How It's Made: Splatter Commuter Bus
Welcome to the first article in the series How It's Made!
We're talking about Splatter! My head was spinning with ideas. During this time period, late 2014, I was getting really excited about the use of technology to augment my creative palette. I knew that to scale the ideas in my head to the size of a commuter bus was a perfect chance to use my full toolkit.
A key tool for my task was my Wacom digital drawing tablet. This program allows for hair-thin lines and thousands of pressure points to reveal all the nuances of a hand-drawn imagery. While at the same time, a Wacom digital drawing tablet makes the project scalable and client-friendly when providing draft versions.
The earliest versions of the artwork looked like a colosseum- modeled after Greek architecture.
Further development of the composition revealed more graphic imagery that lent itself better to the shape of the vehicle! Many of the individual images in the composition were digitally-sculpted. I painted these images with ZBrush. ZBrush is a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D/2.5D modeling, texturing and painting. It uses a proprietary technology to store lighting, color, material, and depth of information for all objects on the screen. (wikipedia). It's developed by Pixologic.
Painting with Zbrush, each bold and colorful image had its own personality. In fact, many of them were so loved that they were given names by my daughters. For example, Pink Brownie, Laker, Fire Face, Fiona, Blueberry, and Red Right. See if you can find these in the piece.
ZBrush is a challenging software program to learn, but it's a gold-mine for creative freedom!
To clarify, each of the unique images of paint were purposefully sculpted, painted and drawn to achieve perceived-depth. Again, these forms were intentionally crafted rather than by an accidental splatter. I've mentioned before, but I'll say it again, I’m fascinated with emerging technologies such as 3D digital sculpting and printing, virtual reality and augmented reality, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to apply cutting-edge technologies to the Des Moines Public Art Foundation's project.
Intended for the people of Greater Des Moines, I transformed a commuter bus into a travelling canvas. Des Moines is known for the convergence of the Raccoon & Des Moines Rivers. Picture the bus having just splashed through a river of paint. Symbolically, Des Moines' burgeoning art scene is also converging.
Want more photos and information about this project? Check it out here on my site!
I like to build things. It satisfies me. This project was more than I thought it'd become. After completion, I used the imagery to create a multi-dimensional artwork that now resides in a private collection with EMC Insurance Companies. See photos and learn about the development of that colorful landscape art here.
Want a print of Splatter for your space? Shop here.
All of my original artworks are available for sale online here.