DAaA- Assi5: Programming Art

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Every artist was first an amateur. 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty in Numbers

Can Numbers Define Art?

Our first unit of study will look at an interconnection between mathematic principles and art.

Terms to Know

Elements of Art- parts or pieces of a work of art. These are the basic pieces of a work.

Line: An Element of Art- A mark with greater length than width. Can go in any direction, change directions, vary in thickness, and even be implied. Sometimes explained as a point moving across a surface (think the point of your pencil moving across paper). Want to learn more?

Shape: An Element of Art- A closed line, or a line that eventually returns to where it began. They can be geometric, like  square or circles, or organic, like free form or organic shapes. Shapes are 2d. Want to learn more?

Assignment: Programming Art

To get started, we’ll first look at programming. Your first thought is likely What does programming have to do with art? Well, more than you might think.

For this first six weeks, the primary software we will utilize is a professional-level program, Adobe Illustrator. We will talk more about that later though. First, I want you to understand how Adobe Illustrator works. It doesn’t work the same way Photoshop, MS Paint, or KidPix works. Instead, it uses mathematics to store and create visual imagery.

To get a taste of how it works, your first digital art assignment (5th assignment for the gradebook), is to create an image using programming. You may be saying Woah, woah! Hold your ponies, Mr. Uu! Not to worry, there’s a couple of interactive tutorial that will help you with everything you need to know.

Khan Academy’s Intro to Programming> Sneak Peak: Making an Awesome Program
Khan Academy’s Programming Basics> Intro to Drawing
Khan Academy’s Programming Basics> Intro to Coloring

You can watch more if you’d like. However, those should give you enough of the basics to allow you to create a simple illustration through programming. Spend the rest of class to create an illustration.

Khan Academy’s Programming courses utilize javascript. Does Adobe Illustrator? Probably not, but this activity still gives you a good grasp of how Adobe Illustrator, and other vector-based computer graphic programs operate. What’s a vector? A vector in digital art is different than a vector in math class. Essentially, in digital art, vector art is art rendered through mathematical equations and formulas. If you don’t quite understand that yet, that’s ok. We’ll talk a lot more about what vectors are later.

Once you’ve completed an illustration through programming, take a screenshot of your illustration. To take a screenshot of the full screen on the mac, hold command ⌘ and shift, then press 3. To take a screenshot of just part of the screen, hold command ⌘ and shift, press 4, and then click and drag your mouse pointer over the area to take a picture of.

To bring up the upload media prompt for your blog, while writing a post click the icon that looks like a camera in front of a music note.


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