Koda's Visual Art Techniques


The following describes various techniques I have come up with for doing visual art, but have yet to implement myself -- just too many other things on my plate these days.

Hidden "Silhouette" Images

This would be particularly useful in custom auto painting. The surface to be painted is first masked to create a recognizable image using only one color. This could be text, a face, mountain skyline, etc. Multiple coats of paint are then applied within the masked area, allowing each coat to tack-dry in order to build up a raised image 6-10 coats thick. The masking is then removed and the entire surface is painted with the same color of high gloss paint. The result is an "invisible" image which only appears when light reflects at an angle across the entire surface.

Movement in Still Pictures

A sense of motion can be created within a single painting by creating separate images the eye can recognize one after another in a series. This can be accomplished most easily by creating each image in a different color. For example, the first image could be that of a basketball player preparing to shoot the ball toward the hoop, done in red. A second image would involve the ball in flight and the player running forward, in blue. A third image in green might show the player jumping to catch the rebounding ball.

Another method would be to create each image using different shapes much like dots of different sizes are used to create photos on newsprint. The first image might consist of stars, the second made with circles and the third with squares. If each of the shapes have their own color the various images would be easier to recognize. The real art here would involve making the image as a whole have yet another shape and be visually appealing.

Dimensionalized Paintings

It is possible to incorporate depth into paintings in a variety of ways, and this third dimension can also be applied to create secondary images when viewed from different perspectives.

Side Viewed Raised Images

Cut vertical grooves about one inch apart into a wood panel and glue strips of wood into the grooves that extend outward perhaps half an inch. An image can be painted ignoring the fact the strips are there, so when viewed straight on the image looks completely normal. Then view the piece from the side and paint a separate image only on the raised strips facing that side. A third image can be painted on the opposite side of the strips. A clever artist would attempt to relate the 3 images so that as a viewer passes from one side, across the front to the other side, the images would flow together to create a sense of motion.

Images on Railings

The spaces between the bars on patio, sidewalk and other railings disappear when viewed from a precise location near the end of the railing. This makes it possible to paint the sides of each bar so that an image becomes visible only when viewed from one particular place. The challenge here is to know how to paint each bar when one is far from the position one needs to stand in order to see the image. If the railing is photographed from the proper viewpoint, it is possible to use the photo as a guide by cutting the printed photo into numbered strips which correspond to each particular bar. The strips appear thinner the further away one is from the proper viewpoint, so it takes some patience, but this is one way to achieve the desired result.

Sculpted Paintings

Rather than limiting oneself to painting on flat surfaces, it is possible to use materials like paper-mache or plastic auto body filler to add a third dimension. Great care must be applied to secure the added materials to the backing, perhaps by using screws attached from the back of a masonite panel with thin wires strung between the screws where necessary.

Images From Shadows

If a wide frame is used to hide a light source in the side of the frame, it is possible to construct a raised surface which will cast a deliberately formed shadow across an image when the light is on. Multiple light sources can be switched off and on to create multiple shadow effects, either separately or in different combinations.

Another option is to use colored lights blocked by raised areas to create color effects on the image, including blended colors.

Placing the Viewer Inside the Image

This is just a simple idea - installing a mirror on the image so that the face of the viewer appears in the image when viewed from the correct position. It might be best accomplished by supporting the canvas a few inches from the wall, attaching the mirror to the wall, and cutting a hole in the canvas where the viewer's face is to appear.

Images Inside the Canvas

If a deep frame is used with the "canvas" attached to the front of the frame, it is possible to cut holes in the canvas over mirrors placed behind it. Secondary images can be painted on the back of the canvas which, if lit from within, can be seen when the viewer stands close and looks inside the holes. Another option might be to illuminate the images on the back so that the image is projected onto the mirror and seen from any distance.

"Floating" Building

The design below would allow for the construction of a diamond shaped building which appears to almost float above the ground and to be so impossibly balanced that it could tip over at any moment. The secret to its construction is three or four large beams which extend far into the ground to support the building securely. Where the beams come together they would be a solid, welded mass surrounded by a shallow pond. A building 30-feet in height might require only a 3 or 4-foot base at ground level. The entrance would be an elevator which drops through a hinged door. (The pond would have to be deeper under the elevator to avoid crushing anyone who might stand beneath the elevator.) The exterior would be mirrored glass, with solid mirrors to hide the supports.