Still images are the critical centre of the crow studio. Their production and collection, the variation of media and presentation, the combination and recombination of multiple images as single, still, images.
The importance of the animation is that it is the process that drives the production of the `still’ crow images. Animation also limits image content choice to the initial phase. After the initial phase the entire focus can be on the qualities of line, tone, colour and image.
The still images are a mixture of digital prints and photo montage produced from ink wash drawings, code mediated gestural line, and digitally manipulated photographs.
Still images are powerful because, unlike an animated image, it puts the viewer in control of the duration and intensity of attention given to each image. It allows the viewer and the artist to re-evaluate each image as they revisit the work and find within it things of which they may not have been consciously aware.
You make each image stand out individually and make it special by that quality of selection allowing you to rework and emphasise elements that work for you.
Visit Crow 01 Gallery
Using the Processing.org code line (code mediated gestural line) moved the images further away from the quality of verisimilitude often desired in a drawing. Verisimilitude is the degree to which an image looks like an object in the sense of the accuracy of the visual representation.
In terms of animation I was looking at how during the process of animation our brains move the images back into the impression of visual accuracy – the bird is flying. In seeing the multiple frames I see hints of Plato’s shadows, searching for the perfect artefact of a crow among the many representations of the crow.
Computer Mediated Gestural Line – Crow Line.
While hoping that in the process of repetition aspects of the “Ideal” crow are revealed; a Chinese whisper of distorting shadows going elsewhere needs to be borne in mind.
Computer Mediated Gestural Line – Etch Line.
Taken from Wikipaedia:
According to Socrates, physical objects and physical events are “shadows” of their ideal or perfect forms, and exist only to the extent that they instantiate the perfect versions of themselves. Just as shadows are temporary, inconsequential epiphenomena produced by physical objects, physical objects are themselves fleeting phenomena caused by more substantial causes, the ideals of which they are mere instances. For example, Socrates thinks that perfect justice exists (although it is not clear where) and his own trial would be a cheap copy of it.
The allegory of the cave (often said by scholars to represent Plato’s own epistemology and metaphysics) is intimately connected to his political ideology (often said to also be Plato’s own), that only people who have climbed out of the cave and cast their eyes on a vision of goodness are fit to rule. Socrates claims that the enlightened men of society must be forced from their divine contemplations and be compelled to run the city according to their lofty insights. Thus is born the idea of the “philosopher-king”, the wise person who accepts the power thrust upon him by the people who are wise enough to choose a good master. This is the main thesis of Socrates in the Republic, that the most wisdom the masses can muster is the wise choice of a ruler.
Animation: Ink and Ink Wash
Brown paper has an absorbency, texture and natural quality which mean that no two pages are ever the same. When you hold it up to the light you will see that there is not one colour but marbled variations of brown tones that reminds me of amber.
I enjoy its associations with wrapping paper – it is utilitarian, the type of paper that you may have to hand when you need to make a note or a quick sketch.
The quality of the line produced by the Code matched to the material compromises needed when working with brown paper and the ink wash. The crow interaction is also a compromise as you have to accept that the crow is free to behave as it wishes in its environment: the artist may only observe and record.
The crow was drawn referencing the line work and tonal work produced in Autodesk and the many photographs I took at Galley Hill. There are a number of different sets, starting with the brown paper sets and a developmental record of production. The first full set was produced on brown paper and lit from the front when photographed; the second was lit from the back when photographed.
Front lit: This set shows the quality of the line work and the ink wash to best effect.
Back Lit: This set shows the interaction between the natural texturised quality of the brown paper and the ink wash image suggesting a sense of depth and colour. The amber tones of the paper reiterate the sense of having trapped the crow in a moment in time.
Ink and ink wash on white paper: This, for me, is a long standing and frequently used approach and best presents the quality of the ink and ink wash.
Biro on white paper: The line is produced by what is considered a throw away, everyday object – a black biro. The biro captures the abstraction of the crow with a limited control of line width and tone and the line communicates the sense of the form.
The animation was produced to emphasise that the drawings were all of one, individual crow. There are a number of drawings but only one crow moving and changing through space, time and repetition.
Animation: Source Images and Initial Animations
The thing I like about crows as a visual source is their varying shapes when in flight. The quality of repetition is fascinating; each time it is the same crow, despite often huge changes in the shapes made.
The first crows I drew were part of a group of crows that spend time moving around Galley Hill, Bexhill, between the cliff top and the beach. This area provides the opportunity to watch, draw and photograph the crows from above as they fly from the cliff down to the beach and from below as they return to the cliff top from the beach. Continue reading
Using Processing Code to Develop Types of Line
The nature of art has always been influenced by the tools we have available to make marks. While studying an on-line Creative Coding Course via Future Learn (www.futurelearn.com) I was introduced to Processing.org and P5.js. This is a software sketchbook, a programming language interface designed for creative practitioners, who want their primary focus to be the visual product, whilst providing the opportunity to explore the code and it’s potential. The code I used for the crow drawings started with a small demonstration piece that was provided as part of the course.
Drawing done using initial code provided on Future Learn course
I made a number of adjustments to the Code to manipulate the form and quality of the line. Continue reading
Drawing crows; not for the drawings, not for a finished project, but for the `learning to see’ that comes from the process.
Drawing crows didn’t start as a project (an idea or a series of activities that will lead to a set of work based upon a theme). Crows started on a Monday morning, 1st December 2014, while I was sitting in one of my favourite places to watch the sunrise over the sea. As the greys of the sky lightened and picked up subtle tints of colour, I was distracted by a family of crows. I took some photographs and later that day made some drawings using ink and ink wash on paper.
I `tweeted’ some of the ink and ink wash drawings, and then I started using the drawings as subject matter for code mediated line and tone drawings on my computer tablet. The quality of the line is defined and adapted using Processing 2 Code, but it is controlled and created using gestural lines and a stylus.
At this point `Crows’ was still not a project; it was an exploration of representing crows using different media, with no intent other than the process of learning to see, and represent, something that was in front of me.
So when did it become a project? That’s difficult to say. It became a project long before I realised it had, and I will try to answer that question in my next `Crows’ blog.