Our first class assignment was to “make art using software that is not typically used for creating artwork”—no Photoshop or Painter for us!
An ethereal, space-like image was my goal. I experimented with some online fractal programs that were fun but rather basic, so I opted to find images through a Google search. With background digital art that suggests a black hole, Sandy C. Katos’s three fractal images give the piece repetition, rhythm, color, and value to create a sense of unity.
I formatted the PowerPoint slide background with a 65° linear gradient in two colors, then set the color slider at 50% and the transparency to 0%. The black hole image was moved backward and set at 65% transparency so the black to gray gradient would show in the finished work. Three selected fractal images were adjusted for brightness and contrast, cropped, sized, rotated, and layered to create a sense of depth. The transparencies were set at 20%, 50%, and 90% for the three images. There’s a very faint image, with its 90% transparency setting, in the bottom right corner that fades too much into the distance. Since PowerPoint is limited in its photo editing options, I had to choose between the hard edge of an image and a disappearing fractal; I chose the latter.
I like the overall affect of the final artwork but I’d like to give it a try in Photoshop, with the selection of forty newly collected “space objects.” It was fun exploring freesmug.org, a site for free open source software, and learning about “Chaoscope” fractals. If you have never heard of a fractal, this linked math site gives a pretty clear explanation of what one is.