Building Bricks

A grid made up of pairs of red and blue toy building bricks, with studs on top. Each pair is stacked in a unique way.
Print Date
Print Duration
1 hour, 1 minute, 40 seconds
Paper Size
11×14 in.
Distance Drawn
71.48 m

There are comparisons which can be made between plotter art and building bricks. There are constraints, techniques, and tools used to build pre-determined layouts — and there are some people who can bypass all these and create truly amazing art.

On the next step on my journey to try and become one of them, I’m playing with more unique permutations. This piece demonstrates the 24 unique ways to combine two 2×4 stud building bricks. I’ve not included the 22 additional combinations which are just 180º rotations of one of the original 24.

An overview of the piece during the printing process. The arm of the printer is visible, finishing off the final details
An print-in-progress shot of the nearly completed piece

Pens used

  • Windsor & Newton Fineliner

    Black, Archival ink
  • Windsor & Newton Fineliner

    Black, Archival ink
  • Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner

    Ultramarine, 88/32
  • Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner

    Red, 88/40

This was my first attempt at solid colour through hatching and I’m pleased with the results. The alignment of the two coloured layers with the black outlines is a little off in places, but I actually quite enjoy the misaligned colour registration effect.

First-pass of the final detail being added

Although the 24 permutations here are all pre-determined, a layer of randomness is added by letting code dictate the unique layout/ordering of the permutations.

Once I’ve played a little more with this format, I might include the additional 22 combinations for a more detailed plot. I doubt however, if I’ll ever step it up to combinations of three bricks — there are 1560 unique permutations!

A close-up view of a single combination of two bricks. The blue is sat directly on top of the red, but rotated by 90º
A photo of two white building bricks, in the same layout as the bricks in the previous image
The two vintage bricks which sit on my desk — the inspiration for this piece

Further Exploration