Ben Crowder

Blog: #art

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New artwork: Prodigal Son III.

Prodigal Son III

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New artwork: Annunciation II.

Annunciation II

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New artwork: Come Forth.

Come Forth

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New artwork: When He Saw That He Was Healed.

When He Saw That He Was Healed

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Some dinky pixel art experiments, exploring what it looks like when you add texture and make them look kind of like mosaic tiles. (I’m sure someone else has already done this, but I haven’t, so here we are.) Also, this isn’t great pixel art, just to be clear.

pixeltest-a.jpg

For this first experiment, I made the squares in Figma and set the colors there, which was pretty laborious. Exported to SVG and added turbulence/displacement filters to get some variation. When exporting to PNG via Inkscape, I ran into the perennial issue where the filters sometimes only work on the top and left sides of the shape. (Someday I’ll figure out what’s going on there, since the filters look fine in Finder via Quick Look. In this case, from a distance, it still kind of looks okay.) Finally, I added some textures in Affinity Photo with opacity set to around 20% and blend mode set to soft light or overlay.

pixeltest-b.jpg

Second experiment: making things easier. I made a 48x48 image in Procreate Pocket on my phone and painted the scene using the oil paint brush. (Which is why the eyes are crazy and there isn’t a ton of definition on the characters. Like I said, not great pixel art.) I then wrote a quick command-line script (JS/Node) to take a PNG and export an SVG where each pixel of the PNG is a <rect> in SVG. Way faster than making the squares in Figma. The script shrinks each square a little and adds some jitter to the points as well. And I changed the background color to be more ground-like. Exported to PNG and textured as in the first experiment.

Some ideas for future exploration:

  • More subdivision on the tiles, for a little more geometric variety
  • Programmatically export masks from the SVG so that each tile can look more different from its neighbors, texturally (a masked tile would be next to an unmasked one, basically, with some randomness thrown in)
  • Rounding the edges of the tiles a little
  • Rendering the tiles in Blender (either with heightfields or by generating actual geometry with Python), ideally with some procedural texturing

Anyway, a fun afternoon diversion.


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Two new pieces, this time playing around with drop shadows for a faux 3D effect:

First Vision XVI:

First Vision XVI

Before the World Was VIII:

Before the World Was VIII

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New artwork: The Lord Is My Shepherd.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

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New artwork: Behold the Man!

Less on the abstract side this time, though it’s still just triangles. I wrote a little script to generate them procedurally, with a few manual adjustments in Figma for artistic effect.

Behold the Man!

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Two new pieces for Easter:

Into Thy Hands:

Into Thy Hands

Why Weepest Thou? IV:

Why Weepest Thou? IV

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New artwork: If Ye Give Place.

If Ye Give Place

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