Life Drawing OVADA Spring 2014

More life drawings from OVADA.
Next term starts 16th April £10 per 2hr 30min sesh

Reykjavik to Selfoss Panorama

This landscape was recorded from 2 mins 12 seconds of footage on the journey from Reykjavik to Selfoss.
The panorama is a mirror image because the time is going from left at the beginning and right at the end. The jagged line at the top and bottom is from camera movement caused by the hákarl bumps in the road.

Here’s the journey on Google Maps – I found the exact location of the first and second junctions. The snow and haze make a big difference.

Moonlight Time Lapse

This time lapse was made using Magic Lantern with my Canon – set up overnight on Aston’s Eyot. I can be swimming across the river with my head torch as well as pointing my laser pointer across the river to great effect.

Standard 8mm showreel

Hugh Pryor’s Standard 8mm Animation Showreel with Clay, Paint and Snails.

Made on Standard 8 with various materials:

1. Luminous plasticine mushroom
2. Clocks, fimo clay and thermometer in Sunlight
3. Clay man picks his ear and falls asleep
4 .Plasticine man blinks and taps his finger
5. Painted face yawns, dies and bleeds
5. Snail evapourates in candle
7. Snails hatch and get eaten by big snail
6. Red face morph
7. Blob turns into vicar and rants
8. Roots sprout dancing mushroom

Music by Chopin:
Chopin’s Valse Op64#3
Chopin’s Polonaise Op40#1
By Vladimir Ashkenazy

Air plant


This is an air plant which feeds off air. Oddly enough even though plants generally appear to be growing out of the ground, most of their biomass is made from carbon dioxide in air – as explained by Richard Feynman here.

Hill End light writing

Niko and I went to the Hill End ‘Hollywood’ sign to do some experimental laser photography for the forthcoming festival proposed there.

Hill End sign with LEDs and laser

Hugh and Niko drew this with an LED on a sick and a red laser pointer.
The colours are created in post processing.

Hill End Colour-screen

Stacked image of about 20 long exposure photos with laser line generator and LEDs in original colour…

Hill End2b

… here with heavily adulterated colours. A bit ravey methinks!

Fractal Romanesco Cauliflower

Drawing fractals… Rather than attempting something nice and simple like a chiaroscuro shaded apple I was compelled to have a scratch at a slightly mouldy fractal Romanesque cauliflower:

Romanesco cauliflower Mouldy romanesco cauliflower

Oxford Hackspace Stammtisch Slit scan

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The slit scan camera was set up by the entrance of the OVADA warehouse pointing towards the front door and the slit scan was projected live on the opposite wall. Everyone entering and leaving was captured as well as curious onlookers who realised that if they moved their head from side to side they were captured in a curious way. This slit scan represents nearly 2 hours of captured time.

Paper Folding

After exploring a few paper folding techniques from Paul Jackson’s book “Folding Techniques for Designers” I decided to make a light shade from one of the more complex patterns. This one has a natural tendency to fold itself into a sphere if it is wide enough. Starting off with an 84.1×42.5cm sheet of paper I proceeded to make 31 vertical folds, 7 horizontal folds, and 47 of each diagonal folds. After kind of scrumpling it up in a highly ordered movement of madness a teardrop shaped light shade emerged.





Oh look! A designer’s making dresses from the same pattern.

Brill Hill Windmill

All the newspapers said that the Aurora Borealis would be visible tonight because the sun had recently spewed out a coronal mass ejection. Armed with cameras, lenses and little evidence of geomagnetic activity from the Aurorawatch website, Dot and I headed out to Brill Mill where if we didn’t see the northern lights we’d at least get some nice shots of a windmill:

Video feedback fractals

Video feedback is made by pointing a video camera at a screen which is displaying it’s own output.
You see spirals and circles which pulsate like a phantasmagoric mirror.

If you introduce a reflector which splits the camera image in half (in this case a CD) bifurcation patterns occur and if you get the angle right a myriad of geometric fractal flower patterns become apparent.

Additionally labyrinthine patterns that resemble fingerprints or zebrafish patterns self organise onto the screen.

A second experiment involved pointing the camera at two monitors. True fractal patterns emerged with Sierpinski triangles, ferns, crystals, infinite cityscapes, cauliflowers and shells.

Making the monitor into the negative brought on angry stripy patterns like an infinite zebra crossing.

Oxford Skyline Zoom

A zoom lens brings you closer to everything, and saves the trouble of scaling walls to get closer to the roof features.
In this preliminary exploration we can see detailed features of the city’s famous sky line – the spires, pinnacles, wind vanes, lanterns, chimneys, vents, roofs, clerestories, cranes, antennae and pigeons.


Schleiren Photography

These photographs are made using 2 mirrors with a 60 inch focal length and a point light source with red and blue filters on either side, and a camera with a zoom lens.
When it was set up – which requires precision and a stable surface, we were ready to go.

Starting off with a candle – the plume is clearly visible. It’s more subtle with the heat from a hand, and very strong with a camping stove.
We could see coldness falling off a frozen pumpkin like a waterfall, and butane gas from the camping stove which has a higher refractive index than air.
Further experiments were conducted with a reversed vacuum cleaner blowing a jet of cold air at the camping stove flame.

Many thanks to Tim Stephens for providing the Schlieren kit including the mirrors and the light source, and Eileen Prades for the zoom lens, and to everyone who showed up for the demonstration during the Oxford Hack Space social night on 21st November 2013.

OVADA life drawing

I’ve been life drawing at OVADA which has recently started.

Roger (tutor) introduces ways of looking at the model, demonstrating how one’s brain perceives things differently to how they actually are appear, and explores the narrative one follows when creating a picture.
It’s an excellent all-round course for beginners wanting to develop their skills to the more experienced artist who is after a challenge to see things differently.
New course in January – go to