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Posts Tagged ‘Redbubble’

New Art: Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright art
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

I just finished work on a new artwork titled Tiger Tiger Burning Bright. The inspiration for this rather colorful rendition of a tiger is a poem by English poet William Blake. I first read this poem in a college class on English literature and it remains a favorite of mine. My artwork’s title Tiger Tiger Burning Bright is taken from the first line of the poem.

This art began life as a standard color photograph I took of a tiger many years ago. It took some work, as well as three separate graphics programs (two from Adobe and one of my own design) to ascend from a fairly standard photograph of a tiger in a natural setting to the colorful illustration of the isolated tiger you see here. The original full-sized artwork is 6300 pixels wide by 5500 pixels tall.

I’ve used a greatly downsized, heavily cropped version of the art to illustrate this post. While I have not added this art to my own web site, you can see the uncropped version on its Redbubble product page:

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright artwork on Redbubble

The Tyger By William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016
Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016

Yesterday I put together my Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar for 2016. While I missed most of the Christmas shopping days, I did get it completed with several days to spare so that folks can receive it in time for Christmas. Who knows, you may be like me and wait until the last minute to do your Christmas present buying.

Now I did not set out to create a calendar for Christmas. As it happens, over the course of the last couple months I have made available on Redbubble a number of works of photography (and derivative art) that featured various views of synthesizers. The photographs were all taken at the Knobcon synthesizer convention (see my blog post Knobcon 4 and The Raiders Of The Lost Arp). Over the weekend I uploaded my 12th work of synthesizer art/photography and it was at that point that I asked myself the question "Would these 12 works make for a good calendar?" In reviewing the 12 I realized that they would make for a decent calendar. All I had to do was create the appropriate cover art.

And that’s how my Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016 came about. Please note that for today only, Monday December 14, Redbubble is offering a 20% discount on all purchases. To obtain the discount, use the code LASTCHANCE at checkout.

The 12 works that constitute the calendar are:

You can see my Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016 here. You may also be interested in checking out my Redbubble Portfolio.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Seaside Generative Art Rip-off

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Monet Seaside Rip-off generative art
Monet Seaside Rip-off generative art
Monet Seaside Rip-off on Redbubble

Dare I say that I’ve gotten tired of looking at Mona Lisa, at least the digitized version. Just as the Playboy centerfold photograph of Lenna Söderberg became a standard image used by researchers in the field of image processing and just as the Utah Teapot became something of a standard test object for 3D graphics developers (modeling, lighting, texturing, rendering), images of the Mona Lisa have frequently been used as a test of generative art programs. I myself have created quite a few variations of the Mona Lisa – some of which may eventually see the light of day if I ever decide to make them public. But I thought it high time that I find a new work of art against which to test the generative painting programs which I greatly enjoy creating.

For this latest program I’ve been working on, I decided to make use of a painting by Claude Monet titled Morning by the Sea. This is not the first time I’ve used Monet’s work. Some time ago I created a generative art video composed of paintings by Claude Monet (read about it at The Liquified Paintings of Claude Monet).

From my perspective, with respect to all generative art programs the designer faces the challenge of balance between artist control and program freedom/flexibility. In other words, how tightly or loosely do you want to hold the reins on the program? I view the question of control versus freedom as having two components.

First there is the ability of the artist to interact with the process. An example of a large degree of artist control would be that of a digital artist using an advanced brush in Adobe Photoshop. The Photoshop brush engine has a number of parameters available that make it possible for the artist to design a brush that can vary the way in which digital paint is applied to the canvas depending upon brush speed, pressure, direction. At the other extreme is what I’ll call push-button painting. Again using Photoshop as an example, a photograph can be transformed into a non-photorealistic "painting" by simply applying one or more global filters to the photograph. A favorite exercise of mine is reverse engineering digital art that I see – not only figuring out what commercial software was used, but also determining what process was used.

The second aspect of freedom versus control is that of how the program itself is structured. Think determinism versus chaos. For example, let’s say you have the following set of statements in a program:

int red = 256/2;
int green = 256/3;
int blue = 256/4;
color theColor = color(red,green,blue);

No matter how many times the above statements are executed, the color being created will always be the same color. In other words the system is deterministic. Now consider the following statements:

int red = (x % 255);
int green = (y % 255);
int blue = ( (x+y) % 255);
color theColor = color(red,green,blue);

Even though this code will result in a multitude of colors, it is still deterministic in that for any pair of x,y values, the color generated will always be the same. Lastly, there is this:

int red = random(256);
int green = random(256);
int blue = random(256);
color theColor = color(red,green,blue);

This represents a chaotic alternative where the color created could be anything. There is no control here. Any legal color is just as likely as any other legal color to be created.

These code examples are a gross over-simplification but serve to illustrate the challenge the developer faces. At one extreme everything is a foregone conclusion while at the other extreme it’s anything goes. It is the designer’s challenge to figure out where to put the fulcrum of their generative art system.

The generative painting program used to produce the artwork for this post has not one but two hearts (just like a Time Lord). The first heart is a flowfield object that consists of two separate, internal subsidiary flowfields. You can think of these flowfields as being the physics engines that drive the bristles of the paintbrush. These flowfields serve as forces of control in the system. The second heart is the particle system – which I define as a system of brush bristles, with each bristle having its own characteristics – within limits (again that freedom vs control issue).

For testing the program, I began by creating my own version of Monet’s painting Morning By The Sea using Photoshop. The process was fairly straight forward. The lines of the painting are clear and the visual elements relatively simple. By digitally creating my own version of Monet’s seaside landscape, I am now one step removed from the original. I can also go back and modify the art to see how those modifications affect the generative process.

The next step was to use my version of the painting as the color source for my generative painting program. I must confess that the first several "paintings" I created with the program weren’t satisfactory but with each painting I would go back and modify the system.

Monet original morning by the sea vs generative seaside
left: Original Monet Morning By The Sea, right: generative version created from my modified version of Morning By The Sea

The version shown above is the first painting produced that I am sufficiently happy with to share. On the left is the actual painting and on the right is the version created using my generative painting program, which used as color input my own recreation of Monet’s Morning By The Sea so you could call this a painting of a painting of a painting. I was sufficiently pleased with the results that I decided to make it available on Redbubble.

I plan to continue to work on my program as I’m still not really happy with the brushwork that my brush bristles are producing. A thought came to me last night in bed – that being to broaden the variety of bristles that I’m currently using with a focus being on the beginning and ending of each individual brush stroke. We’ll see what happens.

About the Source Painting


The French painter Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) was one of the founders of Impressionism and created a very large body of work over the course of his life. Monet completed Morning By The Sea in 1881. The image that I used as my reference source is from WikiArt.org and can be found on the WikiArt page for Claude Monet’s painting Morning By The Sea.

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A Redbubble Review and Free Wallpaper Art

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst
Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

I set up an artist’s account on Redbubble a long time ago but confess to never having really used it. By chance I happened upon a link by an artist on Google+ to their Redbubble profile – at which time I decided to think critically about Redbubble as a selling platform and whether or not I should keep my account there. This led me to write up a review of Redbubble as a sales platform for artists. As a part of this review I thought it would be a good idea to upload some new artwork on the basis that this would help me with my review process. By coincidence I had just completed a new work of art using a 3D image painting program I had just finished writing. I decided to make that piece available as an open edition print on Redbubble as a part of my review process.

I originally intended to make my Redbubble review available here on my blog but judged it to be too long for a blog post. So I’m making it available as an article on my web site. You can find the review here:

Selling Art On Redbubble – A Review.

The review reflects my feelings about using Redbubble as a platform for monetizing my art. Spoiler Alert: my Redbubble review is a positive one. In fact the process of writing this review makes it more likely that I will become more active on Redbubble. My only negative issues were with regard to the profit potential for artists selling on Redbubble (addressed in the review) and that their web site is not mobile friendly.

Currently I have the following artworks for sale on Redbubble:

The Damien Hirst Illustration

I’ve illustrated this post with a small digital painting I just did of the artist Damien Hirst. I’m making a free wallpaper version available for anyone interested. Note that this is for personal, non-commercial use only.

Click here for the wallpaper version of Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

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