Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The fluid dynamics of texture in digitally printed artworks

O'Dowd, Paul



This paper considers alternative approaches to image making and printing that moves from the on-screen representation of images and painting applications, to the physical generation and methods for surface deposition or 2.5D printing. The research investigates the application of new materials and print processes, as an alternative to four-colour separation and halftoning and departs from traditional halftone screening that uses a vector approach to image construction. This paper describes the application of pigments that emulates a painting method to create a physical textured surface. The objective is not to apply an image to an extruded or textured surface, but where the relationship of surface deposition and image are integral.

The project, led by Carinna Parraman, is motivated by painting and rendering programmes and the need to providing meaningful interaction between software, the printed output and the viscous properties of the medium. Software such as Corel® Painter™, Autodesk® Sketch Book Pro for iPad, Brushes by Taptrix inc. simulate the appearance of drawn marks and brush strokes, paper and canvas textures, oil or watercolour. These examples highlight opportunities for manipulating virtual paint. By painting on touch-screen devices or drawing tablets the user can scroll to select colours and brushes and manipulate paint. The assumption is that images remain screen-based or are shared between mobile platforms. However it does not bridge the gap between.

Inspired by the meticulous painting methods by artists such as Van Gogh and Seurat, the objective for the experiment was to create a vector-driven painting machine that applies a brush loaded with paint to paper in a methodical and mechanical way. The difference was that although the vector marks (digital) could be created in the same way, the resulting painted brush strokes (analogue) were not. Based on the placement of the brush on the paper and the flow of paint, that each painted brush stroke was similar but not exactly the same, thus creating a non-uniform but harmonious effect across the paper surface.


O'Dowd, P. (2015, May). The fluid dynamics of texture in digitally printed artworks. Paper presented at Technarte Conference 2015, Bilbao, Spain

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Technarte Conference 2015
Conference Location Bilbao, Spain
Start Date May 28, 2015
End Date May 29, 2015
Publication Date May 1, 2015
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords 2.5D printing, 3D printing, digital painting, texture
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Technarte Conference 2015