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Alligator + Lion Tessellation by sethness Alligator + Lion Tessellation by sethness
#2 (HB) pencil on 11"x17" (A3) paper. Colorized in Photoshop 7.

This tessellation won first place at last year... my second of three consecutive wins.

People may recognize a thematic similarity to Escher's "reptiles" piece, but please be aware that the two tessellation patterns in my piece are entirely original-- that Escher piece, aside from having a book and some tessellated reptiles, is otherwise completely different.

This sketch was one of my all-time favorite pieces of work. The perspective is slightly wonky, but otherwise I'm very happy with it.
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DeadGhostWolf13 Featured By Owner May 11, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
damn this is soooo amazing and awesome!!!!!
i have to do tessellations in my geometry class and it's hard but fun....but mostly stressing kuz we have a very short time limit DX
but my teacher showed us this pic and when i saw it i was like
:iconwowplz: damn this is amazing and so kool!!!~<33333333
sethness Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
Thanks, man. This is the piece I'm *most* proud of. It's gratifying that your teacher-- and you-- agree.

There's a cartoon I did in about 15 minutes that gets 15x more attention. It galls me no end that this piece I sweat and got headaches over gets 1/15th the attention of that quick shot in the dark. It makes me wonder if the inventor of the smiley face bangs his head against his desk in frustration every day.

So...let's see YOUR tessellation, DeadGhostWolf. :-)
DeadGhostWolf13 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
your welcomes ^^
and you should be proud of it!!!
and yes!!!

and really?!?!
i'd like to see that!!!
and i kinda know how you feel kuz i would sometimes make random sketches in school or at home and then show them to friends the next day and most would like the sketch i didn't even like that much
but this masterpiece of yours is a lot more difficult and better than my silly little sketches

and i would love to show them to you!!! but my teacher kept them..... but it wasn't because it was a hard pattern, he liked the way i colored it and what i drew inside. it was just a simple tessellation with a monarch butterfly then a red flower, butterfly, flower, butterfly, flower, etc.
i didn't like that one that much
we also did a group tessellation where the paper was like....4 feet by 6 feet (the 1st one was 16x20 inches)and the group project one i like
kuz the guy who did the pattern didn't knew but realized we can make elephants out of them and make them look like this pic [link]
and the teacher made us put our group tessellation on the ceiling.....
sorry for writing like paragraphs as a reply.....i'll try and make the elephants one again....i just need to find a big piece of paper :nod:
sethness Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011
..."most would like the sketch i didn't even like that much
but this masterpiece of yours is a lot more difficult and better than [our] silly little sketches"

This is gonna sound like a surfer dude's voice, but I can't think how else to best say it with real conviction: "I, like, so totally understand how you feel. Just yesterday, a SECOND dA member showed me a photo of the tattoo he'd gotten of my silly little sketch ("putting the win in Darwin").

I'll bet you're also as bothered by empty praise as I when you know you flubbed, but people still saying glowing things about your work. It's moments like that when you wish you could submit work anonymously for honest critique.

Even for things as simple as personal hygiene, the most valued friend is the one who says "you stink. Go home and take a shower during lunch hour", not the one who politely grins, secretly plugs his nose, and politely says nothing.

Wtf (what the freelance) was your teacher doing, hanging onto your art? Through the wonder of color xerox or good ol' digital photography, he/she can make his/her own flippin' copy. It's YOUR art. The original belongs to YOU.

On another subject,
If you get a digital copy of your tessellation to me, after you put it on dA I'd enjoy putting it in the guest gallery on (my website) if you like.

I would reeeeally like to see that big tessellation you mentioned. Is it a morph-- starts in one corner as one thing, and slowly changes to another pattern, then another, and so on?
DeadGhostWolf13 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
aghh sorry i didn't finish my reply...i accidentally pressed send on the other one....
i know this one person who like...seemed nice and i would talk to her but then one day i said something to her that could have sounded mean but i really wasn't trying to be and they took it the wrong way and like wouldn't comment my stuff even though she watched me and she would only comment if like.....i would say/comment her
but then i got tired and stop trying to be a friend to her and just took her off my friends list
i gave her more than enough chances to be friends again but she didn't seem to like me at all and i was able to see it but i was still trying to be a friend to be the better person
eventually one day i was just like...."you know what....f*ck you!!! im tired of your BS!!!!" (i didn't actually tell her kuz some of her "friends" are kinda like my friends but they known her longer and would trust her more than me.....and those people are really nice....i just don't understand how blind they are
kuz that girl acts like she's a true artist but........i can tell she copies and changes it a little just to look a bit different.....
to me it's ONLY okay to copy if 1 your really young and don't know anything about art
and 2 if you ask/give credit to the original/owner

oh and about my tessellations....
i know it sounds pretty unfair for my math teacher to keep my tessellations/art at the time i didn't care because they didn't look that good to me and i was the only person in that class who got an A and on my last project, i didn't do so well so i just didn't say anything because that teacher scared my and i didn't want to lose my A....

man i know i should have taken a pic of it >.<
but i didn't knew the teacher was gonna keep them....
and the big/group tessellation is just one pattern with 2 different designs on it
one with an elephant holding the others tail and the other was just a cloud XD
sethness Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
I hear ya, man.

Too, too many times I've given away or sold a work of art, and found later that I didn't have a high resolution copy of it.

Always, always do a scan of your work, in the highest resolution you can.
DeadGhostWolf13 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
hahahaha thanks for the advice ^^
DeadGhostWolf13 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
hahaha XD

but that's kool though!!!!!
like even if it was just a small/fast sketch to you and might not have had as much meaning as other drawings, but it's nice/good to hear that people really love and like your art!!!!
i mean getting a tattoo of it must mean they really like your design and/or had a meaning to them so they wanted to put it on their body

but yeah i i would be kinda happy seeing them happy or liking my art but yeah i do wonder if they like....actually like it or are just saying it to be nice
i can tell sometimes when people are just trying to be nice on either what they say, do and look(if im showing it to them in person)

but yeah i know some people in here who are likie that....just saying "it looks nice/cute" to be nice
i think one of the worst people i see here on DA are the ones who would only say something nice to you but ONLY because you would say/do things for them
and also the one who are only pretending to be nice because they don't want to look bad in front of other people
i know someone
vikingsoprano Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010
The top lion looks a little too completed for the lion "progression". Perspective seems shifted - foreground and background almost look reversed since book fades towards top but top alligator is bigger than bottom. Tilted vs. flat?

Let me know if I'm confusing - I know what I mean but often have trouble communicating to others. Love the idea. Fantastic control of alligator morphology.
sethness Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010
Your comments are welcome, and right: I *did* make mistaks in the perspective.
I'm particularly bothered by the tilt of the book, and the presence of a too-large alligator at the top.

I wish all commenters were this perceptive and willing to talk about a piece's flaws. We don't improve anything but our egos, if all we hear is compliments.
vikingsoprano Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010
I know I'm always a bit trepidatious when leaving comments that aren't all good. You never know when someone is going to be a dick about it. This could be part of why no one wants to say anything that could remotely be considered bad. But I saw from other comments in your gallery that you appreciate feedback, positive or negative, so I was relatively confident you weren't one of the dicks. Thanks for confirming my evaluation!
MeneerBCH Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
I really love the original done by ESCHER!!

this is just straight copying from mc escher
sethness Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
Ummm.... Not.

You're thinking of "Reptiles", which is alligators based on a hexagon pattern. The alligators crawl in and out of a piece of paper, and crawl across things on his desk.

You can see Escher's "Reptiles" here:

Escher's piece, "Reptiles", at Wikipedia

My artwork, above, is very vaguely similar in theme, but the patterns, execution, presence of a hand, presence of lions, et cetera are completely different.

Hint: To check whether a piece really is a copy of someone else's art, use Google's Image Search program and punch in the obvious key words. In this case, the obvious key words might be ESCHER and ALLIGATORS.

That gives you this set of images to look at: [link]

Click and compare. Thanks for your vigilance, but please refine your technique in hunting down copyright problems.

Escher's "Reptiles" shows up, along with three* of MY tessellations!!!

What an ego boost. :D

*("Baby Alligators", the art on this page, and a completely unrelated tessellation about pigeons and goldfish)
ozplasmic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I remember this image Seth!!:nod:
It's as awesome as ever!
Super cool stuff!
BatmanWithBunnyEars Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2009   General Artist
This is drawn so well, I'm afraid of the mini-crocs on hehalf of the disembodied hand! I also like the play of words with your circular tessellation; funny and impressive.
animorph4ever Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2008   Photographer
i've always enjoyed escher, and it's nice to see someone doing what appears to be a tribute
sethness Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2008
Thanks. This is an original design, but yes, Escher was my earliest fave artist and tessellation was something he popularized in Western culture.
Have you done tessellations yourself? If you've done a tessellation, after you're done posting it at deviant Art, why not post it on or in the free contest at

"Algore", quoth the inconvenient truth.
"Feathergore", quoth the naughty cat.
"Where's the door", quoth the drunkard.
"What'sinstore", quoth the oracle.
"Neversnore", quoth the Raven's sleepy girlfriend.
animorph4ever Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008   Photographer
i like that little twist on the raven. made me laugh. what made you put that on there? no, i've never done tesselations. never even tried. probably a little beyond my abilities. i might try. might not. probably never.
elegaer Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007
wonderful bitey alligators! its wonderful to see someone who is clearly influenced by a previous artist, but who takes the artform onwards and makes it his own :clap::clap:
SnowCrasher Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love how you put two tessellations together. I especially like that little alligator biting the paper on top left corner. :+fav:
sethness Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2007
Thanks... I like the little biters best, too.
This is sort of a tribute-piece to M.C. Escher's 1948 "Reptiles" piece, [link] which also had lizard-like animals gathered around a sketch.
Natures-Song Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2007
Wow! I really love this piece...I like the way the alligators are drawn in and how some of them are highly detailed and others just fade into the masses :)
sethness Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2007
The fade-away is one variation of an idea I use in almost every tessellation:

Perfection is boring. Viewers' minds immensely prefer art that engages their attention and makes them want to interact with the things in the picture. A single hair out of place on an otherwise perfect head, is more interesting than a perfect head of hair. So, when showing a tessellation as art, never ever show a perfect pattern. Let it break apart or become 3D or become "real" along one edge, or pull one piece out of the puzzle.

This fade also gives a sense of motion-- that, and trying to depict 3D, are perhaps the biggest challenges in traditional 2D art.
arcangelle Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2007
fantastic piece of art! im a huge Escher fan but this is completely original and i love it :star::star::star::star::star: :D
sethness Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2007
Thanks for the compliment, Arcangelle. :)
I think it's a little close to Escher's "Reptiles" (1948) in theme (tessellation, book, rampaging mini-reptiles), so I usually point out that similarity before someone else does. :)

I'd appreciate any critiques about what's WRONG in this picture, BTW-- especially tips on how to make the work better. For example, I'm already uncomfortable with the tilt of the magazine compared to the angle of the reptiles and tables. I'm also unhappy with the fact that the far reptiles are at least as large as the nearest ones-- obviously, they should appear smaller as they move into the distance.
ccnutlime Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2007
I agree with the first comment, why, oh why, something of such amazingness hasn't been receiving more attention?
sethness Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2007
Hmmm I don't know. Perhaps people prefer the color version?

I know there's a pencil-art club, and I think I want to join, but can't recall the name of it. Lead-heads, or something like that... maybe if this pencil sketch appeared in that club, it'd get some comments.]

Or maybe there're horrible defects, and people are just being polite. =80
sethness Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2007
Oops-- I thought we were talking about the B&W version. :)
In fact, this is my favorite tessellation-- and it evenwon a contest last December-- but it has raised only a handful of eyebrows here.

Is there a forum I should be showing this in, or a club I should be joining?
ccnutlime Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2007
I don't know if any of these are what you're looking for, but here's a list of clubs for artists who use traditional methods:


And here's a forum where you can post thumbnails of your art:


Hope this helps!
sethness Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2007
Thanks-- from that list, I think *MindOfLead (monochrome traditional tools club) is going to let me in. Yay!
szmoon Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2007
No comments on this?! It's so amazing. o.o I love all the detail in it, too. ^^
sethness Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2007
Thanks for the empathy and confusion.
This is my favorite piece (of mine), too.

... yet the hurried, scribbled cartoons I've posted get 10x more attention than this one. WHY?!?
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Submitted on
January 3, 2007
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