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How to create a Serbian national pattern: Kilim Pirot ornament (part 1)

1. Select items
Step 1
There are five traditional components of Pirot Kilim – brushes, outer frame, rim, inner frame and main field. The outer and inner frames, as a rule, are monophonic, and the rim and the main field are the most colorful parts of Pirot kilim.

In the image below, the brushes are white, the outer and inner frames are black, the rim has a white background with red and blue decorative elements, and the main field is a multi-colored rectangle in the middle, with a red background, black and blue elements:
Step 2
The structure of Pirot Kilim is based on various combinations of straight and diagonal lines. Choose one of these traditional patterns for your ornament, or use a combination of several:
Step 3
Select the elements you want to use in your ornament. It is better that they be of different sizes and complexity, so that you get a balanced and dynamic layout.

Elements are stylized geometric interpretations of flowers and animals. All of them are formed by connecting various rectangles and triangles. By practicing using the six elements described below, following the same principles, you can easily create your own elements.

Following are the following items:

The top row from left to right: “The devil’s knees”, “Turtle”, “Glasses”;
Bottom row from left to right: “Octopus”, “Dining table”, “Frog”:

Step 4
Now think about the color scheme that you will use. Traditionally, the inner and outer frames are black, the rim is white, and the central field is made using shades of red: from light raspberry to dark cherry. Also often used are blue, yellow and green.

Below are four color combinations that I took from the traditional Pirot Kilim ornaments. Almost all use black and shades of red, and in many shades of cream. And blue, yellow and green is used to paint smaller details:
2. Creating items
Step 1
Most of the elements are geometrically symmetrical, so we first create one part, and then use the commands Edit> Transform> Rotate, Flip vertically or horizontally. Let’s start with the Dining Table element.

Creating the foundation of the Dining Table

For the traditional Sofra element (dining table), we will create a long vertical rectangle using the Rectangular Region tool, and then fill it with the foreground color (Alt-Delete) or the background color (Ctrl-Delete).

Next, we will create an equilateral triangle and place it as shown in the middle image. Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the triangle layer, and then press Ctrl-T to activate the Free Transform tool. Hover over one of the corners of the transformation frame, and while holding down the Shift key, drag it to the middle to reduce the size of the triangle.

Create a few more copies of the triangle layer and reduce them as shown in the figure:

The final form of the dining table element
In total, we need to create six gradually decreasing triangles to complete one side of the element. As each successive triangle becomes smaller than the previous one, you will need to stretch them a bit using Free Transformation. That is, stretch the right corner of the triangle a little.

After you create six triangles nested in each other, combine all the parts of the “Dining table”. To do this, go to the layers palette, click on the thumbnail of the layer of the elongated vertical rectangle, and then while holding down the Shift key, click on the thumbnail of the layer with the smallest triangle. Thus, you select all layers of the “Dining table”. Press Ctrl-E to combine them.

Then use the Zoom tool to zoom in and use a small, hard round brush to round the corners.

Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the new merged layer, and then go to Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal to create the second half of the Dining Table. Combine the two halves of the pattern and merge its layers:

Dinner table coloring page
As a rule, the “Dining table” element in the center is decorated with several smaller copies of different colors. You can copy the source element and remove several components from it. Or create a new element in which there will be fewer triangles – not six, but four, and then two. In the center, you can add a small elongated rectangle to make the picture more holistic.

We created our first element of a traditional Serbian ornament:
Step 2
The second element that we will create is the Frog.

Creating the foundation of “Frogs”

Using the Rectangle tool, create a one-color rectangle. And then an equilateral triangle, the base of which is slightly shorter than the width of the rectangle. Place it as shown in the middle image.

Then we need to create two long and narrow rectangles located at an angle of 45 degrees. This can be done using the Rectangular Area tool, and then using the Free Transform tool to expand them. Or, you can simply immediately create them at an angle using the Polygonal Lasso tool. Minor irregularities will help us imitate the look of a handmade carpet:
The final view of the “Frog”
Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer with two thin rectangles, using the command Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontally, create the right side of the Frog. Then combine both sides and add small triangles at the ends, as shown in the middle image. They should be directed like small arrowheads.

When you place the triangles, merge all the Frog layers and smooth out the sharp corners using the Eraser tool and a round brush:
Frog coloring page
The upper part of our frog is ready, now you can use the command Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically to create its lower part. The frog, as a rule, is decorated in the middle with a hexagonal frame, which is filled with two colors, the border between which is a line in the form of a lightning. I suggest using a round brush to draw a hexagonal border, and then create a layer with two colors. And our “Frog” is ready:
Step 3
Now let’s create the Octopus.

Creating the foundation of the Octopus

We will start with a triangle with two equal vertical sides. Create any triangle using the Polygonal Lasso tool.

Then use the Rectangle Tool to crop its bottom. Due to this, the bottom side of the rectangle will be perfectly horizontal. Then create a copy of the triangle (Ctrl-J) and, using the command Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically, flip the copy.

Then position the copied layer so that the vertices of the two triangles coincide. You now have an equilateral triangle. If you do not like its angle, you can use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl-T) to drag the top of the triangle as you need.

Next, we need to add four thin horizontal rectangles above the triangle. Distribute them on the sides of the triangle: one just above the base, the other below the top and two more in the middle. At the end of each “shoulder” add another small triangle. These are the tentacles of the Octopus:

The final form of the octopus element
Make sure all your little triangles are in the same layer, and then use the Eraser tool and a hard round brush to smooth out the corners a bit. After that, press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer and using the command Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal, create tentacles for the right side of the Octopus.

Flatten all layers and smooth out the remaining sharp corners, and then create a copy of the new layer and use the command Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically to complete the Octopus shape:

 
The Octopus coloring page
As a rule, the “Octopus” painted on small triangles at the ends of the tentacles, and also added a colored field in the form of a rhombus in the center. It can be framed by any small figure. For example, you can create a horizontal “H” letter of one color, and then add a tiny two-step ziggurat of a different color on each side of the letter ‘H‘. And now our “Octopus” is ready:
Step 4
Next we will create the “Points” element.

Creating the basis of “points”

To create “points” we use long thin rectangles. You can create them using the Rectangular Area tool and adjust them in length. Then group the rectangles as shown in the figures below:

The final form of the Points element
Add three more layers of rectangles on both sides of the “glasses”, and then merge all the layers together and smooth out the sharp corners using the Eraser tool and a round brush. Then, using the command Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically, create the bottom of the “points”. Flatten all the layers, and after that we can move on to adding color elements:

Coloring element “Points”
Glasses are formed by elements in the center, which should partially repeat the shape of the base. This part of the pattern is additionally decorated with small spots resembling seeds or teardrops: one spot between two “lenses” of “glasses” and three spots in the shape of triangles between two adjacent elements:
Step 5
Let’s create the Turtle.

Creating the foundation of the “turtle”

To do this, we need two long thin rectangles.

The bottom rectangle should be almost three times longer than the top. Then create an inverted triangle with the base slightly wider than the smaller rectangle above it.

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