Thursday, December 04, 2008

Alchemy Space Lizard!

In a previous post I mentioned Alchemy - a free sketching program that is geared toward spontaneous visual experimentation, and since then I've spent the past several weeks slowly transforming an Alchemy sketch into a finished painting. I say slowly because as usual, I only work on stuff like this a little bit at a time - usually 10 or 15 minutes in the morning while I'm trying to wake up.

Here's the initial Alchemy sketch. It's not totally arbitrary in that you can get certain shapes to go in specific directions as you draw, but a lot of what happens is completely random. In this case it is supposed to represent some sort of armored soldier -

(click image to enlarge)

I used this as the starting point for the painting below and as you can see, quite a bit of what was in the initial sketch survived to the finished piece.

(click image to enlarge)

What's cool is that there are dynamics with the shapes and how they interact that I would have never come up with on my own and I think they add a lot of visual interest. On the other hand, none of it looks very practical and I would hate to have to attempt to draw that armor over and over and from different angles.

Also - Alchemy Space Lizard would be a kick-ass name for a band.


Lee Townsend said...

This looks really good Steve! nice to see both stages, what are you using for the colours?

Steve Epting said...

Thanks Lee. The painting was done entirely in Photoshop 7.

Michael Dooney said...

Cool.Looks kind of like an Epting/Martinere collaboration! I just checked out the program and it's got a lot of crazy totally random features ;)
Seems like it would be a good tool for generating wacky patterns and unexpected images. Does it have an undo feature? All I could figger out was the one that just wipes out the whole image.

Steve Epting said...

Michael - I think I read somewhere that they intentionally left out and undo feature because it was contrary to the idea of spontaneous creation (or something like that). It's frustrating!

Michael Dooney said...

Oh brother! Well at least they spent their time wisely, like making the mirror thing, that's a lot more useful than being able to fix things ;)

Steve Epting said...

Yeah, the mirror rocks.

gegemac said...

Nice work !

I checked your blog and i though that maybe you'll be interested by Alchemy Art a new emerging community around Alchemy and more generally arts.

It's a french website but you can talk in english on it there is no worries.

You can check and tell me what you think :