Active Drawing

Computation is a powerful artistic medium. The introduction of computers as a tool for making art has established new forms of art which are dynamic: able to actively change in response to an artist’s actions. Tools for dynamic art, like programming languages, offer artists new creative capabilities, but can often be difficult to learn and use in expressive ways. In my dissertation work I'm developing two systems for supporting Active Dynamic Drawing: Para and Dynamic Brushes.

Para is a direct-manipulation parametric tool that supports accessible but expressive procedural graphic art through a direct-manipulation interface. Dynamic Brushes is a system for enabling artists to create their own dynamic drawing tools. Dynamic Brushes builds on lessons gained through evaluating Para to support the combination of drawing by hand with procedural manipulation and augmentation.

The development of Para and Dynamic Brushes is informed through in-depth interviews with professional artists, and evaluated through a series of open-ended studies where professional artists create their own artwork with the tools. These studies demonstrate how dynamic mediums can extend manual art practice by supporting exploration, enabling gradual learning, and allowing manual artists to leverage existing skills.