Geometric art gives new twist to 'Paint by Numbers'

Thomas Pavitte is turning the colouring book trend on its head with a new take on an old classic.

querkles images

Pavitte's 1000 Dot-To-Dot series have sold 400,000 copies worldwide, now he's turned his attention to colour-by-numbers

If you haven't seen Thomas Pavitte's take on the classic dot-to-dot already, you're missing out. Have a look at our interview with the artist behind the books, which have sold 400,000 copies worldwide.

But now he's turned his attention to a new retro artform: "paint by numbers", with just with a twist or, well, more of a spin...

"The inspiration came from seeing the guidelines of many iconic logos," he explains. "Many of them are constructed through very precise geometry and I noticed consisted mainly of circles."

querkles experiments

Thomas prefers the black and white tones to colour in his Quirkles, but you can always mix it up for an Andy Warhol look

"I wanted to see if I could take this concept and create more detailed illustrations out of them. I experimented with an illustration of a scene from the movie Bladerunner to see how the idea would work."

thomas bladrunner

Thomas' original experiment with the use of an image from his favourite sci-fi flick, Blad Runner

His pop-art style colour-by-numbers images came about when his publishers in London were curious to see how the concept would translate into a colouring in book.

"I was skeptical at first because of the complexity of my Bladerunner image," the artist admits. "To create something similar for a colouring in book, I would need to radically simplify things."

taylor quirkle

Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix and Mohammad Ali are among the icons you can colour in with Quirkles

Thomas settled on the idea of limiting the illustrations to just having 5 shades or colours, after numerous experiments. "When it came to numbering all the segments that the circles create, I numbered them so that number 1 would be the darkest shade or colour and number 5 would be the lightest."

iconic quirkle

The iconic pop art print of Che Guevara gets a circular reimagining

His process is very manual and similar to how he creates the 1000 dot-to-dot artwork.

"I draw all the circle on top of a reference image one by one. Each drawing consists of approximately 600 to 1000 individual circles," he reveals.

black and white

As you colour in by tone, it's important to take this into consideration if you decide to stray away from black, white and grey

"Personally, I prefer the black and white versions, but if people want to use colour, they are completely free to create their own colour combinations. Colour works best if you order them in tonal order. #1 Should always be the darkest colour and #5 should always be the lightest."

quirkles books

The Quirkles book series: you can colour pop culture icons or perhaps painting a masterpiece is more your cup of tea

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alice Pattillo is a staff writer at Creative Bloq, where she creates content for the likes of Imagine FX, 3D World, net and Computer Arts magazines. When she is not writing about VFX and digital art, she freelances for Metal Hammer magazine, watches too many horror films and reads comic books. Sometimes she sculpts monsters and has been writing her own comic book for over ten years (it's still unfinished…).