Recently I discovered the work of Andy Gilmore and I would really like to learn how he did this piece. I'm not looking to replicate it but would like to learn the technique.

Right now I'm fiddling around with creating triangles, duplicating those and transforming them but this seems rather unwieldy. I am proficient in Photoshop but I recon this is more of an Illustrator project. Any tips are much appreciated!

Andy Gilmore

  • Interesting question. Just to clarify: you're wanting to create something a bit like this, with an even pattern of (in this case triangles), and you want to know how to get started with the minimum time spent doing menial stuff like creating and rotating rectangles? Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 13:21
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    Another tip: Andy Gilmore's work on that link reminds me a lot of the work of James White, who has published quite a few tutorials and guides on how he works. I can't remember where they all are, some are on his site and I think there are some elsewhere. They're interesting and worth a read. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 14:31
  • Yes, to clarify: I would like to achieve the same effect with minimal effort. I checked out your james white suggestion which seems great. Thanks for that :) Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 10:38
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    BTW. Late Mondriaan only worked with primary colors, and rarely made a diagonal line. This is not Mondriaan style!
    – Maarten
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 11:49
  • Yeah "vividly coloured geometric tesselated patterns" is maybe a better description (but a bit of a mouthful) Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


There are lots of ways to approach something like this. I'd go about it this way, which:

  • quickly gives you a field of triangles (or other tessellating shapes) to get creative on, with minimal dull repetitive work
  • can't introduce any imperfections or irregularities that would come back and hit you

(these steps are for Illustrator: just realised I hadn't said that explicitly. It would be a massive pain to do this in Photoshop. But it seemed like the asker had already figured that out)

Create a square of triangles:

1: Create the base shape of the pattern. In this case, it's a square.

2: With the Smart Guides green snapping guide lines (cmd-u) turned on, draw lines precisely connecting opposite corners

3: Use Divide in the Pathfinder window to chop the square into 4 identical triangles

enter image description here

Make a precise grid from them: (you could also use Patterns for this, then expand the pattern, which would work better if it was a less regular shape)

4: Hold alt and tap up a number of times to create that many identical copies

5: In the Align window, switch to Align to key object then use distribute space with 0px in the box to create an even column with no gaps

enter image description here

enter image description here

6: Same thing going the other way. Ungroup everything, remove any strokes. You've now got a field of triangles to get creative with - from here on, it's just selecting triangles and experimenting with colour, and there's no more boring drudge work.

enter image description here

  • Verry helpful and detailed. Thanks a ton! I will start experimenting starting for the base provided by you. Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 10:59
  • How is the color shading achieved?
    – BrownEyes
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 21:22
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    @Scorpion By choosing colours that work! Sometimes it's easier to just get on and do things than figure out some fancy trickery. That said, using the Blend tool can be helpful for getting gradiated colour palettes, - but it's a helpful aid to, not a substitute for, using good colour-choosing judgement and aesthetic sense. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 8:52
  • Ok, so with the help here I got quite far: postimg.org/image/udztszuvp However, before applying masks to achieve the gradient to the black I would like to align the work properly. Because I've been dragging the shapes around some of them got miss aligned. Does anybody has any tips appart from manual alignment? Thanks a ton! Jason. Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 12:04

The easiest solution is not use PhotoShop. A highly geometric design like this is best handled via vector illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

Create four triangles to form a square. Duplicate across a row, duplicate the rows into columns. Now color each triangle as you see fit.

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