Project
Model of a Drawing Process: Watercolor-Calculating

This project showcases the spatio-temporal model of a specially prepared painting’s emergence process. The painting is prepared using a drawing system (the Broadened Drawing-Scape) that is developed as a part of Onur Yüce Gün’s PhD in Design and Computation dissertation entitled “A Place for Computing Visual Meaning: The Broadened Drawing-Scape.”

The drawing apparatus helps combine computational image capturing and projection techniques with analog painting processes to implement a computationally broadened, open-ended hand-drawing and painting system. Shape Grammars are used both to generate (calculate and paint) and retrospectively analyze the painting.

The exhibited model reveals the turning points of the genesis of the painting. These moments are represented on transparent surfaces that are assembled in a sequential order. This way, the model becomes a spatio-temporal representation of the unique painting process, allowing the observer to experience the time-space of the watercolor painting. While one half of the model uses original images that are captured during the emergence of the painting, the other half uses computationally re-interpreted (filtered) versions to elucidate both the analog and the digital realms the drawing preexists.

The model is built through generous support of the Council for the Arts at MIT. The drawing apparatus was funded through the Bill Mitchell++ award.

The Process

The model is a product of painting, computing, printing and digital fabrication processes. First, a watercolor painting is made by using a special drawing apparatus, while the turning points of the painting process are digitally captured. Then these momentary snapshots are both digitally enhanced and re-generated (through bitmap processing) by using the software platform Processing. While one side of the final model uses the enhanced images, the other side uses the filtered versions.

All images then are printed on special inkjet transparency films and then framed using cut-to-size plexiglass sheets. While one of the sheets is thinner to enhance transparency, the other one is thicker to  ensure structural stability of the model. Once assembled together, it becomes possible to experience the calculated watercolor painting in its time-space.