating the crown as designed by Logos by Nick, this is how parts of the crown is arranged on the original tile, ready to be cloned into a repeated pattern:

The resulting pattern reminded me so much of a sofa I once had, in navy blue :-) that I decided to have fun trying it in different colours:

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The second tutorial, by Paul Friedl, was more difficult for me to follow. The tile on which the design is based on is created first, and when you start drawing on it, it is replicated on the other cloned tiles. But I kept losing the link to the other tiles for example when I drew with anything other than the bezier (pen) tool, and I had to keep going back to re-link it. Just a matter of practice, I guess. Otherwise it is a pleasant video to follow.

After many tries I settled on this as the design on the original tile. In the process I learned two things: 1. I am utterly shit in drawing arcs and other curvy lines freehand, haha. 2. I had the idea to circumvent this by using the spiral tool to create arcs, by reducing the turn of the spiral to just 1 or 1.5, for example. And that suddenly led to spirals being the theme of the design hahaha.

The original tile design. Not pretty like the one in the tutorial video, but it’ll do. I’ve been watching episodes from the British crime drama series Endeavour, set in the 1960s, and wanted a somewhat retro feel :-) hence this blue.

Cloning the tile shows what it looks like as a repeated pattern:

Click to enlarge

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I certainly had fun with these two tutorials, and there’re a couple more I’m really keen to try out too next time.

Origami art sculpture

I came across this charming collection of origami cranes while on my way to meet some friends for lunch in the Tanjong Pagar area.

This installation piece is a ‘community effort’. Sometimes that sort of effort seems a ‘fail’ to me simply because it just looks horrid, and I suspect it’s actually just a low-cost way for some cheap, tightfisted space administrator to fill some space with ‘art‘ (as opposed to paying and supporting a working artist).

I like this one though because it’s cute. I imagine kids have fun going around the poles with delight under the colourful cranes, and it’s certainly ‘Instagram friendly’ because it’s pretty.

 

 

Creepy sombre men

So creepy. That was my first thought when I first saw these men. But even then I was drawn to them, these men in their dark, drab suits, lugging their cases and umbrellas like they needed to be somewhere.

But they looked lost. They were just milling about, unable to decide which was the right way. This guy looked like he wanted to ask for directions.

I was a little freaked out, so I pretended not to notice his eye contact and walked on by to get a bit more space between us. That wasn’t very nice of me.

Who were these men? They had obviously walked out from someone’s dream or nightmare but a literal misstep had landed them into the wrong plane. The blinding sunlight was a dead giveaway.

“I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I can barely help myself,” I said to another guy who looked like he wanted to ask for assistance. “You aren’t the only ones who don’t belong here.” I spoke gently, in a low voice I kept from shaking. I didn’t want to be rude. I just didn’t want to talk with him.

I think he understood my growing distress, because like his friend earlier he backed away too.

What a cool water feature. I tried to push my mind away from the men So pretty, the way it cascades.

I turned around and they were still there. I hurried away.

It occurred to me only later that maybe they weren’t trying to ask for directions, they just wanted to offer me some.

Oh well, too late now. I’ve just never been good with strangers. I avoid them like the plague, especially when they make me think of me.

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Related:

Gerard Byrne art exhibition at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Heading home after visiting the Botanic Gardens the other day, I noticed and was struck by the beauty of some paintings displayed right beside the Bukit Timah Gate of the gardens, the access point located beside the Botanic Gardens MRT station.

'Tropics' by Gerard Byrne

‘Tropics’ by Gerard Byrne, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 120 cm

The artist is a Gerard Byrne from Ireland. I’ve never heard of him because I don’t ‘follow’ art, but I absolutely love the joy and life in the six works I saw. There is an exhibition of his works called Botanical Fusion ongoing at the Botanic Gardens across 3 locations, one of which is the Bukit Timah Gate I mentioned above, since 6th September until 10th November.

According to the NParks website:

Botanical Fusion is a series of works painted by GERARD BYRNE, a Dublin born artist who is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists; of modern impressionist style.Titled Botanical Fusion, this is birthed from an artist-in-residence partnership with the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gerard Byrne, supported by Embassy of Ireland.

 

Info Panel - Gerard Byrne Exhibition

I thought “Damn, how daring to display these paintings outside the garden grounds, along a public walkway, unguarded. What if they are stolen or vandalized?” Or, you know, just touched and generally handled by itchy, oily, sweaty fingers. It turned out they are prints, according to the labels. Still, though. I hope no harm comes to them.

According to the same webpage linked above, a selection of the original paintings completed during the artist’s residency can be viewed at the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre of the gardens.

Gerard Byrne

I don’t know what this one is called because there was no info label I could see. Maybe it dropped to the ground and got lost or something. So very pretty. I especially love the sky depicted.

'Tropical House' by Gerard Byrne

‘Tropical House’ by Gerard Byrne, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 65 x 120 cm

'Tropical Jungle' by Gerard Byrne

‘Tropical Jungle’ by Gerard Byrne, Botanical Abstract, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 115 cm

'Forest Flower' by Gerard Byrne

‘Forest Flower’ by Gerard Byrne, Wood anemones blossom, Lublin, Poland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 60 cm

Forest Flower above is easily my favourite among the six works exhibited at that Bukit Timah Gate location. So stunningly beautiful, and it reminds me of some of my favourite paintings by Gustav Klimt, the Austrian painter known for The Kiss and many other works.  I just love the company of trees.

'Endless Summer' by Gerard Byrne

‘Endless Summer’ by Gerard Byrne, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 120 cm

Definitely have to go back soon to see the other works exhibited at the other two locations in the Botanic Gardens.

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Cloudy with a chance of crystal fabulosity

I was mesmerized by these clouds at the new Jewel shopping mall at Changi Airport, obviously drifted straight out from a fairy tale, looking like they were about to bestow us all with some serious glamour. But since we’re talking fairy tale, the shower of crystal rain would be gentle and in slow motion, glittering serenely and madly all at once. As opposed to cutting and slashing us all to death, that is, haha.

Couldn’t hang around to find out, though. Had to tear my eyes away from the gorgeous sight too soon. I was at the airport to send off a friend. We strolled around a bit earlier to catch in the new attraction, then after he was gone I had to rush to grab the last train back home. Would love to be back soon to admire them again. So very pretty.

Looking at these photos got me thinking just now “they’re gorgeous but how the hell are the maintenance people going to clean those things?” But hey, if they really are supposed to represent dark clouds that are about to unleash rain, then those clouds will just look better with age as they get greyer and greyer over time, haha :-)

 

Modern table design and flower arrangement at One Farrer Hotel Singapore

I don’t normally go for modern design, but this table at the lobby of One Farrer Hotel near Serangoon Road caught my eye . I like how even in its minimalism, and without any natural material like timber, it still has a somewhat organic character. Which is why I find it interesting.

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The flower arrangement, however, is not my cup of tea. I wonder what statement or look the florist was going for. To me personally this arrangement as a whole looks a little unfinished and untidy, like we’re looking at a work table at the housekeeping department where the arrangements are kept before being dispatched to various locations in the hotel.

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Maybe I’m just too anal and rigid, and have to try to better appreciate designs that are more relaxed and free-flowing. Especially in that modern and stark lobby, a bit of randomness (albeit still controlled in containers) gives a much needed breath of fresh air. And that is always appreciated, as I’m just not a fan of modern minimalist interiors. I just find it so cold and sterile. So, yes, I still enjoyed looking at this bit of ‘contained chaos’. It’s refreshing.

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Anyway it doesn’t matter much how flowers are arranged. Nice arrangements are always appreciated, but flowers are always lovely to look at no matter how they are arranged.

Downtown Line’s Little India Station

This greeted me when I exited the train at Little India station.

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The artwork and design on that wall and ceiling are pretty spectacular. I couldn’t help walking around in awe for a few minutes admiring it all, and snapping a few photos.

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I love it. At each of the different angles I saw it.

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It’s like topography, and a flock of birds, and there is whimsy and magic in it. And a Christmas winter wonderland that’s more Tron City than Narnia.

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Galaxy Cat

I came across this beautiful mural art at one side of Holland Village Market & Food Centre, the side that faces Haagen Dazs.

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Gorgeous, isn’t it. I find it fascinating, even as I feel a bit uneasy as I study it. It rekindles a suspicion deep inside me that I thought I had long banished.

That cats first came from outer space thousands of years ago, landing on our planet to enslave us. Cunningly working their way into our hearts with their fluffy cuteness and by pretending to be hopelessly derpy ever since. But we all know they are forever slyly plotting away in those pretty little heads of theirs on how to finally beat us into total submission. I have frequently caught my cats staring at me with a startlingly evil expression.They came close to domination with the ancient Egyptians, but all their effort backfired when they ended up being mummified along with the very masters they were seeking to destroy after seducing them. Progress has been slow ever since because they kept getting distracted into playtime by glittery things and puking out hairballs.

The designer of my keychain not only agrees with me, but thinks the situation is far more grim than I had thought.

Cats now rule the world

Anyway, back to the mural art.

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Detail 1

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Detail 2

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I am inspired by this artwork to call the next cat I adopt ‘Galaxy’. Or Gal, for short.

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