Recently I finished a crazy and fabulous project inspired by Jill McDowall, after reading her Infinity Flip Card blog post and seeing some of these fun square “flexagons” on her Instagram feed.
Have you seen these cards before? Also known as Never Ending Cards, hey’re basically made from two square cards or sturdy paper, scored, folded and cut in half, then glued together in a certain format. You then have a way to flip and fold the piece into four different sides, and when drawn, painted or embellished, you have 4 different images to flip and view, BUT if you turn the cards over and flip, you get 4 more views that have been cut in half and flipped again.
Since I was in the mood for drawing more Celtic knots, that’s where my mind went immediately. I love a good challenge, and the possibility of 4 drawn panels that could become 8 different views drew me in. I can also see great possibilities with this form using other drawing styles too, like Zentangle, mandalas and nature drawing as well as painting.
I started out with two different knotwork spreads on the card, and when presented with a 3rd flip where the card almost looks like a cross, I knew that I needed to make the last two into Celtic Crosses.
Where’s the ZEN?
I immediately wondered if and how I might make any knotwork designs be more cohesive by somehow joining them when flipped in reverse. This took a bit of coordination. The full knotwork panels were a little easier to join together once reversed. The two crosses however, took quite a bit of re-penciling and erasing and re-penciling to see how the reverse views might be coordinated without messing up the original view. This involved using a ruler and compass to get the placement more centered and even then, since my folds were slightly off, I had to fudge some of the edges in places. This was not exactly the MEDITATIVE part of drawing for me, but once I had my pencil lines coordinated, the rest was gravy and the calm focus flowed and flowed!
The inking of the knotwork in pen, followed by the coloring, shading and painting were added play time. Here’s a brief list of the media I used to make this come to life:
- Watercolor smash backgrounds on each flip
- Mechanical Pencil
- Micron pens in a black, green, blue and red.
- Caran d’Ache Supracolor Watercolor Pencils
- Finetec Gold paints (rebranded as Coliro now)
- Other assorted color markers
Below you can see the final view walk-through video of the card:
I started working on this card sometime in December, and finished it the first week of January. It represents MANY blissed out hours of work, (Ok maybe I became a bit obsessive in my tweaking efforts.) 🙂 And yes, I’ve started another one!
The wonderful Triquetra Knot
You might recognize a few 3 pointed Triquetra knots in the images above… they were really helpful for unifying parts of the flipped images!
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