RISC OS artist wows public with digital artworkPublished: 17th Nov 2008, 14:50:04 | Permalink | Printable
A RISC OS-using artist has described exhibiting his digitally-created work in a public gallery as a "rewarding experience". Richard Ashbery, who used ArtWorks and Photodesk to create his images, showed off patterns and colourful illustrations to punters, who told him his work made a change from the oils and watercolour masterpieces usually exhibited.His work was displayed at Mansfield Library. Visitors to the gallery praised his work in a comment book left in the library, and Richard set up two display boards explaining how he used RISC OS and the two graphics packages to produce the gallery.
Revealing where his inspiration comes from, Richard said: "My enthusiasm for ArtWorks and what can be achieved with it was the main reason for holding the exhibition. Many of my designs originate from the numerous motifs published in source pattern books - some of which are designed for stained glass craftsman. I'll usually draw the motif by copying it from the source book rather than a direct tracing.
"For example in the fighting antelope design the original antelope motif showed the animal in an upright stance. By lowering the head and neck position I could give the impression that the animals - the one on the right is a clone of the first and flipped horizontally - were in combat. By placing the animals against a large colourful sunset really makes the image stand out.
"ArtWorks is also superb for developing geometric shapes - tessellating patterns are one example where some interesting designs are possible."
The artist added: "I got hooked on ArtWorks after the collapse of Cerilica's Vantage. I was amazed at how easy and intuitive the program is to use. The kaleidoscope images were done in Photodesk. The layers facility with its algorithms for adding, subtracting and multiplying allows a user to produce some very interesting and colourful art."
Richard said: "One of my photography club colleagues described how some of the ArtWorks images produced a 3D effect. I didn't recognise this at first but if you stand back from them I can see what he means. The intense colours and the image sharpness and printing on a heavyweight high-gloss paper might account for this.
"One of the images (top middle one showing three hares) has been adapted into a bobbin lace pattern by my wife. A monochrome photograph is shown next to it and many people were fascinated by the linking of the two crafts."
Richard went on: "Inspired by Walter Brigs who wrote the Mammals Art Course in Acorn Publisher back in 2002, I set about trying to draw the picture of his fox. Creating an impression of fur is difficult in a vector art package but I think it worked.
"After creating an outline I divided the picture into small sections. Once the eyes, nose and muzzle are drawn I felt I was halfway there and this spurred me on to finish it. Walter doesn't describe in detail how the various effects are applied but explains all the little nuances that make the art come alive. This careful observation helped me to draw my example. Extensive use of blends are used to create the various subtle colours. Although not in close-up, The Fox can be seen here.
"Although it was a lot of work I have found it a rewarding experience. I had a positive response from the public, with some saying that it made a nice change to see something a little different from the traditional oils and watercolours."
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image.
Library staff were the first to view the images
Library staff reviewing the images
My version of The Fox
Close-ups and bobbin pattern
Close-ups of geometric patterns
Jan Vibe's early art with RISC OS programming
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