## Monday, January 14, 2008

### Trouble understanding the Random Art Chart?

Apparently I'm the only one who understands this. So, here's step-by-step instructions and 2 more examples with my thought processes.

The headings are at the top of the graph. You can use whatever category you want, but let's say it's completely random and you need to roll for all of them.
The first thing you decide is if it's a 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional project.
1. Flip a coin (heads = 2-D, tails = 3-D)
or
roll a die (evens = 2-D, odds = 3-D)

The 2-D / 3-D choices are separated by the double line that goes between 2-D and 3-D. See it? It goes through the first 4 columns then stops.

2. If it's 2-D, the next thing you determine is the Medium (this will depend on what you have available). Roll a d-10 (10 sided die) to choose from the first 10 options.
If it's 3-D, you also need to choose the medium, which you can roll a d-8 for (I have 8 choices listed).

3. Now, for 2-D you need to roll for a Surface to paint/draw on. You have 10 choices, so you roll a d-10. Some of these will work, some will not. Watercolor will not work on metal, so you would re-roll. However, it will work on silk.
For 3-D you choose a Format (listed as Surface, I just simplified it for space). You have 6 choices, so roll the familiar 6 sided die.

4. The next column is Ground for 2-D. Sometimes this isn't necessary, but I rolled anyway to see what ideas would spring to mind. You have 4 choices, so roll a d-4. This is how you treat the surface to accept the medium.
In terms of 3-D it refers to the Base or Support for the sculpture. You have 6 choices, so roll a d-6.

From here on out, all choices apply to both 2-D and 3-D, so you are using the whole column.

5. Color refers to the overall color scheme of the artwork. There are 20 choices in the column, so roll a d-20 and count down to get the result. If you roll "monochromatic," which is #3 on a d-20, you would then either choose a color or roll a d-6 for a random color (they are all listed together at the bottom). Monochromatic means one color + black and white, so they don't count for that option.

6. Elem & Prin stand for "Elements and Principles of Design," which I am using as the main element or principle of design. This does not mean that you ignore the others in your composition, it just means that if you roll a 5 on a d-12 that the main focus of your piece is Texture. This could mean that you are painting on a textured surface, adding oleopasto to oil paint to make it thicker, working with materials that have a distinct texture, focusing on the textural appearance of the objects in a still life, etc.

7. Style is next. You have 20 choices, so roll a d-20. I'm using this to determine how to make the artwork look. If I roll 14 on a d-20 it will be Kitch, which means I could buy it at a mall gift shop. If I roll a 12 it will be Impressionist, which means I pay attention to colors and light as they appear and let the edges go soft. You can put in any art movement or representational styles that you like. I used these because they are the ones I like the most and work in most often. I also chose some that I never work in to force myself out of my comfort zone.

8. Subject is next. There are 10 choices, so roll a d-10. Let's say you roll a 2. The subject is Wildlife. This could mean that you are painting an outdoor scene, sculpting a bear or even a drinking scene at the local pub (urban wildlife).

9. Topic is what's in the artwork. There are 20 choices, so roll a d-20. If you roll an 8, the topic is Portrait. So you are doing a portrait of someone or something or some place. All "portrait" means is that you are representing something specific, not something general. This means that if you got "abstract" as a style, and Wildlife as a subject, then portrait as a topic, you could do an abstract sculpture of a songbird that lives in your tree. It's not just any songbird, it's an individual. Get it?

OK, so here's 2 more examples with my thought processes.

Format: 2-D (I rolled a #2 on a d-4)
Medium: Watercolor (I rolled a #3 on a d-10)
Surface: Panel (I rolled a 5 twice on a d-10, not sure this will work, but I can get rid of this later if necessary and substitute regular watercolor paper).
Ground: Mat Medium (I rolled a #3 on a d-4, watercolor will not stick to this, so I may re-roll depending on what I get later).
Color: Full Spectrum (I rolled a 7 on a d-20)
Elem & Prin: Value. (I rolled a #3 on a d-12)
Style: Fantasy (I rolled a #5 on a d-20)
Subject: Abstract (a #6 on a d-10)
Topic: Daily Life (a 16 on a d-20)

Now, because watercolor will not stick to a panel with a mat medium ground, I'm going to look for the medium(s) that will work with that; and I've got Acrylic and Mixed. Acrylic = heads, Mixed = tails. I got heads, so it's Acrylic. Or I could just choose.

Here's the final criteria:
2-D
Acrylic
Panel
Mat Medium ground
Full spectrum color
Value as main element
Fantasy style
Abstract
Daily Life

Ideas: I know this will be a full-color acrylic on panel with a mat medium ground. Value is important so I want lights and darks. My topic is daily life, so I want something I do all the time. It has to have a fantasy feel to it, and it needs to be a bit abstracted.
What do I do every day? I drive.
Value: high contrast values happen at night.
Driving at night.
So now, I know that I want to do an acrylic on panel of driving in a car at night. Lights streaking by, the painted lines emerging from darkness, etc. Maybe using the way the light streaks as my inspiration for the abstraction and giving the painting a light shattered quality.

Let's try one that's 3-D.

Criteria:
Format: 3-D (given 'cuz we wants it).
Medium: wood (6 on a d-8)
Format 2: Multi-Part (5 on a d-6)
Base: polished stone (6 on a d-6)
Color: blue (19 on a d-20)
Principle: Repetition (10 on a d-12)
Style: Pop (17 on a d-20)
Subject: Imagination (7 on a d-10)
Topic: Fiction (14 on a d-20)
Ideas: I have a multi-part wooden sculpture on a polished stone base where the main color is blue. I need to repeat some themes.
My topic is fiction, so I need to choose a book, comic, movie or something like that. Pop is my style, I can work from Pop Art or Pop Culture.. or Pop Music. Imagination is my subject.
I'm having trouble here...
Ah, yes, one of Cori's favorite topics. Mother Mary. Blue bath-tub Mary.
Let's be irreverent and choose the Bible as our fictional source.
We can only imagine what little Mary looked like, but there's enough Pop Culture images that it automatically qualifies as Pop if not Kitch, but we want to keep it in Pop Culture or Art.
So...
Multi-part wooden sculpture of Mother Mary (using JC as another part) on a stone base. Lots of blue paint or stain, choose a passage from the Bible... maybe the "water into wine wedding scene" with her as the focus, maybe grabbing his ear and wagging her finger at him to do what she says and keep the party going. Keep the forms very rounded in Pop style.

See how this works?

If you wanted to simplify this, you could use a standard 6 sided die and only put 6 things in each category. That would still give you 100's of options.
I hope this clears things up rather than muddying the waters.