Artist Focus: Dörte Seupel-Kör

German version

This week I would like to bring a very special pattern designer to your attention. This lady has shared 96 pattern step-outs with our community. Often you can see a special style or tendency to a particular kind of pattern. Not so with this artist! Her patterns range from freeform, to ribbon, grid-based, and “just for fun” patterns. There is something for everyone.

Meet Dörte Seupel-Kör!

Dörte lives in Potsdam, Germany, with her cats Kali and Quincy. She began tangling in 2014. The classic style, tangling with fineliner and shading with pencil is her favorite.

Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör  Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör  

Today she would like to share the process how she creates variations of patterns.

Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör


“Patterns – we are surrounded by patterns!
Starting with the earliest childhood memories of the typical kitchen tablecloth in a checkered pattern, on the aprons of our mothers and grandmothers or the wallpapers of the seventies. (Yes, I belong to those people in whose childhood these things were common.)

Even in nature, architecture and the arts of any kind, patterns are indispensable. Just think of a wave pattern when a stone plops into the water or the great blacksmith work on some fences. You can find patterns everywhere.

This fascination has been with me all my life. … and influenced me in all my creative works: photography, ceramics, paper cutting and other crafts, embroidery, painting and so on.

Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör  Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör

Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör

Through painting, I came to ‘head-free’ and ‘hand-loosening’ exercises. To graphically fill or connect surfaces, I instinctively use familiar shapes and patterns. Not long after, I came across the name Zentangle® in this context. At a stop in the bookstore of my artists’ store, I was struck down by the many books on this subject. Result: I made myself smart in the net and gradually learned everything about Zentangle®, which I could find. (… and a lot of great people from near and far, who pursue this art.) Do not worry, in the meantime, I’ve also bought books on the subject.

The deeper I got into the subject, the more I became enthusiastic about playing with patterns. For example, how one and the same pattern can vary. By changing the shape, size, lines, filling the spaces, arrangement or simply by color. (Yes, they are also available in my work – but for that, I need the appropriate portion of time, muse and mood.)

Since 2 years I organize monthly exchange actions in a German FB group around this topic. 

Please don’t get frustrated and give up if you do not succeed immediately or if you cannot come up with many variations for a pattern.

Start with simple (not too complex) patterns. Mostly, I begin like this:

  1. Begin by strictly follow the step-out.
  2. Distorted the shape.
  3. Round becomes square or vice versa.
  4. Shaky lines (wavy lines).
  5. Draw the pattern parts over and under.
  6. Playing with the ‘fill’ (lines or b/w contrast).
  7. Use a pattern as a string.
  8. Use the pattern as a ribbon shape or in grid form.
  9. Play with different shading options.

Here is an example using Modern Nipa:

Modern Nipa by Ina Sonnenmoser

Modern Nipa DSK

Modern Nipa DSK

And here I created variations for the pattern Nanni:

Nanni by Dorte Seupel-Kor

Nanni DSK

Some patterns are so complex, unique or special that you can change little if anything – except size or color. No reason to despair or even doubt yourself.

Nicole will introduce some of my patterns to you again in the next few days (there are also some brand new ones) or move into the daily pattern focus. Try to play with them.

If you do not trust yourself or do not like it, I have alternative tasks for you:

Draw a feather – similar to the one below – with Fineliner on a format of your choice and fill the boxes with patterns – preferably of course with mine 🙂
Or you take a bijou, a standard tile or an opus tile, pick out 3 patterns. Using these 3 patterns, create a tile in each of the 3 sizes. I like to leave you the choice of the string.

Feather Artwork by Dörte Seupel-Kör

I am looking forward to your results and experiences with these tasks. In closing, I wish you a good time, a lot of fun and a lot of Zen!
Your Dörte”

Click here to see ALL patterns by Dörte. Below you will find 9 brand new patterns created by this talented pattern designer – and more will follow during the course of this week.


Aacht by Dörte Seupel-KörAgil by Dörte Seupel-KörAgilacht by Dörte Seupel-KörAhto by Dörte Seupel-KörCantaloupe by Dörte Seupel-KörEightontheline by Dörte Seupel-KörFauna by Dörte Seupel-KörFidel by Dörte Seupel-KörFidelis by Dörte Seupel-Kör

3 thoughts on “Artist Focus: Dörte Seupel-Kör

  • January 7, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Great variations! May I ask what the name of the German FB group is you mention in the article? Danke 🙂

  • January 7, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Thank you for the wonderful pattern variation hints, Dorte! I don`t often have time to try designing new patterns, but sometimes they just come to me. You showed me a lot of interesting ways to try them out, and maybe one of your variations might be the one I would submit somewhere.


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