So, first off, new artwork up in the digital gallery.
Don’t know who she is? Don’t sweat, you’ll be hearing more about her eventually.
Well, that said, time to continue the discussion from last week.
Last week I touched a little on what Chaos is. In brief, it’s what happens when order meets randomness. Now, what kind of things happen when the two collide? First, Emergent Order tends to occur, which is surprising order from systems that would’ve been difficult to predict beforehand. Second, small differences can be turned into big ones.
Now, what does this mean in layman’s terms? For one, it means science has validated two basic axioms that wise people have long pointed out–One, there can be order where there seems to be none, and then two, a little bit can go a long way.
Now why is Chaos so interesting to an artist? What does the border between order and disorder have to do with art?
Well, for one, understanding the concept can help you draw. The key lies partially in Strange Attractors. Even though chaotic systems never repeat the exact same thing more than once, they still have a pattern. More specifically, they tend towards a certain locality. To put it more simply, if you map out the numbers on a mathematical model of a chaotic system, they all gravitate around certain coordinate.
Now how does this concept of Strange Attractors help you draw? Let’s take hair for example. There are many ways to draw hair, but the way I do is a bit random–but that’s part of the point. While it would take forever to meticulously draw each strand, you can still draw hair that’s largely based on strands by quickly drawing out strokes of hair, and as you do, generally guiding your hand to draw them around where you want them. Your hand kinda fumbles around a little and you have some random hairs a little out of synch with the rest, but the general location forms a strange attractor and make the hair look organic.
Another area is trees. In a tree, you can look at the arrangement of branches and leaves and it can appear completely random. But on closer inspection, most trees actually have a pattern that their leaves take–say, two triangular points on the left, one upward, and on on the right. You can usually see this pattern repeated in each point of the leaf, in the veins, and if you zoom out, the stems of the leaves form the same pattern on the branch, and the branches from the same pattern on the tree! Yet they don’t perfectly follow the pattern in a rigid way. There’s wiggle room for randomness within those constraints, like the exact angle of the two left point on the leaf, for example. But understanding this made my drawings of nature reach a new level.
More to come on this subject.
All images, writing, characters, artwork and related indicia are (c) Earl Isbell
Feel free to leave a comment, browse the galleries, or contact me if you wanna buy a print, commission me, or just drop me a line. Just navigate using the links at the top ^^.
Like this post, tweet it, or subscribe! It’s fun!