Another visual diversion

A little fun is not amiss  …

All images © 2021 Chris Culy


What do you think? Does it remind you of anything? Maybe work by Jackson Pollock? OK, I’m no Jackson Pollock, but a couple weeks ago a friend sent me a link to a site that lets you pretend to be Jackson Pollock. My friend was interested in how that site works. Although he knows how to program, he’s not that familiar with javascript, so he asked me about it. I took a look at it and decided that a good way to understand it myself would be to do my own version, using just “vanilla” (=without add-ons) javascript. This approach is pretty common among programmers, and it was indeed helpful for me.

It turns out that that site was based on a program written in a different language (Flash/Actionscript, which has just officially effectively come to an end) back in 2003 by Michal Migurski. Hats off to him for a concept that is still fun after almost 2 decades! There was also another project which redid the program in Processing (a language I’ve used for artistic programming) and used it to run a robotic pencil. I consulted both of those versions (the latter with helpful comments, in German) as I wrote my own version. While I kept the algorithm, I used my own settings and choice of colors for it and I made my own user interface, including the ability to save your masterpieces. (Both the picture above and the one below I made with my program.)

Anyway, enough talking. Go to my site and have fun. While it works with a mouse or trackpad, it’s much more fun using your finger on a tablet. Let you inner Abstract Expressionist run wild!


Technical note

For you hackers, you can change the parameters of the drawing dynamically by modifying properties of the “splat” object in the console. For example, to change the canvas color to black, execute this statement in the console, then make a new painting.

splat.canvasClr = "black"