This art requires fairly careful cutting, but little artistic skill. Using colored paper and metallic origami paper, you can create a geometric patchwork artwork that looks beautiful and impressive. I've used mine as a bedhead, but it would look equally wonderful as a statement piece above a sofa or in a hallway.
- 40 x 32 inch piece of white foam core board (they are only sold in imperial measurements not metric).
- Coloured and metallic paper to make at least 48 x 12.5 cm (5 inch) squares. My coloured paper was A4 size and I had two sheets of each of the 11 colors, plus two squares of each of the metallic papers. It's better to have extra paper so you have the scope to play with colour combinations.
- Self-healing cutting mat.
- Cutting knife or scalpel.
- Metal ruler.
- Blu Tack or 3M removable strips to attach your art to the wall.
Step 1: Choosing Your Colours
The key to making this artwork successful is choosing the right colors. A good starting point is to look at the room where you'll hang your geometric patchwork art. Look at the dominant colors in the room's colour scheme - you will need to incorporate at least one of these to tie the art in with your decor. It's often best to just add a splash of the dominant colour(s) and introduce other complimentary or harmonious colors as the main palette.
If you use origami paper or pre-packaged colour paper for this project, the color palette in each pack will often make your decision easier - for example the palette may be brights, pastels, warm or cool colors. You will need to have both harmonious and contrasting colors to provide contrast and a "pop". My colour palette was mainly pastels, and I used the metallic foil papers as accents. Metallics are very on-trend at the moment and can really add an extra punch to take your art to a whole new level. There are many websites and online tools devoted to colour. Take a look at colour scheme designer and Kuler if you need help or inspiration.
Step 2: Cut the Paper
Cut all the paper into 12.5 cm (5 inch) squares first and then cut them in half into triangles. It's important to be precise and accurate when cutting the paper so they will all fit together neatly. Don't be tempted to cut a stack of paper at one time - it will probably move slightly and it won't be square. You can use your first square as a template to cut the rest of the paper so you don't have to measure each time. Mark your template on the back so it doesn't get mixed up with the other squares.
Step 3: Get Your Workspace Ready
If you have a large sheet of paper or even a white bed sheet, lay it on the floor near your work table. It will be a neutral background to lay your triangles out and design your art on. The finished artwork is going to be 12 squares wide by four squares deep. Place all your triangles on the floor and start the layout.
Step 4: Design and Layout
Start at the top left corner and semi-randomly place triangles in a line down the side of the paper 4 squares deep. By semi-random I mean that if you see that two of the same coloured triangles are going to be next to each other, swap one of them for another colour. Continue adding triangles to make rows. Pay attention to the direction of the triangles - you don't want all the diagonal lines to be facing in the same direction, nor do you want to create a distinct pattern. Random works best.
Keep taking a few steps back to look at the overall composition of the art - consider colour placement and the direction of the diagonals. Swap things around so they work better. Be conscious of where you place the accent colours and metallics - they should look random and not be too close together.
Step 5: Fine-Tune Your Design
When you have laid out all the triangles and the art measures 12 x 4 squares, stand back and have a look at it. It often helps to squint when looking at colour and composition so you can see if anything odd jumps out at you. So stand back and have a good long squint. The accent colors should look random, but be fairly evenly scattered. Make any adjustments until you're happy.
Step 6: Take a Photo!
Now, take a photo! Just in case your dog or child comes running in or someone opens a door and a gust of wind blows all your hard work away.
Step 7: Prepare the Backing Board
Cut the foam core in half so you have two pieces that measure 32 x 20 inches. Draw guidelines across the boards for each row of squares to follow. To do this, starting at the top, mark the short sides of the boards at 12.5 cm intervals then rule a line between the markings. The board will be a touch longer but we'll trim it at the end. Run a line of double-sided tape above and below each guideline on both boards.
Step 8: Assembly
Collect the triangles that form the first six squares of the top row. When you pick them up work from left to right, keeping the first triangle on top and adding each new one to the bottom. Don't rotate the triangles as you pick them up - your stack will look haphazard, but they will remain in the correct orientation (see photo below). If you do get mixed up you'll have your photo to refer to.
Remove the cover from the first two lines of tape on one board. Starting from the top left corner and the top of your stack, begin sticking down the triangles, aligning them with the top of the board and the guideline. Continue working on each row one at a time, moving down the board. When you've completed the first board turn it over and mark the top right hand corner so you have a reference. Then repeat the steps to assemble the triangles on the second board.
Step 9: Finishing Up
When you've completed both boards, trim off the edges and any pieces that aren't lining up.
Step 10: Hang Your Art
Check the backs of your boards to make sure you're hanging them the right way up. This may seem silly, but you worked hard to design your piece and ensured that the colours and shapes were working together. Things will be out of whack if you hang them upside-down or in the wrong order.
The foam core is rigid but light and easy to mount on the wall. I used Blu Tack in each of the four corners of the boards - it makes the art easy to hang, easy to test out different positions for hanging and easy to remove. You could also use removable tape but it's a bit more restrictive if you change your mind. Hang your geometric patchwork art and sit back and admire your creativity!
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