Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is Spreadsheet Art?

The other day I was browsing and came upon an article by Anil Dash titled “Spreadsheet Art Revisited”.

There is even a book on the topic. It’s written by Danielle Aubert, who is an American artist and graphic designer based in Detroit. The book is titled “16 Months Worth of Drawing Exercises in Microsoft Excel.”
Needless to say that roused my curiosity.
Spreadsheet art?
What’s that?

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Spreadsheet art is done by using color to block in the cells in the spreadsheet.
Now why didn’t I think of that before?

An 18-600 cell spreadsheet mosaic was created by four persons working simultaneously on a Google spreadsheet. There are 100 rows and 215 columns in a Google spreadsheet.

There is a time lapse video(and behind the scenes footage) documenting the whole process, available at

This site also lets you use the original Google spreadsheet used in the video to create your own spreadsheet art, free of charge.

It also gives you instructions on how to go about creating your own, unique spreadsheet art.
When you’re finished, do share your work there or post it on YouTube so others can see and enjoy!
You can see more of Danielle Aubert’s spreadsheet art here

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to express yourself in the style of the Orient by using a bamboo brush

A bamboo brush is a brush constructed with a bamboo handle and animal hair. The foundational idea of Chinese and Japanese brush painting is that less is more.
This article teaches about basic tools and techniques used in Japanese and Chinese brush painting.

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Brush strokes come in all lengths and widths and with varying levels of curvature.
When exploring brush technique in this fashion, to stay as true to form as possible, it is better that you work with water based media such as watercolours or inks.
1. Lines with tapered ends. When completing a stroke, lift the hairs of the brush off the paper/surface slowly.
2. Remember that a brush can be held against a surface horizontally, it has a tip, it can be moved quickly as well as slowly. Practice all these movements until your hand becomes used to each of them.
3. Quite often a small gap is left between brush strokes. Think of the effect that has on the general appearance of the subject of the painting.
4. When making a vertical stroke, begin at the top and end the stroke towards the bottom of the paper/surface.
5. When making a horizontal stroke, sweep your hand from the left, to the right of the paper/surface.
6. To make the short fat strokes known as dot strokes, apply a dot moving right and pause.

7. To do ‘flying white’, move the brush quickly, while applying pressure. This will cause the hairs of the brush to separate, leaving white spaces in the ink, and giving an impression of strength and speed.

8. Practice makes perfect!

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Where to study Art-Choosing an Art College

I f you have been interested in being an artist for a while, whether it’s a lifelong dream or something that struck your fancy only recently, a natural step is to learn more about your area of interest through study.

A lot of options are available nowadays. A vast number of highly qualified schools not only offer classes in a particular geographical area, but online as well.

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Some schools offer a mix of both distance and on-site training.
How do you know what to choose?

The first thing you have to do when establishing which school is best for you is your area of study.
What interests you most about art?

Is it the practical, hands on aspect?
Is it passing on learning to others, for example, to children?
Is it the vivid graphics that can be found in computer games or computer animated movies?

All these factors will affect your choice of school, because although all schools may be good, not every school might be an expert in your chosen area of specialization in art.

The second thing to consider is finances.
Online courses are usually less costly than courses that require you to be on-site.
Many reputable Colleges offer accredited online Degrees and Diplomas.

After you have narrowed down your list to about five schools, go through it again, checking what past and current students have to say about the quality of the experience and whether what will be provided will help you reach your goals.

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