The Story Behind Megadoku

As part of Project 365 in May, I completed a 50 x 50 cm canvas of a 10 x 10 large sudoku on an 8 x 8 grid. Using pastel colours in acrylic paint, the calm and soft hues change throughout the day depending on the light that streams through my studio window. It was the first canvas that I have completed in a long time, and although it took several days, I feel proud of this achievement.

A sudoku can be defined as “a puzzle in which players insert the numbers one to nine into a grid consisting of nine squares subdivided into a further nine smaller squares in such a way that every number appears one in each horizonal line, vertical line, and square.”

A megadoku is generally considered a sudoku larger than this nine by nine grid. As a child, and even now as an adult, I deeply enjoy sitting down with a puzzle book and completing sudoku after sudoku after sudoku. The patterns that are within these have also intrigued me, seeing them as perhaps colours, or indeed larger artworks.

It was this inspiration of the patterns and the soothing nature of painting that inspired me to crack out a canvas. I worked through each colour, ensuring I kept to the pattern of the 10 x 10 megadoku. I was originally going to curve the pattern around the sides of the canvas as the canvas is around an inch thick. As I continued to paint the canvas, I decided to keep these sides white and clean, with the final design being the central 8 x 8 grid of the 10 x 10 megadoku.

I enjoyed the painting process of this, following the straight lines and cutting into the corners of each square. A part of me wishes to create a larger version of this, using both a bigger pattern and larger square canvas. In the meantime, I enjoy the view of this painting every day as it hangs above my desk.

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