Symmetry is Hard

This morning I finally sat down and began working on the DIY art for our laundry room.

from Room & Board, but they have different images now

As with all of the projects we do around here, it took longer than I thought it would. I think I should start purposely overestimating the time it takes me to complete a project so I feel proud when I finish earlier than expected instead of feeling like a ol’ turtle. A turtle with only one arm.

First, I stared hard at the photo above. And then I tried my best at drawing the “original” shape of each artwork. You can see here that some of the images are copied and flipped to one side and some are copied and flipped three times to make four images in one. I drew the shapes freehand and then scanned them.

I actually drew shapes for all of these four images, but I ended up working on only one for the next… hour. I chose to focus on the orange “dolphin”” image. Can you identify all the animals that are represented in the shapes? This art is so cool.

I scanned the images…

I put my scanned drawing into Photoshop and copied and flipped the image. Sadly, the resulting image wasn’t good because the head and the tail were too close to each other and it just looked all smushed up. So I cut up the drawing into three pieces (the head, the tail, and the… fin?)  and moved the pieces farther apart. I then used my mad Photoshop skills to draw lines to connect the three parts.

Wow, what a beautiful job! Someone should hire me to do this for a living. I have a slight excuse for the seizure-like orange lines – I don’t have a mouse. But I drew these lines with abandon in Photoshop because I knew I had a solution:

I just printed out my amateur Photoshop image and then traced smooth lines on another piece of paper. I embellished on some of the areas, making the fins and the head a little bigger and longer and leaner.

Scan. Open in Photoshop. Copy. Flip. Play. Result?


Looks much better than smushed up dolphins, but not perfect yet. I looked at my traced dolphin again with an eagle eye and changed the parts that didn’t look right. Bigger dorsal fin, please. A thicker head for a thicker brain. Don’t make the fin so long – erase, erase, draw.

Scan. Open in Photoshop. Copy. Flip. Play. Result?

I like it! I think I might adjust it just a teeny tiny little bit more, because I like to torture myself, but it’s pretty much ready to be blown up on a big piece of paper via a projector. I hope to get to do that very soon.

The blue Photoshop paint is just to help me better see what the image would look when painted, if you were wondering. I have no idea what color the dolphin will be in the end – it all depends on what colors we decide on for the laundry room.

I want to do the other three images so I can select the best two out of four, but let’s see if I can find the time to do that!

In other news…

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10 Responses

  1. Oh cool! Love that art idea. I definitely didn’t see any animals until you said they were there. They remind me of those rorschach tests where you have to tell what you see in the ink blots, know what I mean?

    Anyway, I admire your patience! — and TOTALLY know what you mean about everything taking longer than it should.

  2. look at you and your baby bump! absolutely beautiful!

  3. Haha, that’s funny about your husband doing a photo at 33 weeks too! 🙂 Also I have to agree, symmetry is hard but worth it at the end! I have no doubt you’ll make your laundry room all pretty with these DIY prints!

  4. Holy cow, I can’t believe how far along you are – you look beautiful!!

  5. What a great idea! Can’t wait to see the finished art in your laundry room! And can I just say that you look fantastic… It wont be long now!!
    -ME

  6. Thank you for all the compliments, but I think Nick looks slightly better 😉

  7. I’m sooo in love with your 33 weeks picture!! I can’t wait until I see you at 38 or 39 weeks- hopefully the baby will not have popped out yet, ha..

  8. oh, and btw, the diy art is champs! i have one just waiting to be hung up on the wall in my bedroom- gotta make my to-do list and to-buy list, ha..

  9. […] Hi. Hope you’re having an awesome Labor Day! Just popping in to show you my completed symmetry art. […]

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