Analyzing Patterns #1: Part II

In the previous post, I wrote and posted a setp-by-step video on how to draw the pattern as shown in the reference photo. In this post, I will move to the painting part and begin by explaining the process I used.

In Ottoman pattern painting, It’s important to outline your pattern and motifs. However, for this pattern I didn’t use this outline technique (it’s called ‘Tahrir’ or ‘Contouring’). It usually comes before painting the background of your design.

I will shorten the process using the following formula:

Gold (if you’re painting with gold) -> Colors (the colors you choose for your pattern) -> Outline (or Tahrir using black calligraphy ink/black paint) -> Background painting.

This is generally how you go through painting your pattern. At first, the steps may seem a lot but after learning the formula it’ll become easier to memorize. The most important fact is to practice as much and focus.

So, I simplified the painting process and excluded some details from the motifs here and there. My main aim for this project is to explain, and demonstrate how you analyze such patterns when you come across them. If you visit Turkey, you’ll see too many decorated tiles. They’re fascinating and tempting to study them further.

Back to our pattern, the motifs included in this composition are: Şemse (The full design), Rumis (the inside motifs), Crest (the bottom motif), Goncagül (on top of the Şemse), and two big leaves on each side of the Goncagül.

Once you know the elements you only need to place them together in their right order as seen and you can compose your own design based on it easily.

The colors used are: Dark blue, turquoise, and white. I added some red as a last step because the pattern became too blueish.

For dark blue I used Ultramarine blue and mixed it with few dots of black to darken the color a little bit. It was too shiny to be used a lot for this design.

For Turquoise I used Butterfly blue, and aquamarine little bit to soften the color.

For white I used Antique white and mixed it with little bit of neutral gray. White paint on white paper won’t show. That’s why I mixed a bit of gray to make it more visible.

For red I used a normal red acrylic. Again this is an extra color so if you wish to design the same pattern you don’t need to use it.


Any question or comment, kindly post them below.

Happy joyous designing!


ⓒ Anwaar S. AlAsousi, 2019

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