Escher and Overlap

I was playing with the Guidelines of Overlap (which are outlined in my upcoming ebook: Overlapping Zentangle®). 

In the new ebook -- coming out this week and specifically designed for those who want to take their Zentangle to the next level, it's an advanced ebook -- I'll discuss my 10 guideline points of Overlap

These two drawings were created using those specific concepts: 

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These sketches made me think about the message I got from Grace E. asking me if my pictures were influenced by Escher. For those who don't know, Escher was a brilliant dutch graphic artist who's work features mathematically inspired pictures with IMPOSSIBLE objects, such as stairs that go up and seem to end at the beginning of the stairwell, or beautifully designed tessellations. 

Even though I was profoundly taken by Escher's work when I was in college -- that was 30 years ago -- I have not thought of his work for a long time.

And yet, there is one curious fact: one of the things that bothered me most about 3D computer graphics (in another lifetime I had career of 17 years in 3D and video games) was that all the geometry had to be so logical.

When I left computer graphics and returned to traditional hand-drawing, one of the things I enjoyed the most is the freedom we have to make lines and shapes that seem to GO IN, OUT, and UNDER with no logic at all, they form something that cannot be constructed, they don't need to make sense.

I LOVE this idea and always try to incorporate something that makes no 3-dimensional sense into my drawings, just a little bit of mischief. It’s the beauty of the line drawing, one of the few advantages that it has over 3D computer graphics. I guess that Escher's impossible structures were on my mind all this time after all!

Here are some closeups of the sketches!

The first one is a mix between two tangles, Molygon and IX:

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(As you can see, limiting the number of tangles does NOT limit your ability to use overlap guidelines to create highly layered pictures.) 

The second sketch is a combo using 4 different tangles, Viaduct (deconstructed by Wayne Harlow here), Jaysix (find the stepout here), Opus (Maria Thomas, stepout here) and Caviar (deconstructed by Lori Howe here). 

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Here is the line-art for this one before shading:

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I love the way the shapes wrap and overlap each other in impossible ways! Thank you SO much, Grace, for pointing it out to me and reminding that -- as my wise mother always tells me -- nothing is lost, just transformed. 

The Overlap book is due to come out this week! My little group of lovely reviewers is hard at work, offering suggestions and editing typos, thank you so much ladies!

Stay tuned!


Copyright 2016 Eni Oken