Blog

This section provides regularly updated content about my ongoing practice-based PhD research at the Edinburgh College of Art. I will treat this blog as if it were a sketchbook.
My research explores possible uses of an eye-tracking device as a drawing medium, and I primarily focus on drawing with my eyes from life.
This research is supported by the Malta Arts Scholarship scheme.

Categories
Drawing Eye-drawing Hand

24: Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The bones of the hand’

The decision to eye draw from da Vinci’s anatomical drawn notations about the bones of the hand was a different one from that of drawing Géricault’s. These hand drawings involve anatomical observation and notation Figure 52, where the underlying structure of a hand’s anatomy is drawn with engineer-like precision. The drawing itself seems to have been built in stages, starting from the bones and working up towards the sets of muscles and tendons. While eye drawing from these drawings, I attempted to follow and perceive this same build-up through my gazing. My intention was not to get an anatomical precision of da Vinci’s illustration of the hands, but to follow his linear drawn elements with my eyes.

Figure 50: One of the eye-drawings resulting from eye drawing Figure 52 at a distance of 50cm from the computer screen using the binocular eye tracker.

Figure 51: One of the eye-drawings resulting from eye drawing Figure 52 at a distance of 50cm from the computer screen using the binocular eye tracker.

Figure 52: Da Vinci’s notes and drawings about the bones of the hand, c.1510-11, black chalk, pen and ink, wash on paper, 28.8 x 20.2cm, Royal Collection Trust.

Categories
Drawing Eye-drawing Hand

23: Géricault’s ‘Left hand’

Many artists throughout history have drawn their hand for a variety of reasons. In her section dealing with anatomical body parts, Petherbridge (2010; 251-259) mentions how, symbolically, hands can allude to the individuality of the artist. In view of this she discusses Géricault’s drawing of his left hand, drawn in watercolours on his deathbed. He started by extending his arm onto paper, and traced along it, of which markings are still visible at the fingertips (Figure 49). This trace was the starting point for the drawing, from which he then built-up the image of his hand. Apart from the captivating story behind this drawing, now at the Louvre in Paris, Géricault’s very act of extending his arm and tracing it made me want to attempt to eye draw it (Figure 47 & 48). He might have started his drawing from a traced-outline due to his bedridden state, but at the same time, the gesture of extending one’s arm and drawing the hand is a gesture that shouts; “I am here, this is what I see and this is how I see it”. I wanted to eye draw it with the aim of recontextualising (and re-draw) this presence through my gaze.

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References:
Petherbridge, D. 2010. The primacy of drawing : Histories and theories of practice. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Figure 47: One of the eye-drawings resulting from eye drawing Figure 49 at a distance of 50cm from the computer screen using the binocular eye tracker.

Figure 48: One of the eye-drawings resulting from eye drawing Figure 49 at a distance of 50cm from the computer screen using the binocular eye tracker.

Figure 49: Théodore Géricault, La main gauche de Géricault, 1823, watercolour on paper, 22.5 x 29.5cm, Louvre collection, Paris.

Categories
Eye-drawing Practice-based PhD

22: Binocular Experiments

The experiments below consisted in eye drawing an aloe plant from a distance of about 45 cm by contouring/delineating the boundaries of the 3-dimensionality of my hand, using the Pupil Core binocular eye tracker and the Fingertip calibration method.

Figure 45: Eye-drawing of an aloe plant and pot

Figure 46: Eye-drawing of an aloe plant and pot

Categories
Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

21: Binocular Experiments

The experiment below consisted in eye drawing my right hand at a distance of about 45 cm and its reflection in the mirror by contouring/delineating the boundaries of the 3-dimensionality of my hand, using the Pupil Core binocular eye tracker and the Fingertip calibration method. 7517 points were recorded in 40 seconds.

Figure 44: Eye-drawing of my right hand and its reflection in a mirror

Categories
Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

20: Binocular Experiments

The experiment below consisted in eye drawing my right hand from different viewpoints by contouring/delineating the boundaries of the 3-dimensionality of my hand, using the Pupil Core binocular eye tracker as a result of the Screen Marker calibration. 9383 points were recorded in 51 seconds.

Figure 43: Eye-drawing of my right hand from different viewpoints

Categories
Drawing Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

19: Binocular Experiments

The experiment below consisted in eye drawing my right hand at arm’s length and from a close range by contouring/delineating the boundaries of of the 3-dimensionality of my hand, using the Pupil Core binocular eye tracker as a result of the Screen Marker calibration. 9512 points were recorded in 53 seconds.

Figure 42: Eye-drawing of my right hand at arm’s length and from a close range

Categories
Digital sculpture Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

18: Binocular Experiments

The experiment below consisted in eye drawing my right hand from different viewpoints by contouring/delineating the boundaries of the 3-dimensionality of my hand, using the Pupil Core binocular eye tracker as a result of the Fingertip calibration. 9359 points were recorded in 51 seconds.

Figure 40: Eye-drawing of my right hand from different viewpoints

Figure 41: Developing the eye-drawing in Figure 40 into a cluster of spheres

Categories
Digital sculpture Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

17: Binocular Experiments

The experiment below consisted in eye drawing the hand at my arm’s length and from close range, using the Pupil Core binocular eye tracker as a result of the Fingertip calibration. 8000 points were recorded in 44 seconds.

Figure 38: Eye-drawing of my right hand at my arm’s length and from close range

Figure 39: Sculptural development of Figure 38

Categories
Digital sculpture Eye-drawing Practice-based PhD

16: Eye drawing and digital sculpture

Figure 36: Generative development from a series of eye-drawings to a digital sculpture

Figure 37: A generated digital sculpture

Through 3-dimensional algorithms such as Lofting, I am developing the eye-drawing geometry into sculptural forms. Perhaps, further practice will teach me how to anticipate and control the formal values within these digital sculptures, along with other questions which had been brought up in earlier posts.
An important concept I will mention here, is how the material itself (a digital skin generated along the eye-drawings) influences the development of the form and therefore the mind (and our perception of it). I feel that within developments such as Figures 36 and 37, the crucial material involved is the combination of the Loft algorithm and the eye-drawings themselves, while everything is being developing in the virtual world, away from the material-making of the hands. The dialogue between development and making, is therefore taking place conceptually.

Categories
Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

15: Generative viewpoints

Figure 35: Generative development between the eye-drawings in Figure 34

The eye drawing session in Figure 32 was designed in anticipation of a possible generative development. An eye-drawing can be both exported as such, as a rendered 2-dimensional image, or further developed using computer-aid tools. Technically speaking, the eye-drawing becomes a geometrical polyline sitting in a 3-dimensional space where the perspective viewport is flexible and interchangeable. The view of the eyedrawing/polyline curve can be positioned as needed. One might therefore argue that the eye-drawing acquires sculptural value within 3-dimensional virtual platforms and this is the stage where I feel that my position of an editor is enhanced. The practice within Figure 32 was designed in view of the latter considerations, with the knowledge that the eye-drawing results from different viewpoints can be plotted within the virtual space, with the possibility of further computer-aided development.