Breaking intersecting circles design down into simple steps

by | Sep 26, 2023 | New techniques, Art how-to, Painting | 0 comments

Lately, I’ve been entranced with geometric designs, especially circles, and especially the patterns that are made when shapes intersect.

I had seen a piece of art online that looked like it consisted of intersecting circles and swirls (seemingly from a partial circle).

I struggled to figure out how this pattern was made. I got out my compass and drafting tools and went at it. At first, I thought the circles needed to be placed by eyeballing them… because I couldn’t figure out the formula or the math.

I probably spent three hours trying to figure it out, and after two sessions, I abandoned the attempt, very frustrated.

Of course, I couldn’t really leave it alone, AND I had a thought of another way to create this design.

What you see is my third attempt of figuring out the steps. (My method is to write out my steps as I do them, and then see if they work. If it doesn’t work, I scratch it and start over. Maybe not the most logical approach, but it’s how I know to do it.)

And it works!

Then, because I hadn’t done enough new stuff yet :), I decided to deviate from my comfortable acrylics and use watercolors. The piece that inspired this had lovely shading that is more easily created with watercolors than with acrylics.

I may be a fan! It’s certainly easy to blend and shade and get some beautiful effects.

Because this design has so many potentials, I’ll be using it more and more. My idea is to do it bigger on a 12″ x 12″ canvas, but I’m not sure if I’ll use watercolors again, acrylics, dot painting, or something else.

Or maybe now that I’ve conquered this hill and figured out the steps, perhaps the allure is over.


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