New Art: (#28) 100 Lines Drawing

Originally I wasn’t going to include this piece in the series, partly because it was comparatively easy for me to produce, and partly because it was an experiment. But it’s grown on me, and while the execution was easy for me, the necessary background of knowing the software, having done lots of similar experiments, and having a fine art approach that includes an appreciation of abstract art and a cultivating of an intermediary zone between abstract and figurative art wasn’t easy.  But the main reason I decided to include it was that I used a very systematized approach for this, like a game (see original post below), and when I tried to reproduce something similar without using that approach, I couldn’t do it. It has a Surrealist and Jackson Pollock quality to it, and reflects my interest in abstraction and visual language experiments.

It also shares with some of the other works contrasting elements I like to bring together such as spontaneity/control, traditional look/digital means, abstraction/figuration. Overall it’s part of my exploring what I can do with visual imagery, with a pronounced emphasis on line, curves, and movement.


[Below is my original post, when I decided to share this work, but didn’t take it seriously enough to include in my series. As I said, it’s grown on me a lot.]

I know, there’s a dot in there. That was a tap of the stylus. I like to do some experiments and exercises. I like to work in some loose, free lines into my art. You can see this sort of thing in #25 of my “Imagine That” series [below], but this one’s a bit light to qualify as an actual work.

#25 Encepholopedia

Though, I’m planning something similar but a bit more elaborate. In this case I had some artificial parameters. Remember, I ‘m working digitally (which, ironically, can really allow freedom). So, I make a line, and then I can move it. But that’s it. I can’t go back and change a line once I add a new one. A more complex piece would allow me to change everything interchangeably. This is more like a game. I was allowed precisely 100 lines.

I did a whole set of “Text Paintings” using similar methods. I also haven’t included them in my portfolio, but 2-3 of them might be good enough. 122 is ghastly and was the first one I did. But it does have 122 names using all my fonts. All of them had rules. I used a random number generator to decide the size of the font in some, for example, and even the angle of the  text.

Here they are if you missed them, which you most likely did:

I’m working on a few pieces at once, each in a different style. One is a more complicated version of this exercise. One is somewhat similar to #25, like a pastel drawing. And one is a “digital impasto” piece like my last two. I find I can get more work done if I switch up what I’m working on.

Doing experiments like this is something like training for a boxing match. Sometimes you just work on your jab so that when the time comes for you to get in the ring, you have several strengths that you can combine.

~ Ends

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6 thoughts on “New Art: (#28) 100 Lines Drawing

  1. Eric,
    I do some line drawings like this one to help me get new ideas when I get stuck in a rut. I try to do them without thinking and do a bunch of them. Then go back and see what stands out.

    I didn’t see the other works before. I like the one on the lower left-99 curses the best. I think because it just has symbols and shapes. I’m not trying to read anything in it so I can appreciate it as a work of art more than the others. That’s just my taste though, I’m sure plenty of people like the others better. I will sometimes listen to French music, and since I don’t speak French I can just enjoy the voices and tones. It’s kind of in that same category for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you use ink, paint, or pencil for your drawings?

      Agreed on listening to music for feel and not for lyrics. I was just thinking about this the other day, how I rarely like a song because of the lyrics (with some notable exceptions).

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      1. Eric,
        I usually use pencil or pen to do the first quick drawings. I’m always looking for new ideas for my work. I have gotten ideas from the drips down the side of my coffee cup, or the light on the coffee and the reflections. The clouds are also good.

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        1. Right. This is a classic technique that goes back to da Vinci who would see battle scenes in stains on a wall. A lot of the pieces in my series start off as 10 one minutes sketches. Then I take the best 5 and do 2 minutes sketches, and so on. Most my art starts off with just making marks and then looking at it to get ideas. Rarely do I have a premeditated image.

          This piece is a little different in that there are precisely 100 lines. So, it’s about the process and arbitrary rules, kind of like Anton Webern’s 12-tone musical compositions in which he had to use all twelve tones before he could repeat one. It’s an experiment to see what the result would be if one followed a given set of rules.

          I’ve subsequently found that I can’t spontaneously replicate this look. I did each stroke on a separate layer, then positioned it. It’s a very calculated procedure. Now the look is growing on me. What if, I wonder, instead of making it abstract, I made if figurative? And what if I did it in 10 line increments in which I could move each line interchangeably? What image would result? I’m going to try that experiment today. Note that I’m actually working large on this, so, any line made is golden, as in it doesn’t need to be done over or enlarged or anything.

          I’m really into doing visual experiments. And there are some that go horribly awry. Not really, they just don’t quite cut it.

          I also notice I have a sort of beginners luck with working in a style or with a format. At first it’s interesting and so there’s a richness to the exploration. But one I have the technique down, execution of the work can become a bit more like temp work. So, then I try a new experiment, or variation.

          Oh well, back to work.

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  2. I didn’t know that about DaVinci, but I think that’s probably how a lot of artists look at things. Wood paneling, especially when it’s stained has a lot of interesting things that pop out. Also marble floors are good. I don’t use sharp angles in my paintings very often I’ve realized. That’s probably why I gravitate to these things that are more curvy.

    I really like the forms and depth this style has. Mine doesn’t get the depth. I might try using different thickness of lines like you do. It Might be time for me to trying some stuff on the computer. Do you know of any programs or apps I could try that don’t cost a lot? I’m kind of old school and not great with technology.

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    1. Yes. Absolutely .There are programs that are free, and they are worth playing with, just for the fun of it. The pain in the ass is learning them, but there are always video tutorials online.

      Gimp is a FREE program similar to Photoshop. Had I not taught myself PS already, I’d probably use Gimp instead. https://www.gimp.org/

      Blender is a FREE sculpting program that is so powerful that if can even do animations and functions as video software. The learning curve is kinda steep though. If this one weren’t free, I would be at least a grand.

      Sculptris is a free sculpting program that you can figure out pretty quick and is a lot of fun to play with. After playing with it for a while I went to the store and was fascinating with the structure of everyone’s heads.

      But, of course, you are probably better off sticking to traditional mediums. Well, in terms of selling. But in terms of exploring the world visually, computer programs can add an additional dimension. I suppose it’s like using synthesizers and computers to make music or something.

      I’m attracted to both ends of the spectrum.

      Also decided to include this piece in my series because I can’t replicate the aesthetic without going through the controlled process I set up, which makes it kinda’ unique for me.

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