I have always loved the distinctive style of French Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891), noted for his use of Pointillism (also known as Divisionism or chromoluminarism). Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" (1884-1886) remains a favorite for its remarkable colors, texture, size and conception. Chromoluminarism is characterized by the use of small juxtaposed dots of color which interact optically to produce a vibrant purity and recognizable texture throughout. In Pointillism the use of dots of paint does not always focus upon the separation of colors. Much of the color theory behind these concepts began with French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul, American physicist Ogden Rood and French art critic Charles Blanc, inventor of the color wheel. Ogden Rood spoke of purity, luminosity and hue in his work on the nature of colors. The idea is to entice the eye of the beholder to do the mixing and blending of light, color, line and texture. In the case of the above drawing, of course I am using color pen & ink instead of paint, but the technique remains the same.
Influences and the Evolution of Technique
Another influence in this style of drawing may be seen to be inspired by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown (1773-1858), noted as the inventor of "Brownian motion." Brownian motion has been defined as the erratic random movement of microscopic particles in liquid or gas, as a result of continuous bombardment from molecules of the surrounding medium. This gives the artist an idea that colors may be reacting to one another in various particles of light, that one may attempt to understand the often unseen forces of nature such as humidity, air currents, gravity or electromagnetic fields. So there remains a swirl of sometimes invisible phenomena which the artist desires to illustrate through his use of manifold points and dots of color.
In High School Physics class I remember learning about vectors and the idea of visually representing direction and magnitude via mathematics and physics on a graph. Mr. Fields taught us to determine the position of one point in space relative to another by designing a visual chart which quantified both magnitude and direction. An example of a vector is velocity which describes how fast something is moving and in what direction it is going. When I think of such momentum or force fields, I can visualize the effect of sunlight on a natural landscape and imagine how an artist might illustrate such effects via painting or drawing in swirls or dots of color.
The animated films of Czech Filmmaker Karel Zeman (1910-1989) also have exerted an enormous impression on my artwork beginning in the 1960's when I first saw his remarkable work. "The Fabulous Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1961) aka "Baron Prasil" and "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne" (1958) are prime examples of Zeman's genius. You often cannot tell what is live action and what is animation in a Karel Zeman film, for everything is wrapped in a decorative atmosphere of wondrous fantasy. The stories are inventive, featuring a sense of childlike imagination and special effects which are often disarming in their enchantment and cinematic charm. "Off On a Comet" (1967) and "The Stolen Airship" offer similar tales of adventure and imaginative journey through time and various landscapes.