How to skip quickly from a messy sketch to a finished drawing in KaleidoPaint
Sometimes, I find it difficult to spend hours tweaking a single outline for a tessellation. I’d rather sketch freely to come up with some ideas. This was the only way to do it, before the edit line/fill function came along in KaleidoPaint. My drawings were messy and close to impossible to change without adding more of a mess on top. Sometimes it was easier just to start over on a blank page. The trick I had found was to use a text editor to remove unwanted sketch code in the KaleidoPaint text file. If you are interested in learning this trick, read on.
This was the original messy sketch, knowing it has potential, I had not deleted it.If I opened my drawing using the new version of KaleidoPaint with the edit line/fill function, this is what I was faced with. A huge jumble of splines and nodes to figure out. I used to select and delete them one at a time. For hours on end. Making sure to keep that one single outline that I wanted. Okay, so forget doing the above. There is a simpler way.
Create a duplicate of your file and work on this new copy.
The first thing to do is to drop big dots of each of the colours you have used in your drawing, all the same size, all in the same location, choose some blank space in the drawing, it will become clear later why we are doing this.
Next, draw a clean outline over-top of the sketch, with a weird colour that hasn’t been used yet in your file. I used a bright red for the outline in the example below. And those dots I mentioned above, you can see them in the throat area.The third thing to do, is to hook up your tablet to a computer and back up your drawings. I’ve written a post about this backup procedure for KaleidoPaint TXT text files and thumbnails.
Once you have your KaleidoPaint text file on your computer, open it using a text editor, something like MS Word. You will be faced with a list of curves with nodes, fills and dots. It can be a huge file, dozens of pages. Don’t be intimidated. In the file, there is a header area followed by all of the different “elements” in the file; curves, dots and fills. Each curve has many nodes, telling it which direction to take at which point. Each time you add a line in your drawing, it gets added as the next element in the text file.Scroll all the way to the end of the text file. It will say “no-more-elements”. Highlighted in blue, below. Above this footer will be the bright red lines you made on the drawing, I’ve highlighted these in yellow. They also all have the same thickness.
Now the trick is to scroll up from this point, noticing the same colour code as you move up in the file, till you reach those dots I made you put in the file.Have a look at the above KaleidoPaint text file. It shows those series of different colour dots, all the same size.
Now comes the boring, but extremely rewarding part of the operation. Place your cursor above these dots. Select all of the elements from here up to the top of the file, making sure to leave the header elements intact, as shown in the image below. Then press DELETE! You have now cleaned up your sketch in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.In essence, you will be left only with those bright red outlines you added on top of your drawing and those colour dots.
The text file should now be much shorter, with the dot details now as the first elements to show up, as seen in the image below. Followed by the series of bright red lines.Save your file with a new version number. Then drag the new text file back into the KaleidoPaint app’s File Sharing window. Eject your tablet. Reopen KaleidoPaint*. Your new file will appear, but without any thumbnail yet. You can now tweak easily all the remaining lines, their colour, thickness and all the nodes that control the shape of the curve. Those dots I made you drop on the file, at the start of the procedure? They were a marker in the text file but also to keep your colours from your previous drawing. You can save them for later, as they appear as chips under your colour palette, or you can delete them. Now it’s super easy to tweak those lines that had shown you so much potential for a great tessellation. I will work on the above and eventually tweak it to my liking.
*You may need to power off your tablet then on again, for the new file to show up.
If you’re a “Learn by Seeing” “Learn by Doing” kind of person, I’ve started creating videos on “how-to” create tessellations. I’ll be covering each of the 17 symmetry groups, one class at a time. And like all artists, we need to make a living. So. I’ve uploaded these to the Skillshare platform. I’ll get paid by minutes watched.
You can take the classes for free. Skillshare offers anywhere from 2 weeks to a month for free if you sign up, even temporarily.
You can register for just a month and cancel anytime. It’s less than the cost of a Netflix subscription! And you can still stay put on the couch. There are over 40,000 classes on topics for creative persons just like you. Join my mailing list, either here on my blog (in the sidebar), or a at this link for a specific list I use to announce new classes.
I’d love for you to join me on this wonderful learning adventure.
If you prefer, you can follow my progress on social media, I always announce my new class:
Facebook: Franc Champagne, and Vancouver Island Tessellation Artist
Linkedin: Graphic Design, PowerPoint and tessellations
Youtube: Video animations and class intros
My classes have received an independent rating of 9.7/10, placing these Skillshare classes in the TOP 2% of classes reviewed by CourseMarks!
Here is a list of the classes up so far:
- Rekindle your Love of M.C. Escher Tessellations, draw your own tessellations using a free iPad App. In this class I introduce the concept of tessellations, show you the work of M.C. Escher as well as other artists. Then we dive into a first symmetry method, P4g, accomplished by drawing only one line to create the perimeter of your tessellation.
- Just like M. C. Escher’s Tessellations: Draw Using a New Symmetry Method and Your iPad. We tackle the Mirrored Triplets symmetry group, aka P3m1.
- This UP/DOWN, LEFT/RIGHT Tessellation method was M. C. Escher’s favorite. It is also the symmetry method, P1, most taught in schools. Probably the only way most artists have tried to accomplish a nested shape. We will push it a tad farther, but also easier than scissors and cardboard.
- M. C. Escher Tessellations: The Three Cozy Buddies Symmetry Group, know as symmetry group P3. Lots of examples, from many different tessellation artists. One of my favorite ways of creating tessellations.
- Digital Patterns: Super Simple Quickie Patterns. 20 patterns in 30 minutes! I will show you how to draw and assemble your pattern design elements in four different and unusual ways. Come explore the possibilities, from a different point of view using your iPad and the free KaleidoPaint app. There is more to symmetry than rigid repeats, half-drops and tossed layouts.
- My next class with deal with a symmetry group I have named: “This way — that way”, aka crystallographic notation Pg. That Koloman Moser video above, is part of the series.