How do I create this tessellation Mondriaan-like graphic?


Recently I discovered the work of Andy Gilmore and I would really like to learn how he did this piece. I'm not looking to replicate it but would like to learn the technique.

Right now I'm fiddling around with creating triangles, duplicating those and transforming them but this seems rather unwieldy. I am proficient in Photoshop but I recon this is more of an Illustrator project. Any tips are much appreciated!

Andy Gilmore

10/10/2013 3:47:00 AM

Accepted Answer

There are lots of ways to approach something like this. I'd go about it this way, which:

  • quickly gives you a field of triangles (or other tessellating shapes) to get creative on, with minimal dull repetitive work
  • can't introduce any imperfections or irregularities that would come back and hit you

(these steps are for Illustrator: just realised I hadn't said that explicitly. It would be a massive pain to do this in Photoshop. But it seemed like the asker had already figured that out)

Create a square of triangles:

1: Create the base shape of the pattern. In this case, it's a square.

2: With the Smart Guides green snapping guide lines (cmd-u) turned on, draw lines precisely connecting opposite corners

3: Use Divide in the Pathfinder window to chop the square into 4 identical triangles

enter image description here

Make a precise grid from them: (you could also use Patterns for this, then expand the pattern, which would work better if it was a less regular shape)

4: Hold alt and tap up a number of times to create that many identical copies

5: In the Align window, switch to Align to key object then use distribute space with 0px in the box to create an even column with no gaps

enter image description here

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6: Same thing going the other way. Ungroup everything, remove any strokes. You've now got a field of triangles to get creative with - from here on, it's just selecting triangles and experimenting with colour, and there's no more boring drudge work.

enter image description here

10/9/2013 3:53:00 PM