Monday, June 26, 2006

Fractal images - coming soon to my
Art166 Etsy Shop.


Cynthia wrote:

I don't know a whole lot about digital painting, but what is a fractal? I just know basic Photoshop:

Thanks for providing today's topic, Cynthia! (Visit Cynthia's blog to see her fabulous pottery and ceramics, and her great, new, series of daily paintings!)

If you Google that question, you'll find 'Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Fractals' and then some, and then some more! I spent about three days reading before I ever downloaded any software. What was I thinking?

Here's a "tech-lite" definition:

Fractal Image - An image that is created by mathematically generated geometric shapes containing an infinite amount of image detail.

Translation: Fractals are geometry.

Sounds like too much fun, right?

The good news? Fractal imaging software programs come loaded with preset mathematical formulae to get you started. Once you've learned the basics, it's a breeze to modify or rewrite a formula and tweak every element (color palette, etc.) to create your own, incredible designs.

Of course, my fractals are usually imported into Photoshop and heavily manipulated; "Fractal Purists" tend to (rabidly!) prefer a design that is 'by the numbers', but I insist on bending and twisting them (the fractal designs, not the Purists!) into something 'beyond the fractal'! However, the images posted, above, are pretty much untouched.

My favorite fractal software is "Fractal Explorer." It's available, free, for download, here.

Yes, I said "Free"!

You'll be turning out practice images within minutes. In a week's time, you'll be customizing up a storm and the designs you create will be uniquely your own.

Go ahead, you know you want to!

Listening to:

"The Collection" by David Essex

"Rock On", "America", "Window", and other greatest hits by David Essex; you either get why that's a wondrous thing, or you don't.


  1. How exciting is that? I prompted a blog topic? FREE software? Nothing's better than that!

    Thanks for the explanation on fractals, it seems so complicated, math was never my strong suit.

    I may down load it anyway and play around a bit.

    I love your new work! #1 is a bit like looking into a kaleidoscope.

  2. Hi, Cynthia! Yep, you should download it. You'll love it! And, it's obvious you've got SO much spare time, these days!

  3. Hi WJ!
    Your latest works are AWESOME!! I was here the other day too, but had to get offline before I could leave you a message. :(

    These are so beautiful!! I love everything about them. The composition, colors...everything!

    Keep up the great work!
    have a wonderful day

  4. Love the first two W.J. and thanks for the info and link, of course it sounds sooo easy !!! :) Wishful thinking!
    Great work.

  5. i love the green in the last, what gorgeous color!

  6. Oh W.J. these are sooo darn gorgeous but that green one is just incredible, wow!!!! I dl fractal exoplorer and I'm still learning the ropes but mine don't look anything like your beauties yet. Hey another free awesome fractal program is chaoscope, have you tried that one yet?

  7. Those are great pictures. I always look for things in them to relate to ( a bad habit) . In the first one I see feathers and the third one two very fancy bugs. I will pass on the software and just enjoy your pictures.

  8. Well, I just downloaded the program and bookmarked the site. It looks like I'll have some reading to do before I'll ever make a start. It looks complicated!

  9. Seriously funky and weird. They are all so different.

    The first one looks like it's grown, which I guess it has. Like alien ferns.
    The second one looks like a super microscopic image of some strange and tiny lifeforms.
    The third one looks like it's growing up out of liquid, it's just too unique and cool to even say anything else.

  10. Thanks, very much, Shilo! And a happy "very belated" birthday to you!

    Fractal design, with it's "infinite detail" can quickly get overly-fussy and too-much-of-everything, so I'm especially pleased with your comment regarding the composition of these.

    Have a wonderful week!

  11. Thanks, Sandy, and it's really not as complicated as it sounds!

    Go for it! You can create some "Fractal Poetry"!

    (Hm, maybe I'll try that . . .)

  12. Thank you, Chana! That green does seem to be glowing, doesn't it?

    Shouldn't you be packing???

  13. Thanks bunches, Lynette!

    ". . . sooo darn gorgeous . . ." I like that!

    I love doing these, but they're kind of overwhelming in larger formats. I've decided to try selling them as 8x10's, or 8x8's for the squares, in my Etsy store . . . maybe . . . probably . . .

    It took me a while to get a handle on fractals, so don't give up! I've downloaded Chaoscope, but so far haven't made heads or tails of it! It's either really complicated, or I just don't have time to focus, right now. I'll get back to it, though!

  14. Thank you, kindly, Dr. John! You should always find something in art to relate to; that's what makes it wonderful and personal! The whole point of creating art for public view is for someone to look at it and say, "I see this, or I feel that. Otherwise, it's just boring colors on a piece of paper.

    Yours is a very good habit, indeed!

  15. Great, Cynthia, but don't read too much -- wouldn't want you to scare yourself! Just start digging into the menus! Trust me!

  16. Stunning; and free software is sooo.. tempting. I love the first one which looks kinda like a Victorian paisley. Heck, I love 'em all!

  17. Snoo!! Good to see you've survived your "Hamster Encounter"!

    Love your thoughts on these! I chose three very different images to illustrate the range of fractal imagery, and these are only the tip of the iceberg!

    I'm really hoping you'll try it, so POST when you do!

  18. That's right, John, FREE software. C'mon, you know you want it . . .

    Oh, and now that I'm finished being the instrument of temptation: Thanks for the comments (compliments)! I see paisley in that one, too, and chose the colors to give it a vintage feel.

    Good to see you here!

  19. I like what you do with fractals. These pics are just gorgeous and rich in design and colour. the top oneis so sixties and I just LOVE it.

  20. The black one's excellent, WJ.

    Das class, mama!

  21. Anonymous3:38 PM

    I love free stuff...

  22. Thanks for stopping by and visiting me today! Your pics are gorgeous. The first one is my fav. with all the vivid colors.

  23. Hey, Jafa! Thanks very much! I've been away from fractals for awhile, but the pieces I've posted here have been very positively received. Maybe it's time to dive back in! The "paisley-ish" spirals are great, aren't they?

  24. Thanks, TC! Black is, of course, my other favorite color. This piece reminds me of peering through a rifle sight. Target practice, anyone?

  25. Who doesn't, Tammi!




  26. Hi, Christine, and welcome to Art166! I very much enjoyed visiting your place and reading your stories. Dr. John is introducing me to all sorts of new bloggers!

    Thanks for your kind comments on the work!

  27. TC!

    "Das class, mama!"

    For some reason, I just started cracking up over this! In my head, you're running around as an animated character, saying, "Das class, mama!" from the side of your mouth -- kinda like a '40s gangster.

    Too, too funny!

    Man, do I need some sleep!

  28. Thanks for the translatioin of fractals. Geometry and maths sound like alien to me. Yet its effects as demonstrated in your work are just gorgeous.