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The Town Square: an e-Canvas Painting

Dorian Greyscale
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Imagine if you will, a painting of a sleepy Old World village featuring a sundial in the town square. As the day progresses, the shadows of the buildings wend their way across the painting and the sundial shows the correct time. During the late evening the streetlamps turn on and banish the encroaching darkness as the shop windows darken one-by-one except the clockmaker's which conveniently features a rather large clockface. Finally midnight and the candle in the last little window in the apartment above the greengrocer's is blown out. Occasionally during the night, a faint outline of a cat can be seen lurking in the alley or sitting on a fence.

"e-Canvas" (the technical bit of the idea) is an e-paper variant, combined with a minimalist chipset to be programmed by the artist; it provides variable reflectivity in pictures which use translucent paint pigments. In the given example, while it's an actual painting of the town scene, all the shadows are provided by the e-Canvas: moving dark areas corresponding to where the real shadows would be; the night effect is provided by darkening the entire scene save where the streetlights brighten things up. (The streetlights are e-darkened during the day, as are the shops and apartment windows.)

And it actually looks like a real painting, because it is. Easiest brush media would be watercolour which pigments are already translucent, but I like the idea of textured brushstrokes in oil.

FlyingToaster, May 30 2010

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       I remember in old fashioned pubs, decades ago, before there was big screen sport. On the walls were framed paintings of Victorian street scenes. The street lamps and windows were cut out and lined with tissue paper, and the picture formed the front of a box perhaps œ” deep. A small light bulb inside illuminated the windows and streetlamps. As a child I was fascinated by their high-tech realism. Sadly, I can't find any on google.
pocmloc, May 30 2010

       yes, but did they have moving shadows? I think not ! :) § x1
FlyingToaster, May 30 2010

       //Variable reflectivity provided by epaper will hopefully be enough// I googled for e-paper and found several examples that provided very-near white and very-near black.   

       Pigment mixing would be very different from normal: for the posted example that cycles day and night almost *all* pigments which normally would be mixed with black or white would now be mixed with "transparent".   

       The traditional pencil sketch upon which the pigments are laid would have to be done electronically unless you wanted it to show through.
FlyingToaster, May 30 2010

       I like the concept in the summary of this idea. This technology would be great in portraits.
DrWorm, May 30 2010

       //portraits// would work if the person originally had black hair... or was wearing a hat.   

       //painting effect... thin translucent layer// I like the shadow idea because shadows are overlays anyways: the viewer's brain might not notice the lack of shadow demarcation in the brush-strokes. It may even strike people as looking *more* realistic for some undefineable reason. Note that a bit more programming and you can have the shadows following the brushstrokes instead of strictly straight line borders.
FlyingToaster, May 30 2010

       //This technology would be great in portraits.// Agreed. A bit of a Dorian Gray effect. [+] Maybe a five-o'clock shadow around five o'clock.
mouseposture, May 30 2010


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