Snake Scales

Free-Motion Doodle Challenge Day 13: Scales

It's Day 13 of the #freemotiondoodleschool doodle challenge and the prompt for today is: scales.

Scale is one of those words in the English language that has multiple meanings. I hope you're think about all the different definitions as you doodle your scales.

Snake Scales

Snake scales are challenging. I had no idea how many different ways snake scales could look. This is my rendition of only one type of snake scales. In the future, I might explore others.

Draw a square grid and outline it.

  1. Start at the left bottom of the box. a. Travel up the edge of the box to about 1/3 of the way up one of the squares. b. Draw a pointed arch. The left side of the arch is cut off. The point of the arch should reach the middle of the square. The right side of the arch should land just short of the bottom center of the square to the right. c. Travel just a little way along the bottom of that square to just the other side of the bottom center of the square. Repeat a-c until you have filled up the bottom row of scales. d. Travel up the right side of the box to about 2/3 up the first square.

  2. Draw a pointed arch with the point hitting the center top of the square. The left side of the scale should hit the right side of the arch that is below and to the left of the arch you are drawing.

  3. Travel from left to right along the top of the point of the arch you have just merged with.

  4. Draw a second pointed arch, traveling right to left. The point of the arch should be at the center top of the square to the left. The left side of the arch should meet the arch below and to the left slightly below and to the right of its arch. Repeat steps 2-3 to complete your second row of scales.

  5. Travel up the left side of your box and draw a third row of scales. Continue to follow steps 3-4, this time traveling from left to right. The points of these arches should land in the center of the squares, directly above the points of the arches that are in the first row.

  6. Fill in your entire box in this manner, working back and forth and traveling up the sides of the box.

Finished! Here's a larger photo of the finished design:

This design makes a really nice texture on a quilt. And, of course, you could just as easily use it for fish scales instead snake scales. It's versatile like that.

Finally, if you liked this tutorial, check out the books "Doodle School: A Daily Design Challenge to Up Your Free-Motion Quilting Game," and "Doodle Notebook for Free-motion Quilting: 150+ Inspirational Motifs." Dara Tomasson and I co-authored them and they're packed with more great doodle quilting tutorials.

Click the photos to take a look at the books on Amazon.

Until next time, keep on doodling and keep on doodle quilting!


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