Repetition and variation: a page from my studies

I learned valuable lessons today. Label photographs so one may easily find them again. I had one more post I wanted to do on lines, but I couldn’t find the photograph. That lead to the second lesson, have a post in readiness in case of the above disaster or some other emergency.

Here are a few interesting exercises that I had to do for my design class. I love patterns and repetition. This practice made me realize the value of variation in the repetition. Is the second sketch the improved one? If so why? What elements can be used to give variation in repetition? These sketches hint at some of the things my teacher was trying to explain to me.


Above the shape of the flower is constant, but the lines are varied. Below the lines are constant but the shape of the flower is varied.


Below the shape is the same but the size is varied.


Which fence top is more interesting? However, what kind of fence do you want around your house? I think I could hazard a guess as to which one my dad would say more closely approximates his ideal.


In other word, there is value in using variation within repetition, However, exact repetition may also convey a meaning that is more important. If I want to say something about the owner of the house by the orderliness of the unvaried, repetitious fence, then perhaps the flowers or hedges along the fence line might lend interest. However, if the flowers and hedges reflect the same message as the fence, the ideas about the owner are intensified.

The practice sketch below is to give a small idea of what part texture or value may play in lending interest to repetition.



One Response to Repetition and variation: a page from my studies

  1. Karen B says:

    Hello Elizabeth,
    Your drawings introduce the concepts so well. At least, they make sense to me. And they get me to thinking. I’ve not taken a design class, but I’m sure I would enjoy it, given what you have shared.
    I am looking forward to see your TIF piece when you are done. I really like the two characteristics you have chosen, and am impressed with how you have linked the two visually.
    Karen B.

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