Friday, 10 April 2015

The fractal subdivision

The fractal subdivision.  Made from canvass, paper and acrylic paints.


Yes, it's a predictable title for my cubist experiment, but sometimes the obvious ones are the best.

From the front the relief is monochromatic and is really all about shape and texture.  When you stand directly in front of it the coloured paint is hard to see, but as you change your viewing angle the different colours become more visible.










I haven't framed the picture because I wanted parts of it to wrap around the sides of the canvass.  The composition is made up of square and rectangular blocks, and without a frame the canvass itself becomes one of those blocks, which is better than just having it sitting in the background not interacting with anything else.  I actually think this picture might look silly in a frame.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Even more cubist buildings

The wind here has died down long enough or me to spray paint some more fractal elements for my cubist relief.  Here they are:

A bit empty, maybe?

As well as townhouses and retaining walls, we now have a line of older buildings on top of a hill overlooking the new construction.  

While the foreground buildings at the bottom left utilise Menger sponges, the other structures are made using the two-dimensional version of this fractal, Sierpinsky's carpet.

Right now I'm unsure whether to leave it as is, or add some more stuff.  I don't want the canvass to become too busy and overcrowded, but at the same time I want to get across the impression of lots of identical buildings crowded together.

I guess I'll sleep on it and see what I think in the morning.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

More fractal structures



These simplified stripes represent massive retaining walls.  The subdivision I'm looking at is essentially built on terraces, into the side of a hill.  Wellington hills are made of clay, and retaining walls like this are necessary to prevent landslips.  Mind you, you see houses hanging off the side of cliffs at all angles in this city, and some of them have been there for a hundred years.




This is where I used the cadmium red I talked about last time.  The retaining walls are brownish coloured with red undertones, but not that bright in real life.  Bright red looks nice on the canvass though and does a good job of highlighting the vertical elements of the retaining walls.  I'm also finding that the accent colours I use have to be quite bright to compete with the chrome paint.

Using contrasting textures also helps to emphasise the structures' vertical elements, but they're all made entirely out of paper cubes, just like the original Menger sponge I made. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

The first cubist buildings

Here are the first buildings from the subdivision across the motorway, rendered as a series of fractal cubes.  As I said last time, I want to create a landscape out of Menger sponges.








I've sprayed the structures with rust-coloured primer and chrome silver paint, and picked out some details in coloured acrylic.  These buildings have subtle accent colours in blue and green, but I also plan to use bright cadmium red accents in some places.





The buildings are based (loosely, obviously), on ones I can see from my house.  Here they are, in the middle of the picture above the green car:




This is the view I'll be working with, but since this is an abstract piece I'm much more interested in creating an interesting composition than accurately recording the landscape.

Monday, 16 March 2015

No, I didn't fall off the edge of the world

I just haven't had any good ideas for a while, and if you don't have any ideas there's no point in doing anything. 

Then on Friday I got bored waiting for some code to compile and I started making a Menger sponge.


Level 2 Menger sponge from the side



Level 2 Menger sponge from the top


That one is a level 2 Menger sponge.  It's made up of 20 of these level 1 sponges, which in turn are each made up of 20 paper spirals pinched into little cubes.


Level 1 Menger sponge


I thought using spirals to make the Menger sponges would underline the fractal nature of the shape.  Then I thought that if I made a whole bunch of Menger sponges I could arrange them into a landscape.  An abstract landscape, of course.  Cubist, even.  But then a lot of city landscapes are rather cubist anyway.  The subdivision across the gorge from my house is a case in point.  So I went and got a big canvass, and I plan to make a relief sculpure of that subdivision with the Menger shapes.  It'll be really fun if I can turn a boring housing development into an interesting landscape.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Finally got the dragon skin finished



The dragon skin is now painted in subtle green and brown tones.  For some reason, the paint looks better in photos than it does in real life.  Why?  I have no idea.  But it looks pretty good in photos.



The skin texture really helps here, I think.  This is also true of the wings, where the paint has picked up the texture and enhanced it.  Unlike the body, the wing membranes have come out very green with a slight hint of brown underneath.  It's exactly the same paint sloshed all over the sculpt, it's just generated different effects in different areas.  I suspect it has to do with how the underlying material absorbs the paint.




And here's a photo of the whole thing:




Thursday, 15 January 2015

I'm back

Happy New Year, internet!  Sorry I've been absent for so long.  I haven't forgotten this blog, or gotten sick of it, it's just that I haven't had any good ideas recently.  You can't do this sort of stuff if you don't have any good ideas, because it ends up being boring and disappointing for everybody.

But I now have a head for the dragon skin I've been working on.  It's a beaky, bird-like head.





With the head attached to the body, the whole thing looks like this.




Not too bad.  I'm pleased with how the scales have worked out.  Of course, there's nothing sophisticated or clever about the scales.  They are lentils.  The smaller scales are represented using quinoa seeds.  Here's what the head looks like underneath the outer layers of paper: