I came across a review of the Chinese artist Ding Yi in the Sunday Telegraph magazine, and was very taken with his striking style. His technique is simple - he uses a very restricted assortment of shapes - typically crosses and plus signs - repeated over and over across the canvas in a regular grid. I was sufficiently intrigued to try out the same technique for myself. I'm actually quite pleased with the result. I might even have another go; with different colour combinations and different patterns of shapes, one can cover a wide gamut of images from restful to garish. My first attempt is decidedly 'Hello Kitty' in feel, but it will be interesting to see how other colour combinations come out.

I have also supplied views of my interim versions, in reverse order. These demonstrate very well how adding the extra layers of detail makes a subtle but important difference. Stages 1-3 might look OK, but somehow they don't look finished.

Finished Version

Artwork in the style of Ding Yi, 367kB

Click on the image for a 1293 × 938 version. The master is in Acorn Draw format, which means it can be scaled to any size without loss of detail. You can download it via this link (496kB), but it will only be readable if you have a RISC OS computer, or a copy of Oak Draw for Windows or (possibly) a version of Xara Studio. I know of no other non-RISC OS applications that can read Draw format files.

Current Work in Progress

Work in Progress, 211kB

Click on the image for a double-sized version. The master is in Acorn Draw format, which means it can be scaled to any size without loss of detail. I will make it available once I've finished. I reckon I'm probably somewhere between a third and half done.

Works in Progress

Here are a few snapshots of the first image while it was being developed. Newest version first:

Stage Three

Stage 3, 29kB

Stage Two

Stage 2, 10kB

Stage One

Stage 1, 5kB

Rather garish, I have to confess.

The second version looks a bit more restful. It's also taking at least twenty times as long, because I'm not using the grid to get everything aligned, and I'm hand-selecting all the colours. This makes the colour gradations in the image much subtler, but it's a lot more time-consuming.

Oldest version first:

Stage One

Work  in progress, stage 1, 4kB

Stage Two

Work  in progress, stage 2, 36kB

Stage Three

Work  in progress, stage 3, 42kB

Stage Four

Work  in progress, stage 4, 61kB

Stage Five

Work  in progress, stage 5, 87kB

Stage Six

Work  in progress, stage 6, 105kB

. . . And that's all, for the moment.

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